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The Orcadian

Usually when people think of Orkney whisky, it’s almost always Highland Park that comes to mind. Now that isn’t a bad thing, we just want to change that and put the wonderful Scapa in the forefront of people’s minds. The other Orkney distillery is not near as big, nor do they put out anywhere close to the number of bottlings as HP, but they sure do produce some tasty whisky! 

Scapa is located on the main island of the Orkney Isles at the head of Scapa Bay. Both distilleries are located near the town of Kirkwall. Located just a half a mile south of Highland Park, that makes Scapa the second most northerly distillery in Scotland. Orkney is a place of wild and untamed beauty, with unrelenting weather that could give you four seasons in one day! This whisky is definitely crafted with that tough but calming island spirit that runs through the Orcadian blood!

Besides the location/climate, two things that set Scapa apart from a lot of distilleries are it’s distillation and maturation. They only use a single pair of stills for their distillation, one of which being their barrel shaped Lomond was still. It is the sole survivor of its style, and the wider, taller neck makes it ideal for creating a richer new make spirit. As for maturation, Scapa almost exclusively uses first fill American Oak casks that are hand picked from Tennessee and Kentucky. Those hand picked imports help bring the whisky it’s soft vanilla flavours. 

I kind of like that Scapa isn’t overly advertised or putting out some elaborate marketing schemes, it prefers for the whisky to speak for itself. I truly believe a dram of the Scapa 16 is one of the best whisky releases I have had the pleasure of enjoying. For a whisky coming from such an unrelenting climate, it is probably one of the smoothest whiskies I have had! Even so with their Glansa release, which is ever so slightly smoky, but still so smooth. Starting from their signature honeyed single malt, aged in 1st fill American Oak then finished in some ex-peated whisky casks. Using those ex-peated casks gives it the perfect subtle smokiness.

Scapa will always be a distillery that I will be first in line for new releases!

Click here to look at our Scapa range

Written by Cailin Morrison - 16/03/2020