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With the Glenlivet Code, Whisky Has Gone Digital

The centuries-old art of whisky making has entered the 21st century with a holographic tour.

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Finally, the centuries-old art of whisky making has entered the 21st century.

The world of whisky has always been driven by a rich heritage on all fronts. There are whisky distilling families that run generations deep, aged barrels that have been use for decades, and then, of course, there’s the actual spirit itself. With all of this pomp and circumstance at play, it’s rare that such an industry — much like Savile Row suiting or Swiss watchmaking — is thrust into the 21st century. That is until now. The Glenlivet Code, released earlier this week, is what we like to call “whisky gone digital.”

The latest limited edition single malt expression from the 193-year-old purveyor comes packaged in a seemingly barren matte black box and bottle. While the average Whisky purchase comes paired with cask information and romanticized tasting notes printed on the bottle, that, let’s face it, many of us don’t bother to read, The Glenlivet Code instead asks you and your mobile phone to do the work. Using the Shazam app, known for identifying unknown song audio, consumers scan a unique code to “unlock” a guided hologram tour. It’s all led by the brand’s master distiller, Alan Winchester, who you will likely find far more interesting than any printed verbiage.

During the tour, Winchester offers up an immersive experience within The Glenlivet distillery, located in Speyside, Scotland, where he explains every detail of the whisky. And, just like elementary school, there’s a quiz throughout in which Winchester poses multiple choice questions about the aroma, palette flavors, and a handful of additional nuances that make up its complex tasting notes. Score high, and you have the option to share the results on your social platforms for extra bragging rights, which will become all the more valuable at the end of the year when the official tasting notes are revealed. It may seem like a long way off, but in an industry where the product often takes a decade or longer to create, a year is a relative blink of an eye.

“We had a unique opportunity to create a whisky that has never been crafted before, using new casks and techniques to push the boundaries of what people expect from The Glenlivet,” said Winchester. “This year’s limited edition is a labyrinth of flavors that will test the senses of even the most discerning whisky drinker.” The cost of your discerning taste? A cool $120 per bottle, but with it comes a never-before-seen, mystery creation that very few others will have on their bar carts.