Some scotch whiskies date back hundreds of years and conjure images of old men wearing plaid kilts and sporting impressive facial hair. But SIA, a new whisky that’s distilled and blended in Scotland but based in San Francisco, looks to buck that trend. SIA is the brainchild of Carin Luna-Ostaseski, a female scotch aficionado turned entrepreneur who–after tasting countless single malts and blends–created her own product and funded it via the crowd-sourcing platform, Kickstarter.
Currently available in markets across California, plus Chicago and parts of Florida, SIA is an approachable blend of Speyside (50%), Highlands (40%) and Islay (10%) malt and grain whiskies. Luna-Ostaseski aimed for a refined and versatile whisky, something modern that appealed to novice drinkers without alienating aficionados.
And the result: SIA Scotch Whisky pours a bright hay/gold color in the glass, with a nose full of spice, citrus, honey and vanilla. The entry is soft and the palate opens up to flavors of baking spices, cooked oranges, cereal grains and a dessert-like quality reminiscent of burnt sugar and creme brulee. It finishes easy with notes of toffee, marzipan and nuts, plus a hint of sweet smoke.
SIA is one to watch. The fledgling whisky is straightforward, easy-drinking and very approachable. What it lacks in complexity it makes up for in balance and flavor. And also worth noting: SIA comes in at a very reasonable price point, which is important when you’re looking to appeal to a broad base of drinkers.
– 43% ABV
CE Rating: ★★★★