Caskshare - Raasay distillery cask sample special


What is Caskshare? 

It’s a new way to own a share in a cask. You no longer need to buy a cask outright or find a group of friends to split the cost with it. You can instead reserve a single bottle from Caskshare's portfolio of casks. This allows you to choose distillery, cask type, and bottling date. Once you’ve made your selection you just need to wait for your whisky to mature, then voila! you have your very own bottle.*

So what do we think?

We’re big fans of the idea. Prices for individual bottles seem reasonable, and selection of cask types are very interesting. Given we own shares of casks already this will be a great way for us to gain whisky from other distilleries without having to commit to taking a large number of bottles.

The one downside is range of distilleries on offer is still small, but will hopefully grow as the company expands.

If this sounds interesting to you, head over to https://www.caskshare.com and have a look through the casks on offer. 

Now we had the opportunity to try some of the Raasay casks on offer and figured we’d give you some details of the options you can select from. These are cask samples of varying ages, but are all still very young and have a good while in the cask before they're ready for bottling.

Caskshare Raasay 33 month matured Peated ex-Woodford Reserve Rye Cask

Nose

Salted peanuts, roast chicken, coastal peat, some young malty notes but not obviously new make - the cask has done quite a job in the 33 months its matured for so far.

Palate

Developing a nice spice, a little black pepper, quite oily and mouth coating, background smoke which isn’t too aggressive at all, it’s very lightly peated. Theres deeper flavours of treacle and a little toffee on the finish. You can tell this is still young whisky.

Nose (water)

Even more nuttiness, more almonds and cashews along with the roasted peanuts. Some Candied ginger, and a touch of stone fruit can be found in the background, but the salty, peaty goodness is what shines through.

Palate (water)

Spice changes from peppery to Sichuan peppercorns with their tongue numbing quality. A little lemon peel too, and some forest floor muddiness.

Conclusion

Firstly, we need to clarify that this whisky is due to be bottled in 2028, at 10 years old, and has only had just shy of 3 years in the cask. As the Scotch Whisky Association only changed the rules to allow maturation in ex-rye casks in 2019, we’ve not seen what will happen with any 10-year old full maturation rye casks. Saying that, this sample is quite drinkable at its current age, and given it’s currently only £69 (which in 10 years time, after inflation, will be something akin to the value of a small house), it’s very promising.

You can find more details about this cask here - Caskshare Raasay 33 month matured Peated ex-Woodford Reserve Rye Cask.

Caskshare Raasay 45 month matured Peated Virgin Chinkapin Oak Cask

Nose

Butterscotch, with some quite punchy alcohol notes. The new make spirit is showing quite prominently, but there’s some toffee and some red berry fruits in there also. We’re getting sone smoke in there, but it’s sweetened smoke, not BBQ or bonfire.

Palate

Again, the age of the spirit is first and foremost here, but there’s also a musty, smokey note in there too. Some buttered toast with raspberry jam, and a medium length oily finish.

Nose (water)

The rich forest fruits appear more prominently, some light meatiness and ashy smoke. The dilution has really opened this up. The smoke reminds us of a Port Charlotte, which is quite a compliment!

Palate (water)

Not too different from the pre-diluted palate, a little more rounded with some sweeter notes accentuating the rich, smokey aftertaste.

Conclusion

This cask is due to be bottled in 2023, at 5 years old. This is the first Chinkapin Oak cask we’ve tried, and this particular one has more dark fruit and almost wine/sherry like notes than we’d have expected from a typical American oak barrel. The colour is also incredibly dark for 45 months in the cask. The new make spirit is still showing quite prominently here, but we’re sure this will mellow over the next 2 years or so to create something quite harmonious.

You can find more details about this cask here - Caskshare Raasay 45 month matured Peated Virgin Chinkapin Oak Cask.

Caskshare Raasay 17 month matured Peated ex-Australian Cab Sauvignon cask

Nose

Ripe cherry, a lot of yeast, warehouse mustiness, a very sweet new make spirit note which is unsurprising as this isn’t even 2 years old yet. However, the fruit notes from the red wine cask are showing through nicely.

Palate

Again, the age of the spirit is first and foremost here, but there’s also a musty, smokey note in there too. Some buttered toast with raspberry jam, and a medium length oily finish.

Nose (water)

Like sticking your nose into a wooden wash back. We’ve got prominent memories of a trip to Glenfiddich and dunking our heads into the wort, albeit this one it a bit smokier!

Palate (water)

Some dark chocolate, sweetened cream, lots of musty smokiness.

Conclusion

This is a really good example of why whisky must be matured for 3 years. Its amazing some of the flavours that have already began to permeate the spirit after such a short time in the cask, but it's clear that it needs more time to mature. This is planned to be bottled in 2024 at 5 years old, and we think the cask will have done wonders by then. If the sweet cherry notes continue to develop, it’s going to be cracking whisky.

You can find more details about this cask here - Caskshare Raasay 17 month matured Peated ex-Australian Cab Sauvignon cask.

*We just want to mention the price you pay at reservation includes the new make liquid, storage costs, insurance, bottling, labelling plus duty and VAT at the prevailing rate. If the rate of duty or VAT changes by the time the whisky is bottled you pay any extra/are refunded for any variation in duty or VAT.

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