Most of our perception of taste comes through our sense of smell.
When it comes to enjoying whiskey, the sense of smell is of great importance. It enables you to pick up on aromas and textures, those of which make up flavours. Whiskey lovers therefore pride themselves on their nose for a dram, but it appears they have nothing on Rocco, a one year old Cocker Spaniel who has just landed the dream job in the spirits industry.
Rocco has been given the run of the Grant’s Whisky distillery in Girvan, Scotland. His job is to sniff out the cooperage where wooden barrels are made by highly skilled craftsmen who use traditional techniques to prepare the barrels that protect and help perfect Grant’s Whisky for years. This actually makes sense because dogs have a natural super-sense of smell. Rocco’s ability to ‘nose’ a very large number of casks in a short space of time means he is a fantastic addition to the Grant’s team of craftsmen.
Mechanical noses are used in the wine-making industry, but not in the whiskey industry. The Grant’s team hopes that Rocco’s keen sense of smell and speed of nosing means that any casks that are not up to standards will be able to be detected better.