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Whisky Whispers

Contrasting Raasay While We Wait & Borders: on the eye & on the nose

Raasay While We Wait single malt and Borders single grain whiskies couldn’t be more different in style. Not only is one a single malt, and one a single grain whisky – distilled on their respective stills – but the colour, nose, and palate of both stand in stark contrast to each other. Intentionally.

With these brand new products just bottled two weeks ago, it’s the perfect time to start talking about the profile of these whiskies. In logical sequence, we begin with how the liquids meet the eye, and then what you’ll discover on the nose. Look out for our next Whisky Whispers blog when we taste Raasay While We Wait and Borders.

To the Eye…
Raasay While We Wait single malt

The comment we here most often when introducing Raasay While We Wait single malt whisky is:

What an unusual colour!

This is a great thing to hear because as handcrafters of whiskies of uncommon provenance, masters of the uncommon approach, at R&B we’ve deliberately created something different – something we hope stands out.

This Hebridean style single malt is finished in Tuscan red wine casks – French oak, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc casks, from three vineyards in Tuscany, to be exact. This lends itself heavily to the colour of the whisky, imparting a unique rosé hue, which to our delight picks up the purple aesthetics of the Raasay design.

Borders single grain

At first glance, the first release of our limited edition Borders single grain whisky perhaps resembles your idea of a more ‘traditional Scotch whisky’. But it’s anything but your usual single grain.

How do we handcraft Borders single grain whisky? It’s no secret that our Borders Distillery is not open yet, in fact we don’t even have a site for it – you can vote for which town this will be here.

In the meantime, as with Raasay While We Wait, we’ve worked with our friends at a Highland distillery to deliberately produce the same style of whisky we will eventually make at both ends of Scotland.

In the case of our Borders whisky, we took two expressions from this one distillery; a 100% malted barley whisky produced on a continuous still as a grain whisky (the only one we know of in Scotland), and a 100% wheat grain expression before finishing them together in carefully selected Oloroso Sherry casks.

The whisky takes significant influence from the sherry, both in terms of flavour (more to come on this in our next blog), and colour.

A rich, golden hue graces our single grain whisky, reflecting the warm tones of the Scottish Borders landscape.

On the Nose…
By now, you’ll already realise that Raasay While We Wait and Borders are completely different styles of whisky.

Alasdair nosing Raasay While We Wait at R&B HQ

Alasdair nosing a dram of Raasay While We Wait against a rather typical drizzly Scottish backdrop at R&B HQ.

Raasay is lightly peated, at 15ppm, while Borders has no peat at all and radiates sweet Sherry notes.

However, on the nose, Raasay While We Wait is not overly forthcoming with its smokiness. Instead, you immediately get wine notes and fruitiness with just a hint of well-rounded smoke.

Borders (perhaps is reflective of its open, rolling landscape) is more transparent in scent. Again, in contrast to Raasay’s mysterious crags and winding roads.


Compare Raasay and Borders whiskies for yourself, just click here to buy.

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