Researchers from University of Oxford claim that environment greatly influences the flavor of whisky. The findings of the experimental research reveal that creating environment complementing the flavors of whisky can greatly improve the tasting experience.
In the experiment conducted in multi-sensory bar, The Singleton Sensorium in Soho, London, 440 participants entered three different multisensory rooms designed to highlight the flavors of Singleton of Dufftown single malt whisky.
The first room was a green one with real turf floor, sounds of lawnmowers and birds tweeting. The second was red-based and designed using curved shapes and sound of bells ringing to bring out the taste of sweet dark berries in the drink. The third one was modeled to represent the age and wood finish of the drink using sound of a double-bass, creaking wood and a wood crackling fire, while the scent of cedar wood and a tree.
The participants were asked to note the influence of the room settings on the flavor of the drink. Despite participants being aware that they were drinking the same drink under different settings, they reported a 10-20% change in the experience of whisky.
The Singleton Sensorium is part of a wider study, 'Tasting Notes: Assessing the effect of the multi-sensory atmosphere and ambiance on people's perception of whisky', expected to be published in September 2013.