As we boarded the plane to Kirkwall, a few things came to mind. One, there weren’t that many people making this trip with us. Two, the plane was a very small propeller plane, aside from my flying anxiety kicking in, I knew we were going to struggle to get our carry-on to fit under our seats. And finally, I was expecting us to arrive to a cold rainy Kirkwall. To our salvation, not having that many people on the plane allowed us to store our luggage on empty seats and we landed safely, to a perfectly sunny day in Kirkwall, which according to our taxi driver, was very rare. Luck was definitely on our side and that was made evident when we saw the horse and rainbow.
If you aren’t familiar with Kirkwall, Kirkwall is the capital of Orkney. The Orkney Islands are off the northeastern coast of Scotland.
As soon as we checked ourselves into the hotel we decided to walk from there to the Scapa Distillery in hopes to get there before it closed. Our decision to walk there was not a wise one, as it was further than we thought, (to my defense, because I live in Boston I think everything is walkable), however it was a beautiful walk and we made it with two minutes to spare for the last tour.
Scapa is a small distillery owned by Pernod Ricard and is 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. During the Viking era it anchored their long ships and it was the UK’s chief naval base during WWI and WWII. The Scapa Flow provided easy access to both the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.
The tour was rather quick and sadly, we weren’t allowed to take pictures inside the distillery. Let me be frank, we were a little surprised that we weren’t able to take pictures. This was the only distillery we had visited thus far that didn’t allow this. During other distillery tours there were areas we weren’t allowed to use photography because of the proximity to high levels of alcohol, but those areas were minimal. Inside the Scapa distillery, you are not allowed to take pictures – period.
After the tour we got a chance to try two of their whiskies, one of them being their Glansa (meaning shining storm-laden skies) single malt and we enjoyed it, so much so, we bought a bottle.
Glansa is aged in American Oak casks and finished in peated casks.
Nose: oak, vanilla, smoke and fruit
Palate: peach, lightly sweet with subtle notes of honey, smoke and vanilla
Finish: light lingering notes of smoke and peach
We purchased the whisky because of how well it incorporated sweet and smoke. The smoke notes are subtle but they balance very well with the sweet peach. It is smooth, creamy and fruity. I found it easy to be an easy to drink whisky and a good option for those who are beginner whisky drinkers.
Overall, we were glad to have made it there. The location of the distillery is absolutely breath taking and majestic like, making our trip there worth while.
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.