I would say that this single malt is the one that got away. That person you dated when you were far too young and capricious to be in a serious relationship but one was serendipitously thrust upon you, anyways. This is that memory of hot and fast love with someone who never had to witness you fart at dinner or listen to you drunkenly tell someone, in the ugliest way possible, that they’re an idiot. The memory does you a disservice though. You’ve glossed over some truth and slapped a coat of romantic paint on it to make it look nice. You know this because, like all heart sick fools, you tried to revive the relationship once; instead of the lost flower you remember, you created a blood thirsty zombie that wanted nothing more than to eat your face and murder your friends. It should have been left undisturbed in its grave, left to be what is was. Meh. Nobody’s perfect.
I like this one a lot but after trying it against a few of my other favorites this one has a hard time making a case for itself. It’s a simple dram, but as with all things in life, the simplest can be pretty awesome, too. Not all whisky needs to be extreme or complicated, and this extremely drinkable malt is a testament to that. She is, however, chill-filtered, a very boring 80 proof, only listens to lazy anarcho-punk music and all her friends (not that she had many) hate me, now. A few years ago she moved west to join a hipster commune where she doesn’t shower or have friends that eat meat anymore. Also, this is the only current official bottling from the distillery so there’s not a whole lot of exploring left to do here.
Sour grapes aside, there’s no denying its beauty in context. Don’t let this one leave too soon. In time, you’ll be old and fat and then all you’ll have left is the torment of wondering about days that could have been. There was a lapse in production a few years back, which is probably why Scapa’s age statement has been steadily creeping upward over the years while their stocks catch up. Who knows how long the 16 will be around…
Nose: This is a mellow Islander with only a wisp of the ocean. Oreos and orange cream soda. Floral. Strawberry (?) danish or some other buttery tart. A little cedar and lime sharpness but firm with a perfect amount of malt. Dried leaves and fresh linens hanging in the sun. Sage and a touch of white pepper.
Palate: All the orange and vanilla from the nose. Jasmine tea and butter cookies with a shock of pear. Hints at being a little peppery with fresh grated lime zest as it finishes. Mouth-wateringly polished and calming. This isn’t a monster by any means, rather a delicious spirit worth spending some real quality time with before she starts telling all her friends about that embarrassing thing you do when… naw nevermind. Just go for it.
Supple and classy, this one may be Goldilocks’s Mama-Bear: juuuuust right. Bold, sweet, sharp, malty, fruity and flowery in all the right ways. Not overpowering. Just there and full of sweet, malty goodness.