Recently, whisky lovers at Glasgow Science Festival were able to get some scientific insight into their favourite tipple when researchers from University of Glasgow’s Polyomics Facility teamed up with a master blender from Morrison Bowmore Distillers, for ‘Tasty Science: Know Your Whisky’ – a great example of collaboration between business and a university to deliver a public engagement event with a difference.
“The main part of my job as a master blender is using my nose, so that is absolutely top of the skill list that you need to be a master blender” explains, Rachel Barrie from Morrison Bowmore Distillers. “My training, as well as being a nose, is as an analytical chemist, so for me science is very much a tool to help me to understand the intricacies, the complexities and idiosyncrasies in our distilleries to ensure we to produce the best possible tasting whisky.”
Getting scientists out of the workplace to share their research with the wider world is a high priority for Glasgow Science Festival. Dr Tanita Casci from the Polyomics Facility said, “We spend a lot of the time in the lab working with researchers and clinicians. This allows us to think differently about what we do and repackage it in a way that is fun and connect with the public.”
Whisky might be a complex chemical mixture, but using their senses of smell, sight, taste and some analytical chemistry, festival-goers were able to enjoy exploring the make-up of malts with plenty of samples along the way ensuring a very good time was had by all!