There are times in life when all we want is a little bit of sweetness. We want something that touches the tongue in a way we remember from youth, when we’d raid the corner drug store with a ten spot for a week’s supply of candy that never, ever lasted a full week.
For me, there’s a Scotch for every occasion, except of course for going on the wagon. When my palate begs for a taste of sweetness in the uisge beatha, I will quite often reach for the tall bottle with the single sail, Scapa.From amongst the Standing Stones of the Orkney Isles
My first taste of Scapa was shared with a friend of mine who was in a metal band at the time, but given that his last name starts with “Mc”, and we all wore kilts at his wedding, I trusted him when he said “You have to try this Scotch.” I’ve no cause to regret that trust, as Scapa has become a bottle that I keep in the bar in perpetuity.
Scapa’s distillery has been turning it out since 1885, and has a sort of hybrid flavor stuck between the Speyside sweet and the Islay salty. Recently refurbished, the distillery is currently run by 3 men, and I imagine they’ve got to be some drunk bastards on quality check day. I cannot fathom that the human spirit could resist just another taste or eight to be sure it’s really that good.
Scapa has a great flavor, and the sweetness is just part of it, not the whole of it. I taste the heather honey in it, along with a touch of salt air from the Orkney Isles, and of course the perennial malt, though the barley is surprisingly unpeated. The peat is in the water only. This makes for a very different taste from an island scotch, sweet as young love but with a little bit of a bite on the finish.
This is one of those Scotches that I just love to sip after dinner, a great replacement for cake or pie, at least according to my waistline. It’s also one of those lovely affordable Scotches, though at my upper end now that they’ve switched to the 16-year. A bottle chimes in around $70.
So the next time your palate cries for sweet but complex, by all means, remember Scapa! Let the heather honey touch your tongue, and Slainte!