If you think Scotch isn’t for you…by Paul Mclean of MCLEANSCOTLAND – Scotch Whisky News

If you think Scotch isn’t for you,

Carin Luna-Ostaseski bets she can change your mind!

In 2013, Carin fulfilled a personal dream when she launched her own brand of Scotch – SIA Scotch Whisky. Distilled, matured and produced in Scotland by Douglas McGibbon & Co., Ltd., SIA is a blend of Speyside, Highlands and Islay malts, specifically created to appeal to a contemporary palate.

For Carin, creating something tangible was a real passion, considering most of her 15-year professional career had been spent in the virtual world, designing websites, mobile applications and digital products for companies such as ABC News.com, Reuters, Revlon, Bloomingdales and Sun Microsystems. A pioneer and expert in the area of Internet advertising sponsorships, she has created successful campaigns for clients including Motorola, Compaq, Honda, Lowes, Citibank, Sony, Artisan Entertainment, Allegra and IBM. Her marketing and creative background gave her the experience to identify an untapped consumer niche in the crowded back bar, and a friend who guided her through her first tasting of Scotch began her love affair with the spirit.

Carin was first offered a Scotch when out with friends, but refused it thinking it was “two strong.” But curiosity won out and when queried about preferred cocktails, wines and favorite foods, the friend was able to select a dram that delighted her. The Scotch stereotype was shattered, and Carin realized that there was a brand out there for everyone – particularly those who don’t know they like Scotch, yet. The next several years were spent hosting Scotch tastings, learning about what people enjoy and why. She became an avid student of Scotch and the beverage industry, immersing herself in the business, spending time with Distillers and a myriad of industry professionals, and earning her bartending license. Carin shared her vision for a new refreshingly modern Scotch with Spirit Imports, Inc. and they agreed with the potential, facilitating her introduction to the team at Douglas McGibbon & Co., Ltd., who would ultimately bring her vision to life. She then turned to Kickstarter for funding in what has become one of the crowd sourcing platform’s most successful liquor launches to date.

And now, here is an interview with Carin, Paul asking the questions by the way.

Hi Paul – you asked many questions, you must be more used to this than myself, I hope these are ok;

1) Why you did it, how you did it, and where you want to be in say 5 years. A; I’ve been “in love” with Scotch Whisky for over a decade. One of my biggest joys is in introducing someone to a Scotch that they enjoy, forever shattering their preconceived notions about this spirit- that it’s too strong, that it’s their grandfather’s drink, that Scotch is simply not for them. After running a year’s worth of formal tasting events and countless drams of “research” :), I finally felt as if I had a taste for what the perfect recipe might be to appeal to a modern palate. From there, I began the long and exciting process into creating a new brand of whisky. In 5 years, I hope that SIA enjoys worldwide appeal, and that it’s the spirit of choice to a new generation of whisky enthusiasts.

2) Who helped? A; I was lucky to find some incredible resources along the way. Their expertise and connections helped the process go much more quickly and helped me to understand what I needed to get done, especially by way of compliance with government standards, labeling, TTB and COLAs approval for my label. My importer – Spirit Imports, Inc. was incredible in this process and I’m very grateful to them.

3) Its always interesting to know about the whiskies – without saying what distilleries etc but areas are good and “hints” if allowed. A; SIA is a delicious blend of Highland, Speyside whiskies with a touch of Islay. The color of clover honey, SIA awakens the nose with citrus and spice and opens the palate with the smokey vanilla crunch of a crème brulee. The finish is long, smooth and refreshing with hints of hazelnut and toffee. My hope is that you and your audience of readers will absolutely love it!

4) How you came up with bottle shape, label etc. A; As a Creative Director by trade, great design is very important to me. I went with a bottle shape that was clear, rather than green, so that you could really see the beautiful color of the spirit. The curve of the glass and the height make it stand out just enough on the shelf to feel new and bold, yet not too much to feel as though it was misplaced. The label has a hint of foil and a very modern and crisp logo, very large and readable so that someone sitting at a bar can easily read it from where they are sitting. (My vision has definitely deteriorated through the years pressed up against a computer screen so I know all too well what it’s like to squint across the bar to a shelf in dim light!) – eh! You and me both Carin!

5) What (whisky) plans for the future – range? A; For now I’m just focusing on SIA, no plans on expansion yet.

6)Where can we “visit” you? A: https://www.facebook.com/SiaScotch/photos_stream

As some background I’ve included a link to my Kickstarter campaign. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/siascotch/sia-scotch-whisky

In her personal time, Carin dedicates herself to her many passions including her Cessna 172, and volunteering at a local children’s hospital doing Arts and Crafts with the patients.

She is also a member of the USBG.

Carin Luna-Ostaseski Founder SIA Scotch Visit: www.siascotch.com

Carin was chatting to Paul McLean


www.mcleanscotland.com  Scotland’s best whisky tour company!

www.angelswhiskyclub.com  free worldwide whisky club, Patron Charles Maclean

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