R&B Distillers is a company made up of two distilleries from two different regions in Scotland.
Raasay is an island just off the coast of the Isle of Skye, while Borders refers to the Scottish Borders, which is a region near Edinburgh.
They were brought together by Alasdair Day, who has family from both places, and a great-grandfather who has a long heritage in the Whisky industry.
Since 2009, he has been continuing this heritage through the upkeep of his grandfather’s award winning Borders Whisky, The Tweeddale.
Soon he set his sights on expanding his Whisky Empire, and alongside Bill Dobbie, the two founded R&B Distillers.
This company brings together two very different regions and hopes to reignite distilling in these areas.
The Isle of Raasay has never had working stills that were legal, despite the prevalence of many illegal stills in the early 1800s. With plans to build a new distillery, R&B will be bringing distilling back to the island.
They plan on creating handmade Whisky here that reflects the rugged and enthralling surroundings on the Island.
Their second venture, in the Borders region, will see distilling being returned to this area for the first time since 1837.
Their proposed site is in Peebles, and the company plan on beginning this build once their distillery on Raasay has been completed.
The company currently have three Whiskies under their belt, the awarding winning The Tweeddale and two new expressions.
The first of these is Raasay While You Wait. This is perhaps in reference to the fact that there is a lot more to come from Raasay.
Like many of its islands friends, this is a smoky dram with a light, fruit background and a good amount of spice. This particular expression has been matured in Tuscan red wine casks.
The nose is not as smoky a one might expect, but there is definitely fruit, with apples and pears making a distinct appearance.
There is also a slight spice on the nose, with a floral hint underneath.
The palate is much bolder in its smoke and spice. Peat is instantly there, with cinnamon and nutmeg in the background.
These give a warming sensation to the dram that lasts right to the end of the finish.
The spice is offset with a dried fruit flavour, filled with summer berries and some grassy notes.
On the finish, this is a long lasting dram, with plenty of flavour to have you longing for more.
The second of the company’s new expressions is Borders. This is a single grain malt made from 50% wheat and 50% malted barley and has been matured in an oloroso sherry cask.
The hope with this malt is to capture both the past and future of the brand.
The sherry notes of the cask are prominent on the nose and give a fruity sweetness to it.
There is also a nod towards sweet nuts such as hazelnuts and almonds, with an undertone of caramel.
The sherry really takes over on the palate with lots of dried fruits such as apricots and raisins. These are again joined by sweet nuts and a light caramel taste.
The oak of the barrel becomes slightly more vanilla in flavour, with a warming spice to it. This combines well with the nuttiness of the dram and creates a dull tang against the dried fruits.
The finish is long lasting and lingers just long enough to be enjoyed.
These are two fantastic drams for R&B to add to their portfolio and it will be interesting to see what else the company comes up with over the next few years!