A UK study of 441 people conducted by Professor Charles Spence, a fellow of Somerville College, Oxford, suggests that how much you enjoy your whisky can be determined by where you drink it, potentially enhancing the experience by up to 20%.
The study has been cited this week on the BBC television programme Global with John Sopel, in De Staandard, a Belgian newspaper, and on the US news site Examiner.com.
Professor Spence and two academic colleagues ran multi-sensory tests using Singleton Single Malt Scotch Whisky in a ‘laboratory bar’ in London, where drinkers were given a glass of whisky in different rooms – a grassy room where nature sounds were played, a room full of red fruit with accompanying chiming bells, and a room of wooden panels where the sounds of crackling wood were played.
The wood-room experience gave the whisky drinkers their most pleasurable experience, according to the findings of the research. The environment also affected drinkers’ impression of the taste elements in the whisky itself. The whisky was rated as “grassier” in the grassy room, sweeter in the red room and woodier in the wooden-panelled room.
Assessing the impact of the multi-sensory environment on the whisky drinking experience was published in the academic journal Flavour.