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It’s a good thing that the Scotch within was adequate because the bottle really ticked me off.

Now, to carry this thought along.

When a new president arrives in the White House, time is taken to arrange and decorate and adjust to his liking. This is done respectfully, keeping in mind the so well deserving presidents that came before and their preferences. If the president is truly beloved, the workers go to great lengths to see that he is comfortable, not missing a detail in serving his needs. For example, President Reagan, beginning his second term, was well served by those around him who knew his love of jellybeans. President Carter, however, by the end of his first term, for some reason, struggled to get a squeaky wheel of his office chair oiled properly. Perhaps I can guess why.

I would surmise that most folks familiar with the Scotch world know that The Macallan pretty much has the tallest bottles. The standard Macallan bottle measures in at 12.5 inches (with the cap). And I suppose that in a purely legalistic sense (data, history, and the like) The Macallan is due such a physically towering position above the others, so much so, people adjust living space to accommodate. In fact, about five years ago, after searching far and wide for the perfect cabinet to house my collection, I discovered the perfect piece. It was perfect not only because it looked very nice and had all of the space I’d need, but precisely because the taller Macallan bottles would fit– though just barely. In reverent service to The Macallan, I even took the liberty of raising the inner shelf just slightly so that I could maneuver the bottles carefully without any dragging or scraping. The Macallan — Ronald Reagan. Scapa — Jimmy Carter.

I get the sense that there may be some sort of psychological size-envy going on at the bottle design quadrant in Scapa. The bottle is 13.5 inches tall, exactly 3/4 inches too tall for my cabinet! And why?! Yes, the bottle imposes with presidential conviction, “I’m a great Scotch! Vote for me!” But once in office, the whisky itself just kind of, well, gets the job done.

The Scapa 16 does have a sweet and inviting, almost sea-air nose, carrying a calming image of the ocean tide. The palate, nothing too spectacular, offers hints of peaty saltiness. Additionally, there seems to be a little bit of vanilla and a tad bit of something fruity, but for me, the salt prohibited proper identification. The finish is surprisingly light and clean, like a president who leaves the office and you never even knew he was there.

As I said, this edition was adequate. But needless to say, I won’t be manipulating my cabinet in its honor anytime soon. Instead, this menial candidate will be kept in a slight leaning position in a whisky crate in the rear of the cabinet. Still kept among the candidates that matter, I suppose the Scapa 16 year old could be likened to a former president appointed to the position of Ambassador to Canada — nice, respectful, but essentially unnecessary and principally out of the way.