Scapa Skiren

Scapa Distillery

There’s been a lot of chat about Scapa over the past wee while; they’ve recently opened their visitor’s centre and they’ve now released a new non-age statement whisky to sit alongside the 16yo. Rumour has it on the Twitterbook that this NAS bottling will become the new entry level, the current 16yo will be replaced by a 14yo and that, eventually, these whiskies will be joined by a 25yo. Some of you may recall that the 16yo replaced a 14yo expression in 2008, so that gets me wondering how similar the ‘new’ 14yo will be compared to the ‘old’ 14yo. All of this is pure speculation at this stage but one thing is certain: there are exciting times ahead for this often-overlooked-in-favour-of-Highland-Park distillery.

Anyway, without wishing to turn this article into a Daily Mail-esque gossip column, I’m going to focus on the new NAS bottling. Named ‘Skiren’, Old Norse speak for ‘glittering bright skies’, this whisky has been distilled in Scotland’s only remaining working Lomond Still and has been matured exclusively in first fill bourbon casks.

Scapa Skiren
Non-age Statement
40% ABV
$60ish when it’s released in September

Nose: On one hand there’s fresh pear, baked apple, white grapes and dusty lavender. Then there’s honeycomb and some tannin/leathery/liquorice notes on the other. A bit disjointed.

Palate: Initial tropical notes remind me of fruit salad sweets, which give way to light vanilla, creamy fudge, manuka honey and pine wood.

Finish: A real lemon and lime finish, with some oak tannins.

Overall: A close lady-friend of mine who is a massive fan of the 16yo was rather disappointed by this offering. To an extent, I have to agree. Although it’s an interesting whisky, I’m not sure it has enough to make me hand over Her Majesty’s equivalent of $60. The palate and finish are both quite enjoyable, but there’s something on the nose which doesn’t sit too well with me – although I can’t seem to pin it down. Perhaps the bar has been set too high by the beautiful 16yo, but this doesn’t really do it for me.



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