Thursday, December 2, 2010

Review: Scapa 14

Scapa 14
Price: $40-$50
Strength: 40 %

There are two distilleries on the Orkney islands north of Scotland: Highland Park and Scapa.  Highland Park puts out great whisky, so I also wanted to try Scapa.  However, aside from sharing an island, the two distilleries seem to have little else in common.  The 14-year-old Scapa has more recently been replaced by a 16-year-old expression (which I have not tried) and is likely difficult to find.  It is not really worth seeking out either: a sweet, syrupy whisky that is rather bland.  The sweetness of Scapa reminded me more of a sugary sweetness, like simple syrup, rather than honey or fruit which is typically more enjoyable in Scotch.  I found this whisky to be a good one to share with my unsophisticated (at least as far as whisky-drinking goes) co-workers, who were rather impressed by its smoothness and drinkability.

Other than sugary sweets, Scapa 14 does offer a little more complexity on the back-end of the palate: a musty molasses and nougat.  The finish is short and light, with maybe a little nuttiness (perhaps influenced from bourbon casks).  79 points (C+).    

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