The Minty’s Scotch Week: Raasay Distillery with Southern California Whiskey Club
It’s not often you hear about a new distillery being built in Scotland. Alasdair Day co-founded Raasay and Borders Distillers and they opened a distillery in 2017.
Alasdair takes his inspiration from the cellar book of his grandfather Richard Day, who was essentially a blender. The cellar book is in a lot of ways a “recipe” book. The journal details his grandfather’s activities. He was a grocer and back then, stores bought whisky from distilleries and often aged and blended the whisky themselves. Grocers then became blenders. Alasdair brought the book with him to the tasting. I dared not touch it but what a historical treasure!
They built a distillery on Raasay which had not seen a distillery in 150 years. Alasdair chose Hebrides as that’s where his other half of the family is from. His great-grandfather Allan Macdonald was from Hebrides. on the isle of Raasay. The distillery is only accessible by a 25-minute ferry ride from Skye.
In the same building as the distillery is a charming 6-room inn called Borodale House. So drink whisky and stay the night!
The Pour List:
- Rassay While We Wait 2018 Release
- Raasay Distillery New Make
- The Tweedale 12 year
- The Tweedale Grain of Truth
As it’s a new distillery, Alasdair explained they’re offering a single malt and a couple of blends of sourced whiskty. The single malt is cheekily called “While We Wait,” it’s a light fruity whisky. Alasdair created it by blending one peated and one unpeated whiskys from the Highlands. We tasted the 2018 release which is their third release. The first release was finished in red whine casks for 8 weeks and the second was finished in red wine casks for 18 months. The third release combines these two releases.
R&B Distillers also offer The Tweedale. These two blended whiskys. One carries an age statement of 12 years while the other is called Grain of Truth.
The 12-year-old is 46% ABV.. We talked a bit about blends. Most of Scotland drinks blends. Although Americans and other whisky nerds tend to gravitate towards heavily peated single malts, I like the idea of having an every day dram. This is something you could drink after a nice meal with friends.
The other Tweedale is a grain whisky called Grain of Truth. Might as well own what you are. It’s also bottled at 46% ABV.
Raasay expects to have their first single malt in another couple of years, in 2020. We got to taste the new make straight off the still. I called it Scottish moonshine!
I’ll be keeping an eye on this distillery. I see bright things for them.
© 2018 The Minty