Bought: Online Whisky Auction, 5th June 2015
I was surprised and delighted to find a video review by Ralfy of the Scapa 14, and 89/100 is an amazingly high mark from him. Compared to the 12yo and 16yo he says the 14yo is his favourite but he admits that it’s more challenging than the 12yo with some sour, bitter notes and a more old-fashioned taste. But if you pour a glass and let it settle, it’s well worth the experience.
The now discontinued 14yo (replaced by the 16yo which has also been discontinued) was a new entry in the Whisky Bible in 2009. Scoring 88/100 it has the same mark as the 12yo, classing it as “very good to excellent whisky definitely worth buying”. Jim Murray, the bible author, says of the taste “fresh barley for its age, a few bands of light oak, but some fruit notes towards the drying middle.” He concludes with “usually, this is one of the true great malts of the Chivas empire and a classic islander.”
One thing Jim Murray and Ralfy agree on is the variation of whisky from bottling to bottling of the 14yo but Ralfy felt the standard was always kept high. Saying that, 81/100 on Whiskybase is quite an average mark. Malt Maniacs give the 2005+ version of the 14yo 81/100 and the 2007+ version 79/100, which is again quite so-so. As a long-time lover of the 12yo I’ll be interested to see what I think of the 14yo. It sounds intriguing!