The Glenlivet Cipher offers fans a blind tasting experience

03 June, 2016

The Glenlivet has launched The Glenlivet Cipher, a ‘mysterious’ single malt Scotch whisky released without any cask information or tasting notes, designed to test whisky fans’ noses and palates against the master distiller.

Cipher, which is presented in an opaque black bottle, is designed to be the ultimate challenge for single malt Scotch whisky drinkers. It is created from a unique cask combination that has never been used before by The Glenlivet and the company says it offers a new flavour experience to explore “while maintaining the flawlessly smooth and fruity flavour profile that the distillery is famous for”.

The journey to decode the tasting notes of Cipher begins on the label of the bottle, where the first clue appears with a prompt to visit the official The Glenlivet microsite at

Once online, Master Distiller Alan Winchester lays down the challenge to decipher the tasting notes through a video. Participants are then encouraged to create a flavour wheel by selecting six aromas for the nose and six flavours for the palate, indicating the strength of each, resulting in more than 10,000 possible flavour combinations.

There is help available for whisky fans in the form of tasting tips from Alan Winchester, as well as additional clues. Once the flavour wheel has been created users will get a percentage score of their accuracy.

Winchester will reveal the official tasting notes in the future to The Glenlivet Guardians, the online community of brand advocates.

He said: “The rise in the popularity of single malt Scotch whisky over the past 10 years means that more people than ever are actively nosing, tasting and discussing single malt Scotch whisky, which is fantastic. It is therefore a great pleasure to introduce The Glenlivet Cipher to the world as it presents a challenge for Scotch whisky fans at all levels. For the true whisky connoisseurs out there, we have combined a unique and original selection of casks to craft The Glenlivet Cipher as part of our commitment to building upon the flawlessly smooth and fruity house style of The Glenlivet”

Cipher will be available in 25 countries from this month in limited quantities. Only 1,200 bottles will go on sale in the UK, with a recommended price of £100 per bottle.

Magin Trewhella, marketing manager at Pernod Ricard UK, added: “The Glenlivet Cipher is another stunning launch from The Glenlivet, and we are delighted to be able to make this exciting new expression available to a discerning audience in the UK.

“This is an incredibly exciting time for The Glenlivet following the successful launch of The Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve, our new signature expression in the UK, while the launch of Cipher is further evidence of how the brand is constantly pushing the boundaries of innovation.”

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