Gordon & MacPhail Series Post 1 of 6: Scapa 10 year-old

Nearly two weeks ago my boyfriend and I attended a Gordon & Macphail (G&M) tasting led by their lead importer Gary Kiemach at Federal Wine and Spirits here in Boston. We got a chance to taste six of their whiskies and I thought I would write about them in a series form, starting with the 10 year-old Scapa. The series will not happen consecutively, as I have other tastings to throw in between, but in the end there will be 6 of them.


This is not the first time I have written about G&M before. If you follow my blog I have written about them on a number of occasions, but if by any chance you have missed those posts and aren’t aware of who they are, they are an independent whisky bottlers in Scotland.

Companies like G&M buy casks from distilleries and continue to age them for a number of years before putting them out. What I was not aware of and learned from Kiemach that night was that one of the unique things about G&M is that they don’t just purchase these casks and age them. They first truly think about these whiskies what casks would bring out their best flavors. Even though they may acquire the whiskies in a certain cask, their aging process might mean that those whiskies end their aging process in different casks to truly enhance the flavors.


Scapa was first established in 1885 in the Orkney Islands. G&M not only acquired the casks from Scapa but they also acquired the original label you see in the bottle they put out. The label is meant to promote the rich history of the distillery. The distillery was named after the Scapa Flow, which is a body of water. The area around the body of water was used as a deep-water anchorage for trading ships. The Scapa Flow provided easy access to both the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.

Pernod Richard now owns the distillery. It’s a small distillery managed by a staff of only three. Believe it or not, this shows growth because at one only two people managed the distillery. The three people in the distillery do manage the day-to-day operation of the entire distillery. It is those three people that help produce their 16 year-old whisky.

TASTING – 10 year-old Scapa

Nose: Sweet with notes of citrus

Palate: apples, honey and hints of citrus with a nice burn in the end

Finish: this whisky is extremely creamy, smooth and it’s very light. It was actually one of my favorite of the lot. It’s not one we purchased, because in the end, we didn’t want to break the bank before we left the event, but nonetheless it was tasty and definitely wonderful.

This 10 year-old Scapa by G&M is worth the try. It’s a light everyday whisky. It’s a whisky you can enjoy before or after a meal. It is light enough to even convert the non-whisky drinker. A bottle would cost about $70. If you come across it. I do recommend you try.


PS – If you are in the Massachusetts and were interested in a G&M tasting they are going to be at Julio’s Liquors, in Westborough, MA for Julio’s Whisk(e)y Road show on Saturday October 23rd.

Note: The contents on my blog are solely my opinion. To me every palate is different! Although I may or may not like a product, I always recommend for people to try it and make up their own minds.

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