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Whisky lovers called upon to choose location for first Borders distillery in 150 years

Published: July 29, 2015

Whisky lovers are today being called upon to get the Borders ‘back on the whisky map’ by choosing a location for the region’s first distillery since 1837.

Scotch Whisky firm – R&B Distillers – is asking whisky drinkers ‘the big question’ in a bid to crowd source opinion on where a Borders distillery should be built.

Participants are invited to vote for their favourite location in an online poll that includes popular Borders destinations such as the Tweed Valley, Peebles, Kelso, Melrose, Galashiels and Eyemouth.

Driven by a desire to make whiskies of uncommon provenance, R&B Distillers believe the Borders could be the ideal location for a whisky distillery.

• Meet the distiller: Alasdair Day

Work on the distillery would not begin until the company’s Raasay Distillery – which is currently subject to planning permission – is complete and open to the public.

Co-founder, Alasdair Day, spoke more about the prospect of a Borders distillery: “It’s really quite remarkable that somewhere as iconic as the Scottish Borders has remained untouched by whisky distilling for such a long time.

“Just like whiskies from the Highlands, Speyside or Islay, a small batch whisky distilled in the Borders will have its own unique flavour, informed by the provenance and terroir of the region.

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“We’re incredibly excited to be asking whisky lovers from around the world ‘the big question’ and crowd sourcing opinion on where a Borders distillery would be best placed.

• New whisky distillery planned for the isle of Raasay

“It’s time to get the Borders back on the whisky map!”

Alasdair Day, in particular, has a special connection with the Borders. His great-grandfather – Richard Day – was a whisky blender based in Coldstream in the early 1900s.

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After inheriting his great-grandfather’s cellar book in 2009, Alasdair quit his 9-5 job and set about recreating The Tweeddale – a small batch, blended Scotch Whisky.

The Tweeddale is now widely available in outlet across the UK and is also exported to America, Canada, Germany, Netherlands, Taiwan and Singapore.

Scots entrepreneur and co-founder of online dating site ‘Cupid’ – Bill Dobbie – and whisky blender – Alasdair Day – founded R&B Distillers in 2014.

The company unveiled its plans for the Raasay Distillery earlier this year.

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Expected to open in January 2017, the Raasay distillery will become the island’s first legal distillery and is expected to generate employment for eleven of the island’s 120 residents.

• The first outurn of Raasay whisky is due to be ready by 2020.

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