The Isle of Raasay Distillery has seen a remarkable reaction to news of its signature Isle of Raasay Single Malt release – with more than 17,000 applications to purchase a piece of Scotch Whisky history, rather impressive give the Isle of Raasay has a population of only 161.
17,478 people in total, from as far afield as Barbados and Bangladesh, entered the online ballot for the chance to purchase the Hebridean island’s flagship whisky, which follows years of careful development on an island rooted in centuries of illicit distilling. With its sweeping views of the Isle of Skye’s Cuillin mountains, stunning forest trails, secluded beaches, and iconic flat-topped peak offering dramatic views of Skye’s famous vistas, Raasay is best known as the birthplace of celebrated Gaelic poet, the late Sorley MacLean, and Queen Victoria’s first piper, Angus Mackay, and a hide out for Bonnie Prince Charlie following the Battle of Culloden.
Isle of Raasay Distillery Key Facts
Capacity: 188,000 LPA
Mash Tun: 1 Tonne
Washback Size: 6 x 5,000 litres
Fermentation Time: up to 118 hours
Wash Still: 5,000 litres
Spirit Still: 3,600 litres
Maturation: All maturation takes place on the Isle of Raasay.
The ballot, which closed on Wednesday 19th May, will give 2,500 lucky whisky fans the chance to secure a 700ml bottle of its much-anticipated signature Isle of Raasay Single Malt ahead of its official launch on 4th June.
A further 500 will receive an exclusive ticket to a special virtual launch event featuring the whisky’s maker, Whisky Writer Dave Broom, as well as a 70cl bottle of the Isle of Raasay Single Malt and a ‘deconstructed dram’ tasting pack containing 6 x 5cl samples of the six signature recipe casks.
The launch follows the distillery’s Inaugural Release 2020, which sold out months before it was even bottled last year.
Co-founder Alasdair Day said: “We’ve been taken aback by the hugely positive response from whisky fans right across the world, with 10,000 entering the ballot in the first 24 hours alone. Our unique six cask maturation combines peated and unpeated Isle of Raasay spirit with first fill Rye Whiskey, Chinkapin oak and first fill Bordeaux red wine casks. The first of this cask combination in Scotch Whisky history. Whilst our ballot may be closed, whisky fans can still visit one of our many stockists around the UK and in our 20 international markets to secure a bottle after the official launch on 4th June. Our distillery and Borodale House whisky rooms have also reopened, and a batch will be set aside for staycation travellers to enjoy when they visit. This launch puts the Isle of Raasay firmly on the whisky map and is a testament to the innovation and hard work of our distillery team.”
The six recipe casks develop real elegance, complexity and depth of character in the spirit. Every drop is distilled, matured and bottled on the Isle of Raasay using water from their well: Tobar na Ba Bàine (the Well of the Pale Cow). Natural colour, non-chill filtered, 46.4% ABV.
Isle of Raasay Single Malt Official Tasting Notes
Nose: Sweet, smoke. Wood smoke on sea air. Apricots, dried apricot, ripe apricots. Candied fruit, glace cherries.
Palate: Sweet spice, cinnamon, black pepper, blackcurrant, wood smoke. Heather, honey, salted caramel, sweet & salted popcorn, black cherry.
Finish: Dry, long, hint of saltiness, faint wood smoke and dried fruit.
Food Pairings: Strathdon Blue, Raasay venison, Sconser Scallops, BBQ spare ribs
Following later this year will be single cask releases of each of the six signature recipe casks. Participants at the special launch event on Friday 4th June will enter a poll to decide which single cask will be released first from the ‘Na Sia Cask Series’ (Na Sia, meaning ‘The Six’ in Gaelic).
Located between the Isle of Skye and Scotland’s spectacular West Coast, Isle of Raasay Distillery’s vision is to create the finest Hebridean single malt Scotch Whisky and fully immerse whisky lovers in the Raasay experience at its five-star visitor centre and Victorian guest house with spectacular views of Skye’s Cuillin mountains. Employing more than 10 percent of the island’s population, Isle of Raasay Distillery is crucial in helping the local island economy.