R&B Distillers search for new distiller for new site on Raasay

R&B Distillers are looking to give one lucky person a dream job as they search for a talented distiller for their new island distillery.

Published 26th Jan 2017
Updated 21 st Sep 2023

R&B Distillers are in the process of building the first (legal) distillery on the isolated Scottish island of Raasay, which lies off the east coast of the Isle of Skye, and are now on the hunt for a distiller to bring the island’s first single malt whisky to life.

The distiller will be required to relocate to the picturesque island where they will become an integral part of the close knit Raasay community of only 120 inhabitants (as well as a colony of rare bats, otters and voles).

A formal qualification in distilling and practical experience is essential for the role (a full job description can be found here) and as would be expected, R&B have expressed that enthusiasm for the multifariousness of island life is vital for any applicant.

The island has minimal facilities - one café and bar only open during the summer months, a small community shop and a bat hotel – and is a ferry journey to mainland Scotland.

Alasdair Day, co-founder of R&B Distillers, said: "I always used to wonder how you could get a full-time job that allowed you to live in the stunning Western isles.

"Now I'm able to offer such an opportunity for someone who not only has the relevant qualifications and experience, but also really wants to embrace an island lifestyle while furthering their craft.

"Hopefully the unique landscape of the island will bring out the distiller's natural creativity and help us produce innovative, great young whisky"

Island resident Jill Westgarth says that though island life can on some occasions be a challenge, it can also be incredibly rewarding and that Raasay is a wonderful community to be a part of, she said: "We're all really looking forward to welcoming a distiller to the island.

"He or she will become part of a community where we have the time and space to talk to one another; we look out for one another; we help one another; and it's a great place to bring up children.

"We have a great way of life in stunning surroundings.  Many of us work very hard to try and safeguard the island's long-term future.

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"As incomers, and having known the island for more than 25 years, we've lived here for more than 15 years; we feel part of the community; and we've never had cause to regret our move here.

"The  community is a really interesting mix of families who have lived here for generations, and others who have chosen to come and live here. All distillers welcome!"

Merely 14 miles in length, with the extinct volcano Dun Caan dominating the skyline, R&B say Raasay is a walker’s paradise; dotted with ruins, rugged coves and rambling trails, its wild landscape reflects its romantic history of smuggling, legendary royal escape, and poetry.

R&B's new distillery is aiming to reinstate whisky making in this forgotten whisky region of Scotland as well as providing up to 10 per cent of the island's employment.

The successful applicant will have the chance to be a part of this new process, attracting tourists to the island to witness whisky making in action.

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