Todd, Donna, Myra, Aly and I had an incredible time in Scotland this summer. We stopped at a few distilleries, a brewery, some pottery shops, Neolithic ruins and a life-sized chess board. Luck and persistence allowed for a tour of Scapa. (Thanks Todd and Jill!!)
It seems that “new make” is the up and coming home-run seller for the distilleries. Maybe the popularity of American “moonshine” has something to do with it. We are not sure. But straight-out-of-the-still, with just a bit of water to reduce ABV, was on the menu for a few tastings. I think this was frowned upon (like punch in the forehead type) just a few years ago. Whatever the case, we tasted a few.
This is the evening before Orkney at the Anderson. 6/21/13
Swannay Brewery Scapa Special Pale Ale 4.4% Orkney Brewery
-tasted slightly hoppy
-not sweet or sour
This beer was easy to drink. At room temperature it was almost like drinking unsweetened tea except for the buzz.
We had the added entertainment of watching Todd nod off at the dinner table. He had driven all day while we were in various states of consciousness rolling around in the van. Thanks Todd! Oh yea for driving too.
6/22/13 Lynnfield Hotel and Restaurant
We tasted a little before our Highland Park tour. The owner of the Lynnfield had quite a collection of whiskies. He also had a gallon container of new make.
Scapa 25 Year 54% ABV
-smells delicately sweet with a touch of dessert
-after a few minutes smells like bread pudding
-tasted strong peppery with a sweetness
-turns oaky with almost a sweet, minty trailing taste
-with water even more peppery
-sweetness went away gradually as I added water
-smells less and less sweet with alcohol
Adding more than 8 or 9 drops of water ruins this whisky! It is a high ABV that is sweeter without water.