The Glenlivet Code – A new Mystery?

The Glenlivet are fond of mysterious bottlings (see the previous Cipher / Alpha – both I have tasted and tried in the past and reviewed on the blog)  as we well know, and the third such bottling was released not long ago by the name of Code. You know the drill: you buy a black bottle, no information whatsoever (no age, wood profile, etc), and you have to ‘guess’ the flavor profiles online on the Code site .
I was kindly invited to a very interesting blogger / whisky lover event : a Hackathon.
Now, during the daytime I am a ‘code monkey’ (meaning i code for a living, software engineer, geek you name it) , and have attended quite a few Hackathons (writing software code , that is), but this was my very first whisky Hackathon, which was cool. We set to meet online at 1900 hrs, some of us online, and some at a REAL live event in a whisky bar, and were divided into teams, some were on location and some at home (like myself).
We were first asked some Glenlivet Trivia questions, which were presented on twitter and also to the live hackers, I was fortunate to have Billy Abbott, and Ruben as well on my team, and the Trivia session proved to be fun, and quite manageable. Then the teams had to analyze the whiskies (we got a cool sample pack in a James bond sort of case), and try to match the tasting notes of Glenlivet’s master distiller Alan Winchester, fun fun fun. At any rate, our team did not win, not sure who won… but Loads of fun, and a very nice online launch event was had.
At any rate, my notes, for this enigmatic whisky…

The Glenlivet Code, NAS, 48% abv, £112 (TWB)

Nose: quite sweet, with marshmallow, pink cotton candy, candied apples on a stick, sweet vanilla and soft wood spices, quite creamy and toffee’d with a hint of ripe orange zest,almost like stepping into a candy store as a kid. 
Palate: fruity and sweet, with baked apple, fried bananas, vanilla and more orange zest, then getting drier and a bit tart and bitter, with toasted oak, cocoa powder. 
Finish : dry, pepper, cinnamon and wood, vanilla pods and chocolate.


This is a fun whisky, the nose is very nice, sweet , candied and lovely, and the palate is a nice combination of the sweet tofeed fruit, banana and spices. I quit like this one, It’s somewhat better than the Cipher and maybe in the same league as the original ‘Alpha’. As for the price, I am not sure 112 quid is exceptional VFM, and you can certainly get better deals on the market, but without the ‘enigma’ element. At any rate, a very nice looking bottle, If that’s what you’re looking for. A lovely present for a whisky buff, I say, or a Glenlivet fan who has everything…

Score: 85/100

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *