Whisky Review: Douglas Laing Old Malt Cask Scapa 1974

Style: Sherry and Oaky

Nose:
Sweet strawberry rhubarb jam showing a decent depth. Nutmeg and ginger spices converge and spread towards the top, followed by subdued gunpowder residue. Vanilla barley-malt, bountiful crushed cranberries, soft oranges notes humming at the back. Finish with dunnage oaky notes to give a slight bitter edge.

Palate:
More red berries rhubarb jam rolling onto the palate. Orange drops crushed, and placed one layer down. Plums, cranberries and goji berries weaving another wave of sweetness at the core. Herbal tone with a lick of mineral notes on the side. Oak comes in from mid-palate, tannins, toasted timber and caramelized crème brûlée stacking up at the back. Bitter sweet.

Finish:
Oak overgrows and ensnares the remaining red liquorice notes. Plums and cherries unlocked overtime, gleaming gently.

Thoughts:
My first ever Scapa, the less-known distillery on the island of Orkney, where the famous Highland Park distillery also resides. Dazzling display of fruitiness conducted by red sherry notes. Smooth, comfortable vibe with nuanced sweetness rise one after another. A tad oaky at the back to my liking, but nonetheless a delicious tipple that makes me feel I should explore more of this distillery. Close to 2 stars.

☆ [Recommended]

[50% • Independent Bottling • 1974 Distilled • 2000 Bottled • Aged 25 Years • Single Cask • Non Chill Filtered • Non Coloured • Adjusted Strength • 524 Bottles • *+]

-Esmond