From the Orkney Isles comes this months whisky. The Scapa 1993 is from an archipelago of 70 islands off the North Eastern Coast of Scotland.
The Scapa distillery was established in 1885 producing 40,000 gallons per year, which is a fair sized distillery even today. It was described at the time as “one of the most complete little distilleries in the Kingdom with the newest type of stills and heated by steam instead of fire!”
MacFarlane and Townsend obviously had big plans for her. It acted as a naval billet station in world war 1 for the ships of the Royal Navy based at Scapa Flow. Many happy sailors would go to sea, chilled by the North Sea wind, but warmed by the work of the Scapa Distilling Company.
Hiram Walker & Sones bought the distillery in 1954 replacing the existing stills with the most modern technology at the time, the Lomond Still. This is the still used at Glenburgie and Miltonduff. It is basically a big pot, with a modified swan neck, with no onion. In the Lynn Arm, there are a series of adjustable plates or baffles which can better control the boil to ensure very pure spirit is produced. Scapa’s whisky was primarily produced for Ballentines.
The distillery was mothballed in 1994. After complete refurbishment and restoration was reopened in 2004 with new owners, Pernod Richard.
As such the Scapa 1993 is some of the last spirit produced by the old management.
I found the Scapa 1993 to be quite beachy in flavour. I know that sounds kind of weird, but it literally invoked the surf crashing on a beach kind of smell, and the flavour that is left in your mouth is similar to being dumped by caught in a rip, but in a nice way. Great length. The flavour stays in your mouth for ages. There is some delicate sweetness there, but much drier than the speyside’s we’ve been drinking recently. No peat to speak of, but a cedary, cigary flavour. It is really smooth too, I guess that is from the 16 years in bottle.
A really great dram.