The Glenlivet Cipher Tasting at SpiritHouse Toronto

The Glenlivet Cipher

Some posts on this site contain affiliate links. If you book or purchase something through one of these links, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Read the full disclosure policy here.

The Glenlivet has introduced a new whisky called The Glenlivet Cipher, dubbed the world’s most mysterious whisky.

The Glenlivet Cipher is a limited edition single malt released by Alan Winchester, a Master Distiller. It’s in a black bottle with no cask information nor tasting notes so you need to be the one to decode it.

The Glenlivet Guardians and Ambassadors, Ian and Frank, hosted a tasting event on November 14, 2016 at the SpiritHouse Toronto for people to try the Glenlivet Cipher and test their senses to cipher the drink.

Whisky is actually my favorite liquor so when Karen (@SincerelyKN) asked me if I wanted to join her, I was very happy to do so!

Also Read: Top Restaurants in Toronto


The Glenlivet Cipher Tasting Event

This tasting was like no other I’ve been to. When our event started, we were led to a room and was told that to get to the tasting, we needed to solve a bunch of puzzles that would give us a code to unlock the room to the tasting within 20 minutes, similar to an Escape Room game.

There were 3 pieces we had to solve in sequential order. The first was unlocking a wheel cipher by looking at determining the lock code from an eye chart. This unlocks a vial with some form of liquid inside.

The second was finding out the Dewey decimal classification of a book by deciphering code from a cipher disc with a help from a written letter and the vial retrieved from the first puzzle.

The third was finding the correct book based on the second puzzle and finding your way our after.

Deciphering The Glenlivet Cipher Tasting Notes

After we escaped, we were then brought to another room with a seating area. Each seat has an iPad and a Glenlivet cup, a water dropper, a pad paper and pen.

Ian the Guardian was there to talk us through. He’s such an expert on whisky and you can see his passion as he talks about whisky and The Glenlivet Cipher.

One thing I learned from Ian that night about whisky was you don’t drink it straight without rocks. You actually need to add water (or ice) to the whisky as doing so opens up a different, new and subtle flavours that you normally won’t experience drinking straight up without water.

With The Glenlivet Cipher in front of us, we were to try to decode the tasting notes via this site: https://www.theglenlivet.com/cipher-experience/.

This was very interesting thing to do for a tasting. In this website, you would try to guess which ingredients you can smell in the whisky. And in the next part, you try to guess the ingredients you taste in the whisky.

Travelling Foodie Tip: To best help decipher, you need to drop the water to smell / taste the flavours.

I loved this game as that’s normally what I try to do when I eat or drink: try to deconstruct what I’m tasting.

I also liked the fact that we get our own iPad so everyone gets to do it on their own without any influence in decisions, and there’s no fear of making a mistake or something (unlike in a public forum type of game).

As it turns out, I still need to drink more whisky as I didn’t do so well, compared to the world average of 41%.

After the game, we were brought out to another room where we got to relax with some buffet-style snacks, live music and two drams of Glenlivet Whisky (The Glenlivet Cipher and the 1824 Founder’s Reserve).


More Event Photos


The Glenlivet Cipher / Website
SpiritHouse Toronto / Website / Address: 487 Adelaide St. W. @ Portland. Toronto, ON. M5V 1T4


Disclaimer: Although the event was complimentary provided by The Glenlivet, the opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of the companies.

Updated: