Food & Drink

New Test Matches Your Personality to Whisky

Your personality can be a predictor of many things: how successful you’ll be, the kind of music you like, whether or not your relationships will crash and burn. Now, thanks to the Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS) and a team of researchers, it may also help determine the kind of whisky you prefer.

SMWS partnered with a psychologist from the University of Edinburgh to develop the “Flavour Behaviour Test,” which matches personality types to different whiskey flavor profiles. The psychometric personality test was developed after SMWS and researchers surveyed more than 300 volunteers at tasting events in Edinburgh, London, Islay, Washington D.C., Vancouver and Melbourne over the course of six months.

Participants were first given a test of five personality predictors: openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism. They were then asked to rate 12 of the most common flavors found in whisky, including sweet, juicy, oaky, oily and heavily peated. Researchers then analyzed the data and linked flavor preferences to individual personality traits to try to determine which people might be more inclined to favor a smoky Islay single malt over a mellower Highland scotch or blended whisky.

“This has been a particularly exciting research study to be involved in as taste is the least understood of our senses, and this is the first project I’m aware of that has investigated the links between personality traits and preferences for whisky flavours,” says Helen Stewart, SMWS senior brand manager.

SMWS is currently holding events at The Edinburgh Festival Fringe to demonstrate the Flavour Behaviour Test with the help of a professor of Scottish malt whiskies. So if feel lost in the whisky aisle, you could always fly to Edinburgh for help. Or you could just try a few different scotches and see which ones appeal.