Having interviewed the very lovely Carin, who is responsible for the vision and the reality, that is SIA, I was lucky enough to be sent a sample, all the way from sunny USA.
Firstly you can click here for my interview with Carin, but here are some of the stats.
SIA is a blend of Speyside (50%), Highland (40%) and Islay (10%) malt and grain whiskies. The youngest whisky in SIA is five years old and the oldest is nine years old.
What Carin says:
SIA is remarkably smooth. The nose is delicate, citrus and spice. SIA opens the palate with smokey vanilla, notes of caramel, and a fruity spiciness from the sherry cask finish. There’s a hint of smoke, but it’s just on the warm finish.
Interesting, so what do I think? Keep reading to find out.
First on the nose is a sharp burst of citrus, lemons, limes and sharp orange with just a touch of pink grapefruit. Next up are fresh grass notes, before a heather sweetness makes itself known. There is a touch of the floral with rosehips and violets. There’s a smooth malted note, like sweet malted biscuits and gentle honeycomb and just a touch of the nutty grains. There’s crème brulee, the prefect combination of silky smooth vanilla and sticky, crunchy, burnt sugar, there’s a little spice too, cloves, ginger, but then this dram gets really interesting…..I’ve found the Sea, which means I’ve found the Islay, oil coated thick hemp fishing ropes. The salty tang of fresh seawater, with just a touch of brine and driftwood smoke whirling around the glass.
This is one smooth dram, the toffee sweetness from the nose is first on the palate, the vanilla caresses your tongue, it’s panna cotta rich yet smooth, there’s milk chocolate and cocoa butter. There’s so much vanilla you could be forgiven for thinking you’ve picked up the wrong drink, but given time it gets a little bolder, hotter if you will. The floral notes on the nose are fleeting on the palate, there’s fragrant heather and a little jasmine and as they fade away, the spices march in.
There’s the ginger and cloves from the nose, but there’s more than that, with touches of paprika which carries the peat through. Plump raisins and sultanas make themselves known, bringing a touch of crisp green apples. The smoke becomes more present, taming the toffee notes, charring them, bringing treacle through and a slight savoury edge. There are fire roasted parsnips and fleshly scallops. The sweetness comes back in for one last hurrah, but it’s ensnared in the fishing nets of smoke and kelp.
Starts off gentle, smooth, and almost unassuming. The sweetness is omnipresent with a gentle nuttiness, which will be the influence of the grain. The floral notes gently kiss the front of the palate, before the smoke and sea come through. Coats the whole mouth, creamy yet oily and the smoke keeps on giving. The honeycomb notes combined with lashings and lashings of vanilla make this so easy drinking, but trust me this is no one trick pony
The honeycomb notes combined with lashings and lashings of vanilla make this so easy drinking, but trust me this is no one trick pony, there are fruits, spices, and that wonderful quality of the sea, which is so Islay. This dram needs time to really open up, because as soon as it does, the fire starts to burn! Only then do you truly appreciate the full amount of flavour, because this dram keeps giving and giving. This really is pretty special. Buy it, buy it now!
Kirsty Clarke (@Kirstyclarke29)