Every little drop they make…

“Neuroaesthetics” is a not a word we’d generally associate with single malt whisky. Nor is it a word we can pronounce after single malt whisky. But that perhaps explains why we’re here, being gently sarcastic about The Singleton’s new release while they’re actually producing something delicious and golden and valuable.

The Singleton in question is The Singleton 40-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky, the third and final chapter in a series of exceptional whiskies from The Singleton of Glen Ord Distillery. This very limited release promises notes of dark chocolate and rich plums and, at £3,300 a bottle we’re happy to take their word for it.

It’s an indulgent whisky, so much so it’s inspired the distillery to explore “Sensorial Maximalism” as a new theory in neuroaesthetics on how to achieve superlative taste experiences. Yes, we’re quoting. And yes, we did initially think “Sensorial Maximalism” was Russell Crowe’s character in Gladiator…

We shall explain.

The Singleton 40-Year-Old has been created by Master of Malt Maureen Robinson, who put the whisky through a 28- year secondary maturation, the longest the distillery has ever done.

“The Singleton 40-Year-Old is the finale in the ‘Epicurean Odyssey’ series from The Singleton,” explains Maureen, “one which I’ve thoroughly enjoyed crafting and have drawn on my own personal journey of flavour from my career as a whisky maker.

“At the end of this very extensive secondary maturation we sought out specially selected Ron Zacapa XO casks for a final indulgent finish to the whisky, which deliver an intensely rich, fruity and smooth finish to bring deep notes of dark chocolate. The result: a whisky that epitomises my desire to seek out new flavour through craft, and a whisky at its most maximal.”

Taking Maureen’s craftsmanship as inspiration, three global multidisciplinary artists – Zhou Yilun, Found Studio, and Moodsonic – have, in a project curated by AlterProjects and in association with Yoko Choy, created unique works which investigate Maureen’s artistry in the fields of maturation time, craft and the richness of the spirit and bring them to life in pieces entitled ‘Flow’, ‘Collision’ and ‘Richness’. Neuroscientist Katherine Templar Lewis also influenced the development of these artworks, exploring ‘Sensorial Maximalism’ as a new neuroscientific theory, “where our sensorial consciousness can be heightened through the curation of our external environment” and thus, potentially, prepares us for the most superlative tasting experience possible.

Or, at least it did if you were in Shanghai recently for immersive gallery experience The Rooms of Maximalism, where guests journeyed through rooms delivering precise stimulation for the five senses and beyond, and then got to taste The Singleton 40-Year-Old.

For the rest of us, we need to track down our own bottle of The Singleton 40-Year-Old by clicking here…