Distillery visit: Scapa

It is fitting that the home of the overlooked Scapa malt is as understated and unassuming as the produce itself. The bay of Scapa is a short distance from Kirkwall on Orkney, which is home to Highland Park. Unlike it’s illustrious Orkney compatriot, Scapa does not offer a visitors centre nor welcomes any forays into its grounds.

As you can see the distillery is at the end of a country lane, just off the main road out of Kirkwall. I use ‘major’ loosely here as while the roads are well maintained on the island, compared to the Scottish mainland there are no motorways or dual carriageways. Such is the welcome pace of life and traffic on Orkney. It is effortless driving and extremely easy to criss-cross the islands at a rapid pace. It is just a shame that unlike Islay, there aren’t more whisky adventures to be had here. While I will write in future instalments about the Highland Park experience, visiting Orkney and some new bottles. Scapa still warrants a mention.

To be fair, the distillery is not hugely accessible as a single track road forms the main passageway and at the neck of this road is a small cluster of residential houses. I’d gladly book the bed and breakfast if it included a Scapa tour! However, these locals are probably tolerant of the workers traffic and any lorries from Chivas taking away Scapa for distribution. As my overhead photo shows, it’s proximity to a coastline infuses Scapa with a unique character. If you have the opportunity then it is well worth paying that little bit more to try Scapa with its delightful 16 year malt. You may also take a walk along the bay, which will provide further photo opportunities of the distillery.

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