Whiskey Review: SIA Scotch Whisky - The Whiskey Wash

Whiskey Review: SIA Scotch Whisky

SIA ScotchEditor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a free sample to review by the party behind it. The Whiskey Wash, while appreciative of this, did keep full independent editorial control over this article.

It’s a brave new world, where virtually anyone can take to the Internet with a dream and a sales pitch to petition the public to fund almost anything. SIA (pronounced SEE-a, which translates to “six” from Gaelic) is one such story, a blended Scotch whisky born of a Kickstarter campaign. On the spectrum spanning potato salad to revolutionary software, this Kickstarter success story lands somewhere in between.

Bottled at 43% ABV (86 proof), SIA is available exclusively in the United States at a price of around $45-$50 per 750 ml bottle. The regional whiskies contained within this blend break down to 50% Speyside, 40% Highlands, and 10% Islay. These malts themselves account for 40% of the overall blend, balanced against 60% grain. SIA is blended, matured, and bottled by Douglas Laing & Co.

The main focus of the release seems to be rebranding Scotch away from its smoky and intense reputation. SIA’s creator Carin Luna-Ostaseski claims her intent is to, “…challenge the Scotch stereotype.” I find this to be rather perplexing, because it is precisely the variety within the Scotch world that attracts me. I personally just as readily associate the light crispness of Glenfiddich with Scotch as I do the rich smokiness of Lagavulin.

The packaging for this blend is unique among whiskies, with an hourglass-shaped bottle which is probably intended to be interpreted as more traditionally “feminine” than many of the more standard offerings. The overall aesthetic reflects the philosophy with which the label was established.

Tasting Notes:

Appearance: Honey gold with fairly quick legs.

Nose: Malt, oak, virtually no hint of alcohol. Subtly sweet.

Palate: Sweet, light, clean with a hint of smoke, with vanilla being the most dominant flavor.

Finish: Gentle yet long, with little to no burn. Slight spice to warm up the closing of the drink nicely.

Conclusion:

I have to credit Luna-Ostaseski and company for making precisely what they envisioned. SIA succeeds at being a somewhat welcoming whisky that is unlikely to offend more delicate drinkers. Witnessing a singular vision enter the marketplace from concept to production and distribution is an admittedly interesting phenomenon in itself.

What I cannot say is that the profile of the drink is as unique as promised. Rather than redefining the Scotch experience, SIA enters what is arguably an already overpopulated market without a clearly defined identity once outside of the bottle.

Score: 74/100 [SHOP FOR A BOTTLE OF SIA]