Scapa distillery is a Scotch whisky distillery situated on The Mainland of Orkney, Scotland on the shore of Scapa Flow near the town of Kirkwall. Scapa is the second most northern whisky distillery in Scotland, being half a mile farther south than the Highland Park Distillery.
The distillery has one wash still and one spirit still producing a single malt (unblended) whisky. It is an especially honey flavoured whisky, and less peaty than most Island Whiskies. This is because, though the water at the source is peaty, it gets transported to the distillery through pipelines to avoid more contact with the peat. Furthermore, the malt is not dried over peat smoke.
The distillery, founded in 1885 by Macfarlane & Townsend, was during the 1950s acquired by Hiram Walker & Sons Ltd (now part of Pernod Ricard) and rebuilt. In 1994 it was mothballed, and faced definitive closure in 2004. During that period, the most commonly available edition was the Scapa 12 years old, which was and still is a most distinctive island whisky for its subtle heathery honey plus sea taste. Still, it was decided to rebuild/restore the distillery, and the first new spirit in 10 years flowed in November 2004. Because of the time-gap, it was decided to stop the 12 years and introduce the 14 years, which is quite different from its predecessor, even though the basic characteristics are intact.
The whisky is a golden colour with a light syrupy consistency as it’s rolled around the glass. I added a half tea spoon of water to allow the whisky to open up.
The nose is initially citrus forward with notes of orange peel followed by a malt sweetness. As the nose develops there is a woody spicy aroma of allspice, cloves, a little black pepper and sea salt. The nose finishes with a sweet honey and oak dryness.
The flavour is smooth, rich and full on. With honey comb & toffee sweetness followed by a citrus (Seville marmalade). The flavour is softer than expected and finishes with a dry oak note.
The finish is long with drying oak spicyness and faint brine (sea air note).
Skiren is Scapa’s new release for 2015 and is matured in first fill American oak casks. The name comes from the Old Norse word for “glittering bright skies”.
I poured the whisky in to a Copita nosing glass and added a teaspoon of water to allow the whisky to open up.
The nose is instantly sweet with honey and vanilla. There are hints of apple and white grape which are followed by a soft spicy aroma of aniseed and cinnamon.
The flavour is rich and creamy with hits of honey, pear and lemon rind which sparkle through balancing the richness. There are drier hints of oak and a long lasting vanilla cream note. The balance of this whisky is just incredible!
The finish is not as long as the 16 but the sweet and spicy notes linger after drinking.
Scapa continue to produce amazing whisky. Sadly the 16 year old is no longer available but for the price the NAS Skiren is a whisky of great quality!
Skiren is available from Master of Malt HERE! I can’t recomend it highly enough!