Scapa SMWS 17.35 “Very fruity, very tasty”

Thanks to /u/ScotchGuy_To for sharing this with me.

Scapa. How many Scapa have you had? Not many. Me too. They just don’t pop up. I’ve had maybe three (one of them was under a different name), and that’s nearly bragging country if I didn’t both have a safe way to be confident and viewing it as a negative.

Enter Scapa SMWS 17.35 “Very fruity, very tasty”, an SMWS release from back when they didn’t look like a Crayola Crayon and didn’t lead this reviewer to constantly rant into the void on a regular basis.

Back in the day when this was a good idea and buying from a committee seemed like a good idea, they released an 11-year-old Scapa that was aged in refill ex-bourbon barrels. No finish, no old age, a slightly high price, and a distillery that I haven’t had enough of to make an impression.

Let’s see how it tastes, shall we?

Price: $179.99 CAD

Region: Island

Vintage: 23.01.2002

Age: 11-years-old

Cask Type: Refill Ex-Bourbon Barrel

Number of Bottles: 242

Abv: 56.1%

Colour: 5Y 7/8

Nose: Grassy, orange, dandelion, mangosteen, pollen

Nice grassy note opens into varying levels of acidity then opens to more floral notes. And as a Lowland whore myself, this is doing it for me.

Water opens more tropical notes and then goes hardcore on the pollen like a hippy trying to cure the common cold.

Taste: Rich caramel sauce, pineapple, dandelion, cream

Let’s be honest: Caramel shows up in whisky. A lot. So saying “wow, there’s some caramel” at this point seems like saying the same as “wow this tastes like whisky”. This really tastes a lot like whisky then. Really rich buttery whisky flavour.

Also some tropical, floral, and creamy notes. Doesn’t get that complex, though it’s dancing around and being all tasty like.

Finish: Grass, plantain, orange juice, black peppercorn, honey, plum

Lots of syrup notes. Fruit, heat, syrup notes of honey and orange juice. I recently ranted about not liking orange when it’s the main part of the show. This isn’t that. This is sugar mixed with orange, and then goes along.

If anything this is the right time to use orange, as a marinade, not as the main star. No one likes orange that much, or if they do, find out if they have children bodies in their basement (this is all a joke btw).

Conclusion: Very honey/syrup forward dram. Can hit really close to the “wow that’s a lot of sugar” level without going too over the line. I enjoyed how it played up the honey/floral aspects throughout, how it uses acidity to play up good fruit, how it shows off aspects of the distillery, and was tasty.

Does it ever get super complex? Not really. But I’d be happy with a bottle.


Scotch review #1346, Island review #147, Whisky Network review #2017

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