Sounds delicious – New bold whisky launches with world’s first ‘sonic seasoning’ playlist

let’s begin

Black Bottle Whisky is taking the term ‘eating with your eyes’ to a new level by teaming up with Oxford University Experimental Psychologist, Charles Spence, to release the world’s first collection of audio tracks that alter and heighten sensory perceptions when drinking whisky

The playlist, which is available on, was created to mark the launch of Black Bottle’s Alchemy Series

– This is thefirst experiment to combine ‘sonic seasoning and real world sounds’ to change the way food tastes

Spirits meet science today as Black Bottle Whisky takes the term ‘eating with your eyes’ to a new level. The brand has teamed up with leading Experimental Psychologist Oxford Professor, Charles Spence to release the world’s first collection of audio tracks, that are specifically created to alter and heighten sensory perceptions when drinking whisky.

The experiment marks the launch of Black Bottle’s new limited edition Alchemy Series, which with its fearless flovour and bold taste goes beyond the limits of traditional whisky, and is the first of its kind to combine ‘sonic seasoning’ and real world sounds. Professor Spence worked alongside Black Bottle’s Master Distiller to take on the brands mission of pushing the boundaries of taste even further by designing a special playlist that takes whisky drinkers on a journey of sensory discovery, altering the perceptions of taste based on the sounds played.

Sonic seasoning is the growing scientific field that uses sounds to change the way in which you taste food, for example, high-frequency sounds enhance the sweetness in food, while low frequencies bring out the bitterness.

Professor Spence said: “I am fascinated by how our brains process the information from each of our different senses to form the extraordinarily rich multisensory experiences that fill our daily lives.

Whisky has a distinctive taste and smell which produces a very specific multisensory reaction for drinkers. When Black Bottle approached me to partner on this experiment, I thought it would be really exciting to see how we could heighten our bodies reaction to the new Alchemy Series.”

The unique experiment was initially previewed at a series of online events, hosted by Professor Spence, but now whisky fans around the world can experience the phenomenon themselves at home, by listening to the sonic tastings playlist on Spotify and downloading a how-to guide on the Black Bottle website.

Craig Black, Global Brand Manager for Black Bottle, said: “Black Bottle has a long heritage of experimentation through our expressions and partnerships. It has been fascinating working with Professor Spence on the impact that sound have on our tastebuds.

The reactions that we had from the initial tastings was great and now we can’t wait to bring the experience to whisky drinkers everywhere. The sonic seasoning playlist will give whisky drinkers a truly personal experience, whilst also showcasing the layers of complex flavours within the spirit.”

Black Bottle’s Alchemy Series launches with a Double Cask and an Island Smoke. The Double Cask a full-bodied expression created using Spanish casks. A raucous sherry red colour, on the nose the expression shows off notes of charred citrus, wood, wine and warming spices. Whisky drinkers can enjoy a blast of berries and a delicious sweetness of Spanish sherry on the palate, before a long, luxurious finish with notes of toffee, walnuts and robust red wines.

Reminiscent of the beach on a stormy day, Island Smoke is an intense whisky that encapsulates the power of the sea. A blended malt that perfectly balances both unpeated and peated grain, this expression nods to notes of chilli, cardamom and the familiar saltiness of the sea. Burnished gold in colour, on the nose the expression is smoky and offers a surge of exotic spices. Flavours of salt and black pepper crash onto sweet cereal, making way for a blast of citrus sweetness and vanilla. The finish is wonderfully spicy, with a hint of dry sea salt.

For more information and to listen to the playlist, visit:

Tasting Notes

Black Bottle Double Cask

  • Colour: Raucous sherry red
  • Nose: A winter wonderland of charred citrus, wood, wine and warm winter spices
  • Palate: A blast of berries and tsunami of sweet Spanish sherry
  • Finish: Long and luxurious; flaming toffee, toasted walnuts and robust red wines

Black Bottle Island Smoke

  • Colour: Burnished gold
  • Nose: An intense, stormy smokiness and a surge of exotic spices. Medicinal notes evoke fire-seared feasts on golden sands
  • Palate: Crushing waves of sea salt and black pepper crash onto sweet cereal, exploding in a blast of citrusy sweetness, vanilla and cardamom
  • Finish: Roaring currents of oak spice and dry sea salt
Tags: alchemy seriesblack bottle whiskycharles spenceplaylistsonic seasoning


My name is Greg, and I’m a brand strategy consultant, writer, speaker, host and judge specialising in premium spirits. My mission is to experience, share and inspire with everything great about whisky, whiskey, gin, beer and fine dining through my writing, my brand building and my whisky tastings.

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