Whisky taste map to help consumers match palate

Drinks shops are being invited to get behind a new system that puts every major single malt in the UK market on a flavour scale.

The taste map has been developed by drinks giant Diageo and spirits expert Dave Broom to make it easier for drinkers to find the right single malt

style for them.

The grid, which has a scale of light to rich on one axis and delicate to smoky on the other, has been designed to simplify the process of choosing malts for consumers, says Diageo.

Former OLN features editor Broom said: "Whisky isn't complicated, it has just never been explained properly." He said the map was a "major step forward" in increasing consumer knowledge.

It will be promoted through inserts in the Saturday Times Whisky Supplement, master classes and a stand at Glasgow's Whisky Live fair.

Diageo is currently in talks with the major supermarkets to develop ways of incorporating the system into their merchandising and in-store POS. It is also keen that the map is used in independent off-licences, according to Steve Wood, senior brand manager for whisky.

"Suddenly something that was quite complicated and intimidating has become accessible ," he said. "It's not exclusively starting with the larger retailers

- we're also looking for opportunities with smaller retailers as well."

Wood said the map was not just aimed at whisky newcomers, but could also help current drinkers expand their repertoire.