How have Plockton Brewery helped us celebrate the launch of production on Raasay?
There are many milestones when opening a new distillery; from breaking ground, installing the stills, switching the equipment on for the first time, to getting the license to make alcohol (quite a big one). In terms of big steps, filling the first cask feels like a leap. Not only is it a striking image, it is also lasting. This cask will be seen by visitors to our distillery for many years to come. It may even be sampled on very rare, special occasions.
Choosing the First Cask
We wanted our first filled cask to have significance to the whole project and have many levels of interest.
Cask number 1 has had an exciting journey to this point: a French oak barrique that matured Super Tuscan cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc red wine for 3 vintages. Then it came to us in Scotland to finish the first release of Raasay While We Wait for 8 weeks.
Next this cask was used to age Groundwork Ale, brewed by Andy from Plockton Brewery in collaboration with our architect Olli. We served this ale at the annual Whisky, Fire and Song bonfire event last year and some lucky customers got their hands on gift packs of Raasay While We Wait and Groundworks last Christmas.
This cask has been on quite a journey. From France, to Tuscany, to mainland Scotland, and finally to Raasay. Iain Robertson and Chris Anderson, our distillers, examined the cask and were happy with the lasting quality – it had life in it for one more maturation yet!
Celebratory Plockton Brews
And, so this special cask was filled with the first spirit from the Isle of Raasay Distillery, which guests of our production launch on Saturday 16th September viewed and tasted from in the still hall.
Plockton Brewery, who have always been very supportive of our project, brewed another two beers with Olli especially for our opening event, which we poured for locals and guests. A bogmyrtle ale and a bitter with this bespoke pump clip:
As we open our Raasay Distillery, we would also like to congratulate Plockton Brewery on their 10-year anniversary. Hopefully we will produce more beer and whisky collaborations in the future.