Thursday, July 19, 2018


Following a successful barley variety trial on the island in 2017, the Isle of Raasay Distillery, has today announced that it will undertake a second set of trials to determine whether it would be possible to grow and ripen barley, suitable for whisky making on the island.

The Isle of Raasay Distillery’s ultimate long-term objective is to grow enough barley on Raasay, to produce at least one batch per year of single malt whisky, made with 100% Raasay barley.

Isle of Raasay Distillery announces a second round of barley trials

In April 2017, the R&B Distillers owned distillery, began to trial barley growing on the island with five different barleys: Bere, Concerto, Tartan, Iskria and Kannas. The latest trials will include: Iskria, Golden Promise, Anneli and Brage varieties.

With a Celtic well on site providing access to high mineral content water, as well as a good supply of peat in the north of the island, Raasay Distillery is keen to create at least one batch of Raasay Scotch per year that uses all-local ingredients. While acknowledging that this whisky will be a small percentage of total production, the distillery is keen to challenge the limitations of production in such an unusual location.

For the 2018 trial, Raasay Distillery will work with Peter Martin, Director of Agronomy Institute at University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI), and local farmer Andrew Gillies to cultivate four varieties in Mill Park Field on the island.

On Thursday 2nd August 2018, Raasay Distillery will host an open day, for anyone interested in learning more about the barley trial. Peter Martin will introduce the barley varieties and will discuss the challenges that have been encountered while growing commercial varieties on Raasay.

Distillery Co Founder Alasdair Day, will also discuss the background and future of the project and Hugh Alexander from Curio Group will be explain the processes involved in micro-malting the Raasay Barley.

The distillery will also offer free tours during the open day.

Posted by Steve Rush