Distillery’s tree is something rather special

If you’re working in a distillery and don’t have a Christmas tree to hand, what are you going to do?

The team at the Isle of Raasay Distillery are an enterprising bunch, so when the festive season approached and they didn’t have their own, they made do with the best materials to hand – casks!

Using around 50 ex-sherry and bourbon casks, the team built the tree by stacking barrels and strapping them together with old cask staves to keep it from being blown over by wintery gusts.

Joseph McGowan, distillery operator, and Iain Robertson, head distiller, constructed it over the course of an evening, with the star made up from a broken sherry casks by lead tour guide Calum Gillies.

The Isle of Raasay Distillery Christmas tree with two of its creators

Calum added: ‘We wanted something that celebrated our first full year of production, and the island doesn’t have a community Christmas tree so this seemed like the perfect compromise.

‘We have it wrapped in a variety of lights, so walking past the distillery or coming over on the ferry at night, you can see it lit up like a, well, Christmas Tree.

‘The community has really appreciated it, and it just makes the whole place feel a lot more festive and unique.

‘Next year we can think of more decorations, but come 2020 we’ll maybe have one of the first bottles of Raasay single malt to put at the top instead of a star!’