Scapa 20, 2000-2021, Refill Sherry Hogshead 1096, 55.3% – Gordon & MacPhail

Scapa 2000 GM

It’s been years since I reviewd or tasted a Scapa. The ‘other’ Orkney distillery that doesn’t have famous official bottlings and is quite a rarity for independents too. All undisclosed Orkney whiskies are supposed to be Highland Park, and after tasting this and another Scapa recently, that only strengthens that belief.

However, in early spring I suddenly found myself in the possession of two bottles of Scapa. My first two bottles of this distillery, to be precise. A review of the other one will follow at some point, but let’s do this modern sherry bottle from Gordon & MacPhail’s Connoisseur’s Choice rnage now.

20 years old a sherry cask sure left a color to this, even though it was a refill cask. It’s not dark as cola but there’s no mistaking it. Let’s find out if that translates to the palate too!

Lots of baking spices with black pepper, ground ginger and clove. Quite spicy, but also an interesting scent of honey glazed ham, somehow. It becomes a little bit more sweet with some time. Not unlike gingerbread.

The palate starts with that same flavor of honey glazed ham, but with spicy sherry and some dry peppery heat. Dry oak, lots of spices and gingerbread. There’s also a bit of a chocolatey sweetness, with some syrupy thickness.

The finish is slightly more typical for a sherry cask whisky, but it keeps the slightly meaty edge to it. Quite a long finish that sticks with cocoa powder, honey and spices.

The distillery character is quite trumped by the whisky, or maybe that’s Scapa’s trick, that they provide a canvas for the cask.

It’s quite unliky virtually all whiskies I’ve had in recent memory, and because it’s a very tasty thing, I am quite liking this. More than I expected to like anything that is so cask driven.



About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm very interested in booze, with a focus on whisky. I like to listen to loads of music and play lots of Magic: the Gathering, and board games too. I'm married to Anneke, have two daughters Ot and Cato, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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