The Glenlivet Code Series Mystery drives desire

How do you capture the attention of whisky connoisseurs? NB’s answer was to tease them. For The Glenlivet, we devised an evolving series of limited editions – Alpha, Cipher and Code. They defied convention with an enigmatic black bottle that hid all information about casks, age or tasting notes.

[Campaign] [Packaging]

Confounding the connoisseur
Our inspiration for the idea, name, packaging design and activation for the new super premium series came from an audience insight. Research showed that ‘malt adventurers’ relish the opportunity to express their whisky knowledge, so we challenged them to ‘unlock the flavours’ of a mystery liquid.

A secret, wrapped in a riddle, inside an enigma
Bottled in jet-black glass with hidden tasting notes, our designs tantalised the senses of even the most experienced whisky connoisseur. For the Cipher edition, the journey began with a wordsearch, continued with a gamified experience online and culminated in a personal tutorial at The Glenlivet distillery.

Cracking the Code
The Code limited edition took inspiration from British wartime code-breakers. The packaging mimicked the typographic style of the ‘barrels’ used by Alan Turing to crack the enigma code. Again, an online game challenged entrants to unlock the taste of the whisky’s unique flavour.



Cipher sold out the entire limited edition of 30,000 units in record time.



Code built on the success of Cipher and was Selfridge’s biggest selling item in its launch week.


Media impressions

The insight that mystery drives desire proved well-founded as the black-on-black design stood out in the cluttered single-malt category.

“I was thrilled with the beautiful work NB produced for Code, a whisky that pushes the boundaries of what is expected from The Glenlivet. As the third release of the mystery edition from The Glenlivet after Alpha and Cipher, Code challenges consumers to unlock the taste via an interactive experience. This has been an exciting project and a great collaboration.”

Astrid Casali Senior Global Brand Manager, Chivas Brothers

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