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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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ScienceShot: Where Should I Drink My Whiskey?
8 October 2013 7:15 pm
Don’t like whiskey? Maybe you need to speak to your favorite bar about improving its interior design. A new study finds that the environment in which people sip a whiskey influences how they perceived certain aspects of the beverage and even changes how much they liked it, researchers report today in the journal Flavour. The team invited more than 400 participants to a tasting event where they sipped a glass of Scotch in three environments carefully designed to correlate with different characteristics of the whiskey: the grassiness of its aroma, the sweetness of its taste, and the woodiness of its aftertaste. Each room was even outfitted with a custom scent designed by a professional perfumer to evoke the intended quality. Lo and behold, the tasters ranked the whiskey as “grassier” when sitting in lawn chairs among potted plants, “sweeter” when sniffing a sugary scent before a bowl of berries, and “woodier” when savoring the beverage surrounded by wood paneling and listening to a soundtrack of a crackling fire—even though they knew they were drinking the same whiskey the whole time. What’s more, the tasters reported enjoying the whiskey the most when they drank it in the “woody” room. No word on which kind of environment to choose if you just want to throw a couple back.