Today I’m having the Isle of Raasay R-01.1 on the menu, and that is my first review of this relatively new distillery. Production started in 2017, and the first single malt was released about two years ago, in 2020. So a review was about time! 🙂
The Isle of Raasay, the island where the beautiful distillery is located and named after, is located on the west coast in the inner Hebrides. The only way to get there is via a 25-minute ferry from the Isle of Skye. It’s pretty remote, but you can even spend the night there since the distillery also has a six-bedroom hotel on site. So as you can imagine, I still regret not making the trip when I visited Skye last year!
Anyway, let’s talk about the whisky itself, which is the distillery’s first ongoing single malt. Released in batches, it features both peated and unpeated whisky, which mature separately in first-fill Rye whiskey, fresh Chinkapin oak, and first-fill Bordeaux red wine casks. After that, these six recipe casks (read more about this recipe here) will be married together and then bottled at a strength of 46.4% ABV. This batch was distilled in 2018 / 2019 and is slightly older than three years.
Raasay R-01.1 tasting notes:
Nose: a whiff of subtle smoke. A hint of red fruit, cherries, and canned apricots. Then a malty note and hay, which is followed by heather honey and a touch of lemons. Pine needles. Wet pebbles and a salty note too.
Taste: it’s creamy with a note of creme brulee. And there’s that malty note again and hay too. A little bit of smoke is followed by a hint of blueberries and red fruit. Then heather honey and again a little bit of lemon. Pine needles, sea salt, and black pepper in the background.
Finish: mid-long with a bit of smoke and pepper. But also heather and a pinch of salt.
A nice and interesting dram, which I can only see getting better with age. However, because it is this young, it is still rough in places and, therefore sometimes lacks a bit of balance. I’m looking forward to following Raasay and tasting more of it in the near future!
Bottle provided by Raasay.