Like many distilleries these days, R&B have released a malt pre-emptively anticipating the maturation of their own single malt.
R&B Distillers is a relatively new venture, made up of two new distilleries from two Whisky regions in Scotland.
The initials stand for Raasay, the Hebridean island where they have the brand opened its distillery in 2017, and Borders which refers to the Scottish Borders region where Alasdair Day has whisky blending heritage.
R&B haven’t been in production for very long, and while they have released malts under the Tweeddale brand they have yet to do so for Raasay.
Alasdair Day, who founded the company, has family in both places and a family history of distilling. Together with Bill Dobbie, he began R&B in 2014.
R&B haven’t been in production for very long, and while they have released malts under the Tweeddale and Borders brand, they have yet to do so for Raasay.
That’s where While We Wait comes in.
As is becoming quite common, R&B have opted to release a Single Malt to showcase their skills at crafting Whisky.
This particular dram has been made from both peated and unpeated malt, matured in French oak casks that were once used to mature Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc in Tuscany.
This ties in with R&B’s idea of unconventional provenance, meaning the Whisky is sourced from places not commonly used in crafting malt.
The result is pretty good and says a lot for what is still to come. If this is how creative they can be with someone else’s casks, it’ll be interesting to see what they can do with their own.
While We Wait opens with a nose of mellow fruits, with a delicate hint of smoke. This is a really curious malt, with a lot going on
It continues with hints of red grapes, dried fruits and a little bit of warmth. This ties in well with the oak wood and vanilla flavours that also come through.
The peat really appears on the palate and comes alive alongside the red wine notes.
The use of these casks works really well with the peat. The richness of the wine carries the peat well and adds a refined edge to it.
The fruit flavours, mostly consisting of summer berries and raisins, is elegant against the smoky and peat. Some seaside flavours of salt and brine also appear.
The finish is long and lingering, with peat smoke and a lovely flourish of vanilla and sea salt.
A good indicator of what is yet to come, While We Wait is a harbinger of positive things from R&B. If this is what they can do so far, it’ll be worth waiting for in the end.