Dobbie hands over R&B Distillers leadership to son

William and Bill Dobbie

R&B Distillers co-founder Bill Dobbie has become chairman of the company and has been succeeded as managing director by his son William.

The company 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. It will mark the first new farm distillery in the region in over 180 years.

There are also longer term plans to open The Duke Street Distillery at Coldstream in the Scottish Borders. 

Bill Dobbie, who set up the business with Alasdair Day ten years ago, 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, andxcited by our prospects to build sales in existing and new markets over the next decade.” 

R&B Distillers reported revenue of £5 million in the year ended 31 December 2023, and now sells in 40 markets 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.”

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