Can’t Get to These Distilleries? With Virtual Reality, You Don’t Need To.

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Jack Daniel’s distillery

Searching for a way to explore your favorite distillery without needing to actually, you know, fly there for an in-person visit? Distilleries are starting to offer that opportunity with a combination of virtual reality and enhanced digital experiences.

The former is made possible by heading to an event by one of these brands or a growing number of others, where you’ll often be equipped with full headsets for an immersive sensory experience. The latter refers to what you can access from your home, with the help of the Google Cardboard app, a cheap viewer to go along with it and a YouTube video. But even without the app and viewer, 360-degree-equipped videos let you drag the screen around for a fresh perspective. Check out these five companies getting in on the fun.

1. Ardbeg

Discover the Isle of Islay with a stop at the Ardbeg distillery. Ardbeg debuted a series of virtual-reality videos capped off by a plunge into the Corryvreckan, the famous whirlpool that’s the namesake of one of its scotches. The VR experience is also meant to go with an in-person whisky tasting and added sensory cues. Ardbeg’s VR exhibit is available at whiskey festivals and similar events. You can join the Ardbeg Committee here to find all of the details. Expect the online version to be available by the start of 2017.

2. Hennessy

Hennessy’s “Harmony. Mastered From Chaos.” series was designed as an interactive digital experience. Get hands-on with your video screen for the entire production process of its cognac, doing everything from altering the weather in its vineyards and generating fire and heat for the barrels to blending together eau-de-vie, all in the name of creating Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège. Check it out at here.

3. Glenfiddich

Glenfiddich’s Journey Into the Mind of a Malt Master offers a full 360-degree VR experience taking you to its Dufftown, Scotland, distillery. You’ll enjoy a full showcase of its production process and facilities, with a Matrix-like presentation as your host guides you from in front of a white screen, with stills and equipment zooming in and out of view. Expect more VR from Glenfiddich, including live events in conjunction with its Experimental series.

4. Lagavulin

Lagavulin celebrated its 200th anniversary in 2016 and launched The Lagavulin Experience as part of its festivities. It rigs an enclosed sensory booth with 360-degree video projections and offers guests a scotch tasting along with a full range of added sense cues, such as touching and smelling barley and peat from the distillery. For now, you’ll need an invite to an official Lagavulin event for the full show, but you can get a glimpse of what to expect in this video.

5. Jack Daniel’s

Jack Daniel’s launched the 360 | VR Distillery Experience in honor of its 150th anniversary in 2016. You’ll go from the forests of Tennessee and its pristine underground water source to its cooperage, warehouses and even blazing stave fires. You can access the VR video online or find the brand popping up at events with snazzy VR goggles.

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