You just wanted a dram of whisky. What you got was a hologram enmeshing you in a mystery that won’t be resolved until the end of 2018.
The Glenlivet Code is a new, limited-edition single malt from the Speyside distillery of the same name. It comes with absolutely no information regarding its casks or flavors. Instead, drinkers must use their proprietary sense of taste and smart devices to turn their once stationary drinking experience into something more akin to the Matrix.
Each bottle comes with an individual QR code on its posterior. The bearer is meant to scan that code using Shazam, which will produce a hologram of the whisky’s master distiller (in a virtual room on your phone, unfortunately, and not projected in blue light and sick Leia braids from a droid’s steel dink).
The distiller will lead you through a tasting of the whisky in an attempt to decode the flavors within. You’ll make your best guess as to what each of those essences are, then be given a score based on your answers. It’ll be kind of like high school, with less drinking.
You will then be encouraged to share your score on social media, where all your good-looking, healthy, scotch-loving friends will be having a blast doing the same, allowing you to compare the supremacy of your palate to theirs.
But it will only be at the end of the year that the official tasting notes will be disclosed. At which point, you’ll probably smile to yourself and say something smart like, “Ah yes, I thought I detected a wavering note of Sumatran camphor in there.”
The whisky and its unique gimmick are inspired by Britain’s historic Code Breakers, the heroic WWII agents who unscrambled Axis power codes, like Alan Turing of Imitation Game fame.
In any case, holograms helped breathe new life into Obi-Wan and Tupac. Let’s see what they can do for whisky marketing.
A bottle of Glenlivet Code costs $120 and is available nationwide.