Aged in 1st fill American whiskey barrel (Jack Daniel’s) with a finish in peated Scotch casks
Scapa, situated just south of Kirkwall on Orkney, was founded in 1855. It switched owners several times before settling down with Chivas Brothers in 2005. Before Chivas bought the distillery, it had been closed many times, and that is why there aren’t many Scapa editions on the market. It uses a very unique washbill, and is the only one to use that in Scotland : a gin washbill. They mostly use first-fill ex-Jack Daniel’s casks for their own whiskies, which then gets re-used to mature a Scapa that can be found in Chivas blends, especially Ballantines 17yo.
The Glansa is one of the two bottlings Scapa has right now. The main difference with its little brother Skiren is that it has an extra finish in ex peated Scotch casks.
Color : amber.
Nose : a wave of tropical fruits and a strong touch of apricots. More full-bodied than its younger brother the Skiren, we have here an extra kick of light smoke and honey. It actually looks like smoked honey mixed with apricot jam.
Palate : oak and a fine presence of peat and smoke. The whole lot is accompanied by slight notes of pears and pineapple.
Final : short and hot, more or less aggressive, with smoke that lasts for some time longer than alcohol.
Comments : definitely better than the Skiren. The use of barrels previously containing a peated whiskey is an interesting addition. It gives a different taste of what can be found in a real peat / smoked whisky.
Ok so this is not a bad whisky. Not at all. It’s just a bit boring. There is no real intensity in the flavors, and no evolution. The biggest problem here is the ABV. 40%. Too low. I understand why it is this way : Scapa doesn’t have a whole lot of bottlings on the market, so the minimum ABV, the more bottles on shelves. It’s important to be seen by consumers. But it’s also important to be well received. At 85$cad, unfortunately, I can find better.