This week, a brand new word has entered the language of spirits and alcohol – the Cognaculator.  At the 4th International Cognac Summit hosted by the BNIC, professionals gathered to measure to intensity and timing of the taste sensation which occurs when drinking our most favourite of tipples.

Although it may sound just like an excuse for the fifty professionals invited by the BNIC to stand around and taste cognac, the BNIC are quick to reassure that it really has been a justified and scientific evaluation.  However, there was no shortage of takers, and the panel included some of the best know sommeliers, mixologists, winemakers and journalists from France, Germany, Spain and the USA.

Cognaculator

So, what exactly were they measuring, and what were the results? The topic that was studied was ‘can the pleasure of tasting be measured?’

One of the panel, Esther Medina, a mixologist from Spain said that, of course, the answer was no.  Taste is subjective and varies from one person to another.

Is it possible to measure taste?

However, Jerome Durand, Director of the BNIC, says that this experiment has provided a great deal of information about the intensity of flavours, and that they have identified the ‘famous cognac pleasure zone.’

The participants found that by keeping cognac in the mouth for three minutes causes a dramatic reduction in the flavour experienced.  So, the optimum time to keep the drink in the mouth is between 45-90 seconds.

It also appears that the sexes experience a difference in the level of pleasure as well, with women able to experience the intense taste pleasure for up to a minute and a half.  Women who are less used to drinking cognac experience a longer lasting pleasure than those who are regular tipplers.  For the men, the length of their experience remains stable (and shorter than that of women) whether they are new to the drink or seasoned old-timers.

Hmmm, seems that that rationale can be applied to other differences between men and women as well…

Sources: www.charentelibre.fr, www.cognac.fr

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Jacki has been with Cognac Expert from virtually the beginning. She's the senior editor of the blog, and has spent much of her life living in rural France. Today she's based back in the UK, where she splits her working life between writing for Cognac Expert and working as a Paramedic at a large regional hospital.

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