Scapegrace Anthem

At Scapegrace the team embraces a Grain to Glass ethos. They really have their own unique process to whisky making which shows from their use of Manuka smoked grains for this Scapegrace Anthem. We see wood- instead of peat-smoking techniques more often these days. But for me personally, Manuka will be a first.

Scapegrace aims to create whiskies marked by nature and steeped in their unique climate of fiercely intense summers and deeply frigid winters. A malt born of its surroundings, in their own words. And though beautiful words are, in the end, just about marketing. We know from experience that an intense climate can give amazing flavours to a whisky. Just think of the World’s Best Single Malt of 2023, the Milk & Honey Sherry Cask. Made in an intense climate, and full of flavour. So, let’s find out how that intense climate worked out for the Scapegrace Anthem!

Tasting Notes – Scapegrace Anthem

ABV: 46% (92 proof)
Age: NAS
Distillery: Scapegrace
Chill-filtered: No
Natural Colour: Yes

Apple wood chips soaked in Calvados, smoking away on the bbq. Raisins, walnuts, fresh cut hay. Green tea, dried apricots, and warm apple pie. There’s plenty of complexity here, and there’s at least half a dozen of apple notes here. From cider to grandma’s home-made apple compote. If you like them apples, you’ll love the nose of this dram!

There’s plenty more calvados notes on the palate, so the apple remains strong. But it’s paired with heaps of pepper, brown sugar, and crème brûlée this time. Some lightly charred, maple syrup covered, bacon streaks hint at the smoky element of this dram. But it’s much more subtle than actual peat, if anything here it’s just a beautiful whisper.

A medium long finish is paired with notes of apple syrup, brown sugar, molasses and liquorice root. The mouthfeel is rather dry and shows a completely different impact of the Virgin French Oak than it had on the Scapegrace Vanguard.

This is definitely a very appely dram. But I like apples, so I don’t mind it all too much. There are some nutty and grainy notes as well. But all-in-all it’s the apples that steal the show. The layer of smoke here is delicate but delicious and unlike anything I found in other drams. The only thing that vaguely reminds me of this type of smoke is that from the Thy Bog, a beechwood smoked malt.

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