The Isle of Raasay Distillery opened to visitors in January 2018; as well as pioneering a new provenance for Scotch Whisky, the distillery has become a welcome new tourist destination for this small Hebridean island.
The modern visitors centre can accommodate up to 27,000 visitors per year, and offers eight distillery tours per day, seven days a week, throughout the year. This is expected to contribute significantly to the island’s economy, as well as boosting tourism across neighbouring island, Skye.
A distillery in such a unique location is the result of proud Hebridean heritage, coupled with a lifelong dream to make whisky on Raasay. Co-founders Alasdair Day and Bill Dobbie worked with architect Olli Blair (ABIR Architects) and Allen Associates to incorporate Borodale House, a disused Victorian villa, within the design for a modern distillery, visitors centre and accommodation.
The main focus of the design was to showcase the distillery’s unrivalled views. Alasdair Day describes the distinctive nature of this project: “It is the location – an island off an island with complex geology, water, an island climate, and probably best views from any distillery in Scotland – that makes Raasay ideal for our innovative Scotch whisky distillery”.
The Raasay Distillery is the only distillery in Scotland to provide luxury accommodation within the same building. Three of the bedrooms offer stunning views of the Cuillin mountains on Skye, while the other two rooms, overlooking the production yard and are designed for the ultimate whisky lover. Each en suite bedroom has been decorated in neutral tones, with stunning photography of the island and local art on the walls, and soft charcoal grey Harris tweed on pale larch furniture. Breakfast is served to guests in the Gathering Room with a magnificent view of Skye beyond. The distillery is an ideal destination for whisky tourists and those looking for an unusual off-the-beaten track holiday.
Tours of the distillery are perfectly timed with the Sconser to Raasay ferry, enabling visitors journey to and from the island with ease. Distillery tour guides are local islanders who can offer visitors unrivalled knowledge Raasay’s geography and community. Located within walking distance of the ferry terminal and Inverarish, the main village on Raasay, the distillery is well placed for exploring the island’s natural beauty and historic sites, including Dun Caan mountain, Brochel Castle and Calum’s Road.
The Raasay Distillery will be organising events and activities throughout the year including a bat-watching evening and the Raasay Distillery’s annual ‘Whisky, Fire and Song’ festival. The latter takes place over Bonfire weekend and is a celebration of island life.
Visit website: raasaydistillery.com/luxury-raasay-accommodation/
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