The world’s first taste altering musical playlist has been created to mark the launch of a new whisky from Black Bottle.
Produced in a collaboration between leading experimental psychologist Oxford Professor, Charles Spence and Black Bottle’s master distiller, Brendan McCarron, the tracks are specifically created to alter and heighten sensory perceptions when drinking whisky.
Using a phenomena known as ‘sonic seasoning’, the tracks are designed to take drinkers on a journey of sensory discovery, altering perceptions of taste based on the sounds plays.
Sonic seasoning is the growing scientific field that uses sounds to change the way in which you taste food, for example, high-frequency sounds enhance the sweetness in food, while low frequencies bring out the bitterness.
Professor Spence said: ‘I am fascinated by how our brains process the information from each of our different senses to form the extraordinarily rich multisensory experiences that fill our daily lives.
‘Whisky has a distinctive taste and smell which produces a very specific multisensory reaction for drinkers. When Black Bottle approached me to partner on this experiment, I thought it would be really exciting to see how we could heighten our bodies reaction to the new Alchemy Series.’
The unique experiment was initially previewed at a series of online events, hosted by Professor Spence, but now whisky fans around the world can experience the phenomenon themselves at home, by listening to the sonic tastings playlist on Spotify and downloading a how-to guide on the Black Bottle website.
Craig Black, global brand manager for Black Bottle, said: ‘Black Bottle has a long heritage of experimentation through our expressions and partnerships. It has been fascinating working with Professor Spence on the impact that sound have on our tastebuds.
‘The reactions that we had from the initial tastings was great and now we can’t wait to bring the experience to whisky drinkers everywhere. The sonic seasoning playlist will give whisky drinkers a truly personal experience, whilst also showcasing the layers of complex flavours within the spirit.’
Black Bottle’s Alchemy Series launches with a Double Cask and an Island Smoke. The Double Cask a full-bodied expression created using Spanish casks. A raucous sherry red colour, on the nose the expression shows off notes of charred citrus, wood, wine and warming spices. Whisky drinkers can enjoy a blast of berries and a delicious sweetness of Spanish sherry on the palate, before a long, luxurious finish with notes of toffee, walnuts and robust red wines.
Reminiscent of the beach on a stormy day, Island Smoke is an intense whisky that encapsulates the power of the sea. A blended malt that perfectly balances both unpeated and peated grain, this expression nods to notes of chilli, cardamom and the familiar saltiness of the sea. Burnished gold in colour, on the nose the expression is smoky and offers a surge of exotic spices. Flavours of salt and black pepper crash onto sweet cereal, making way for a blast of citrus sweetness and vanilla. The finish is wonderfully spicy, with a hint of dry sea salt.
For more information and to listen to the playlist, visit: www.alchemyseries.co.uk