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Scapa distillery is located at the head of Scapa bay, south-west of Kirkwall on the main island of the Orkney isles, and was established as a private company in 1885. Production was stopped between 1934 and 1936 after then owners Scapa Distillery Co. Ltd. had gone into liquidation, and the distillery was mothballed in 1994, although from 1997 on a team from Highland Park distillery came over each year to distill a little whisky. Full time production resumed in 2004 and in 2005 the distillery was acquired by Pernod Ricard. The 16-year old expression was first launched in 2008 when it replaced the former 14-year old bottling and has been Scapa’s standard expression ever since.
The nose is light and fruity with plenty of lemon flavours, followed by honey and oranges. There is also a quite intensely malty note, reminiscent of beer, and a touch of brine.
The palate is smooth and oily but also a bit thin. The orange flavours are back, together with notes of lemon and honey.
The finish is short but pleasantly warming. The orange flavours are there again, together with notes of caramel and a hint of brine at the very end.
This is a delicate and very drinkable single malt, without any rough edges. I was rather fond of the nose with its lovely interplay between fruity and briny (or “maritime”) flavours. The weak spot, in my view, is the palate that would greatly benefit from a higher ABV.