- R&B stands for Raasay & Borders.
- The emergence of the Raasay distillery comes at a time when R&B Distillers [SW], were looking for a site to produce whisky for their Tweeddale blend[s].
- Inspiration for the Tweeddale blends comes from a cellar book written in the early 1900’s by Richard Day, the grandfather of R&B distiller’s co-founder Alasdair Day. Discovered fairly recently in the old Tweeddale archives, the book includes around 15 years of ledger notes detailing whisky orders for the Tweeddale blends back in the day.
Whilst the 27yo Tweeddale contains two casks from Cambus, this 28yo blend [currently the oldest in the range], is probably made up of Dufftown, Craigellachie, Mannochmore & North British – but that’s not official.
- C: A successfully working malt-rich blend with a high 60-65% malt content [so I was told]. Tasty stuff.
Scores 85 points
- Set up by R&B distillers, Raasay sees its first legal distillery. The island that nestles between Skye & the Scottish Western mainland currently realises 160 inhabitants, 19 of which are employed at the distillery.
- After initially producing 90000 litres in 2017, they are heading nearer 140-150,000 litres in their second year.
- In 2020 their spirit will reach three years old.
- By 2021 they will be introducing a variety of single cask releases, many being (red) wine casks. The story goes: as the stills are from France, it‘s apt that ex-red wine casks from France would harmoniously match the distillate.
Raasay 10 month old spirit Un-Ob. CS abv unknown
- C: The [45ppm], peaty/smoky pickled onion notes suggest strong mescal vibes, and master distiller Iain Robertson [SW] agrees. Truly interesting/quirky stuff.
1yo spirit at 15ppm, matured in bourbon with an ex-red wine finish.
- N&T: A well rounded malt that appears far less resinous against similar comparable young spirits from other new distilleries. Could that be the red wine effect, a la Cotswolds? The nose possesses a semblance of a drying maturity.
- F: Later I pick up a touch of dry oaky cream. Super finish actually, considering.
- C: Another impressive & characterful young spirit that will soon to be turning into whisky.
Scores 80 points