Scapa single malts can be found in 12, 14 and 16 year ages, the 16 year being most common following a re-launch of the brand in the early 2000's. Scapa is surprisingly approachable for an island malt. Silky and full-bodied, marmalade and honeyed oak dance with a light, weaving smoke to create a delightful play of feeling and flavor.
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Weather in the Orkney's is no joke. Scapa claims the general wetness of the place leads to less spirit lost to the angel's, through evaporation. Three cheers for rainy days in Scotland!
Scapa sits on a stretch of ocean called the Scapa Flow, famous as the final resting place of the German naval fleet scuppered at the conclusion of World War I. One hopes they were offered a consolation drink at the shore.
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The fierce environment of the Orkney's, are home to the Scapa distillery. Located on the mainland near the town of Kirkwall, only one distillery in Scotland is farther north.
Scapa distillery was founded in 1885, by John Townsend of Macfarlane & Townsend. After voluntary liquidation in 1934, production resumed in 1936, when the Bloch Brothers assumed responsibility for the workings. Hiram Walker took over Scapa in 1954.
It was mothballed briefly in the 90s, but with staff on loan from Highland Park a few months out of the year, production resumed in 1997. Refurbishments took place in 2005, just prior to the sale of Scapa to Chivas Brothers, now Pernod.
Scapa can produce roughly 1 million liters of Whisky each year, drawing water from the nearby Lingo burn to run its two stills. Scapa had its own malting floor until 1966, but now imports peated malts from mainland Scotland.
Scapa's warehouses stand at the edge of the sea, its collection of exclusively ex-Bourbon casks weathering the maritime climate as they age.
A transcript for non-audio situations
The Whisky we produce here at Scapa is far from a typical island malt. Crafted as it is by the master distiller and a small team of dedicated artisans, just five of us at the last count, using traditional methods and skills that have changed little since 1885. Because unusually for a Whisky, even an island Whisky, every step of our process from the milling to the distillation is overseen by hand. And every drop of the precious liquid we produce passes through just a single [inaudible 00:00:30], a unique barrel sheet [inaudible 00:00:37] still, the last of its kind in the industry and a more traditional onion sheet spirit still combine to create the rich fruity flavors that can be found in every single bottle of Scapa.
Us Orcadians are tough men. We've made our home in these beautiful unpredictable islands that demand hard work and resilience from their inhabitants. We're products of our environment, and we're proud to produce a single malt Whisky as a product of its environment too. You see, to us, Scapa, it's more than Scotch. It's Orcadian.