It wasn’t until after Mannie Monaghan won our international bartender programme The Circle in 2019, and we began working on a whisky together, that we learned he is synaesthetic. Mannie wanted his whisky to evoke a particular colour – coral – and so began a unique whiskymaking project. Affecting roughly 4% of the population, those with synaesthesia* often experience a blending of their senses – for Mannie, aromas and flavours reveal a spectrum of colour. Not being synaesthetic ourselves, Mannie spent two lengthy sessions in the Blending Rooms, scouring sample boxes for whiskies that matched the warmth and powerful positivity of Living Coral.
SYNAESTHESIA – Synaesthesia (or synesthesia) is a neurological condition in which the stimulation of a sense (like touch or hearing) leads involuntarily to the triggering of another sense (like sight or taste).
The Circle is our international bartender competition; it serves as a kind of symposium in which the bar world and whiskymakers can come together to share ideas. ‘Is it possible to make a whisky that evokes the colour of coral?’ was the idea Mannie Monaghan, 2019’s winner, posed to us.