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Scapa 16 Year Old

Maritime Malty Malt

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@VictorReview by @Victor

2nd Nov 2016

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  • Nose
    ~
  • Taste
    ~
  • Finish
    ~
  • Balance
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  • Overall
    86

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

My thanks to @newreverie for the reviewed sample

Nose: sweet, with gentle malt, pleasant used wood aromas, very mild peat, and well-integrated brine. The malt smells nicely of a hybrid of cereal and grass flavours. This is mild and comforting, but sufficient in intensity to satisfy. Very good nose. Score: 22.5/25

Taste: tart citrus is added to the briny mix in the mouth. This is zippier on the delivery than is the nose, with the balance moved away from sweet and towards the tart-sour and brine. The 'island maritime' nature of this malt is revealed here in spades, with sourness present in the mouth which was not evident in the nose. Enjoyable, but not as harmonious as is the nose. Score: 21.5/25

Finish: medium-long, staying briny and sour. Score: 20.5/25

Balance: excellent balance in the nose, good balance thereafter. Score: 21/25

Water? I usually don't want to add water to 40% ABV whisky, but in this case, adding water: 1) muffled and bundled the flavours in the nose, emphasising the wood, and 2) did the same thing to the flavours in the mouth, while also bringing out some additional sweetness

Total Sequential Score: 85.5 points

Strength: very adequate strength of flavours, even at 40% ABV. Score: 22/25

Quality: the malt is appealing, the peat gently pleasantly understated, the brine and wood also taste good. Score: 22/25

Variety: very good in the nose, more narrow variety in the mouth. Score: 21.5/25

Harmony: lovely harmony in the nose, satisfactory harmony in the mouth. Score: 21/25

Total Non-Sequential Score: 86.5 points

Comment: I went for a lot of years without having ever tasted Scapa 16 yo. I had had one sample of Scapa 14 yo IB in the past which did not impress me, so I didn't push the matter. This sampling of Scapa 16 was more enjoyable than that 14 yo IB had been, but does very much confirm the overall mixed and somewhat tepid reviews that Scapa 16 gets. If you want a simple malt and brine whisky, then Scapa 16 delivers. In style this distillery seems to me closest to Pulteney, Oban, and Springbank

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2 comments

@Pierre_W
Pierre_W commented

Many thanks, @Victor, for your lovely review of this delicate and very drinkable single malt. Coincidentally, I was just about to review Scapa 16yo after having passed it for many years. I am quite fond of the nose and would most probably like it even better if it came with a higher ABV than just 40%.

3 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@Pierre_W, thank you for your kind comments. I look forward to reading your review of Scapa 16 yo. As you probably noted, like you I am a fan of the nose of Scapa 16.

3 years ago 0

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