Black Bottle launches The Alchemy Series, the first ‘sonic seasoning’ playlist

Black Bottle launches The Alchemy Series, the first ‘sonic seasoning’ playlist

The playlist is a partnership with University of Oxford experimental psychologist Charles Spence

News | 27 Oct 2021

  • Share to:
The world’s first collection of audio tracks and real-world sounds intended to alter and heighten sensory perceptions when drinking whisky is a collaboration between whisky blender Black Bottle and Charles Spence, an experimental psychologist at the University of Oxford. It has been made to coincide with the release of Black Bottle’s new limited-edition The Alchemy Series.

Available on, the playlist explores the relatively new idea of ‘sonic seasoning’ – the realisation that sound can influence the experience of taste. The accompanying two new single-batch-produced expressions are Black Bottle Double Cask and Black Bottle Island Smoke.

Black Bottle Double Cask is a marriage of malts finished in sherry barrels, and 12-year-old grain whisky matured in red wine casks. Thus, this whisky is described as a blast of red berries and sherry notes, with a long dry finish of grapes and flamed toffee.

Black Bottle Island Smoke, meanwhile, features a 1984 blended malt at its heart, with the resulting dram described as smoky, salty and medicinal, with just a bit of sweet cereal and vanilla for balance.

Both expressions are non-chill-filtered and bottled at 46.3% ABV, and join Black Bottle’s original and 10-year-old expressions. The Alchemy Series is available to buy from major whisky specialists and on Amazon for £26.
Charles Spence (image: Sam Frost)

Craig Black, global brand manager for Black Bottle, said: “Black Bottle’s history is just as bold and unconventional as our spirit, dating back to 1879 when [the company] was established by Gordon Graham and his brothers. Now, . . . we honour the Graham brothers and their journey into the unknown with the launch of the Alchemy Series.”

Brendan McCarron, master distiller, added: “. . . It has been fascinating working with Professor Spence on the impact that sound can have on our taste-buds. The sonic seasoning playlist gives whisky drinkers a truly personal experience, whilst also showcasing the bold and fearless flavours of our award-winning spirits.”

Whisky drinkers are actively seeking out exciting spirit experiences and brands with rich, authentic stories to tell. They are becoming less concerned with traditional whisky categories . . . The Black Bottle Alchemy Series offers the perfect concoction of authentic heritage, incredible spirit quality and bold, unconventional character.”
Magazine Archive

From the archive

Select an issue

Subscribe Now

Subscriptions for
Whisky Magazine are available
in print, digital or as a
complete package

The Benefits

8 print editions a year

Enjoy the convenience of home delivery

Full access to every digital edition via desktop, iOS or Android device

Latest Issue Subscribe Now

The Whisky Encyclopedia - Coming Soon 2024

Discover the world of whisky with our comprehensive encyclopedia
Featuring companies, distilleries, brands, glossaries, and cocktails

Join The Community

Sign up to the Whisky Magazine
newsletter letter and get access to the latest
in all things whisky

paragraph publishing ltd.   Copyright © 2024 all rights reserved.   Website by Acora One

Consent Preferences