R&B stands for Raasay and Borders; two unique and contrasting landscapes, two sides of a family, and uncommon provenance for whisky – until now.
In September 2017, we opened the first legal distillery on the Isle of Raasay in the Inner Hebrides, creating an entirely new provenance for Scotch whisky.
The Borders has not seen a whisky distillery since 1837, and our Isle of Raasay Distillery became the first legal distillery on the island of just 120 residents.
Our roots in both the Scottish Borders and the Hebrides are physically embodied by our Co-founder, Alasdair Day. Alasdair’s great-grandfather, Allan Macdonald, hailed from the Hebrides. His other great-grandfather, Richard Day, was a whisky blender in the Border town of Coldstream with a heritage dating back to 1820.
Building distilleries takes time though, so we are satisfying our impatience by working with a Highland distillery to very deliberately craft the styles of whisky representative of what’s to come.
Some families have a family bible. The Day family has Richard Day’s cellar book, its contents as sacred as any scripture.
In 1895 a young Richard Day walked into a licenced grocers at No1 Duke Street in the Borders town of Coldstream to begin his first day as an office boy at J&A Davidson.
Richard Day took over his employer’s business in 1923, having learnt the art of blending, and so began the family whisky tradition that lives on in R&B.
In the pages of the cellar book, an accounts ledger in which can be found record of our Co-founder’s great, great-grandfather buying probably beer – possibly whisky – Richard Day later recorded all his acquired wisdom, decades of whisky learning and lore.
Over time the volume with all its blended whisky recipes passed into the capable hands of R&B’s Alasdair Day and after a 70 year gap The Tweeddale Blend was recreated.
As whisky adventurers and innovators, at R&B we rarely do anything by the book. Unless, of course, it’s Richard Day’s cellar book.
R&B is a meeting of minds as well as terroirs.
In Bill we have a canny head for business, and in Alasdair, an uncanny knack for making whisky.
Alasdair has spent 25 years in the food industry, but his great-grandfather’s whisky heritage kept calling him back to a family tradition.
Alasdair has been successfully recreating his great-grandfather’s Borders whisky since 2009. Now he’s adding modern twists to time-honoured methods to create our new handcrafted whiskies.
The multi-award winning Tweeddale whisky is now an integral part of R&B.
Bill has led a number of highly successful private equity funded businesses.
He is an experienced entrepreneur, founding and building various internet based enterprises. Somehow he also finds the time to sit on the boards of several companies.
His taste for business is perhaps matched only by his taste for fine whisky.