Scapa ‘Skiren’ Batch SK01

Bought: Auriol Wines, 12th February 2016

89.5/100 – Whisky Bible 2017
80.1/100 – Whiskybase (from 46 member votes)

“This new Scapa 14yo is not a patch on the old 12yo!”
…{years pass by}…
“This new Scapa 16yo is not as good as the old 14yo, which was excellent!”
…{more years pass by}…
“This new Skiren is not as good as the amazing Scapa 16yo, which I always said was great and the best thing since sliced bread.”

Life is full of memories were we look back through rose-tinted spectacles and no more so than in the world of whisky. Scapa feels like it’s had more than its fair share. New releases are often belittled only to be heralded as great when the next replacement arrives. Was childhood really the best years of our lives? Is the Skiren really that bad? You might think so from comments on Whiskybase such as “I used a spittoon” and “very artificial”.

Here are how the scores compare on Whiskybase for the last 4 main Scapa distillery releases:

  • 80.1/100 – Skiren
  • 83/100 – 16-year-old
  • 81.6/100 – 14-year-old
  • 84.8/100 – 12-year-old

It doesn’t look good for the poor Skiren but overall I wouldn’t say 80.1/100 was that bad a mark. Jim Murray in his Whisky Bible 2017 scores the Skiren 89.5/100 which classifies it as “very good to excellent whisky definitely worth buying”. This is a better score than he gives for the 12yo, 14yo and 16yo. He says of the taste “major malt which steps on the salivation pedal almost immediately; the tannins are layered, offering some ice cream, including cone.” He concludes with a message to Scapa “chaps who created this: lovely, you really have to power this up a bit.” 46% please!

In the video review below, Horst Luening likes the nose and taste of the Skiren but considers it too expensive for a non-aged statement. I would agree but Scapa might argue that, since it’s their only official bottling, its uniqueness is worth paying for. They’ve certainly put all their eggs in one basket and I hope it works for them because I wouldn’t want the distillery to close down.

Scapa Skiren NAS 70cl

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