Review: Scapa 16 Years Old

Review: Scapa 16 Years Old


Scapa is a relatively small outfit on Orkney Island, which is why Scapa gets to put the awesome word “Orcadian” on its label.

Inside the bottle is a 16-year-old Scotch, which replaces the distillery’s 14-year single malt (which, in turn, replaced the distillery’s 12-year-old). Scapa’s just a one-whisky outfit, it seems.

This is a racy whisky, with a rye, grain-like character. A touch of peat smoke fades into a modest butterscotch sweetness, touched with notes of sage and black pepper. Scapa is made with local water that smells of heather, which certainly accounts for some of the greenery notes in the glass, but it’s the briny salt that comes on strong in the finish that reminds one that this is an island whisky at heart.

Sweet and salty in one glass? You bet. It’s a lively expression… but one which might drive whisky traditionalists into fits. Definitely one to try at least once. You’ll either run away immediately or be back for more in minutes.

80 proof.

B+ / $75 /

Scapa 16 Years Old




Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.


  1. Jean Gibson on January 2, 2010 at 10:04 am

    Where can I buy Scapa in Richmond, VA?

  2. stan on January 27, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    My friend gave me a glass of Scapa to try this last weekend.
    Wow, I really loved it.
    Self note: I have tried several different scotch brands, and this is my new (below $100/bottle) favorite.

  3. cato on April 15, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    This stuff is delicious. Its only shortcoming is that it is bottled at 40% ABV. The result is that it makes you work for the nose. Other than that it is a beautifully crafted malt with some wonderful fresh notes, a sexy smooth oily pallet, and a nice medium smoke and slightly brine finish. 16 years old is a great age for this malt. It doesn’t replace my Orkney favorite (Highland Park) but this is a really nice single malt.

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