Sensory Perception of Whisky Flavour

THURSDAY, 7th July. 14:00 to 15:00 BST / 13:00 to 14:00 UCT

By the Scottish Section


Discover the mechanisms of flavour in relation to Scotch Whisky with Dr Irene Baxter, Sensory Scientist at The Scotch Whisky Research Institute. 

This seminar in webinar format will provide you with an overview of this spirit and it will outline how our olfactory responses are affected by genetics, our experience/exposure to a flavour, psychology, and interactions between flavour congeners.

Dr Baxter will also discuss the main requirements for utilising a sensory panel – how to screen, train and monitor the panellists.

She will provide an overview of the sensory methodology and will explain how to choose the right test for your application, methods of interpreting the data, and how to understand correlations between instrumental and sensory data.


  • Dr Irene Baxter, Sensory Scientist - The Scotch Whisky Research Institute

Irene has a BSc in Food Science and Microbiology and a PhD in Sensory Science. In her working life, Irene has gained extensive experience with both trained sensory panels and large consumer panels. She has managed sensory projects on a wide variety of products, each with its own set of practical challenges when it comes to sensory testing. She joined The SWRI in 2017 and enjoys contributing to our knowledge of whisky flavour.

Why you should attend:

  • Learn in scientific terms whisky sensory and the factors influencing it
  • Explore the elements needed in a sensory panel
  • Discover how to create and deploy a robust sensory methodology