Glenlivet Wants You to Crack the Code on Its New Single Malt Whisky

The Glenlivet Code
 Courtesy The Glenlivet

Glenlivet is continuing its series of mystery releases: With this year’s The Code, it’s up to drinkers to determine what’s in the bottle.

Glenlivet has been doing these mystery projects for some time now. When Glenlivet Alpha came out half a decade ago, it invited a group of writers (myself included) into a pitch black windowless room where we tasted the whisky and were assisted by waiters in night vision goggles. Seriously.

It seems over-the-top even for the whisky world, but the point is to really prevent drinkers from coming into the tasting with any expectations—even from seeing the color of the whisky in the glass.

The black, opaque bottles have become a regular occurrence since then, which brings us to Glenlivet The Code. With your bottle of Glenlivet The Code in hand, you’ll get a scannable code for the Shazam app. Scanning it takes you to this website, where after having a taste of The Code you can try and taste your way through to a perfect score. The app shows you a brief video, followed by a series of four interactive selection wheels each for aroma and taste. Each wheel also lets you pick a dominant flavor or aroma note, such as pineapple, toffee, cherry, orange, smoke, cinnamon, dark chocolate, and fig. In all, you’re making 16 decisions, after which you’ll receive a score and ranking.

The bottle hits retailers soon but has already been out in the U.K. for a couple weeks, so avoid spoilers of other people sharing their results if you can.

The Code retails for about $120 and you’ll have until closer to the end of the year to take the test and try and figure out what’s in the barrel. If you don’t get 100 percent, though, don’t feel too bad. The point, game aside, is to decide whether you like the whisky. And this is a tasty one, even after you’ve played the game.