We’ve looked at our fair share of The Glenlivet Scotch and you can read those tasting notes here, here, here and here. A couple of years ago we were generously invited to a tasting of the newly anticipated The Glenlivet Cipher; a limited edition, non-age statement whisky that only reveals its name and nothing else, no cask finish info, no tasting notes and its matte black bottle doesn’t even reveal its colour. A smart move from The Glenlivet, to get the consumers to fully engage with the spirit and embrace the whisky and all of its flavours, without any preconception, leaving the consumer to form their own ideas of what they’re tasting. This year, Glenlivet have followed up that expression with another dubbed “The Glenlivet Code”, the third of a series, following the Alpha and the Cipher. Just like its predecessors, The Glenlivet Code has its own fully interactive microsite here where you can try to decode what you’ve experienced.
On the nose: you’ll be welcomed by sweet notes of Madeira cake, crisp red apples, vanilla and a lovely waft of candy. This is closely followed by spices, cinnamon and poached pears. After a few swirls, marmalade, toffee and flavours of a nutty nature start to emerge. Rounding off the nose are some light floral notes, aniseed and a hint of zest. On the palate: those initial sweet notes of marmalade and red apples are ever-present, coupled with vanilla notes. Sweet candy notes start to filter through, alongside notes of pineapples, pears, banana and liquorice. More fruity notes of apricots and peaches start to appear, balanced out with cinnamon, nutmeg and stem ginger. The palate has a lovely oily, yet creamy texture, which is nicely rounded off by a whisper of zest The finish: is medium to long, dry and peppery, with lingering nuttiness with a suggestion of burnt oranges.
The verdict: I wasn’t quite sure what to expect with this new limited edition Glenlivet Code and it is safe to say I was massively impressed. The Glenlivet Code has achieved what it set out to accomplish, its mysterious packing truly does heighten your senses and immerses you in its nose and palate. A very well-balanced drop that was truly delectable. With an ABV of 48% , it’s definitely a whisky that doesn’t really need any water but if you want to unlock the plethora of notes available, then only add a few drops. Just allowing it to breathe for around 10 minutes really did make a difference without adding any water.
The Glenlivet Founders Code Malt Scotch Whisky can be found online or in-store at any well-stocked whisky shops for approximately £110