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Issue 115 - Editors Word

Whisky Magazine Issue 115
October 2013


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Editors Word

Extrasensory perception

It is always nice when something you have thought made a difference finally gets backed up by a little bit of science. In this case it is how your environment changes your perception of the whisky you are drinking.

It seems that whisky companies searching for another dimension with which to hook drinkers into new experiences are turning more and more to environmental influences.

New research released by The Singleton whisky, owned by Diageo, claims that a change of environment can enhance the experience of enjoying whisky by up to 20 per cent.

The study, conducted by Professor Charles Spence, head of crossmodal research at the department of experimental science at Oxford University, ran multi-sensory tests using participants at a specially designed bar in London.

This study was followed by in-lab testing and under both conditions participants reported significant variations in their ratings of the scent, taste and flavour of whisky when tasting in different atmospheres.

The study noted the possibilities for creating specific multi-sensory environments to enhance the experience of drinking whisky.

So whether one wishes to change the environment by changing the lighting, putting on a special soundtrack, or even thinking about the surrounding scents, all can work to change the nuances.

Professor Spence said, “We carried out experiments both in the laboratory and in The Singleton Sensorium, under more realistic bar conditions. The Sensorium saw people tasting whisky in t...

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