Distillers and beverage industry professionals take note: Thousands of casual drinkers, experts, and spirits judges are discovering previously undetected spirits quality disparities as well as a few welcome surprises using a new scientifically designed tasting glass. Until recently, the industry and public has ignored the diagnostic potential of glass design.
The major flaw in common spirits glasses is a small rim opening which collects all aromas, including over-abundant, numbing alcohol, directly under the nose. Olfactory fatigue (nose numbness from sniffing anesthetic alcohol vapor), is the disabling enemy of all spirits drinkers from novice to expert.
The other most prominent design flaw is glass height. The overwhelming presence of lighter alcohol aromas dominates tall glasses by occupying the entire nosing space, restricting heavier, character defining aromas, to the lower portion of the glass, largely undetected.
Over decades, experts devised numerous ineffective techniques to avoid nose numbing: wafting aromas to the nose, open-mouth inhaling, and adding water to cut evaporation (mistakenly thought to “open up” the spirit). Each requires a practiced approach to detect quality and character defining aromas.
One company, Arsilica Inc., has studied the scientific aspects of aromas in depth since 2003, releasing NEAT as the preferred “ultimate spirits glass” in 2012 for drinking spirits without water, ice, or mixers.
NEAT eliminates the undersized rim flaw by expanding aromas into a wide flare to dissipate alcohol to the rim prior to nosing, leaving character aromas in a “sweet spot”. NEAT overcomes the tall glass flaw with a low profile, placing the nose closer to the surface where character aromas lurk. Lighter aromas are still an important part of the quality profile, but move from directly under the nose to the rim, still detectable but diluted to eliminate numbing. In short, science builds better glassware so you can taste the truth in quality.
Top shelf spirits sales are on the rise, proof that consumers will pay for quality, and industry quality awards are shifting to artisan crafted spirits, proof that judging competition medals are a good indicator of spirits quality. Both send strong statements to the industry: (1) spirits drinkers and experts won’t tolerate poor quality hiding behind high alcohol, and (2) spirits lovers actively seek specific pleasing aromas and higher quality, creating entirely new niche markets.
NEAT is everyman’s tool for making intelligent buying decisions, enabling even the novice to clearly detect quality without special training or practice.
Experts agree. As the official judging glass of major international spirits competitions in New York , San Francisco, San Diego, Miami, and Los Angeles, almost every recent quality competition medal awarded in the US has been evaluated in NEAT (acronym for Naturally
Engineered Aroma Technology), and Europe is taking note, as this year the NEAT glass will be the official glass for the Irish Whiskey Awards. Sooner or later, science destroys myth and unscrupulous marketing.
(Author: George Manska CSO, Arsilica, Inc)
Source:The Neat Glass
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