Gordon and Macphail: Scapa 1993 (Scottish Island Single Malt Whisky: 11 Years: 40% ABV)

Visual: Pale yellowed grain.

Viscosity: Slow but thick streaks with some areas coming down in sheets.

Nose: Toffee, quite smooth. Vanilla. Touch of banana. Slight noticeable alcohol. Grain. Water makes for a distinctly more floral whisky.

Body: Big golden syrup comes in after several moments of distinctly light front. Toffee. Water adds sugared almonds, chocolate and honeycomb.

Finish: Charring and chocolate. Truffles. Slight rum filled chocolate liquors.  Water makes even more chocolate filled, but into a drier end. Buttered malt loaf, hint of syrup, lime and chocolate orange.

Conclusion: This is a really sweet whisky, with lots of chocolate, syrup and a very smooth texture. A big counterpoint to the stereotype of the harsh and briny island whisky, and very different to its island brother Highland Park.

This would get sickly fast as the only drink you have for an entire night, but does work well as a one off. It is all sweet flavours with nigh nothing offsetting it.

I did enjoy this as a simple and joyful whisky, distinctly non complex.  It plays with a similar chocolate finish as Bowmore 15 but without the slight harsher edge that keeps that one so very interesting

A cheerful whisky, but not a favourite,

Background: Oddly the bottle lists this as Highland Whisky, when research says this is from the Orkney Islands, the same islands that house the Highland Park distillery.  This particular bottling being matured in Refill Sherry American Casks.  I’ve seen Scapa whisky in the pubs a few times, but have never sampled it before today. Possibly due to the remarkably bland labelling never really catching the eye or the imagination.