Raasay Inaugural Release

Overall rating
Whiskybase ID
Single Malt
Distillery Bottling
Bottling serie
Limited Edition First Release
Stated Age
03 years old
American oak + finished in Bordeaux red wine
Number of bottles
52.0 % Vol.
700 ml
Added on
14 Aug 2020 9:56 pm by TheCollector
UncoloredNon-chillfilteredCask Strength

Average value

€ 492.82

99 × in wishlist

149 × member ratings

978 × in collection

Whisky Reviews for Raasay Inaugural Release

25 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 85.17 points

  1. MatzeW did not rate this whisky Member Senior

    Initial Price at distillery 99 GBP.
    I seriously don't know (ok, maybe I have a guess) why people put up a beautiful high rating and set it for 600+ € for sale and then daily / weekly lower the price tag (to still ridicously expectations...). This just makes me sad.

  2. Schubi did not rate this whisky Newbie

    Don't fall for the hype. This might be a limited first release of a 3-year-old (!) whisky, but the high ratings come from scalpers who just bought it to resell it at once here or on ebay. Don't give them your money.

  3. whisky313 scored this whisky 86 points Specialist

    official information:

    The Isle of Raasay Single Malt Inaugural Release is lightly peated with rich dark fruit flavours.

    This limited edition first release is matured in first fill American oak, and finished in 21 exclusive first fill Bordeaux red wine casks. Bottled at 52% abv, non-chill filtered and natural colour. Our Inaugural Release bottles will be sequentially numbered at the time of bottling.

    We have created an elegant, lightly peated (15-20 Peat or Phenol Parts Per Million) single malt by taking a premium, narrow cut of our spirit run.

    100% Scottish barley is mashed with mineral-rich water from our well to produce a wash that ferments for three to five days. These long fermentations, combined with the manganese from our water, create sweet blackberry characteristics in our spirit before it even touches the oak of the cask. From mashing to bottling – Raasay water is used throughout production, adding character to the spirit at every stage.

    Falling as rain on Dùn Cana, the island’s highest peak, our water flows across volcanic rock and filters through Jurassic sandstone into our distillery well, known as Tobar na Ba Bàine (the Well of the Pale Cow). Our high quality American oak barrels develop almond, hazelnut, and sweet spice flavours in the spirit, and the previous bourbon contents develop caramel, toffee, and creamy chocolate notes.The final maturation in French oak casks develops savoury spice flavours, and the Bordeaux red wine infused oak brings rich dark fruit notes to the fore.

    Our inaugural release spirit is a one-off expression matured in American oak and finished in Bordeaux red wine casks. This release is the all-important link between our lightly peated, fruity independent bottling, Raasay While We Wait Single Malt, and our forthcoming signature Isle of Raasay Single Malt, released in 2021.

  4. Bestatter-Olly scored this whisky 86 points Member Senior

    Bottle No. 3439: The color does not matter in principle, but the beautiful amber-Bordeau color in this great bottle makes a difference. Full points are awarded for the presentation and presentation. I got the bottle straight from the still (reserved in spring). My wishes for this first edition: Fruity, grassy and salty notes, which have a connection to the samples already tasted (26 months storage).
    After the tasting: It is difficult to assign the right points for a very young malt. The Raasay is already well integrated, it is harmonized.
    • Nose
      87 87
      Bottle open: There is a sea tank, liquorice and smoke on the cork.
      In the glass: some lacquer and leather, currant, subtle smoke (fine cigar). After 2-5 minutes, grass comes with light-colored fruit, maybe even apple and apricot. You can feel the sea, salt and liquorice. In the hand: very fruity and slightly charred fresh oak. Back to the glass: some cherry, subtle glue (very subtle, but good), chocolate with salted caramel, the berries don't get darker but more sour. But the smoke evaporates a little.
      Second round with water: the wine barrel comes through more, the smoke remains nice and subtle. Everything like without water, but more direct and a little more oak.
    • Taste
      86 86
      very pleasant, mouth-filling, apricot, (sour) cherry, little smoke, salt. The alcohol is very well integrated. Saliva stimulating, medicinal, salmiak / liquorice, fruity but not sherry, some tannin, dry.
      With water: still nice and creamy, pleasing. Reminds of a good wine with a salty note and the smoke comes through a little more (very easily).
    • Finish
      85 85
      The fruit (red and sour) and the full mouth remain. Longer than expected for a three year old. Slight (finely smoky) numbness in the peripheral areas.
      Overall different than expected, but tasty and promising. I'm looking forward to more.

