Scapa Glansa Review

“Where There’s Smoke, There’s No Fire”

Whisky Review # 706

Country: Scotland
Region: Highlands - Islands - Orkney
Brand: Scapa (The Orcadian) Glansa Batch GL 01 
Bottled: August 2016
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age: NAS
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 40%
Maturation: Bourbon casks with Peated Whisky Cask Finish   
Chill Filtration: Yes         
Price Range: US$ 50-70 (March 2018) 
Buying Advice: 😒 Light Simple Malt. Negative P/Q ratio. Pick it up at 40 US$. 


Amber (Artificially Coloured)


Light, Young, Waxy, Sweet and Fruity. A few Floral notes as well. The influence of the Peated Whisky cask Finish is rather limited. The Fruit Flavours are a bit Artificial like in Candies. 

Main Aromas:

Malt Biscuits, Slightly Burnt Buttered Toast, Toffee, Nuts, Heather-Honey, Straw, Apple, Pear, Tinned Pineapple and Cinnamon,         

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Smoke, Dirty Earth, Cigar Ashes, Vanilla, Herbs, Salt, Banana, Nectarine, Oak and Cocoa.

Related image


The Delivery is very Thin, almost Watery. On the Palate, the Glansa is Young and still Nervous. Unfinished business. The Smoke and Dirty Earth are noticeable now but they remain in the background. Mostly Bitter-Sweet. A few Meaty and Sour notes as well. 

Main Flavours:

Burnt Toast, Toffee, Salted Caramel, Brown Sugar, Heather-Honey, Citrus Peel, Toasted Barley, Wax, Nuts, Apple, Pear, Nectarine, Cinnamon and Pepper.    

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Smoke, Dirty Earth, Vanilla, Raw Meat, Resin, Banana, Oak, Tobacco, slightly Sour Grapes, Caffe Latte and Aniseed.      


On the Short side. A little Dry towards the end. The Finish is Bitter-Sweet and quite Thin. I find Sweet Barley, Toffee, Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Cinnamon, Oak, Wax, Nuts, Pepper, Nectarine, Aniseed, Earth and very light Smoke. I also detect a minor Metallic off-note.

Drinking Advice:

No need to add Water to this Glansa. It's already Thin enough as it is.

Rating: 80 

Nose: 20.5 - Taste: 20  - Finish: 19.5 - Overall: 20   

Drinking Experience:

Light and Young mainstream Single Malt. Both drinkable and forgettable.  


The Glansa was released in September 2016 as part of the new distillery line up. Its name was taken from the old Norse word for "Shining Storm-Laden Skies". The Maturation Process is unique for an Orkney Single Malt.Regular NAS Scapa Spirit matures in Ex-Bourbons casks before being finished in Oak casks that previously held Peated Whisky. Most likely these casks were purchased on Islay. Certainly an interesting experiment. The Peated Finish was quite Short though apparently and its influence is very limited. The Glansa is one of those forgettable and overpriced mainstream NAS Malts. Very nice presentation but a quite average Malt. There's nothing really wrong with it but it lacks depth and character. It's quite lifeless and bland, especially on the Palate and in the Finish. A drinking whisky rather than a sipping whisky. So far Scapa has not been able to offer a truly decent replacement for the discontinued 16 Years. And that's a pity! 

Jan van den Ende                                                                   March 27, 2018

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