husband, father, whisky lover, blogger, freelance whisky writer, and head of the New Jersey Whiskey Society & leading the USBG NJ efforts...currently the New Jersey Whisky Ambassador for Diageo & therefore leave the recent writing duties to guest bloggers, primarily that Bourbon loving fella named Gerard

average Joes on a whisky journey...all views are our own

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Scapa 16

Nifty looking bottle
Old friends and a barbeque can make for a wonderful day.  This was the case last weekend when my buddy Gerard invited a few friends (some of which are New Jersey Whiskey Society members) over to his home for a BBQ. 

In addition to some of the usual fun, like tossing the football, chasing our kids around the house, and reminiscing about the past, we were also excited to try out a couple of Scotches from Gerard’s stash.

We got to try an Independent bottling of the now mothballed Littlemill Distillery (notes in a future post), and the Scapa 16.

Hailing from the Northern Scotland Island of Orkney, it is usually compared up against the most successful distillery from that region, Highland Park.  In fact, Scapa would be the northernmost distillery in all of Scotland, but HP has that distinction by only a few hundred yards! (Thanks Ralfy!)

The Scapa 16 replaces the old Scapa 14, and this one is a bit smoother (and arguably better).  Another versatile dram from this island, the Scapa has the ability to combine some of the sweet Speyside flavors with the sea side notes that are normally attributed to the Islay malts.

Tasting Notes:

Appearance:  Amber -1

Nose:  Floral, Vanilla, Seaweed and Honey, Citrus

Palate:  Medium Bodied, more honey/caramel, Brine & Ocean, creamy nougat

Finish:  Buttery spices, additional maltiness, drying


One of the coolest parts of Scapa has more to do what they do not do.  They do not use special cask finishes, and keep things incredibly straightforward.  They age in 100% ex-bourbon first-fill casks (as vanilla as it gets…pun intended).  They do not use their local peat to dry their barley.  This is basically as simple and unadulterated as a malt can get, and they do it well.  I would avoid water with this one.  At only 40% ABV it is already as low as it can go, and I think it lost a bit of that fun saltwater-taffy vibe even with only a few drops of water.  Just like when they create it, I prefer this one simple and straightforward…pair it with a glass.

Score: 87

No comments:

Post a Comment