Almost strawberry-coloured, this is the third release from the Raasay ‘While We Wait’ series. R&B Distillery, which stands for Raasay and Borders, is creating the concept while waiting for Raasay Distillery to rise beneath Dùn Caan. By working with a Highland distillery the brand has created a single malt demonstrating its whisky making skills and a “tantalising taster representative of what’s to come.”
R&B’s third batch is bottled at the strength of 46% abv and is naturally colours and non-chill filtered. This is achieved by blending two expressions from one distillery; one peated, one unpeated. The whisky is French oak Tuscan wine casks from three vineyards that produce Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.
The first release finished in red wine casks for eight weeks, while the second release finished for 18 months. With the third release, the two finishes were combined in order to achieve the perfect balance.
The result is a light and interesting, but fledgling flavour. With an amber nectar colour, the taste is quite smoky and wood-like, with a hint of caramel and the warm and round sweetness of vanilla.
Co-founder Alasdair Day’s inspiration comes from the discovery of a family cellar book that once belonged to his great-grandfather, containing some well-kept blending secrets.
R&B’s roots in both the Scottish Borders and the Hebrides are physically embodied by Alasdair. His 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.
Raasay is a small island just off the coast of Skye. The island of Skye is known for its stunning landscape, food and Talisker. The Borders has not seen a whisky distillery since 1837, and the Isle of Raasay Distillery will be the first ever legal one on the island of 120 residents.