Glenlivet — The Visible Spectra

The Visible Spectra


The first things one seeks out in their whisky – before even liberating its cork – are its age, established flavour profiles, and the manner with which it was casked.

We use these hallmarks to close in on what we know we like, or what we think we might like, according to past tastings. As useful as this is, by the same token, we are narrowing our own horizons. You could try a peaty whisky that you deplore and then go on avoiding all mentions of smoky, medicinal flavours for the rest of your days. Your long-established idea of peat may be completely different to another distiller’s interpretation of it and yet you’re unlikely to ever know – all down to this system of pigeonholing, which is limiting as it is crucial

These little indicators also compel our senses into bias. If we’re told look out for citrus or honeycomb or cinnamon, then our brain is already eliminating potential left-of-field ruminations. Blind tastings often yield vastly different conclusions. Hints of pineapple have been known to be confused with the scent of leather satchels – such is the volatility of terpenes and our senses’ take on them. Like all great art, whisky is open to interpretation and each individual’s senses regale a dram in its own way – a great wonder often, tragically, curbed.

In lieu of being able to attend a whisky tasting due to the current crisis, Glenlivet has created a wholly unique interactive experience. The innovative Spectra collection encourages you to explore a wide spectrum of flavours through an immersive, virtual tasting.


“Stretching our signature house style into three different single malt whiskies that work together as a collection was a unique challenge. Given the mysterious nature of The Glenlivet Spectra, we aimed to ensure each flavour was distinct and recognisable.”


Alan Winchester, The Glenlivet Master Distiller

Inside the gorgeously sparse Glenlivet Spectra case is a troika of single malt enigmas. No tasting notes, no age statements, no information on cask. Instead, you are invited to decipher cryptic hints, putting your palate to the test to decode the single malts yourself. The bottles come packaged in a slickly designed box composed of three compartments – each housing one of the three expressions. The three panels are designed to subtly nod to the flavour profile of the bottle within, but beyond that you’re on your own.


Glenlivet is forever looking to shatter conventions and induct fledgling connoisseurs into the world of single malt Scotch. This bespoke, digital experience gives you the opportunity to exercise your own palate with untethered (and uninformed) ardour. At the end of each tasting, users are given a personalised scorecard showing how close they are to decoding each of the three mysterious single malts. Who knows? You might even identify flavours unknown to the distiller themself.

The full tasting notes and cask information will be revealed later in 2020, enabling drinkers to fully uncover the expertly crafted tasting notes contained within The Glenlivet Spectra.


The Glenlivet Spectra is priced at £105 for three 20cl bottles of single malt Scotch whisky and is available for purchase from




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