Beam Suntory

Bowmore Tasting Cask

Creative Development
Design
Robotics
Build

BeamSuntory is a world leader in premium spirits.

BeamSuntory and their strategy partner Create Future approached us to make a premium whisky tasting experience for Global Travel Retail (GTR) environments. The goal was to have minimal Brand Ambassador interactions and allow customers to discover and explore the liquid on their own terms.

Tasting Cask Making Of

Original concept artwork

Creative

BeamSuntory selected Bowmore, one of their premium islay whisky brands for the experience.

Bowmore’s brandline “The Art of Time” is all about the craft and process required to create their premium whisky. 

We developed numerous versions of an experiential whisky tasting machine. Inspiration for form came from mash tuns, spirit safes and raw materials like burnt hardwood and granite. Physical interactivity had to be exactly that, physical. We didn’t want to use touch screens, so we took inspiration from luxury car brand start buttons to control the experience. 

The final design is a monolithic cylinder. It’s simple in form but complex in detail. We wanted every interaction to feel magical. Create Future designed a tasting journey questionnaire, connecting flavour profiles with environmental cues.

Early alternate form concepts

Early dispensing concept

Final concept renders

Completed build

Technology & Build

The user interface is non-traditional. We used a commercial LG transparent OLED to visualise the questionnaire and provide the UI. Large glass cylinders housed the liquids for dispensing. A cylindrical motorised ring allowed us to move the cylinders. It’s designed to feel like the machine is thinking about the best product to serve you. Changing the brightness of the interior lighting let us create the illusion that the screen was disappearing after each question the customer answered. 

At the end of the tasting experience, users are invited to open the whole front of the machine, reach inside and sample a dram of Bowmore whisky selected just for them.

Future

The tasting cask is currently located at Heathrow Terminal 5. It will tour various locations around the world over the next few years.

Dispensing area