Scapa Glansa (40%)

It’s been only a few weeks since I’ve written about the death of house styles, and here comes along a sample of the Scapa Glansa, a prime example of the trend. I had a quick nip of the Glansa when I visited Scapa in October, but was unable to take notes, so I’m happy the opportunity presented itself now.

The Glansa is Scapa’s foray into peated whisky, and is Chivas Bros. way of putting the sourced peated whisky casks they buy from other producers to good use.

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The idea of making peated whisky without actually making peated whisky isn’t new. Balvenie tried it with the 17 year old Islay Cask and Peated Cask (Peated Cask reviewed here), and Old Pulteney offered both a 1989 and a 1990 (1990 reviewed here) in a peated cask. This, however, is different, as it’s taking the peated cask concept to the masses in a bottle that costs under £42 making it widely available.

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Scapa Glansa, Batch GL01 (40% ABV)

Appearance: Amber, thin legs run quickly down glass, with quite a bit of residue remaining.

Nose: Very fruity with a light hint of smoke. Canned peaches, fresh apricot, fresh pineapple, honey and vanilla, with a whiff of honeysuckle and smoke mixed on a sea breeze. A few minutes in the glass bring out a maltiness and honey.

Palate: Light mouthfeel, where citrus and peat meet with a dry cigar tobacco smoke and a hint of white pepper and allspice.

Linger: Dry yet fruity, with a light dusting of spice and a definite peatiness that remains in the mouth. Some smoky spice around the gullet


One would have hoped that the era of chill filtered and colored single malts presented at 40% ABV, would go the way of the telegraph and fax by now, at least for new expressions hitting the market. But putting that aside and evaluating what’s in the glass, it’s very well made and is really drinkable. This would be a great way to introduce new whisky drinkers to peated whisky, while being complex enough to serve as an everyday dram for the more advanced tippler.

I’ll go out on a limb here and say that I think that in Glansa, Scapa would have a whisky that could contend for the hearts of anoraks were it presented at 46% (which would then not need to be chill filtered). The primary ex bourbon casks do their jobs, the whisky does not feel young, and the peated casks give some real character to the fruity Scapa spirit. Better still, might I suggest a commercial cask strength version of this?

Official sample provided by Chivas Bros.

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