Review by FWL Managing Editor Caroline Dewar
Scapa is a delight and quite different in character from its island neighbour, Highland Park, another excellent whisky. Okay, they’re not exactly next door neighbours but they are both on Orkney Mainland. Also, Scapa’s malt is unpeated, unlike Highland Park.
Caroline Dewar's Tasting Notes:
Appearance: Rich, vibrant amber gold with copper glints
Nose: Initially a flash of ripe banana; some coconut, heather honey and light fruit – dried apricot. Sweet malted notes and some vanilla. Perfumed.
Palate: Beautifully balanced and medium weight; slightly creamy; honey and a warming spicy tang - ginger and clove and a little bit of citrus zest; green apple peel and a little hint of Demerara sugar.
Finish: Medium - long and slightly dry with a wisp of apple and the sea on the after taste.
The distillery has been here since 1885, looking out over Scapa Flow, the channel of water long used as a calm refuge for shipping. Braving all sorts of weather, the buildings have witnessed all sorts of maritime events including the scuttling of some of the German fleet just after WW1. It was also a billet for Royal Navy sailors in the war. Given that Orkney has a lot of Viking history, the tall bottle rather reminds me of the prow of a Viking ship. The packaging is fresh and simple with an embossed sailing ship on the bottle.