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.

Monday, 12 November 2018


As a part of the 50th Anniversary celebration of the 'Connoisseurs Choice'-range, Gordon & MacPhail has during 2018 released some bottlings out of the ordinary. I'm about to review another below - stay tuned!

The Connoisseurs Choice-series has had different looks over the years, but if you're an experienced whisky drinker -and probably also if you're not- there's a good chance you will have come across these bottlings at some point.

© G&M Media Kit

I've already reviewed some recent bottlings released as a part of the 50th Anniversary celebration, their reviews can be found here and here.

For this next review we'll head up to the Orkney Islands just off the north coast of Scotland.

Now, Scapa distillery has long been living in the shadow of that more prominent Orkney Distillery - you know the one branding Norse Mythology and Vikings Galore (read: Highland Park) but I remember when visiting the Islands almost 10 years ago, locals telling me that they actually drank Scapa - not Highland Park... or they probably just collect Highland Park, but still drink Scapa ;-) 

This may have changed, of course, but I also have to admit I enjoy a good Scapa... There's not a lot of it out there - especially mature Scapa like the one I'm about to review...

Scapa Distillery seen from across the Scapa Flow, August 5th 2009 © The Malt Desk

Scapa 1988 30yo 53,8% (02.09.1988/13.09.2018) Refill bourbon barrel#10585, 148 bottles, Gordon & MacPhail Connoisseurs Choice

Quite an oily feel to this one...
Butter cream caramel and loads of vanilla, a dash of wet chipped wood, mineral notes, bit of chalk maybe? buttercups and freshly squeezed olive oil and a bit of salt/ozone as well. A couple of drops of water reveals oranges, sweet melon and a very honeyed side to this. Love this nose!

Thick creamy malt vanilla custard on a sweet bread sponge bed with lemons and orange marmelade on top and raspberries on top. A malt for The Great Bake Off! The malt is a driving force here, yes, but it comes along with a just a little oak influence to keep all the sweetness at bay.

It also still maintains its salty and mineral traits through to the palate as well.

I have a serious week spot for well balanced bourbon cask matured whiskies like this one and this really hits the spot for me!

Finally, before I'm flooded with questions on where to get this magnificent beast then -to the best of my knowledge- this hasn't been released yet.


Official sample provided by Gordon & MacPhail

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