Isle of Raasay Distillery

The Isle of Raasay is probably not a place you’ve ever heard of. With a population of only 161 people, it is located in Scotland’s Inner Hebrides, between the mainland and the more famous (and larger) Isle of Skye. It is roughly 14 miles long from North to South, and 3 miles at its widest point east to west. Once ruled by the MacLeod Clan (my distant ancestors), today it is primarily a site for tourism, fishing and crofting. This quarter’s club selection comes from the island’s first (and as yet only) legal distillery, opened in 2017. The aptly named Isle of Raasay Distillery was named Distillery of the Year at the 2022 Scottish Whisky Awards. This limited release commemorates that honor and was limited to 9,500 bottles globally, with 1,200 allocated for the U.S.


Sam Crocker

Spirits Buyer

Isle of Raasay Distillery of the Year Edition

Region: Inner Hebrides, Scotland

Co-founders Bill Dobbie and Alasdair Day first met in 2013 and formed R&B Distillers with the common goal of building Scotland’s leading artisanal distillery. Focusing on local production, provenance, quality, and doing things differently, by 2015, they had identified the Isle of Raasay as providing the ingredients for the perfect spirit. In 2016, they were granted permission to transform the Isle of Raasay’s nineteenth century Borodale House into a state-of-the-art distillery, visitor center, and luxury accommodation.

Starting from scratch, they set about designing a distillery to create exceptional whisky that develops elegance, complexity, and depth early on in the maturation process, and a handcrafted Hebridean gin that encapsulates Raasay’s style, character and impressive geological variety.

Since its establishment, the Isle of Raasay Distillery has brought job opportunities to the island, worked closely with other local businesses and become embedded in the island’s tight-knit community.

Part of the distillery’s ethos is to produce, mature, bottle and market every drop of spirit directly from the island. This seeks to maximize the influence of the island on the spirit, and the distillery on the island. To quote the inimitable Whisky Writer Dave Broom at our distillery opening: “we are not just making alcohol, we are making spirit.”

Courtesy of Impex Beverages

Cask Type: Matured in ex-Four Roses Bourbon casks with a second maturation in Quercus humboldtii (Andean or Colombian Oak)

ABV: 50.7%

Price: $118.99

Tasting Notes: 

Unpeated spirit with notes of vanilla and butterscotch and a long finish of Crème Brûlée.

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