Thursday, September 27, 2007
Scapa 23yo, Sherry finish
Douglas Laing, Old Malt Cask 1978-2001
Island Single Malt Whisky
Scapa distillery lives in the shadow of its more famous Orkney neighbour, Highland Park. Scapa flow is the stretch of sea linking the North Sea with the Atlantic. German vessels were sunk there in 1919 and now rest on the sea floor. The Royal Viking Fleet of King Haakon (pronounced hawk-un) was stationed in Scapa flow in the 13th century. Old Norse gives Scapa its name, meaning 'ship' or 'boat'. Find all Scapas enjoyed on the mission HERE.
Douglas Laing is an independent bottler of good repute, but as supplies get tighter and tighter in the whisky industry one wonders from where they will be sourcing casks for the future security of their company. Most indies have bought up or partnered up with distilleries so they have some cask-trading power because in the future, money won't be enough to acquire casks of mature or maturing whisky. What is Douglas Laing's plan?
The company releases bottlings under different brand and blend names. This expression is from their Old Malt Cask range and always bottled at 50%abv. It was finished for 6 months in a sherry cask.
This whisky was voted 'dram of the night', just beating tomorrow drop by one or two votes in the tasting we had in Toronto. Each dram we had is featured this week on the mission. We even had the control to leave 3-4 servings in the bottom of the bottle for the hosts who let us use their flat. Kind or stupid?TASTING NOTES:
Gentle and sumptuous sherry, plums, brown sugar and oak. Very complex nose, with big depth. Salty like peanuts. Creamy honeyed tones. Apples and honey. Earthy. Ginger biscuits. Malt is miraculously still present coming across as a hard, dry, oatiness. Slightly perfumy.
Firm, caressing, sensual mouthfeel. Oatmeal cookies, cardboard, sweetness and fruitiness of sherry balances the musty dry oakiness. Salt-and-sweet where the sherry lingers in a soft oak and cocoa finish.
An excellent Scapa. The sherry compliments the salt and honey-nut distillery character character with the musty vanilla and pulp and paper mill influence from 20-some years in bourbon.
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