Why Where You Drink Whiskey Matters

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Geo Beats
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A recent study appearing showed people experienced up to a 20 percent difference in taste while drinking from the same glass of whiskey just by being in different rooms.

We know our taste is largely influenced by our sense of smell. But what about other sensory elements? Can our surroundings actually change the taste and experience of food and drink? A recent study appearing in the journal Flavour showed people experienced up to a 20 percent difference in taste while drinking from the same glass of whiskey just by being in different rooms.

441 people drank from and rated the same glass of Singleton whiskey through 3 multisensory rooms, each specifically designed to highlight a different aspect of whiskey: the smell, taste, and aftertaste.

The first room had green lighting, freshly cut grass, and sheep sounds. The second had red lighting, sweet fruit smells, and high-pitched chimes. The last room had wood panels, cedar smells, and sounds of footsteps crunching dried leaves.

Each room had higher ratings of grassy, sweet, and woody flavors respectively. Overall, people preferred the whiskey as tasted in the last wood-filled room.

As lead author Dr. Charles Spence explained, “Sights, sounds, colors, temperatures, and smells change the way we perceive taste.”

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