R&B Distillers rejigs leadership as it eyes £25m sales milestone

R&B Distillers rejigs leadership as it eyes £25m sales milestone

William Dobbie (credit: Stewart Attwood)

R&B Distillers Limited, the Scottish spirits company co-founded by Bill Dobbie and Alasdair Day in 2014, has revealed a significant reorganisation of its senior executive team.

William Dobbie, who served as commercial director, has been appointed as the new managing director, while his father, Bill Dobbie, assumes the role of chairman.

Bill Dobbie said: “William has helped drive double-digit revenue growth at over 20% per annum during his four years as commercial director, and R&B’s Board was unanimous in its decision to give him the opportunity to lead the company’s next phase of growth.

“We have continued to see solid growth in the UK and internationally over the last few years, including during what was a challenging year for the industry in 2023, and are excited by our prospects to build sales in existing and new markets over the next decade.”

R&B Distillers owns the Isle of Raasay Distillery, which opened its doors in 2017, and plans to launch the Machrihanish Distillery near Campbeltown on the Mull of Kintyre over the next 12-18 months, which will mark the first new farm distillery in the region in over 180 years. There are also longer term plans for The Duke Street Distillery at Coldstream in the Scottish Borders.

R&B Distillers reported revenue of £5 million in the year ended 31 December 2023, and now sells in 40 markets worldwide after launching the Isle of Raasay Gin in mid-2019 and the Isle of Raasay Single Malt at the end of 2020. The company has set its sights on growing sales to over £25m in the next decade.

William Dobbie said: “The whole team deserves so much credit for our success to date, and our 10-year vision is centred on taking the business to the next level, increasing our international presence in lucrative markets like North America and Asia.

“While the high end of the whisky market has come under pressure over the last year, we have managed to significantly increase sales, grow a loyal customer base and brand in the face of industry headwinds.”

The Isle of Raasay Distillery, based on the Inner Hebridean island off the west coast of Scotland, sells directly to tens of thousands of consumers, and through hundreds of outlets in the UK and via distributors worldwide. The distillery, which has a visitor centre and luxury accommodation, won Distillery of the Year and Tourism Destination of the Year at the Scottish Whisky Awards in 2022. R&B has a team of 47 people, with 35 based on the Isle of Raasay, supporting long-term local employment for the community.

R&B’s senior management team also includes Stuart Blues (finance director), Norman Gillies (operations director), and Alasdair Day (co-founder and master distiller).

R&B Distillers is owned by Scottish entrepreneur Bill Dobbie’s Chanrossa Group, a Scotland-headquartered scale-up with a portfolio that includes both spirits & drinks and beauty & wellness brands. The drinks business includes stakes in the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, Caskshare.com, Waterford Distillery, and Renegade Rum Distillery. Chanrossa positions itself as a “long-term business that creates and owns brands of provenance, quality, and global appeal”.

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