The taste of success was with the UK winners of Glenfiddich’s World’s Most Experimental Bartender competition, held in London in August. The renowned Scotch whisky brand is seeking collaborations which reach beyond the drinks world, shaking up traditional entry points and experiences for present and potential whisky lovers alike.
Competition in the UK final was intense, with entries including a storytelling collaboration from Callum Rixon of The Hideout in Bath, a mini-copper still from Glen Howatson of Bar One in Inverness, and a bespoke tailoring entry from returned finalist Shae Campbell. Yet the proposal which won out was presented by Charles Roche and William Hetzel of east London’s Scout cocktail bar.
The duo tantalised the judging panel with a Glenfiddich-inspired perfume capable of enlivening senses before even a glass is raised. Paying homage to the tasting notes of Glenfiddich’s 21-year single malt, Roche and Hetzel concocted an aroma blended from bespoke scents, faithfully representing the whisky’s wood, fig, caramel and leather elements. The perfume is intended to engage consumers’ olfactory senses, simulataneously opening up what is the essence of whisky-tasting to a wider audience.
Charles Roche, Scout mixologist and owner of Liquid Intellect consultancy, and William Hetzel, Scout assistant manager and perfumer
Olfactory senses account for around 80 per cent of human taste, and judges Mark Thomson and Gwilym Cooke of Glenfiddich, Hannah Sharman-Cox of DrinkUp.London and WIRED product editor Jeremy White, were thrilled. Able to introduce Glenfiddich’s single malts via a spritz spray or magazine-mounted perfume sample, the perfume elicited an enthusiastic response from Glenfiddich UK brand ambassador Thomson.
“Charles and William’s entry really got to grips with combating the nerves some people can experience when it comes to trying whisky. By reimagining the process of tasting, selecting and enjoying the drink, they have opened up the potential to reach a new group of would-be whisky lovers.”
Bespoke scents blended to stimulate taster’ olfactory receptors. Forming 80% of a humans sense of taste, these are critical to enjoying an aged whisky
The pair will now compete in the final, held at the Glenfiddich Experimental Bartender Academy in Scotland this November. Jeremy White can see them going further still, “It’s not just something that makes you go ‘that’s a good idea’, you can see there are endless possibilities.”
Possibilities, and also proof that in whisky the spirit of experimentation is alive and well.
Roche and Hetzel’s harmony of scents
- A key woody note was represented in the perfume by a blend of scents mixed from vetiver, labdanum, olibanum and patchouli.
- The perfume’s fruity note was created through a combination of Stemone, gammaoctalactone and Iso E Super scents.
- The sweet element was conjured from a carefully selected mix of ingredients: Labdanum, vanillin, benzoin and fenugreek.
- Cade, vetiver, oakmoss, Iso E Super, myrtle and Suederal provided the required bold freshness for the perfume’s most complex element.
For more in the Glenfiddich Experimental Series, click here.
See more at Glenfiddich.com