Monday, January 3, 2011

Up two notches

I have always liked Scapa - and not just because it shares a spot on Orkney near Highland Park. There is something sweet and smooth about Scapa that has me entranced. Indeed, Scapa's 14 year old Scotch has become a favorite over the years because of its affordability and sweet, smooth character. Now, to replace that expression, the distillery has released a slightly older, considerably tastier 16 year old Scotch. This new Scapa shows its extra two years with a velvety palate. While I brought this bottle back from Scotland on my last trip, you can find the 16yr old in the US for about 70bucks - and this is a smooth price for such a smooth dram. 
Malt Advocate says: A soft, easy-going whisky with a foundation of honeyed vanilla, caramel custard and mouth-coating maltiness. Floral and brine notes are sprinkled throughout, as is cocoa, white pepper and subtle edible seaweed. Soft malt and brine finish. A whisky with a gentler personality when compared to most other island malts, making it a nice introduction to the style. I would, however, like to see this whisky bottled at a higher strength and not chill-filtered. I’d be more than willing to sacrifice some drinkability for greater intensity and more subtle nuances. Still, it is an enjoyable whisky and enthusiasts of its predecessor—Scapa 14—should also like it, albeit at a higher retail price.
Advanced Malt Advocate magazine rating: 85

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