London based experiential design studio, FDDS was commissioned to design the experiences and interiors of three rooms of the newly refurbished Strathisla Distillery – the oldest continuously working distillery in Scotland and home of Chivas Regal whisky. FDDS worked closely with Chivas Regal, from the creative team to the Master blenders, to deliver a custom experience and the interior around it. As a whisky enthusiast, or a newcomer, the Strathisla tour was a sensory experience, both memorable and informative.
After learning about the process to make Strathisla single malt whiskies, guests were guided to the Tasting Room. They were invited to take seats around the whisky expert who guided them through the tasting of 3 scotch whiskies: Chivas 12, Chivas Extra and Chivas 18. The room featured a specially created artwork, The Constellation, made of suspended, mouth-blown, amber glass bubbles. As the expert deconstructed the several flavours of each whisky, the sculpture animated itself to represent the complex network of flavours.
Florian Dussopt, FDDS Founder, commented “It is interesting to notice that if the whiskies do share certain keynotes, most of them are different. It is not always easy to distinguish all the characteristics without the skills of the Master Blenders, but there are no wrong answers. Each perception is unique and personal.”
“By giving the time to reflect and discuss, the tasting ritual of the Constellation Room aims to open the door to memories that the senses of smell and taste can uniquely bring back.”
The Blending Room then offered an exclusive practical experience: an opportunity for guests to appreciate the intricacy of combining malt and grain whiskies to create a superior blended whisky. Guests could sample, analyse and ultimately blend their own whisky under the guidance of the house expert with each combination labelled to be gifted.
The creative studio also designed and fabricated the 5m long brass chandelier, to accompany the story within the details.
Finally, The Lounge, an angluar room enveloped by strong and graphic brass arches with historical bottles on display, provided guests with a place to seat and relax around a whisky dram.