The Black Bottle Taste Experiment: A world-first using sound to alter the taste of whisky

The Black Bottle Taste Experiment: A world-first using sound to alter the taste of whisky

How does it work?

The new campaign, created by Hearts & Minds, is the first to use the new creative platform “Taste Experiments”. The first experiment, created with experiential psychologist Charles Spence, explores how listening to different sounds can affect how a whisky tastes.

For each whisky in the series, bespoke soundtracks have been created which combine sonic seasoning (where different musical notes or sounds affect taste) with semantically-meaningful natural sounds (like waves crashing or bacon sizzling). 

This combination is a first of its kind. The effect is further amplified using custom designed titles which use colour, shape and typology to alter taste perceptions.

The campaign launched with virtual tasting events and went live on Spotify on Friday 22nd October for people to experience the taste experiment at home. Further activity will run via social and digital channels, with the campaign running until Christmas.

The campaign will become a permanent part of the customer experience for The Alchemy Series, with people able to experience a sonic seasoning tasting at home as part of their purchase.

Media is being handled by WPP’s NEO Media World, whilst PR is being handled by John Doe.

Craig Black, global brand manager, said It’s a really exciting time for Black Bottle and our newly launched Alchemy Series. It was great to reflect the innovation of the whisky itself in the way we’re telling people about it—especially in a way that our fans can enjoy at home. Partnering with a world leader like Charles has been a blast, and it’s the start of big things to come for the brand, so watch out for more experiments coming soon.”

Andy George, founder of Hearts & Minds said: “We love challenger brands, but it’s not often you get to work with one that’s 140 years old. We can’t wait to push the boundaries even further with the Black Bottle team.

Hearts & Minds is an independent creative agency based in Shoreditch, London.

Black Bottle is a blended scotch whisky founded in 1879 by Gordon Graham and his two brothers.


Client: Black Bottle Whisky
Agency: Hearts & Minds
Title: The Taste Experiment
Global Brand Lead: Amy Burns
Global Brand Manager: Craig Black
Creative Director: Andy George
Design Director: Kylie McLean
Creatives: Matt La Croix, Jake Viner
Account Manager: Sadie Quinn
Producer: Tom Falck
Music Producers: Pitch & Sync
Composer: John Pickup
Sound Engineer: Ben Hauke, Pitch & Sync Studio
Media: Neo Media World

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