Raasay is a small Hebridean island tucked just between the Isle of Skye and Mainland Scotland. The island is in the process of getting its first distillery, created by R & B distillers, which plans to open to the public and begin production in the summer of 2017! As whisky legally requires at least 3 years and a day of maturation in oak casks to be called Scotch malt whisky, it is likely to be some time until we see an actual Raasay produced whisky. Nevertheless, the good folk over on the island were keen to demonstrate their whisky making ability, and have produced this tremendous single malt (hence the name, While We Wait). Interestingly, this whisky blends two different expressions from the one mystery distillery – one peated and one unpeated. The whisky has been finished for a period in Tuscan wine casks from three vineyards producing Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.
On the nose this dram offers delicious fruity aromas of red grapes and cherries, with a sweet malty note and a constant wisp of light, maritime peat. On the palate, a buttery, creamy mouthfeel greets the drinker, with notes of salinity, sea spray, sweet grapes, dried plums, and light, delicate peat. The finish brings further dried fruit notes, with a lingering peaty burnt oak note. While We wait is presented at 46% ABV, without artificial colouration or chill filteration. This whisky picked up a string of awards in 2016: a silver medal in the International Wine and Spirit Compeition, a bronze in the Hong Kong Wine and Spirits Competition, and a bronze in the International Spirits Challenge. If their own single malt keeps up this high quality, they will certainly be a distillery to watch!