This is not the first time Glenlivet has packaged a mystery dram with a virtual guided experience, but this edition – known as Spectra (RM550) – comes with a twist. Inside the smartly dressed, faceted packaging that rotates about itself with satisfying magnetic snaps is not one, but three whiskies, in three separate 20cl bottles. There are no giveaways as to the character of the contents; rather, one is directed via QR code to a soothing voice that encourages a taste without preconceptions. After each tasting, the user is asked to grade the whisky according to its characteristics. Their answers are then compared to the official tasting notes and are given a grade depending on how well they did. Discussion and competition with friends is encouraged.
The tasting notes are, then, quite intentionally obfuscated, but trust that Glenlivet’s classic, fruit-forward Speyside character will come through. And as for peat and smoke lovers – well, they may be pleasantly surprised by one of them.