The mystery of The Glenlivet Cipher

The Glenlivet Distillery was founded by George Smith in 1824 and is currently owned by Pernod Ricard under the Chvas Brothers banner.  As a brand it is the second biggest selling single malt in the world and number one in the USA.

The Cipher was released several months ago. It is presented in an opaque black bottle with just the barest minimum of information avaliable on the label.  No official tasting notes were released, no cask, maturation or age information was offered. It is however a combination of casks never before used by Glenlivet.

It is designed as an interactive tasting experince with its own website where you can record your personal tasting notes and publish them via social media.

Time to try and crack the Cipher…

The Glenlivet Cipher, 48%abv, NAS, (sourced by sample swap)


The nose contains hints of banana, pineapple, toffee and raisins. There is a citrus note throught and a slight floral, malty undertone. Typicaly fruity and smooth Speyside style.

The palate is a mixture of pineapple, honeycomb and barley sugars. There is a slight bitter chocolate note as it approaches the finish where some red fruit notes emerge and, it must be said is punchier than expected. A pleasant spiced and floral note ligers for a while before some slight spice.

After recently trying the bland and quie uninspiring Founders Reserve this is rather nice and a pleasant surprise. I do fear that the whisky itself has been overshadowed by the marketing hype and all the associated smoke and mirrors that comes along with it.

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