Bought – Whisky Exchange, 23rd March 2014
86.5/100 – Whiskybase (average from 26 member votes)
I confess, I’m a sucker for Scapa, and for cask strength, so when I spotted this new offering from Chivas Brothers I had to get it. 86.5/100 on Whiskybase is an excellent score with a comment of “a delicious and very enjoyable dram. The nose is really charming like you open a fresh Toppy Frutty mix fruit candy box.”
This 20yo was distilled in 1993 and bottled in 2013 at the full cask strength of 58.6%. What I’ve discovered with high alcohol whisky wasn’t what I expected. I thought it would need more water than a standard 40% to tame the fire but it doesn’t. The higher alcohol content seems to extend the finish rather than increase the burn. But adding water is a personal thing, and can vary from whisky to whisky even when they have the same percentage. Just a case of sup-it-and-see!
This Scapa is part of the distillery owner’s (Chivas Brothers) ‘Cask Strength Edition’ which also includes similar 50cl bottles for Strathisla (19yo), Glenlivet (17yo), Longmorn (18yo) and Strathclyde Single Grain (12yo) to name another 4. They’ve rather cunningly reduced the bottle size down from 70cl to 50cl to sell around the more wallet-friendly £45 mark. Doing some research on Malt Maniacs, I see that Chivas Brothers have been periodically doing this for at least 10 years under the release name of “Cask Strength Edition”. Definitely bottles to watch out for but I can’t help feeling a little cheated that it’s not 70cl. Part of me would rather pay another £10 and get a full bottle than lose out on 20cl. You just know that Chivas Brothers are packaging it this way for their benefit, not the buyer’s.