The Glenlivet Code


On March 27th, The Glenlivet released their latest limited edition whisky, Code across 30 global markets.

The premise of the limited edition is to challenge consumers into guessing the secret tasting notes, with a trip to and exclusive experience at The Glenlivet’s distillery in Scotland as the prize.


The creative concept, name and packaging were conceived by lead designers Olly St John and Kirsty Whittaker at NB Studio, briefed to build on the success of last year’s Cipher edition via the insight that mystery drives desire in premium categories. The resulting limited edition activated this insight by taking inspiration for the concept coming from British wartime code-breakers.


Code’s launch is accompanied by an online game developed by digital agency Zone, entered by Shazam-ing the box’s packaging, and asks entries to crack the code and ‘unlock the taste’ of the whisky’s unique flavour.



Code follows on from 2016’s Cipher and 2015’s Alpha, featuring an evolution of the edition’s distinctive matte-black bottle with a hint of copper and black lettering.


Campaign photography by Paul Zak featured secret dossiers, micro-dot tape and various other accessories to further reinforce the code-breaking theme.


To-date, Code has had a 250% increase in uptake compared to Cipher, and has been Selfridge’s biggest selling item in its launch week.


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 through Shazam. 


Fitting for a whisky that has never been released before by The Glenlivet, Code has been an exciting project and a great collaboration.


– Astrid Casali, Senior Global Brand Manager, Chivas Brothers

Code is a courageous limited edition with a mystery narrative, a whisky that’s been made possible by the depth of our partnership with The Glenlivet. At NB, we believe ordinary is dull, and Code’s sell-out success shows that consumers and whisky connoisseurs agree.


NB Studio

We’re an award-winning branding and communications studio that puts design at the heart of our business and our soul into everything we create. Founded in 1997.

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