October 2016 Archives

Scapa Skiren

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skiren.jpgSkiren is the latest single malt release from the Scapa distillery to hit LCBO shelves. Located on the remote island of Orkney, just off the northern coast of Scotland, Scapa is arguably one of the lesser known distilleries in the realm of Scotch whisky. Since most Scapa's yearly one million litre single malt output is consumed by the Ballantine's family of blended whisky, the distillery releases very few official bottlings. Lighter than its neighbour distillery Highland Park, Scapa uses a Lomond-style wash still and long fermentation times to produce an oily, unctuous, spirit that's a close reflection of the grain and expresses fruity notes like pear, a twinge of salt on the palate and a chocolatey finish.

It's been a while since we've seen anything from this distillery in Ontario. Scapa attracted the attention of whisky geeks in 2008 with the spectacular 16 year old expression and, later, the delicious 14 year old that replaced it. However, from about 2013 until just recently, it's been difficult to track down a bottle of either aside from the occasional independent bottling. To the surprise of enthusiasts, Scapa announced a relaunch of the brand in 2015 focusing on no-age-statement releases and a new visitor centre where guests can still find some of the prized 16 year old for sale. While NAS bottlings usually make us skeptical, our love for this hard-to-find spirit demanded that we get our hands on a bottle.

Skiren, meaning "glittering bright skies" in Old Norse, is bottled at 40% ABV, bears no age statement and was matured in 100% first-fill American oak barrels. 

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Recent Comments

  • Ryan commented on Wemyss Malts - 8 Year Old "Spice King":

    Mortlach is a polarizing single malt scotch. I've found people either love it or hate it! Have you tried any other Mortlach expressions? If so, how do you think it compares?

  • Ryan commented on Ezra Brooks 7 Year Old:

    Thanks for the comment Dan, please come back when you've opened it. Interested to hear how you think it compares. I'm saving a dram or 2 to compare with the new version...when it eventually surfaces here in Ontario!

  • Mahmoud Ali commented on Scapa Skiren:

    The Scapa 14, which was a very nice whisky and very reasonably priced, was replaced by the 16 year-old. Here in Alberta the 14 was unavailable for some time before the 16 made its appearance at almost double the price.

    I drank most of a bottle of the Skiren earlier this year and wasn't that impressed. Among the other whiskies you mentioned in your review the Aultmore 12 is the one that really impresses.

    Cheers .............. Mahmoud.

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