We’ve all had our “Aha!” moment with whisky at some point in our lives. For me it probably happened via a sip of Maker’s Mark or Johnnie Walker Black way back in my misspent youth. For Carin Luna-Ostaseski, the founder of SIA Scotch Whisky, her “Aha!” moment occurred via a sip of Oban 14 (that’s a pretty solid start if you ask me!). While my “Aha!” moment led to a never ending whisky journey that eventually led to me sharing my non-sensical and booze infused ramblings with you on our little corner of the blogosphere, Carin’s “Aha!” moment eventually led her to working with Douglas Laing & Company to develop a blended Scotch whisky that would “appeal to a modern palate” (a gateway whisky perhaps?).
Below are a few words about SIA taken directly from their website:
SIA (pronounced “SEE-a”) is a new, fresh and exciting Scotch Whisky created specifically to appeal to a modern palate. The striking amber color of clover honey, SIA awakens the nose with citrus and spice and opens the palate with the smoky vanilla crunch of a crème brulée. The finish is long, smooth and refreshing with hints of hazelnut and toffee.
SIA is distilled in Scotland and matured, blended and bottled by third-generation crafters Douglas Laing & Co., Ltd. from a perfectly balanced blend of Speyside, Highlands and Islay malts. SIA is imported by Spirit Imports, Inc. SIA is 43% Alcohol by Volume/86 Proof.
As many people have inquired, the name SIA means “six” in Scottish Gaelic, which happens to be the founder’s favorite number.
And now for our impressions of this blended Scotch whisky…
- ABV: 43%
- Appearance: Pale golden color.
- Limpd: Alcohol, brine and pipe tobacco followed by a little bit of butterscotch.
- G-LO: A wee bit of alcohol intensity that subsides quickly. Once you work past that, I’m getting lots of fruitiness of the green pear or green apple variety. Also getting vanilla, toasted almonds, grass, and a very light hint of peat way off in the distance.
- Limpd: A little sweet with spun sugar and some cake batter followed by a mild, spicy heat that continues well into the nice, long finish. The finish has a little bit of sea spray and just the smallest amount of peat.
- G-LO: Very smooth with just a touch of alcohol burn at the onset. The vanilla and lightly spiced apple/pear are there at the onset. As you approach the middle, a bit of light cinnamon and clove spiciness makes an appearance. At the finish, you get a hint of smokiness that is backed by the lightly spiced fruit. The flavors linger for quite a while with a bit of herbal notes coming through in the aftertaste.
- Limpd: This was a very nice whisky. At an ABV of 43%, I thought it might be too “soft” but there was so many flavors and so much balance that I didn’t notice the lower ABV. This was easy drinking and made me regret my limited sample size. Well done!
- G-LO: I love trying a new whisky with zero expectations. Although I had heard of SIA before, I had absolutely no preconceived notions with regards to how I thought it would taste. So did I like it? Yes I did! SIA is very well balanced and very easy drinking. While it may not be the most complex blended whisky that I’ve ever tried, it has a great deal of character, and I definitely recommend giving it a try.