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1993 Gordon & Macphail Scapa Single Malt Scotch Whisky (350ml)
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- ABV 40%
Located on the mainland of Orkney, one of a group of islands off Scotland's northern coast, also home to one of Scotland's most revered distilleries, Highland Park. Scapa's unique flavour profile has been attributed to their water source, one that contains peat, but also involves a comprehensive pipe system from source to distillery which reduces exposure to contaminants on the water's journey from the source. Scapa's barley is malted without the use of peat smoke, yet some peat influence can be found in the whisky, though not in a smoky form, rather it comes across as added depth, richness or sweetness, and sometimes with an almost oily mouth feel. The whisky is matured in warehouses that are very close to the sea, which in some minds gives Scapa it's unusual salty tang. Although this is disputed.
For many, however, Scapa's idiosyncracies have been lost following Pernod Ricard's change of direction for the brand. What was once a charming and unusual whisky appears to be re-positioning itself as a "luxury" label, heavily filtered, and bottled at a lower strength, proudly proclaiming it's bold and smooth characteristics. For some, this new styled Scapa is appealing, for others, a tragedy. It's independent bottlings like this that can offer an interesting perspective into the changing world of Scotch Whisky. No doubt this Gordon Macphail edition will make for an intriguing 'vertical' tasting.
Other reviews... n20 t21 f22 b22. If people still think G&M colour their standard malts, have a look at this! Naturally clear. 40% 85 points - Jim Murrays Whisky Bible 2013size>