Scapa Special was part of the selection of beers I got from Highland Brewing Company, It wasn’t a beer I had heard much about but when I started to look into it it was a beer that interested me quite a lot, mainly because of the mix of hops used in brewing it but the tasting notes sounded delicious too.
The name Scapa Special comes from the stretch of water which more or less everything used in Rob and Lew’s beers comes down and every pint that leaves the brewery goes back down, it’s apparently one of Britain’s most historic stretches of water playing an important role throughout history. You can read more about Scapa Flow and it’s history here and in a strange but rather cool coincidence, Lew was actually sailing down that stretch of water as he emailed me the info.
Scapa Special pours a lovely golden colour with a decent foamy head, the aromas are of fruit and flowery hops with a litlte bit of biscuity malt and citrus, they aren’t huge but they are more than enough to get your mouth watering.
In the mouth it feels great, the body is a lot fuller than I first expected, it has a lovely light biscuity malt taste followed by some sweet caramel and hints of the hops coming through to give a lovely bitter, grassy hoppy finish with subtle tastes of citrusy lemon and grapefruit. It goes down an absolute treat.
For me it sits somewhere between St Magnus and Orkney Blast in terms of flavour and excitement, its not quite as punchy as the Blast and I didn’t like it as much as the St Magnus (which is my favourite of the Highland Brewing Company beers) but having said that it is an excellent ale that I would (and will) drink much more of.
Highland Brewing don’t make a huge range of ales but the ones they do are truly and honestly lovely.
You can follow Lew on twitter here or you can visit the Highland Brewing Company website here, They also supply a fair amount of beers to pubs in Newcastle so if you are in the area, check out this list for where has them on, you can also buy them from Zak @ Beer Ritz in Leeds.