A sensory journey from local roots to global innovation

Sara King/ May 29, 2017/ Oral Presentation/ 0 comments

The history of whisky has played an integral role in its marketing and popularization. Spirits started off reflecting their geographic origins and local materials. The growth of blended products in the nineteenth century addressed variability and seasonality. In the last four decades, the character of the production from individual distilleries has blossomed as a differentiator and presented an opportunity to market premium whisky. The story behind each spirit has created a strong branding experience which has been imitated globally. New offerings have been designed to deliver a unique sensory enjoyment and expand the brand story to entertain connoisseurs and aficionados. Now, spirits are being produced by more and more small distillers globally, who are attempting to appeal to the search for novelty amongst the world’s premium spirits buyers.

Where once we had geographic origin and tradition defining the status of a whisky, now we have an explosion of variations that deliver an entirely new experience. At Compusense we have examined the whisky journey over the last couple of decades using descriptive sensory profiling of some iconic brands and have added some brand new offerings to the map. The use of feedback calibration training of our panel delivers an objective sensory perspective on where whisky has come from and where it’s going. It is interesting to compare the promotional tasting notes with the analytical sensory results. All of this information is presented in “Sensory Maps” of the whisky journey.

How do we know where we are going unless we know where we’ve been?

Findlay, C. J., & Castura, J. C. (2017). A sensory journey from local roots to global innovation. 6th Worldwide Distilled Spirits Conference. 29 May – 1 June. Glasgow, Scotland.


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