The Glenlivet, the famous Speyside distillery, have announced a new limited edition single malt for this Summer but it is one with more than the usual hint of intrigue. The Glenlivet Cipher has been released with virtually no information attached, except the legally required alcohol strength of 48% ABV.

No tasting notes, no details of cask types or maturation (other than it is a unique combination never used for The Glenlivet before), no age statement and no indication of colour or style due to the striking black opaque bottle. The bottle and packaging give clues of flavour and aroma but little else.

The Glenlivet distillery has always been innovative since it was founded in 1824 by George Smith. It was the first distillery in the Speyside region to be granted a distilling license under the new Parliamentary Excise Act of 1823 and this approach has led to The Glenlivet becoming the world’s best selling single malt brand when it overtook long-standing leader Glenfiddich in mid-2015.

Now The Glenlivet Cipher continues the brand’s innovation. Like Alpha, Cipher’s predecessor from a couple of years ago, the whisky challenges common perceptions by removing obvious stimuli. This time the mystery and challenge is increased by a user-friendly and interactive digital element.

By visiting you can create your own aroma and flavour profiles for Cipher and also pit your wits against Alan Winchester, the Master Distiller of The Glenlivet. It is plenty of fun and really gets you to analyse the whisky both on the nose and palate. Do not worry as Alan is on hand to assist you with some useful tips.

Once you have chosen your six aroma and flavour characteristics, the results are collated into a graphic cipher and your selections compared to those of Alan to reveal how close you are. You can then share across various social media platforms using #TheGlenlivetCipher and @TheGlenlivet. As you can see above, my score was terrible (48%) so I think Alan’s job as Master Distiller is safe for a while longer …

“I am laying down the ultimate test and am pleased to invite people to join us on a journey of flavour discovery. I will be checking social media throughout the campaign to see who manages to crack the code and unlock the tasting notes of this new enigmatic single malt. So get tasting, share your comments online and stayed tuned.”
Alan Winchester – Master Distiller at The Glenlivet.

The Glenlivet Cipher is available now from selected specialist retailers across 25 world markets including Canada, Taiwan and the UK. The recommended retail price is £85 or $US120. The full details of Cipher will be revealed to The Glenlivet Guardians by Alan Winchester later in the year. In the meantime, why not join in and create your own aroma and flavour profile at