Diageo Releases A Hoard Of Scotch Whiskies Tied To Game Of Thrones - The Whiskey Wash

Diageo Releases A Hoard Of Scotch Whiskies Tied To Game Of Thrones

By Nino Marchetti / October 1, 2018

Whisky is coming. That is to say, a number of new bottlings of Scotch whiskies under the Diageo banner are being released which are tied to the iconic Game of Thrones television series that’s been a runaway hit for HBO. Included in the release plans are a special Johnnie Walker White Walker expression and a collection of rarer bottles paired to the Houses of Westeros, as well as the Night’s Watch.

The White Walker by Johnnie Walker, according to those behind it, is a special inspired blend created by whisky specialist George Harper alongside the small team of expert blenders from the Walker portfolio. At the heart of this new blend are single malts from Cardhu and Clynelish, the latter of which is one of Scotland’s most northern distilleries. Limited official tasting notes for this 41.7% ABV expression indicate it features “notes of caramelized sugar and vanilla, fresh red berries with a touch of orchard fruit.” It is best served directly from the freezer, as its complexity reportedly develops as it warms to room temperature.

White Walker by Johnnie Walker

White Walker by Johnnie Walker (image via Diageo)

Of fun note as well for this new Walker variant is the packaging. It sports “a icy white and blue design along with the iconic Striding Man now fashioned in armor to fit in among the ranks of the Night King’s forces.” Also, “utilizing temperature-sensitive thermochromic ink technology, fans will be reminded that ‘Winter is Here’ from an unexpected graphic icy reveal on the bottle when frozen.”

Joining the White Walker are a range of eight Diageo Scotches which will make up the new Game of Thrones Single Malt Scotch Whisky Collection. Each is paired with with one of the iconic Houses of Westeros, as well as the Night’s Watch, sporting special labeling on each bottle to reflect the pairing. You’ll find more information on each, including pricing and some tasting notes, below for your consideration. White Walker should be hitting stores now for around $36 per 750 ml bottling, while the others should start dropping in next month.

Game of Thrones Single Malt Scotch Whisky Collection

Game of Thrones Single Malt Scotch Whisky Collection (image via Diageo)

“Groundbreaking partnerships continue to be a strategic initiative for Diageo as they foster exceptional creative collaboration and help showcase the breadth of our portfolio,” said Dan Sanborn, Senior Vice President, Culture and Partnerships at Diageo, in a prepared statement. “We are very proud to have our collection of single malts and Johnnie Walker, the number one scotch whisky brand in the world, collaborate with HBO’s most successful TV franchise to develop these limited-edition offerings for fans to collect and celebrate the final season of Games of Thrones.”

  • Game of Thrones House Tully – Singleton of Glendullan Select; Around $30 for 750ml; ABV 40%
    • House Tully located at Riverrun, rules as the lord of The River lands. The power of water flows through both House Tully and The Singleton Glendullan Select as it is made on the banks of the River Fiddich in the wooded hills of Dufftown. Here they harnessed the water that flowed through the land utilizing a water wheel to power the entire distillery.
    • Orange and clove open on the nose but on the palate there’s red berry compote and vanilla cheesecake with a pronounced cereal spice finish
  • Game of Thrones House Stark – Dalwhinnie Winter’s Frost; Around $40 for 750ml; ABV 43%
    • House Stark’s resiliency, strength and ability to thrive under the most intense situations are greatly shaped by Winterfell’s frigid temperatures. Dalwhinnie, known for being one of the highest distilleries in all of Scotland is cold and remote much like The North where House Stark calls home, making the two an iconic pairing. Extreme conditions are responsible for shaping the signature Dalwhinnie Winter’s Frost honeyed sweetness and spicy warmth. Naturally, it’s best served chilled or over ice.
    • Honey and fresh fig develop on the palate followed by a delicious maltiness and rich fruit cake
  • Game of Thrones House Targaryen – Cardhu Gold Reserve; Around $40 for 750ml; ABV 40%
    • Fueled by the same fiery spirit of the fierce female leadership of Daenerys Targaryen, this single malt celebrates legendary women and their unwavering perseverance. The Cardhu Distillery was pioneered by Helen Cumming and her daughter-in-law Elizabeth during the 1800s, a time when the whisky industry was almost entirely male-dominated.
    • Baked apple with baking spices open on the first nosing than transforms on the palate into a rich caramel character with hints of clove, red apple and a gentle nuttiness
  • Game of Thrones House Lannister – Lagavulin 9 Year Old; Around $65 for 750ml; ABV 46%
    • Lagavulin is one of the most legendary single malt brands and has been crafted on the shores of Islay for more than 200 years – mirroring the meticulous calculation and tenacity employed by the Lannister’s in their rise to conquer the Iron Throne. This single malt whisky is a roaring single malt that recalls the Lannister’s riches and is best served neat or with a single drop of water.
    • Characteristic Lagavulin sweet smoke explodes on the nose with a little more brine than the other expressions. The palate opens with smoked caramelized banana and heavy vanilla and burnt marshmallow which subside into a light dry, slightly salted caramel
  • Game of Thrones House Greyjoy – Talisker Select Reserve; Around $45 for 750ml; ABV 45.8%
    • House Greyjoy rules the Iron Islands and worships the Drowned God. Talisker was a natural pair for House Greyjoy as this single malt is distilled on the shores of the Isle of Skye, one of the most remote and rugged areas of Scotland. The layered flavors and signature maritime character of Talisker Select Reserve are the result of its wave-battered shores. This liquid is an intense smoky single malt scotch with spicy, powerful and sweet elements combined with maritime flavors.
    • Dry Sichuan peppery smoke and dark chocolate on the nose. On the palate the salted caramel with chili flakes explode into a smoky fruit cake of spice and the finish is long and complex with a lasting character of leather
  • Game of Thrones House Baratheon – Royal Lochnagar 12 Year Old; Around $65 for 750ml; ABV 40%
    • Royal lineage drives the iconic pairing between House Baratheon and Royal Lochnagar. Similar to Robert Baratheon ruling the Seven Kingdoms upon the Iron Throne, Royal Lochnagar was deemed a whisky worthy of a royal family as it was granted a Royal Warrant after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert visited the distillery in 1848. Balanced with delicate fruits and spices, this taste of royalty is best enjoyed neat.
    • Light notes of oak and sweet liquorice that develops into a rich, creamy vanilla coffee and finishes with a mild nutmeg custard note
  • Game of Thrones House Tyrell – Clynelish Reserve; Around $60 for 750ml; ABV 51.2%
    • House Tyrell of Highgarden rules over the Reach, the lush and fertile region of Westeros. Like the Reach, Clynelish is positioned among green pastures and rolling hills, with scenic views of the North Sea.This vibrant, golden Scotch is light and floral, like House Tyrell, it’s not to be underestimated with its underlying complex combination of Highland and maritime qualities.
    • Bursting with fresh tropical fruits like papaya and mango that subsides into a creamy vanilla character. The finish is slightly maritime in quality with a delicate floral note
  • Game of Thrones The Night’s Watch – Oban Bay Reserve; Around $63 for 750ml; ABV 43%
    • The Oban distillery sits beneath the steep cliff that overlooks the bay in the frontier between the west Highlands and the Islands of Scotland, separating land and sea, just as Castle Black, home of The Night’s Watch, sits between Westeros and the lands beyond The Wall. The liquid’s richness is balanced with a woody, spicy dryness that The Night’s Watch could enjoy even on the coldest of nights.
    • Rich notes of cherry pie and candied orange peel open up on the palate that drifts into a wonderful crème caramel and a wisp of charred oak