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05.2013

Massachusetts Beverage Business

archivedAtPressTime

WHEN WHISKY AND ART MEET

Watch out, whisky is getting artsy. Sam Bompas and Harry Parr (who own Bompas & Parr, a company that specializes in creating art using food) have created the world’s first “whisky tornado” – a swirling mist of whisky vapor that can be breathed in through a straw. The project – which was developed in conjunction with scientists at King’s College and was recently showcased at King’s College London’s Festival of Food and Ideas – uses industrial-size humidifiers to generate a vapor of Talisker single malt, which swirls within a giant bell jar. People can dip a straw into the mist and breathe the whisky in, resulting in a new taste experience and hit of alcohol directly to the lungs. Rather than simply a new way to consume a dram, the artwork is designed as a metaphor for the “impact the Scottish weather has on flavor formation in whisky”.  “Many things go into creating the flavors of a whisky,” said Bompas. “We thought it would be interesting to look at the meteorological elements. Sunlight, temperature, rainfall and humidity all contributed to the distinctive aromatics.” Dr. Mark Freeman, senior lecturer in economic and social history at the University of Glasgow, added: “Whisky is shaped by the landscape in which it is distilled and matured, and part of Scotland’s distinctiveness in this respect is its weather. The weather affects the type of barley that can be grown, the amount and quality of water for making whisky, and the environment in which whisky barrels spend their many years of maturation. Some highland whiskies are made largely from snow-melt water, and some say that this has a pronounced effect.”

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