Pernod Ricard has created four million unique bottle designs for the launch of a new version of Absolut vodka.

The spirits giant said it had to re-engineer its production process to ensure the design of every bottle of Absolut Unique featured a one-off design of splashes, patterns and areas of colour.

The bottles, which have numbered labels to reinforce their uniqueness, rolled out to travel retail this week ahead of high-end stockists (rsp: £21.50) and selected on-trade outlets next month. But the drink will be given a wider off-trade launch next year.

“Absolut Unique will be launched to the wider UK off-trade in February/March 2013,” said Pernod Ricard marketing manager Adam Boita. “We are putting significant investment behind the new limited edition, which will include an outdoor, digital and in-store support plan.”

The creation of the bottles involved programming splash guns and colour-generating machines with complex coating, pattern and placement algorithms to ensure no two bottles were created alike, said the company, which used 38 colours and 51 patterns in the production.

“Unique feels a bit ‘mad scientist’, a bit street art,” said Absolut vice president of global marketing Jonas Tåhlin.