Scapa ‘the’ Orcadian 16-year-old

Bought: Drink Supermarket, 4th December 2014

81/100 – Whisky Bible 2015
83.25/100 – Whiskybase (average from 65 member votes)

Last year I went home to my parents in Aberdeen, Scotland and cracked open a bottle of the famous, and dearly departed Scapa 12-year-old. It was as fantastic as I remembered from previous tastings. Each year from now on I’ll make a point to have a glass during a visit. Since nobody else in the family is that interested, it could take me 10 years before I finish the bottle. I wonder how much another one will be at auction by then? Some people say that it will be oxidised and horrible after 10 years but I’ve never found this with old, open bottles of whisky. My dear old uncle Hamish, sadly no longer with us, said to give a bottle a shake to mix the top layer in with the rest, and it’s as good as new. If you don’t, you might detect a slight bitterness from the oxidation from the surface layer.

I’ve said in previous posts about being reluctant to get the Scapa 16yo because a) it doesn’t score well enough in reviews, even if it’s supposedly won awards and b) it’s overpriced for what it is. If it hadn’t been for a Black Friday discount allowing me to get the Scapa 16yo for under £40, I still wouldn’t have it today. But I might be doing this whisky an injustice. Jim Murray’s mark in his Whisky Bible 2015 is rather confusing because he gives a different score for a bottle marked ‘the’ Orcadian (which mine is) but says it’s only for the Swedish market. At 87.5/100 it sounds a lot better than the 81/100 he gives to the ordinary 16yo. Perhaps the Scapa distillery realised the whole world deserved the good stuff and not just their Scandinavian ancestors.

I still have hope that one day we’ll see a return of the Scapa 12yo to battle it out with other 12-year-olds from the likes of Highland Park, Glenlivet and Glenmorangie, because the distillery has a lot to offer on a wider world scale. As for this 16yo, I will have to take a sample up to Aberdeen and compare it against its former younger brother. I have a feeling I wont be disappointed with the new 16yo.

Here’s Andy of ‘Single Malt Maniac’ with his review on You Tube (June 2013):

Scapa 16yo 70cl


One response to “Scapa ‘the’ Orcadian 16-year-old

  1. I’ve recently been writing a history of the Scapa distillery for its owners and happily have two boxed and unopened bottles of 16yo

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s