The only distilling to take place on the Isle of Raasay has been illegal, up until now that is.
R&B was founded by Alasdair Day and Bill Dobbie. The name refers to the isle of Raasay and the Scottish Borders, the two areas of Scotland that the company are currently building distilleries in.
They were inspired by the fact that both of Day’s great-grandfathers have a Whisky distilling connection to these areas.
By focussing on these areas, the brand is able to create an image around provenance and the fact that their products have “uncommon provenance”, as they say on their website.
They have also created a blend, The Tweeddale Blend, using information from Alasdair’s great-great-grandfather, Richard Day’s “cellar book”, making their connection to the past even greater.
Now of course, building a distillery or two can take its time, and while they are waiting on the their new sites to be fully functional, R&B have released a series appropriately called While We Wait.
The second of this series was released in February of this year and if the malt to come out of the Raasay or Borders distilleries is anything like this, then it will certainly be a good thing.
This is a lightly peated malt that has been finished for 18 months in Tuscan Red Wine casks made from French oak. This is an expansion of the eight weeks that the first While We Wait expression spent in similar casks.
The extra time has done wonders for the malt and it opens with a nose of dark fruits and chocolate, with evidence of the Red Wine coming through.
Apples and pears, with a slightly banana flavour in the background seep through. They are smothered in sweet milk chocolate that has an almost buttery flavour to it.
On the palette these flavours become lighter and warmer. The chocolate has a vanilla tone to it that goes with the burnt oak that begins to come through.
The fruits lighten up as well, with more bright citrus, like orange and lime, and raisins coming through. These add a mouth-watering tang to the lingering chocolate.
The warming oak flavours lead into a dry note that takes its cues from the Red Wine. The wood is obvious and spectacular, with lots of depth to it.
There is a hint of peat throughout that is ideal with the sweet notes as well as the toasted oak.
The finish rounds off with this peated tone and a lovely chocolate and fruit linger.