Diageo brings whisky tasting to the home with voice activation technology

By Jenny Eagle

- Last updated on GMT

Talisker Malt whisky is one of the voice activated products on offer. Photo: Diageo.
Talisker Malt whisky is one of the voice activated products on offer. Photo: Diageo.

Related tags Talisker whisky whisky tasting

Diageo is bringing whisky tasting to the home with a voice activation pilot through Amazon Alexa Skill, to make its Talisker brand, produced on the Isle of Skye, accessible to more people.

The company says the Talisker Tasting Experience Skill is a great way for people to immerse themselves in the product as if they were on a whisky tour. 

Complex category


Benjamin Lickfett, head of Technology and Innovation, Diageo, said Scotch is at the heart of its business: but the company realises that whisky can often be perceived as a complex category to access. 

Through the Talisker Tasting Experience Skill the company is able to bring the history and traditions associated with Scotch to a new generation of drinkers. 

“The idea for the Talisker tasting experience came to me while listening to a podcast that talked about how audio listening tours are transforming some tourist experiences. I thought it would be brilliant to make our distillery tasting experiences available to a broader audience via voice,” ​said Lickfett. 

Luckily the Talisker brand team shared my excitement for the idea, and it took us no more than two weeks to start the project. 

“To begin the process of bringing the idea to the consumer we did some light consumer testing. It scored very well and was clearly appealing. We then partnered with a specialist agency to workshop the different steps for the ideal Voice User Journey. 

“We built a prototype that we decided to trial with one brand, in one market, and for one platform (Amazon Alexa) only. We did this so that we could move at speed, get a clear reading on what works and what doesn’t, as well as to reduce the resources required.”​ 

Once consumers ask Alexa to open ‘Talisker tasting’ they will be asked to name the whisky they would like to explore; Talisker Skye, Talisker Storm or Talisker 10-year-old Single Malt. 

Richness & complexity


Selecting the whisky starts an audio journey that will educate them on how to taste Scotch and get to know the richness and complexity of flavors in the Talisker range. 

The final stage invites the taster to ask questions about the story behind their drink or flavors of Scotch they want to try in the future. 

In September it launched the Baileys Almande voice activated ‘send me a sample campaign’, which generated more than 6,000 sample requests in its first week and more than two thirds (75%) of the available samples were redeemed in the first 48 hours. 

Diageo has also launched ‘The Bar’ for the Amazon Echo Show where consumers can master mixology techniques and shop for ingredients through voice-led practical advice, and earlier this year it launched the Happy Hour Amazon Alexa Skill using voice activation to provide cocktail recipes and bar recommendations. 

The Talisker Tasting Experience Skill is now live in the Amazon UK Alexa Skills store and on the Talisker Amazon page. 

Selected Talisker Whisky bottles will be labelled with the specific call to action needed to activate the skill, and available at select Tesco outlets across the UK. 

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