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Scapa Distillery, Kirkwall

(4.4/5 based on 75 reviews on the web)
Scapa distillery is a Scotch whisky distillery situated on The Mainland of Orkney, Scotland on the shore of Scapa Flow near the town of Kirkwall. Scapa is the second most northern whisky distillery in Scotland, being half a mile farther south than the Highland Park Distillery.The distillery has one wash still and one spirit still producing a single malt (unblended) whisky. It is an especially honey flavoured whisky, and less peaty than most Island Whiskies. This is because, though the water at the source is peaty, it gets transported to the distillery through pipelines to avoid more contact with the peat. Furthermore, the malt is not dried over peat smoke.The distillery, founded in 1885 by Macfarlane & Townsend, was during the 1950s acquired by Hiram Walker & Sons Ltd (now part of Pernod Ricard) and rebuilt. In 1994 it was mothballed, and faced definitive closure in 2004. During that period, the most commonly available edition was the Scapa 12 years old, which was and still is a most distinctive island whisky for its subtle heathery honey plus sea taste. Still, it was decided to rebuild/restore the distillery, and the first new spirit in 10 years flowed in November 2004. Because of the time-gap, it was decided to stop the 12 years and introduce the 14 years, which is quite different from its predecessor, even though the basic characteristics are intact.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Enjoyed our trip to the Scapa distillery, still quite new compared to some of the other distillers, but still gave a nice tour. Stunning views over Scapa Flow from the site as well which was great. 
  • The brewery is ca can be reached from the town centre on foot in 1 h or by taxi in ca 13 min. guided tours take half an hour or an hour (with tasting) either. Before login is better. Went there on good luck and just two seats were vacant. You can see the career as the alcohol "is finished". Good explanations.
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  • Always been a fan of Scapa Whisky. We visited 27th October last afternoon, I don't know the name of the girl that took the tour, but she did a great job, very informative and enthusiastic (well who wo...  more »
Google
  • Seeing how they make the whisky was very interesting -- how they go from 2.9 tons of malted barley to 13,500 liters per fermentor vat (they have 8 of them!) to the final double-distilled 1,000 liters of whisky per vat. After the tour, you get a glass of their 16-year old Scapa whisky (which is great, without the smoked peaty taste you get with many whiskies, as Scapa don't burn any peat during the process). Unfortunately, you can't take any photos inside the distillery. Also, every distillery has an ~4-week "resting" period in the year when they stop producing whisky, so if you want to see the whisky actually being produced, check first to see if the distillery is actually working. In the Scapa Distillery, this break period is in August. Also, anyone touring the distillery has to be the legal drinking age in their country of residence.
  • New visitor centre, nice place, nice people.
  • If you like Whisky, you'll like this Distillery. A must see when visiting Orkney.
  • Great tour around this small outpost of a distillery. They have been making whisky for over a century but single malts only in the past few decades. they do not peat smoke their spirit so it has quite a unique taste.
  • Joined the distillery tour, very good experience, very friendly and knowledgeable tour guide, and very impressed by their facility, which is not quite automatic, which is why I like it.. preserve the original way to make whiskey