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Raasay "While We Wait" Isle of Raasay Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) (Previously $45) SKU #1482927

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Professional Reviews

K&L Notes

The Isle of Raasay has for centuries been associated with the production of illicit alcohol. The far flung Island on Scotland's west coast has only a couple hundred inhabitants, but they've now got their own distillery. While the spirit from those new stills won't be released in the US for another season or two, they've developed this limited edition batch to give us an idea of what the distillery can do. The source and age remain a mystery, but there's little dispute about the whisky chops behind this new distillery. It combines a peated and unpeated malt from one single distillery married in in Tuscan wine barrels. The complexity and nuance are undeniable. Tasting notes from the distillery: "Nose: A welcome wave of smokiness, mixed with red berries, lemon and grassy notes. A second nosing brings pear, tangerine and melon. Palate: Dry peatiness mixed with red wine notes. A good dash of orange zest from the nose. Finish: Oaky and buttery finish."

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Staff Reviews

  • David Othenin-Girard
    By: David Othenin-Girard
    K&L Staff Member
    It seems as though the Raasay Distillery have found a lot of interesting things to do while their own stocks age and this, the first bottling under the Raasay name, is no exception. This is a lightly peated malt from the highlands of Scotland from an undisclosed source. There are only a few distilleries offering this style in the region and even fewer that are likely to be available to an up and coming distillery, but it's none the less difficult to parse out exactly where this might be sourced. Maybe from Ardmore, maybe Loch Lomond, maybe elsewhere. Many we see tend to be relatively full on. Whatever it is, it's subsequently finished in French oak which previously held Tuscan red wine. It is indeed an unusual combination, but I think it works pretty well and it certainly represents a unique flavor profile we're not often experiencing. The color is pale gold. The nose is a striking mix of smoldering chimney smoke (not very peaty thought), red cherry and dried herbs. On the palate we get more of the peat, subtle salty dried fruit, dark smoked herbs and hints of ashy coal smoke. The French oak and the wine serve to gently coax the lightly smoked spirit, but don't over power with acrid or astringent flavors. It's a well rounded and appealing option for anyone looking for something "lightly peated," a category that's surprisingly difficult to find in Scotland these days.


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