7 May 2018

Whisky Insiders Interview No.88 - Iain Robertson

R & B Distillers

Head Distiller at Raasay Distillery


How long have you been working in the whisky industry?
In July, it will be a year since I graduated and accepted the job at the Raasay Distillery, but I also spent three years working as a tour guide at the Scotch Whisky Experience.
What has been your biggest career highlight to date?
It would have to be filling my first cask. It was a great moment, and after four years of university studying distilling, it was well worth the wait.
Can you remember your first dram, and indeed what it was?
I can’t remember my first exact dram, but one of my first experiences was a comparison session involving a 12 and 15 Year Old Speyside. This was when my interest began.
What does whisky mean to you?
First and foremost, it’s my career. I studied to become a distiller and it’s a great feeling knowing that I’m now part of the industry. A big thing about whisky is the social aspect. I’ve spent many nights discussing whisky with friends, old and new, and have lots of great memories (some a bit hazy) of nights sitting and sharing a bottle and having a good time.
Where would you like to see yourself in five years time?
Five years’ time can’t come quick enough! By that point, we will have released our first whisky, so I see myself being very busy at the distillery!
What was your last dram?
I finished off a bottle of Laphroaig Brodir at a bonfire at the weekend.

Do you have a favourite whisky and food pairing combination?
Whisky and food matching is a new thing to me. I see people recommending meals to go with whisky, but I prefer it with small nibbles. Cured meats and cheeses are great with whisky. A nice blue cheese with a smoky dram is a good combination.

What’s your favourite time and place to enjoy a dram?
I normally have a hipflask on me when I’m camping. I really enjoy a dram by the fire at night with good company.

What do you think is going to be the next big thing on the whisky horizon?
Tough call on this one. So many new distilleries are opening and the older ones are experimenting more, so it’s really hard to tell.

What’s the one dram you couldn’t live without?
You’re finishing this interview off with the tough ones! All I’ll say is, if peat is still playing its part, I’ll be happy.

Many thanks to Iain Robertson. Who will be our next Whisky Insider? Click back soon to find out!