Plans for first distillery on Raasay approved
Raasay, a small island off the west coast of Skye, which has a population of some 170, is to get its first legal distillery.
The Highland Council has granted planning approval to Edinburgh-based R&B Distillers to convert an abandoned Victorian hotel named Borodale house into a distillery and visitor centre.
Work on the conversion is scheduled to start in April, with production slated to begin early next year.
Raasay’s first whisky, a lightly peated single malt, is likely to hit the market in 2020.
The distillery will create 11 jobs and will become one of the largest employers on the island.
It is also likely to boost the wider island economy through the tourist trade.
Plans for the distillery also include five luxury bedrooms exclusively for the use of members of R&B Distillers’ Na Tùsairean club.
The first 100 casks of Raasay whisky will be bottled for the club’s members only, who will receive one bottle every year for ten years.
Members will also receive two miniatures each year so they can experience the whisky without marring the integrity of the collection.
Membership of the club costs £599 for ten years and is limited to 1,000.
R&B Distillers also plans to develop a distillery in the Borders.
Last summer it crowd-sourced ideas for a location for its Borders’ distillery, although the results have yet to be announced.
Popular choices in the poll included Peebles, Kelso and the Tweed Valley.
The company also released two whiskies last year, Raasay While We Wait and Borders, both of which were created to suggest the likely style of whiskies from its two distilleries.
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