The Singleton of Glen Ord Sensorium
As creatives explore the potential of VR, more and more interesting uses become apparent. MyLiaison are always delighted by the unexpected VR projects that we are called to assist on. One such opportunity was to provide 360 content to be included in a multi-sensory booth for The Singleton of Glen Ord Sensorium, which debuted at the Taste of Hong Kong in February 2018.
MyL’s client for Singleton whiskey was award winning production company, VR-City. VR-City were already experienced in successfully connecting consumers to drinks brands through VR storytelling. Their previous projects included high-profile clients such as Laphroaig, Lagavulin and San Miguel.
The idea of the sensorium is to create a full sensory environment to enhance the sensation of taste as much as possible, and to answer the question, how does harnessing all the senses affect the appreciation of taste? The event is a carefully designed assembly of sound, scent, colours, textures, décor and lighting, all refined to awaken the senses. Each of these elements helps to illustrate the complex nature of the whisky itself. When all the characteristics that come together to deliver the final product are identified and savoured, the complementary effects can be fully observed.
The experience is held in an igloo-shaped space, where light, sound and temperature are carefully controlled. Participants are seated around a round tabled bar and are led through an introduction to the brand, step by step of the process of the famous Glen Ord. As the journey progresses, each person is inundated with the feel, smell, sound, taste and sight of elements of the recipe.
MyL were asked to create abstract visual representations of three flavours, fruity, ginger and honey for 3 whiskeys representing 3 different stages in the maturing process. An extremely tricky job, as it turned out. Each flavour, fruity, ginger and honey are most marked at various stages of the maturing process. Additional chapters precede and follow the three whiskey spots, describing the local natural environment, the distillery and the stages of whisky production.
12-year-old Glen Ord – Sweetness During this stage of the event, the participants are invited to contemplate the 12-year-old Singleton. To illustrate the flavour, a fruity sweet scent permeates the dome, sweet, bell-like music cocoons the space and the abstract visual of berry reds fill the all surrounding screens. The imagery the MyL team created is gently effervescent, emulating the tingling sensation of a sweet and tart explosion of ripe berries on the tongue.
15-year-old Glen Ord - Ginger After a couple of stages where the methodology of the whiskey distilling process is explored, participants are moved on to the 15-year-old Singleton. By this stage, the whisky has matured from the earlier, more exuberant 12-year-old, and has a gentle spicy hum to it. To embody this MyL’s imagery is reminiscent of a lazy sunrise, soft, syrupy golds and amber hues buzz and shimmer all around. The imagery is complemented by holistic healing music, the subtle scent of ginger envelopes the room and candied ginger is offered to the audience. The participants are encouraged to taste both the 15-year-old Singleton and the candied ginger to consider how they complement one another.
18-year-old Glen Ord – Orange Grove Finally, the audience is asked to consider the third whisky, the 18-year-old Glen Ord. During the maturing process, about 2% of spirit evaporates through the wooden cask each year, this is called the ‘angel’s share’, so the older whiskeys like the 18-year-old are really condensing into an unctuous, almost syrupy liquid.
Once again, MyL’s brief was to create the visual interpretation of the glutinous 18-year-old Singleton, which is reminiscent of caramel and honey tones. The resulting imagery is a luxurious, sinuous caramel/honey hybrid. The accompanying music pulsates and almost gurgles, like decanting warm caramel from a bottle. Meanwhile, the tasters are invited to sip the whiskey, noting the sweetness and contrast it with plump raisins available for tasting.
The Singleton endeavour was enticing to MyL from the beginning, thanks to both the creative brief and the opportunity to work with collaborators like VR-City. It seems like the feeling was mutual! Says Ashley Cowan, VR-City’s CEO and Co-Founder;
“Working with MyLiaison was an absolute pleasure. The team were creative, communicative, efficient and constantly available and responsive. They understood exactly what we wanted almost immediately and then delivered animations which hit the mark right away. Throughout the 3 week process, I felt like I was in safe hands and always looked forward to reviewing the WIPs. Tony, Angelika and the team are awesome.”