Bowmore tackles the ‘water in whisky’ question with education programme5th March, 2013 by Andy Young
Islay single malt whisky producer Bowmore is taking its water education programme to pubs and restaurants around the world.
Bowmore has introduced the programme to help the trade, and ultimately consumers, understand what happens to whisky when water is added.
For many people adding water to whisky is regarded as a sin, but Bowmore says the practice “is not the aberration that some people might think”.
Rachel Barrie, master blender at Morrison Bowmore Distillers said: “Bowmore is an amazingly complex and harmonious whisky with an enigmatic flavour spectrum.
“The spirit takes the drinker on a sensory adventure through sweetness and ocean spices with multiple layers of fruit and smoke.
“Adding water allows the drinker to unlock Bowmore’s waves of flavour on a journey through its creation. The taste adventure is just beginning.”
Barrie explains that when water is added to whisky certain physicochemical changes occur in the glass some of which you can see, smell and taste.
In terms of sight “eddies and threads” are created with the addition of water, these are created when fluids of different viscosities mix. The addition of water also creates a “cooling effect” which helps palates become more receptive to the salty and fruity tastes. Water also releases more aromas from the liquid, which can appear to increase the intensity of the smell.
As part of the programme Bowmore is distributing a range of water dispensing units to certain bars across the UK, North America and Asia.
The dispensers include the “water safe” (pictured), which is made with copper and is inspired “by the great spirit safe that resides within the Still Room of the Bowmore Distillery”. Bowmore will also distribute the “tilter”, a more “fun and quirky dispenser that tilts on an axis and allows a fine flow of water to be dispensed from one side or small droplets from the other.”
Cara Laing, Bowmore marketing manager, said: “We are very aware of the great debate surrounding the addition of water to whisky and wanted to tackle this head on.
“We’ve created these innovative and beautiful water dispensers in the hope that people will discover for themselves their favourite way to enjoy their single malt, whether with or without water.”