ISLE OF RAASAY X3 Unpeated samples.

unpeated raasay

Ex-Woodford Reserve Rye cask, Ex-Bordeaux red wine cask and Virgin Chinkapin Oak cask.

Isle of Raasay Distillery

The first legal distillery on the Isle of Raasay in northwest Scotland, with a vision to create the finest Hebridean single malt Scotch whisky and a unique whisky destination with arguably the best view from any distillery in Scotland.

Raasay Distillery

Pioneering Island Distillery

Experience at first hand our exciting journey from revitalising an island landmark building, to harvesting the first Raasay barley for a generation, and handcrafting the first Isle of Raasay single malt in Scotch whisky history with water sourced from a Celtic well deep beneath the distillery.

Raasay Distillery
raasay distillery

Unpeated Ex-Woodford Reserve Rye cask (33 months).

Appearance

This whisky is light gold in colour, white wine-ish, it beads up on the swirl line and drops faint medium thick legs.

Nose

Fizzy with ABV, and I’m into a bag of jelly beans, an aroma I love. There’s a fair amount of dustiness here too. I’m definitely getting wood varnish and polish, well toasted bread, grains/cereals, and tobacco leaves, very nice tbh. I’m now getting strawberries! And cherries, didn’t see them coming.

Palate

Now that’s nice, definitely strawberry jam, the toast is there too, but it’s spicy, no surprise with Ex rye. Cinnamon, ginger, black pepper, black coffee, dunnage, what a beautiful beast. I’m getting icing sugar coming through with raspberries, redcurrants, flat cola, pineapple cubes, a touch of cranberry drying.

Finish

Medium length finish, sweet and spicy combo, much like the palate, with a touch of salt and golden syrup right at the end.

My thoughts

After tasting the peated version the evening before, this unpeated version offered more on the nose and palate, much more accessible imho. I really enjoyed this, full of flavours i like, and i think it would make a good bottle, i could certainly sit and sip it regularly.


Unpeated Ex-Bordeaux Red wine cask (34 months).

Appearance

This whisky is Amber with a deep orange hue, it also beads up on the swirl line, and fast medium legs.

Nose

More red fruits here, red berries with red apple skins, and it’s making my eyes water tbh. Definitely jam again, and perhaps strawberry tea. Old style shoe polish and liquorice. Again strawberries are pushing forward, could be new make.

Palate

Very very red fruits forward, with a sweet/ slightly bitter mixture. Strawberries, raspberries, redcurrants, cranberries again, red delicious apples skins, and lots of them. The more I sip the more fruit I get, it’s packed with it, and quite sweet tbh. Heading towards the finish it moves into darker fruits, but the red fruits are still here too. Cloves, figs, dates and dark chocolate at the end of the palate.

Finish

Long side of medium, more spicy than sweet but still lots of red fruits, now with chilli’s, dark chocolate, black coffee, hot cinnamon, well toasted bread, a slight floral flourish, and a little perfume.

My thoughts

A super red berry and fruit bomb as expected, what i didn’t expect was the amount of darker fruits, and i think @whiskeychap was correct in wondering if it had been a full term maturation and not just a finish. I have to say that i enjoyed this as much as the Ex-Woodford reserve rye cask, but for different reasons. Again i could easily sit with this and sip it, and its very approachable at this strength.


Virgin Chinkapin Oak (31months).

Appearance

We are into chestnut and slightly oxidised copper regions of colour here, it also beads up on the swirl line, with slightly syrupy medium/thick legs.

Nose

A touch of eucalyptus here, again with red berries, it’s got dusty old bookshop all over it, old leather, while holding the glass slightly away from the nose there is a sweetness, but not in the glass. I’m really liking this nose, best of the 3 for me. Nicely married, dusty starburst sweets, and skittle sweets, linseed oil, old style glazing putty, grains/cereals, flapjack and cherry cheesecake.

Palate

Nice mouthfeel, lots of cask interaction as there’s plenty of oak/wood. This is now jelly beans for me, quite spicy, blood oranges, a touch of drying, ginger, pomegranate, and getting spicier now. This is the best palate of the 3 for me, at 31 months old I’m sure we’re getting a helping of new make, but the effect of the cask has been very impactful even at 31 months, I could drink this regularly, and it’s good at this ABV too.

Finish

Quite long, longest of the 3 we’ve tasted, much like the palate, fruit/spice combo, quite hot too. Chilli’s, hot cinnamon, and dark chocolate Orange finish it off nicely.

My thoughts

This has been my favourite of the unpeated samples, in fact it’s my favourite across all of the 6 samples we tasted over two evenings. At 31 months old it’s showing wonderful maturity and depth, and i’d definitely buy a bottle as it is now, by 3 years it could be even better. This sample was also my favourite of the bunch when i tasted it at just under 2 years old, it’s a really great spirit.


Overall tasting thoughts

To be honest i prefered these unpeated samples over their peated counterparts. The reason is that without the smoke the other aromas and flavours are more accessible, and also finer. Though i have to say that the peated samples were also very nice. I have tasted around 10 different new make spirits now, and would love to sample both the peated and unpeated from this distillery, i could very easily see it being up there with the best i have tasted.

You might also like