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Whisky Whispers

Montechiari Cabernet used in our RAASAY While We Wait single malt whisky finishing casks

The Tuscan Red Wine Itself: Montechiari Cabernet

When we say our whiskies are handcrafted we really mean it. The uncommon profile of RAASAY While We Wait is achieved through the combination of two expressions from the one Highland distillery with which we work to create the predictive styles of whisky we’ll one day distil ourselves in our uncommon provenance.

In the bottle RAASAY While We Wait is 15ppm thanks to a heavily peated and a completely unpeated expression married together in finishing casks for 8 weeks to achieve our lightly peated profile.

But what of the influence of the finishing casks themselves? You may have heard us say they’re Tuscan red wine casks. More specifically; a blend of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon casks from three vineyards in Tuscany.

When they come, our copper pot stills for the Isle of Raasay Distillery will be arriving manufactured in Tuscany and back in June 2015 while over to take a look, Alasdair and Bill fortuitously came across a traditional Tuscan vineyard where grapes are manually harvested – Fattoria di Montechiari in Montecarlo, Lucca.

Montechiari carefully blend Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes from 30-year-old vines to create their Montechiari Cabernet. The wine is aged in barriques for a minimum of 16 months before aging for at least 12 in the bottle.

Montechiari Cabernet for R&B Distillers

The barriques are used for three vintages before passing them on to us for whisky finishing. Just a few weeks is enough for the whisky to draw colour, scent, and fruit balancing flavours.

The intense ruby red colour of this wine translates in our RAASAY While We Wait bottle to the heather-hue that is so regularly described as ‘unusual’. Like the single malt it helped create, this Cabernet pairs well with red meat, game, and hard, mature cheese.

Personalised Montechiari Cabernet crate

Partly because we wanted to experience the component parts that are crafted together to produce the final liquid of RAASAY While We Wait, and partly because it’s such excellent wine, we bought a case.

And we couldn’t resist a few bottles of Montechiari Brut Donna Catherine – uncommonly 100% Pinot Noir – as well, ready to celebrate breaking ground on our Raasay site.

Our Co-Founder, Alasdair Day, was particularly delighted to have the wooden crate personalised with his name.

Read Montechiari’s full tasting notes for their Cabernet here.

RAASAY While We Wait Scotch Whisky Bottle