This heightened sensory experience explained by neuroscientist Katherine Templar Lewis has been brought to life through international artists at an immersive gallery in Shanghai
The release of The Singleton 40-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky delivers the third and final chapter in a series of exceptional whiskies, an epicurean journey of flavour by The Singleton of Glen Ord Distillery. A highly limited release, this is a deeply decadent whisky with notes of velvet dark chocolate and rich plums. Its layers of flavour are so indulgent that it has inspired the exploration of ‘Sensorial Maximalism’ as a new theory in neuroaesthetics on how to achieve superlative taste experiences.
The Singleton creates visionary, exceptional Scotch whiskies with unequalled flavour, pushing boundaries of taste to create malts with outstanding depth and harmony. A pioneer through her experimentation and craft, revered Master of Malt Maureen Robinson pushed the boundaries to create this whisky, bringing us on a journey into decadence through a 28- year secondary maturation, the longest by the distillery.
Maureen Robinson explains: “The Singleton 40-Year-Old is the finale in the Epicurean Odyssey series from The Singleton, one which I’ve thoroughly enjoyed crafting and have drawn on my own personal journey of flavour from my career as a whisky maker. At the end of this very extensive secondary maturation we sought out specially selected Ron Zacapa XO casks for a final indulgent finish to the whisky, which deliver an intensely rich, fruity and smooth finish to bring deep notes of dark chocolate. The result: a whisky that epitomises my desire to seek out new flavour through craft, and a whisky at its most maximal.”
Taking as inspiration the incredible craftsmanship and indulgent character of The Singleton 40-Year-Old, three global multidisciplinary artists, curated by AlterProjects and in association with Yoko Choy, created unique works which investigated the elements of mastery by Maureen Robinson and whisky-makers at The Singleton. The talented artists, Zhou Yilun, Found Studio and Moodsonic brought maturation time, craft and the richness of the spirit to life through the interpretation of ‘Flow’, ‘Collision’ and ‘Richness’.
Neuroscientist Katherine Templar Lewis also influenced the development of these artworks. Inspired by the richness of this rare single malt and its journey of flavour, she explored ‘Sensorial Maximalism’ as a new neuroscientific theory, where our sensorial consciousness can be heightened through the curation of our external environment. This then prepares us for the most superlative tasting experience possible.
The works of the three artists were informed not only by Katherine Templar Lewis’s research, and intended to contribute to this heightened sensory state, but were also inspired by the story of The Singleton 40-Year-Old. Malt Master Maureen Robinson set out to push secondary maturation in experimental casks to the extreme, and then layer on further deliberate enhancements to create The Singleton’s most indulgent whiskies ever.
These artworks formed the basis of an immersive gallery experience in Shanghai, named The Rooms of Maximalism, where guests journeyed through rooms delivering precise stimulation for the five senses and beyond, to reach this heightened state of Sensorial Maximalism, before the very first tastings globally of The Singleton 40-Year-Old.
The experience included the unveiling of a large-scale physical piece created by Zhou Yilun, exploring the collision between liquid and casks. There were also areas of sensory deprivation, sonically induced ASMR through a soundscape designed by Moodsonic and moving digital art by Found Studio, deploying movement at varying speeds, specially designed to bring guests into a flow state, alongside a range of touchable textures all building on the guests’ sensorial experience.
Zhou Yilun said: “Through a single, grandiose sculptural installation, I sought to capture the collision of liquid and wood present in The Singleton 40-year-old whisky. With my material, I aimed to mimic the texture and sensation of whisky flowing through the cask and onto the tongue. By layering paint and using brushstrokes of various hues, I sought to depict the interlacing and textural complexity of the whisky’s multiple layers of flavour. It is my hope that
the sculpture embodies the sensorial experience of the liquid for the viewer.”
Moodsonic composer Tomas Nordmark commented: “The sound that we hear around us changes how we taste, touch, feel and smell, so it’s the perfect way to create rich, immersive, maximalist experiences. We set out to create a unique composition that simultaneously celebrates and enhances the tasting experience of this exceptional whisky. Using the neuroscientific theories laid out by Katherine Templar Lewis, we designed sound that will intensify flavours like velvety chocolate for those tasting.”
Katherine Templar Lewis said: “Neuroaesthetics tells us how outside influences can heighten our senses and prime them to create the ultimate tasting experience. Through deploying various tactics which affect the five senses and beyond, individuals can achieve this state of Sensorial Maximalism before they enjoy The Singleton 40-Year-Old. In addition to my research and collaboration with some incredible artists through The Singleton 40-Year-Old, I’ve also created a guide on how individuals can strive for this experience at home.”
Katherine Templar Lewis has offered certain steps for individuals to add to their pre-tasting preparation should they be about to enjoy a dram of The Singleton 40-Year-Old or any other of The Singleton’s range of whiskies at home. Follow the link to see the guide.
This irresistibly rich, rare single malt makes an indulgent addition to any whisky collection and is the perfect gift for a connoisseur of fine food and wine. The Singleton 40-Year-Old will be available globally from selected retailers, for more information visit www.diageorareandexceptional.com. The Recommended Retail Selling Price is £3,300 including UK Duty and Taxes and $3,755 excluding Duty and Taxes.