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Whisky Whispers

The Houses of Raasay

Traveling across the water from Sconser aboard a CalMac ferry, you’ll arrive gazing up at Raasay House. If you head just a little up the road after a coffee on their porch looking out at the best views of the Isle of Skye, before you reach the village you’ll arrive at Borodale House and our Raasay Distillery site.

While we wait for our planning permissions to be approved, our bat friends to take flight, and Italian-made stills to arrive, this Victorian house marks our spot of the wild Isle of Raasay. Rich in community history we’re not just going to bulldoze her away – certainly not! She’s a little tired but she’s just been resting for the past few years, she’s getting ready to wake up and add some new stories to her list.

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Borodale House amid one of her many transitions.

Raasay House Then and Now

Raasay House has been owned and run by and as a number of different establishments since 1747 when it began life as the premises it has developed into today. Prior to this the site was the home of the clan McCleod and Chief of Raasay from the 1500s until it was burned to the ground in 1746 by troops following the Battle of Culloden.

In its current ownership, Raasay House undertook extensive refurbishment in 2008 but devastatingly suffered extreme fire damage mere months before completion in 2009. It wasn’t until 2013 that the house we know today reopened in all its splendour. During that time the business to its temporary home at Borodale House. Discover more about the history of Raasay House on their website.

A Book at Borodale

Olli (our architect, not our otter) has found one of the visitors’ books. It actually begins in 2006 when the house was run as the Isle of Raasay Hotel and continues with notes of thanks and remarks of enjoyment from guests around Scotland and the world on every last page up to 2010. Raasay House to this day host many school groups in a unique outdoor education programme, and many of these kids have recognised their experience in the visitors’ book. “Raasay rocks my socks” from a young Graham, is one of our favourites, and we hope no one has forgotten wee Ellie who in June 2010 wrote:

“… (don’t forget me!!) I’ll be upset if you forget me! I’ve had a brill time and I’m gonna miss Jack with the earrings, Eric & Badger & Davie.”

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A New Lease of Life

The R&B version of Borodale House will become our distillery Visitor Centre (due to open in 2017) and include five exclusive accommodation rooms for members of our Na Tusairean Club. The extension that was built onto the original building the 1980s will be demolished and replaced with the Raasay Distillery, while Borodale herself will be given a well-deserved makeover.

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Extensions to Borodale House under construction, 1980

As you venture back to Skye, you’ll clearly see Borodale House, and later our distillery, watching you go from Raasay and welcoming your return.

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Extensions to Borodale House under construction, 1980

Isle of Raasay Distillery

Artist’s impression of our Borodale House refurbishment and Distillery addition.

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