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Whisky Whispers

R&B Glencairn Glass

Slàinte mhòr!

Slàinte, pronounced slanj. Or, if you can wait a moment longer for your whisky; slàinte mhath (slanj uh va). We say it when we raise a dram, but why, what does it mean, and what does it have to do with you and R&B?

Slàinte mhath is a toast that literally translates to: ‘good health’. After all, as it is said, “what whisky will not cure, there is no cure for.”

What whisky will not cure, there is no cure for.

Toasting Charlie

The usual reply is the equivalent to ‘your good health’, but there are a few variations, and one which we like very much: Slàinte mhòr. The simple translation of this means ‘great health’, but it has an alternative meaning as a Jacobite toast to Bonnie Prince Charlie – ‘health to Marion.’

Particularly fitting for us at R&B since following his defeat at the Battle of Culloden in 1746, Bonnie Prince Charlie fled north to the Hebrides, and in particular – Raasay. There, he was famously aided from capture by Flora MacDonald, disguised in women’s clothing as her servant Betty Burke. In her 1746 declaration, Flora MacDonald told that from the Isle of Skye it was intended that the Prince escape to Raasay. You can read the declaration here on the The National Archives website.

Isle of Raasay

The island of Raasay suffered extensively for harbouring the Prince. Hundreds of houses were destroyed, their animals slaughtered, and their boats sunk in the Sound of Rona.

In his elaborate flee, Bonnie Prince Charlie attained a number of ‘code names’ to avoid identification, one of these was Marion. Slàinte mhòr! To Charlie’s Health!

Wait with Us

At R&B, we want to toast our whiskies with as many people as we can, and that includes novices, enthusiasts, and whisky ‘connoisseurs’ alike. Whether you’re just starting out on your whisky journey, or you’re well versed, raise a glass of the good stuff with us.

While we wait for our Raasay Distillery to receive planning approval and be constructed, to find a site for our Borders Distillery, and our whisky to be cask finished for September, we’ll be talking about all this and much more.

Alasdair hosting an impromptu tasting at Raasay House.

We know there’s a lot to keep up with, so we created our Slàinte Club. Join online to receive not only R&B news, but when the whisky comes you’ll have the first chance to pre-order Raasay While We Wait and the new Borders Single Grain limited batch releases. You’ll also receive Slàinte Club exclusive offers and discounts right to your email inbox. If you fancy something a little extra, take a look at our Na Tùsairean Club as well.

So, become a member and wait with us until September when we can toast slàinte mhath with dram in hand!



Thanks to The National Archives, Skye.co.uk, and Undiscovered Scotland for serving as sources of information in this article. 

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