  5. peatbogger scored this whisky 86 points Specialist

    Thanks to kfhakan for the sample.
    Raasay have without doubt done everything in the book to present the Inaugural as something special.
    And as a 3 year old single malt it actually is.
    Too bad that a lot of these first releases will be sitting on shelves as investments.
    For those that pop the bottle and drink it, it will without doubt create confidence to buy the coming regular release. The question however is if the "normal" distillate can live up to this "premium cut".
    • Nose
      85 85
      This smells like lightly peated Bordeaux.
      There's all the sour dark red wine fruits with soft wood and light peat notes.
      It's got a maritime saltiness, rocky beach and ocean waves.
      Chocolate, and every now and then a waft of furniture polish.
      Clean and very well integrated alcohol.
    • Taste
      88 88
      The stated "premium narrow cut" comes through in the taste. This is very good spirit by any measure, and an amazing 3 year old.
      Creamy texture. Sweet, and the fruit is not as "dark" as expected.
      The peat is almost not noticeable here.
      Lots of spice, but not to a level that I felt my sample needed water.
    • Finish
      86 86
      Past medium length, sweet.
      Raspberry and light chocolate.

  6. tectic scored this whisky 87 points Expert Junior

    Gentle smoke
    Very berry driven, quite powerful and @52% it definitely benefits from a touch of water.
    Slightly tannic and pepper initially
    Berries and dusted cocoa
    Medium finish with more red Berries and hazelnut

  7. Astrid scored this whisky 85 points Connoisseur

    Scores with a great abundance of flavors, which gives an idea of where the journey could lead. Of course, he cannot hide the moments of unbalanced youth.
    • Nose
      86 86
      fine and salty smoke is compact in the foreground, thin slices of smoked ham with a little bacon and subtle leather, raisins, plus thick vanilla and caramel, after a short time these aromas recede a little and the red wine can be noticeable with red fruits such as strawberries and pomegranate , Cherry accents and ripe plum, occasional hints of dark chocolate, the fruity-dirty overall impression is always preserved, apricot jelly, lots of red currants with rhubarb notes, minimal oak wood
    • Taste
      85 85
      Significantly less of the salty smoke, but still very delicate and earthy-greasy, sweetish malt, slightly astringent with spicy oak, hints of dark chocolate, again strawberries and other red fruits in a red-wine milieu, creamy and dirty, red currants and sour cherries, cardamom and clove, tobacco, menthol
    • Finish
      85 85
      Chocolate with a fine smoke, slightly ashy and sulphurous, bacon, vanilla, strawberries and red currants, earthy with cocoa and hazelnut, spicy oak, ripe plum and bitter orange, traces of leather and menthol

  8. korhorry scored this whisky 87 points Expert Senior

    Nose: slightly smoky, strawberry cream, dirty, earthy, rosé, grape juice

    Mouth: strawberry and raspberry mix as a cream candy, extremely fruity, again a bit dirty background, slightly smoky. Definitely has rough edges, but I like them very much.

    Conclusion: Wow - three years? Blind I would have been extremely wrong here, definitely tastes older.
    Really a good first release that is great fun on more!

  9. WhiskyLovingPianist scored this whisky 82 points Connoisseur


    Still in keeping with our serendipitous red wine theme, it’s the perfect time to bring out Raasay’s inaugural release, made up from 121 casks. Let’s remind ourselves of the wood policy/makeup, as outlined by Alastair Day last year: Virgin Chinkapin, Ex-Woodford Reserve Rye, and Ex-Bordeaux Red Wine – peated and < unpeated. Further reading: [WLP].

    C: Boy, would you look at the secondary prices for this rrp-£99 3yo !! Still, that’s nothing on Dornoch. Initial impressions only [as it’s getting on]: this whisky is – as expected – very ok, and without any blatant STR or forced PX etc,. profiling – yay! Still, is it a little sweet? Well yes, but no more so than many of the previous red wine-influenced drams enjoyed this evening. Great job.

    Provisionally scores [+/-]82 points

  10. ffmdino did not rate this whisky Expert Senior

    not sure what to think of that
    I can feel the smoke but it's OK
    Despite its young age, the malt wants to have time in the glass
    Water makes you drinkable
    after the smoke is gone I like it a lot; is then better than the waiting bottlings
    • Nose
      light ham, light ash, red berries, cowshed, peanut, strawberry, chocolate so 45%, honey, smoke is less, minimal cheese, minimal leather, light malt, sweetness comes and becomes more, oak slightly moldy, a note that I don't can be named, spiciness comes, easily chemically
      with water: nuttier, more honey, mint comes

      with 1920 blender glass: cheesy, red fruity, slightly meaty
      with water: rubber band, slightly chemical, dung / septic tank
    • Taste
      oily, silky, creamy on the palate
      Ash + ??, dark malt, light oak, spicy, slightly medicinal, ham, wine notes (not musty but red), tart notes, smoke
      with water: softer, more oak, more pleasing
    • Finish
      minimal sulfur, warm, slightly chemical, spicy, slightly tart

      with water: sulfur, light oak, light chocolate


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