Scapa (12 yr. old) Reviews:

Reviewed in Whisky Magazine Issue 5 by Michael Jackson and Jim Murray

Michael Jackson: (no..., not that Michael Jackson!)

Soft. Hay, with a hint of oily chocolate and vanilla. Warm.
Smooth. Chocolate, vanilla, nuts. Very lively and appetising.
Late salt and pepper, with a hint of rooty peat.
Scapa can seem a delicate whisky, but it is full of flavours, and deserves it growing following.

Jim Murray:

An essay in elegance with a delicate honey note attached to the malt and heather. The smokelessness and resulting lack of weight easily distinguishes it from a Highland Park, despite the honey-heather.
Immediately malty and rich with a delicious spicy tingling of old oak. The honey holds the middle and interplays with the drier oak notes and juicier malt. Wonderfully complex
Cocoa-rich notes and biscuity maltiness makes for a quite weighty finale, and some curious smoke even wafts in from somewhere.
Scapa 12-Year-Old
Looking back over past choices it's hard to believe that I haven't selected Scapa as a Favorite Malt. As I've mentioned before, I try to reach a balance between affordable and expensive single malts so that any whisky lover browsing through the selections can find a special malt within their price range.
Scapa is one of those whiskies that falls into the relatively affordable range (about $35 to $45), yet has a following of fans that is almost cult-like in its loyalty and devotion. The distillery has had its ups and downs, and is now managed by Highland Park, the second, and nearby Orkney Island distillery.

Bottled at 40 vol., the color is a full gold. The nose is dry, somewhat dusty, with touches of oak, vanilla, chocolate and anise. The palate is sweet and smooth, with creamy and salty notes. The finish is a little salty, slightly peppery, and leaves with a faint buttery echo. Quit delicious.

Margaret Swaine;
(wine, spirits and travel columnist, author, educator and consultant):
Scapa 12 Year Old ****
$44.95 , Orkney, Scotland
Made on the banks of the Lingro since 1885 in copper stills, maturing in cliff top warehouses overlooking the waters of Scapa Flow. Pretty malt with a slightly salty apple fruity nose and smooth, honeyed, almost buttery warmth. Creamy, honey in the mouth, followed by spiciness, heather and a length finish.

Everybody has heard of Macallan Highland whiskies; far fewer, though, know of Scapa of Orkney. Too bad; Scapa is quite good. But first we begin with Macallan 18 (86 proof). To be brutally honest with you, we were disappointed. This malt is just gooey, a deep red copper whisky that is viscous and lacks nuance. Is it soft and easy? Absolutely. But in making it so genial the distillery lost the interst of our palates; a real shame, considering a fifth of this retails for $125 or so. (Rating ***1/2)

Meanwhile, SCAPA 12 YEAR (80 proof), a malt that goes for around $45 a bottle, is loaded with taste and that ooooooomph that makes our chops smack. This gold colored malt noses of tangerine and freshly baked muffins or cake and in the mouth offers caramel covered apple and a little bit of peat. Bold without being robust, SCAPA 12 YEAR is a fine whisky. One wonders what this must have been like at cask strength...(Rating ****1/4)

Scapa is a delightful, aromatic whisky with a clean, light palate. It is aged in Bourbon casks. After dinner.

Scapa’s unusual flavour, clean taste and rounded body may be due to two factors: water flavoured by peat and the unusual shape of the Lomond Still.
The ultimate Orkney malt, honeyed and clean, yet spicy.
Enjoy straight, over ice or with a small amount of water.

Colour: Brilliant honeyed gold.
Nose: Sweet, creamy vanilla, honeyed notes with floral aroma, traces of salt.
Body: Silky, smooth, rounded body.
Palate: Initial spiciness, followed by heather honey notes mingled with oak sweetness, slightly salty aftertaste.
Finish: Smooth and warming, light and airy.