Review #537. Scapa 10 Gordon MacPhail

Review #537 | /r/Scotch Review #192 – Scapa 10yr – Gordon MacPhail

The Schtick: This is a 10 year old independent bottling from Gordon and MacPhail featuring a cask from Scapa. Scapa IB’s are oddly uncommon, and their OB offerings are also not wildly popular, nor diverse. That said, there has always been a sweet spot in my heart for the now defunct Scapa 12. This was on sale, and given my love for “the lesser Orkney”, I had to give it a go.


Distiller: Scapa (Orkney)

Bottler: Gordon MacPhail (Independent Bottler)

ABV: 43% ABV

Age: 10 Years

Source: Bottle


Nose: Apples, pears, confectioners sugar. Faint smokiness, pepper, limes and also a faint earthiness / breadiness.

Taste: Medium mouthfeel, little heat. Sweet honey, orange peel, pepper and faint tobacco. The smoke is smoldering and growing a hair. Lime note is back.

Finish: Medium long, sweet with honey and a much richer smokiness. Butter cream and orange peel compliment nicely.

Overall: Let’s have a real talk moment here. This bottle isn’t winning and awards, but it didn’t bring me down, either. Lately, I’ve been looking for a “palate vacation” bottle. As pretentious and silly as that sounds, after tons and tons of cask strength offerings, sometimes it’s nice to work through something that’s simple and lower proof. Kind of give things a rest for a little bit. This has been especially true for me lately and this bottle did the trick nicely. I didn’t expect it to be wildly complex or breathtaking, but I was actually pretty surprised. At the end of the day, I’m going to give this a Rank 6 – it’s good, surprisingly complex and a really nice look at off profile Scapa, but it’s not beating me over the head with tons of notes or the best whisky of the year. Which is fine, vacations exist for a reason and this was a wonderfully relaxing bottle to sit and just enjoy. Good on you, Scapa.

Thanks for reading!

Rank: 6

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Decoded:

1 | Disgusting | So bad I poured it out.

2 | Poor | I wouldn’t consume by choice.

3 | Bad | Multiple flaws.

4 | Sub-par | Not bad, but many things I’d rather have.

5 | Good | Good, just fine.

6 | Very Good | A cut above.

7 | Great | Well above average

8 | Excellent | Really quite exceptional.

9 | Incredible | An all time favorite

10 | Perfect | Perfect


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