Raasay Island is a short ferry ride from Skye and come September, will be the home of the first legal distillery on the island.
Since it will be at least 3 years until Raasay Whisky is available, founders Alasdair Day and Bill Dobie have come up with a novel way to ‘sell’ the whisky before it actually exists.
Raasay ‘While We Wait’ is a single malt comprising of peated and non-peated whisky from the same (unnamed) distillery. It is finished in Tuscan Red Wine Casks and the expression is representative of the style which should be produced from the Raasay Distillery.
The 2nd While We Wait Release was launched in January this year, but this is the first edition, which won awards at the IWSC, ISC and HKIWSC competitions.
It’s bottled at 46%, is natural colour (a pleasant pink hue) and non-chill filtered.
Our notes are below.
Youthful nose initially; fruity rosé notes with strawberry.
As it opens up there’s some light, oily smoke and spicy black pepper.
Soft, slightly oily and the peat is more dominant in the palette. Pleasant savoury flavour with the notes from the nose, along with some oak dryness.
In the reverse of the nose, the fruit arrives second and it’s lovely strawberries with a little darker blackcurrent emerging.
Peppery with oiliness holding the flavour in the mouth. The fruit is there, but subsides leaving a slightly damp bonfire note till the end.
While We Wait is definitely an unusual whisky which with the combination of red wine cask and a lighter youthful style of whisky, but for me it does work.
It’s well balanced, the flavours are consistent and it’s got a light summery feel which I really like.
Rather than something to drink around a fire in the winter, this is a dram you might choose to pair with food or (gasp) sip with some ice on a hot day.
Definitely one to try if you get the chance – I’m not sure how much 1st Release there is still available, but the 2nd Release looks good as well and should have more wine influence as a result of the extra aging.
Looking forward to the “proper” Raasay Whisky when it arrives!