Scapa Flow, an area of water linking the North Sea to the Atlantic is famous for its roles in both World Wars. In the First, naval ships in the Flow saved the Scapa distillery from destruction by fire. The distillery is near Kirkwall on the island the Orcadians call "the mainland". Scapa fails to be the northernmost distillery in Scotland by being half a mile south of its neighbour, Highland Park. The distillery was founded in 1885 and powered by a waterwheel that has now been restored. Two of its original warehouses survive, now used for the storage of empty casks, but most of the rest of the fabric dates from 1959, when Scapa was rebuilt.
The water supply is very peaty but the distillery uses wholly unpeated malt.
It has a Lomond wash-still and uses Bourbon casks
for its bottled single malt.
© Michael Jackson 1994
Sadly, Scapa is not now producing new spirit. Also, The Defenders of the Malt which consisted of Scapa, Glendronach, and Laphroaig now appears to only be Laphroaig. No comment on the dropping of Scapa and Glendronach except that they are both presently silent. [lc q1.99]
SMWS bottling 17.8, 17yo, 108.4 deg (54.2%) proof, distilled 11/75:
Malt and Vanilla:
Pale colour, from a charred bourbon cask The spirit is mild, even without dilution. With water it blooms beautifully and shows malt and vanilla. The taste, curiously, is salt, sour, spicy, peppery and agreeably astringent all together. What more could you ask?
SF mar 3
the following three notes are reproduced from the newsletter of the Tindogs Tasting Group in Chicago, Illinois. Please note the copyright conditions if reproducing this material, thanks.
Scapa 1979 14 YO, 86 PROOF, 0, Whyte &Whyte bottling.
Light yellow color. This has a very light nose without being a "lightweight." It is flowery with some dusty teal-like aromas. One can easily underestimate the age here (I thought it was less than 10 years old). In the mouth it projects a similar character. It is medium light, well balanced with some violets and bread-like malty flavors coming through. Balanced, very pleasant and with a good backbone of wood to round out this sample. The group placed this fifth. Group score: 15.5, My score: 16.0 [tindogs]
SCAPA 1963 25 YO, 80 PROOF, 0, Gordon & MacPhail
bottling. Deep yellow to gold color. The medium light, oily/buttery nose seems a bit unfocused. In the mouth it is medium light to medium weight. As in the nose, this sample is reluctant. It is somewhat neutral but with too much wood for the weight. Some vanilla aromas surface, but this is marred by a hot tongue. In a word, a simple scotch. The group placed this last as did I. Group score: 14.75, My score: 15.0 [tindogs]
SCAPA 1960 26 YO, 80 PROOF, 00, Gordon & MacPhail
bottling. Quite a contrast from the above. Spend the extra 0 and get this one. Amber to medium yellow color. Full, smokey and rich nose. Although it has a big nose and seems related to an Islay, it is balanced and fine. I felt this had the best nose of the evening. In the mouth it is equally full but without being heavy. It has a refined entry shows good fruit and is well balanced by a moderate does of wood. The finish is fine and long. The group placed this third. Group score: 15.63, My score: 17.5." [tindogs]
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