Wednesday 21 March 2018

Experiencing The Singleton of Glen Ord Sensorium

Tonight The Singleton launched a first in Hong Kong - The Singleton of Glen Ord "Sensorium", opening to the public this coming Thursday at the Taste of Hong Kong festival.

"What's a Sensorium" you might be wondering?

Think of it as a giant mash tun, in which guests sit around a circular table, tasting The Singleton (Glen Ord 12, 15 and 18yo), surrounded by 360˚ video projections showcasing the distillery and other projections designed to both heighten and challenge the senses.

"Sight" and "taste" aren't the only senses covered, of course. "Hearing" is covered by speakers around the room projecting the sounds of the distillery and its Highlands environment, whilst "touch" is covered by a container of barley and "smell" is taken care of thanks to special jets pumping out aromas of malted barley and other notes you might find in the whiskies.

The launch included a sneak preview of the sessions to be held over the 4 day festival, led by Ervin Trykowski, The Singleton Global Scotch Whisky Ambassador.

The 15 minute session opened with Ervin's golden rule - that he should never speak for more than 5 minutes without allowing guests a dram (sounds good to us), and before we knew it we were nosing and tasting The Singleton of Glen Ord 12yo, finding it's fruity, apple/pear nose and it's sweet, juicy green apple palate. 

As an example of how our perception of smell and taste can be influenced by external factors, Ervin changed the projection to the image below - designed to invoke thoughts of sweetness...and I'd be lying if I said it didn't subtly change my thoughts on the whisky for a brief moment (bringing out a sweeter, more red apple like note).

Whilst the session was rapid, Ervin did manage to touch on the production process, pointing out a few interesting facts about Glen Ord, like its use of 100% on-site malted barley, and its 11 million litres per annum production capacity (operating 24/7).

The most interesting part for me however was how external factors like smell and sight can influence the way we taste, and in that regard, the 15 minute session delivered in spades. 

Whilst hardcore whisky geeks may not learn anything new about the whiskies or their production, you may just learn something about how you perceive taste / smell, and how your senses interact in a unique environment.

The Singleton of Glen Ord Sensorium is open from Thurs 22nd March to Sun 25th March at the Taste of Hong Kong festival. Tickets are $188HKD (which includes entry to Taste, usually $150 on its own), available from Ticketflap.


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