Watch: Scottish distillery unveils Christmas tree made from whisky casks

One of Scotland's island distilleries has created a video unveiling their stunning upcycled Christmas tree - made entirely from whisky casks.

Published 15th Dec 2018
Updated 21 st Sep 2023

Raasay Distillery, which is based on the island of the same name which lies off the coast of Skye, posted the video on Twitter showing their staff putting the tree together using whisky barrels and Christmas tree lights.

The official account of the distillery then wrote: "We're an enterprising bunch here at Raasay Distillery. When the festive season approached and we didn't have a tree handy, we made do with the best materials to hand- Barrels! We might boast the #BestDistilleryView, but what about #BestDistilleryTree?"

Using around 50 ex-sherry and bourbon casks, the team built the tree by stacking barrels and strapping them together with old cask staves to keep it from being blown over by wintery gusts.

Joseph McGowan, distillery operator, and Iain Robertson, head distiller, constructed it over the course of an evening, with the star made up from a broken sherry casks by lead tour guide Calum Gillies.

You can see the stunning results below:


Calum Gillies added: “We wanted something that celebrated our first full year of production, and the island doesn’t have a community Christmas tree so this seemed like the perfect compromise.

"We have it wrapped in a variety of lights, so walking past the distillery or coming over on the ferry at night, you can see it lit up like a, well, Christmas Tree.”

“The community has really appreciated it, and it just makes the whole place feel a lot more festive and unique. Next year we can think of more decorations, but come 2020 we’ll maybe have one of the first bottles of Raasay single malt to put at the top instead of a star!”

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We think this might just be a tree to rival the upcycled Christmas tree in Ullapool that is made using fishing creels.

Opened in September 2017, Raasay Distillery is one of Scotland's newest distilleries and was founded by businessmen Alasdair Day and Bill Dobbie.

• READ MORE: You won’t believe how pretty Ullapool’s upcycled Christmas tree is

• READ MORE: Raasay distillery opening just ‘latest sign that the distilling business is booming’

Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.
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