Scapa 16

Scapa 16 1

I am FINALLY able to open up some bottles I’ve had kicking around. And that means I now have too many open bottles again.

Someday, someday soon, I’ll figure out how to do things in moderation. In this case it was opening too many bottles, not drinking heavily.

Anyway, as my wife would like me to continue finishing bottles, as she is an enabler lovely helper of booze drinking.

I’ve been nursing the above bottle for awhile now, and feel safe to finally review Scapa 16, ‘the’ Orcadian, from the Sanctuary of Scapa, and all the other names it has. Seriously, I had less nicknames in University, and I had a lot of Nicknames (one was the Legend, but that’s not a story for impressionable minds like Scotchiteers).

Moving along, this is the only OB from Scapa, replacing the 14 year that they used to sell in 2009. While the distillery has been on the island since 1885, they updated the distillery in 2004. So this is a blend of history (which they talk about a LOT on the website) and new trials, such as using the additional 2 years to place it in first fill American oak casks.

Also a shout out to /u/GWCad[1] for doing a full bottle swap for this one. Amazing swapper, even after all the Hell we went through, he still had a smile on his face.

Price: $119.95 (CAD)

Region: Island (of Orkney, that is)

Abv: 40%

Colour: Amber

Nose: Fennel, strawberry, hard candy, grassy, lemon rind, sour cherry, pear

Drinking this, or remembering drinking this, gets the song from the Beverly Hillbillies stuck in my head. Like, this was made by someone who is generally wise, and rich, yet not intelligent in the book reading sense.

Very nice whisky to nose. Just the right amount of sweetness, and spice, good amount of bitterness, and overall quite nice. I’d take this over Glenfiddich 12 any day.

Taste: Lemon, smoke, cocoa, caramel, peanuts

Very nutty. Like, really nutty. Eventually after letting it breathe, it’s all nuts like an Ancient Greek wet dream.

Do you prefer snails or clams?

Finish: Peat, pepper, sugared cranberries, sea salt, cashews

The end of this has the more typical Island taste, with peat, sea salt, and some pepper. Yet after a bit we’re right back to the nuts, like you’re face that time in the Devil’s Orgy.

Or like this great work of music.


Okay, enough being on the nose (Goggles?), but seriously, this is a good, calming drink. It’s 40%, which you don’t notice as much as it’s quite simple. It’s nice to drink, and would be something I’d sit back with more often if it wasn’t priced so high in Ontario.

One thing I’ll note: This is very smooth in texture, and while I usually don’t make that big of deal of texture, and I avoided using “creamy” here to avoid the obvious joke, but also because it’s closer to really good balsamic vinegar in texture (not taste).


Scotch review #144, Island review #13, Whisky Network review #189

1001 Whiskies to taste before you die review #110

101 Whiskies to try before you die review #29

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