About this blog:

This blog will feature tasting notes, reviews, distillery visits and whisky news with focus mainly on Scottish single malts. This will sometimes be accompanied by politically incorrect (whisky) opinions. You have now been warned! :-)
The views expressed here are entirely my own, unless otherwise stated.

Sunday, 26 January 2014


You don't see much whisky from this distillery. Its pretty much the shy brother of the high profile Highland Park Distillery, located across the Scapa flow (bay) on Orkney Mainland... So when Highland Park attracts all the attention, I found out, when visiting in 2009, that Scapa is what the Orcadians themselves enjoy as their favourite tipple.

Scapa is a distillery high on my visit list, but its not open to the public, so if anyone reading this and have contacts (Pernod Ricard People, hint hint! ;-) ) and I can get my schedule to fit, I'd love to make my way to Orkney again to visit Scapa.

On a more sad note, I feel that the current 16yo version is a bit dull and that the owners should take a long hard look at what potential this distillery really has instead of pouring the majority of its production into the Ballantine's blend. I'm sure a substitute malt can be found somewhere in their portfolio?

On a brighter note, the bottling I'm about to review was released back in 2006 as a part of the Chivas Cask Strength Collection - its a 50cl bottle set with whiskies from a range of Pernod Ricard Distilleries and sold at very favourable prices and worth picking up as you get cask strength version of whiskies you normally would only get at 40%/43%. Sadly this current versions is long gone, but its worth picking up at auction, IMO...

Scapa Distillery seen from across the Scapa Flow, August 5th 2009 © The Malt Desk
Scapa 1992/2006 14yo 60,6% Batch SC14 001, Chivas Cask Strength Edition-series, Distillery bottling

Colour is pale amber

Sweet barley sugar, vanilla and soft fruit. A bit of apple, wet planks of wood, sugared licorice (Haribo Dominos), an touch of mint and ozone.

Alcohol nip, but thats to be expected with a 60%+ abv. A splash of water releases apple, raspberry, lemon, black pepper and a bit of mentholated mouthfeel. On the finish, more fruit (salad), vanilla and a spicy and barley finish.

A very good dram, this one - wish I had a full bottle of this...

Thanks to Kalle for the sample



  1. Here is a hint... I showed up in front of their doors in August 2010 and Bryan Ross literally was too kind to tell me that he cannot let me in. We had the best personal tour ever. Make sure that you show up on a morning when they work though. They don't operate every day of the week.

  2. Cheers, Bozzy

    I'll keep that in mind if I find my way up there without having a previous appointment