Earlier this week, we took a look at one of Scotland’s newest distillers – R&B Distillers. Planning permission has been granted for the company’s first distillery on Raasay, with one to follow in the Borders soon after. But Alasdair Day & Co. aren’t hanging around and has already got two whiskies to market. The liquid for both of these bottlings comes from unnamed Scottish distilleries, but it’s stated on the bottles that both are designed to represent the style of whisky it’s hoped will come to represent each region.
Raasay – 46%
The Raasay whisky – which has the cute tagline, “While We Wait” – has been created by blending together two expressions from one Highland distillery; one peated, one unpeated. It is then finished in French oak Tuscan wine casks from three vineyard that produce Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.
There’s a definite light wisp of smoke on the nose, along with fruity notes of strawberry. Leaving it a while also saw a slight hint of toffee emerge as well. On the palate, the smoke is there right away, along with a hint of peppery spice. This is balanced off by more strawberry, along with blackberries and raspberries. To finish, there’s a hint of brown sugar and a lingering spiciness.
Borders – 51.7%
Another experimental whisky here, which is composed of 50% wheat and 50% malted barley from one Highland distillery, which is then finish in Oloroso Sherry casks.
As you might expect from a grain whisky, it’s very light and crisp, although there’s some malt there as well. Leave it to sit a while and sherry flavours start to emerge too. The palate was surprising – very dry and light to start, but the sherry influence then comes flying in. Floral notes and vanilla, followed by warming spices.
I’ll be honest – I wasn’t expecting much from these whiskies, with R&B using them to try and establish a flavour profile for their two new distilleries. However, I’ve been super impressed by both whiskies and can’t wait until the proper distilleries are fired up!!