Glenlivet - Sonic Whisky Tasting1

Sonic Whisky Tasting

Reimagining the traditional whisky experience for a new generation of drinkers...

Challenge

Create a whisky tasting experience that could open up the world of single malt to new, younger audiences and dispel preconceptions of the category as stuffy, old fashioned or elitist.

Insight

Younger audiences can be weary of single malt whisky, thinking that it is a category dictated by outdated rules and dominated by a certain type of drinker. For this new generation, personalisation and accessibility are key. They are looking for experiences they can enjoy on their terms. We needed to demystify the process around whisky tastings, eschewing outdated rules to open up unexpected sides to The Glenlivet’s whiskies. In doing so, we could create a whisky tasting experience that was welcoming to new drinkers as well as refreshing and inspiring for the brand’s loyal audience.

Strategy

Looking at a range of whisky tasting experiences, we noticed a number of conventions that we wanted to break. From prescriptive ways in which to sample the liquid and the flavours participants should be tasting, to formal settings and one directional presentation styles.

In order to unlock a personalised experience with The Glenlivet and its whiskies, we needed to find a way to make people think about flavour in new ways, to guide them rather than dictate to them, and to create a format that could be experienced in multiple ways. To do so, we looked to research done by Oxford University’s Charles Spence on how what we see, smell, touch and hear can have a profound effect on the way we taste.

Solution

The Glenlivet Sonic Whisky Tasting is an immersive audio experience designed to show the new generation of drinkers the multitude of ways that whisky can be enjoyed.

Using a bespoke score designed to affect and enhance the flavours in the whisky, the experience guides listeners on a journey through the brand’s history interspersed with accessible and inspiring sampling moments. Each whisky along the way is accompanied with its own bespoke music, scientifically engineered to highlight key flavour profiles. What those taste like, or remind listeners of, is up to them.

The experience is led by a host who seamlessly brings the audience in and out of the audio experience as the story unfolds, helping them discover the whiskies and lending expert but accessible knowledge and conversation throughout.

Setting also plays an important role, taking place within a light, airy space designed to feel modern and welcoming, putting guests at ease and ready to enjoy the experience to the fullest.

Results

The Glenlivet Sonic Whisky Tasting has been successfully rolled out globally across all of the brands key markets, from the brands home in Speyside to a tour of India

Press coverage in titles including GQ and The Guardian

Glowing feedback from both established whisky experts and those new to the category, showing versatility of concept