R&B unveils whiskies ahead of distillery openingsBy Amy Hopkins
R&B Distillers has launched two new whiskies ahead of the construction of its planned distilleries on the Hebridean island of Raasay and the southern Scottish Borders.
The two whiskies are the first releases under the R&B Distillers brand name and embody the styles of whiskies that will be produced at the respective Raasay and Borders distilleries.
R&B Distillery, standing for Raasay and Borders, sourced liquid for the bottlings from an unnamed Highland distillery. However, company founder Alasdair Day said that he worked with the distillery to create the whiskies, which are not sold under any other brand.
Raasay While We Wait is a single malt whisky that uses peated and unpeated liquid originally aged in Bourbon casks, but finished in French oak Tuscan red wine casks.
Meanwhile, Borders is a single grain whisky first matured in Bourbon casks before finishing in Oloroso Sherry barrels, creating a “lighter, softer” Lowland style. It contains 50% wheat and 50% malted barley.
Both whiskies are no-age-statement but are made using young liquid, since Day claims that the first whiskies releases from the future Raasay and Borders distilleries will not be very old.
Ahead of the construction of the two distilleries, R&B has also created memberships for Na Tùsairean club. The inaugural 100 casks of Raasay whisky will be bottled exclusively for members who will receive one bottle each year for 10 years, gradually acquiring up a collection of R&B whisky.
Bottled at 46% abv and with a flavour of peat, spice, licorice, oak and dry fruit, Raasay While We Wait is priced £56.85. Bottled at the higher strength of 51.7% and with a flavour of walnuts, vanilla and flowers, Borders carries an RRP of £48.98.
R&B Distillers has submitted a planning application to convert the historic Borodale House on Raasay – formerly known as The Isle of Raasay Hotel – into a small-scale distillery and visitor centre.
If approved, construction will commence early next week, with distillation starting in 2017. Day claims that the first whisky is planned for release in 2020.
R&B’s Borders distillery is still in the “concept phase”, according to Day, however a recent public poll revealed that Peebles was the most popular choice among consumers to build the distillery.
If plans come to fruition, R&B will build the first distillery in the Scottish Borders since 1857. However, the firm faces competition for title from two other companies: Mossburn Distillers and Three Stills Company.