The 2nd August 2018 will mark an historic milestone in our journey towards the first bottling of Isle of Raasay Single Malt Scotch Whisky. Its our second Raasay Barley Trial Open Day, but perhaps even more significant is the fact that we will be mashing the first purely Raasay-grown malted barley crop. Drilled on local crofter Andrew Gillies’s 2 acre field last year, the harvested barley was malted at a small craft malting barn in Keith by Hugh Alexander and flavoured with Raasay peat from Glam to the north of the island.
Whilst not enough for our standard one tonne batch spirit yield, this will nonetheless be a very special run, producing the first Raasay spirit to be made with Raasay barley which will mature here on the island for bottling in due course. As the mashing progresses, Peter Martin, Director of the Agronomy Institute, University of the Highlands and Islands will be joined by Alasdair Day of Raasay Distillery and Hugh Alexander of Curio Group to give talks on the Barley Trial in the Gathering Room before leading a visit to Andrew’s field to observe progress with the four barley varieties growing there this year. Distillery tours will be free on the day so please come along with your friends to visit the still house and the barley field and enjoy a very up-close and personal Raasay barley experience.
Raasay Distillery’s Batman Returns
Here at the distillery we love our bats. Specifically the small colony of long-eared European brown bats which inhabit our roofspace and the many batboxes mounted on trees around the distillery grounds. These tiny flying mammals are one of the welcome returners of the Summer because of the they key role they play in improving the environment for we humans. Quite simply they eat the midgies, feasting on hundreds of thousands of the little biting insects each evening.
We’re so fond of the bats that we’ve invited the distillery’s own ‘Batman’ Ross Preston to host a special ‘Bat Day’ at the distillery on Wednesday 1st August. Ross was the bat specialist who surveyed our site and identified the presence and number of bats who call the distillery site their home. In doing so he caused great excitement in both the bat and whisky enthusiast communities as our bats are officially the most North Westerly colony of long-eared European brown bats in the British Isles.
So come along to the distillery on Raasay Bat Day and share our enthusiasm with a special evening tour of the distillery, fun, bat-themed games and activities, a talk from Ross and a taste of our Raasay While We Wait whisky. As sunset approaches Ross will lead a group walk around the site as he does his ‘official’ job conducting the bat count to add to Scotland’s annual biodiversity statistics.
Summer Whisky Events on Skye & Raasay
7th July – Glamaig Hill Race – Sligachan
Meanwhile the distillery is supporting some fantastic summer activities in July on and off the island. First up our team headed across to the Isle of Skye to give free tastings at the annual Glamaig Hill Race at Sligachan.
14th July – Ceilear Ceilidh Lunch – Raasay Distillery
Then we host the young musicians of Ceilear for our Ceilidh Lunch on Saturday 14th July.
20th & 21st July – ‘Fished and Foraged’ – The Briggait, Glasgow
In Glasgow we are taking part a fantastic banqueting hall celebration of Skye, Raasay and Harris food and drink at the Briggait on Friday 20th and Saturday 21st July. ‘Fished and Foraged’ is led by Skye’s Michelin recommended Scorrybreac restaurant the event is the brainchild of Portree brothers Calum and Niall Munro and is sure to be a cracking couple of nights for Glasgow’s passionate food and drink community.
15th August – Hebridean Whisky Trail Launch – Raasay Distillery
Back on Raasay we are really looking forward to August 15th when we launch the Hebridean Whisky Trail with our neighbour distilleries Talisker and Torabhaig on Skye and Harris Distillery. More news on that coming up.
Visitor Experience Manager, Raasay Distillery