I suppose this is a rather curious review in some respects. I’ve already reviewed the Raasay While We Wait and found it very pleasant indeed. Now this is the While We Wait Second Release. The difference being that instead of having spent 8 weeks finishing in ‘Super Tuscan’ wine casks, this whisky has in fact spent 18 months in them.
The concept behind these whiskies is that while the new Raasay distillery is being built and is in the process of making whisky – it will legally three years, of course, though it’ll need longer to become more sophisticated – owners R&B distillers are releasing whisky in the meantime. The whisky comes from an unnamed distillery (it’s Glen Scotia, I think), is bottled at 46% again, and a bottle costs £57.
For more about the distillery, take a look at my first review.
Raasay While We Wait Second Release Review
Colour: pretty much the same as last time. Pale straw to yellow, with a touch of pink. I’ve not got them side by side, but it doesn’t seem as though the extra time has brought much colour.
On the nose: the light peated quality and the strawberry sweetness is very pleasant. Once the freshness of the fruit wears off – the fresh peaches and apricots, buttermilk, straw and haybarns, a touch of toffee, green apples, mango and pineapple – the peat rises up and the whole thing becomes rather malty. There’s a nice minerality to this. Looking back at my old notes there just feels a little more fruitiness this time around, and with a touch more depth.
In the mouth: strawberries, sour cherries, redcurrants a little blackcurrant. There is a winey quality to it. Floral. Limes and pineapple. The peat feels quite aggressive and ashy in contrast to the fruitiness, rather than working well with it. Burnt toast and orange marmalade. Grassy and again a nice acidic minerality, the sort of sensation one might find in a dry Riesling. Dry and slightly cloying on the finish.
Again, very interesting – light, spring-like, and something that’s a little different. I do like it. But I’m not necessarily sure the greater effect of that Tuscan wine cask has benefitted the underlying spirit. The closer it gets to being essentially a double maturation, it drifts away from its original charm.