The Glenlivet Cipher

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There's always something (strange) going on in the marketing departments around the world, so also in the whisky industry. Back in 2013 Glenlivet released a whisky called Alpha, with no tasting notes, no cask details and an opaque black bottle. Now they are at it again. You see the Glenlivet Cipher is a mystery, an enigma, something we the consumers shall attempt to decipher and understand. It feels a bit Dan Brown-ish.

If you head over to the website, Alan Winchester, the Glenlivet Master Blender will be your guide. You are walked through an exercise where you try to identify the six correct (?) aromas on the nose and on the palate, and select the correct (?) intensity for these. You have a total of 12 choices for the nose and for the palate respectively, so you pick half of them. When you are all done you get a final score.

I found this to be a fun, but somewhat over-simplified exercise. We are all individual, and so are our noses and palates. We also have unique experiences that form how we describe aromas and tastes with words. Just like this blog, it will always have a certain (rather large) amount of subjectivity to it. Therefore, giving a score, and at the same time not revealing what Glenlivet believe is the correct (?) answer, is a bit...underwhelming. Anyways, my score was about 50 %. Toss a coin...

Nose: Lightly floral. Vanilla, fresh apples, sweet licorice, ripe banana, golden syrup, and a touch of malt. Medium sweetness. A bit shy on the nose.

Taste: Cool and full-bodied. Light honey notes - make that toast with honey. Bitter oranges and ginger. Ooh, that old school candy - strips of dried ginger and dried orange covered in dark chocolate. A touch of cinnamon and vanilla as well.

Finish: Medium long finish. The honey notes are a bit heavier now, and more pronounced. I like that. I still find the ginger and orange chocolate! Sugary finish, with a touch of exotic spices and caramel.

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