Archive for the ‘Scapa’ Category

Mackillop’s Choice Scapa 1991 (23 year old) 55.9%

Bourbon Cask 1191/ Dist: Mar 1991 Btl: Sept 2014/ Tasted: Nov 2016

A dark, malty and violety nose. Quite coastal and salty. Very much old skool Scapa with mature oak, and almost Tequila-esque, pulped, peppery fruit. Now that’s a unique nose! Superbly balanced and mature with late hints of earth, wood smoke, dunnage, tobacco and vanilla pod.

The palate is full and malty, but like the nose it displays that wonderful, old Scapa coastal, windswept character. Tobacco laced baked fruit, earth, wood smoke and grippy coffee’d tannins follow. Extremely salty on the middle, which leads into a very salty, mouth-watering, citric and malty finish with lingering pepper, midnight violets and salt.


Douglas Laing Old Malt Cask bottling Scapa 1993 (15 year old) 50%

Re-Fill Bourbon Hogshead.  DL1375/ Dist: 1993 Btl: 2008/ Tasted: Nov 2010

A big, rich, modern day Scapa nose of vanilla oak and overkill malt along with some sweet honey, burnt wood and heather. There is also quite a bit of medicinal peat which is unusual and only vaguely coastal, which is parfor the course. 

The palate is immense and robust, full of herbal honey, vanillins and heather. It opens into a lovely melange of mandarin and pineapple, before the malt kicks in and the honey returns ‘en vigueur’. It has a good length with an almost peppery/grainy spirit note at the end and a suggestion of salt.

Scapa Skiren 40%

Batch SK01

First Fill American Oak

Tasted: Nov 2015

The nose is very full and very, very oaky. Hints of green fruit and almost ‘toshan-like boiled sweets and no shortage of pepper, nutmeg, heather and, yes, more oak in its fragrant vanilla and buttery vanilla form.

The palate is like the nose, a veritable oak fest with toasty vanilla, toffee, lightly honey’d fruit, heather, rose petals, but damn, it’s oaky! Hints of green fruit and salt come through on the finish but the oak lingers. Lightly tannic (not a surprise!) after-taste with milk chocolate and bitter coffee. Apparently Skiren is Old Norse for glittering, bright skies, maybe it should have been called Skogr, which is Old Norse for wood!

Scapa Glansa 40%

Batch GL01

First Fill Bourbon/ Finished in ex-peated casks

Btl: Aug 2016/ Tasted: Sept 2016

A pleasantly soft nose with plenty of toffee’d and toasted oak. Hints of ‘toshan-like boiled sweets and rose petals mingle with a gentle whiff of peat smoke. With time a touch of burnt herbal notes appear along with some wood spices.

The palate opens with the soft, toffee’d oak. Again there is that rose petal-like note along with barley and spice. The oak really kicks in on the middle and is surprisingly lacking any bitter elements. A touch of herbal/ heather honey appears along with sweet, slightly woody peat smoke. Medium length with lingering oak and smoke.

Chivas Brothers Cask Strength Edition Scapa 2000 (12 year old) 55.1%

First Fill American Oak – Batch No SC 12 006/ Dist: 2000 Btl: 2012/ Tasted: Mar 2013

The nose begins by displaying quite a fresh and herbal character with a touch of sweet American oak before the tropical fruit wades in! A real fruit monster now with apricot, honey, toasted banana and a touch of pineapple. Those aromas become extremely sweet, so if add in that huge alcohol presence it’s quite an intimidating nose. As expected there’s no coastal notes to offset the tropical sweet madness, although that alcohol tries to add a semblance of freshness!

The palate is an oily, tropical morass of apricot, banana and pineapple. Imagine Arran turned up a notch or two! Quite a heavy mouthfeel with some oily caramel and a touch of earth/ loam. Even that earthy note is quite sweet. A huge mouthful of intense alcohol cleans the palate and allows the creamy oak through on the finish trailing just a smidge of bitterness.

A drop of water makes the nose even oilier, with hints of linseed. Less exuberant and a lot less fresh now due to that increase in the oils and a diminishing of the alcohol. Maybe a little furry and dusty with more dusty spices. The palate has become softer, fatter and flabbier. The taming of the alcohol has removed any element of freshness and it’s all a bit homogenous and wobbly!

Chivas Brothers Scapa 1992 (14 year old) 60.6%

BatchSC14 001/ Dist: 1992 Btl: 2006/ Tasted: Mar 2007

Softaromas of demarara coated banana crepes with a side serving of honey and tropical fruit. Finally a late hint of salt (what has happened to that windswept briny character of yore?)

The palate is soft, which is surprising for the high abv and sooty with only a hint of salinity. Good length with blood orange, toffee cookies and butter fudge. Extremely fruity for a Scapa that would have the purists, like me wailing and gnashing ones teeth!!

Scapa 16 year old 40%

Tasted: Oct 2009

The nose is a bit flat to be honest with honey, caramel and a touch of vanillins. A fleeting hint of salinity passes followed by menthol, heather and bracken notes. Charming but hardly windswept and coastal. The palate is much the same, quite honeyed with a rather large amount of caramel/ toffee. The saline note is makes a brief acquaintance with the tongue and it’s a bit short.

Scapa 16 Years Old 40%

Re-Tasted: Feb 2012

A deep and honeyed nose. Quite herbal and woody with hints of salty spice and liquorice. The fruit is slightly tropical in character, hinting at some age and there is no shortage of beautiful, sweet oak. Good complexity with hints of coffee malt and the spices becoming quite grainy with time.

The palate is lighter than the nose would suggest with a very faint musty note. Quite firm as well with just a touch of light honey and fish oils. Good length, rather confected and sugary with hints ofparmaviolets. Conclusion: A lovely, deep nose, it’s a pity the palate couldn’t quite live up to it.

Scapa 16 year old40%

Re-Tasted: Jan 2013

Nose: A stunning depth of liquid orange fruit and chocolaty oak. Lovely maturity with hints of fresh lime, guava and pineapple and sawdusty oak. With time it becomes exceedingly fruity and luscious tropical banana skin and creamy melon. A beautiful nose!

Palate: Soft and very oaked. Caramel, burnt butter and toffee shortbread notes dominate the lightly tropical fruit. Surprisingly  the natural caramel flattens the palate, which us a shame.

Finish: Moderate length, again very caramelised.

Conclusion: A stunning nose./ Wonderfully complex and tropical, probably Arran. However the palate is crushed under the oak jack boots! [tasted blind]