A Tumbler of Ice and Fire | The Jewish Week | Food & Wine

A Tumbler of Ice and Fire

Specialty White Walker by Johnnie Walker cocktail, The Night King’s Sour, created by Mixologist Gabe Orta

Game of Thrones- branded whisky in time for winter

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Around seven years ago, many of my friends began gushing over a new HBO television show called Game of Thrones, a fantasy drama that honestly didn’t much interest me.

Things changed for me when I heard that HBO decided to team up with Diageo to release some limited edition Game of Thrones branded booze: the White Walker by Johnnie Walker Blended Scotch Whisky and The Game of Thrones Single Malt Scotch Whisky Collection.

According to the press release, “The limited-edition whiskies are inspired by the iconic characters and the creative world of Westeros”—whatever that is—“and beyond and are here to tide fans over during their wait for the eighth and final season.” The eighth season of the HBO show premiers in April 2019.

Exactly what the connection might be, or why anybody should be motivated to buy these whiskies because of the show, or watch the show because of these whiskies is as elusive to me as the appeal of the show itself, and also, for that matter, the appeal of the entire fantasy genre. I just don’t get it.

Fortunately, the fantasy genre tie-in element seems pure gimmick of no consequence and these limited edition whiskies happen to be very good. Without further ado, here are four fine whiskies from this overall worthwhile collection to seek out:

Game of Thrones House Stark, Dalwhinnie Winter’s Frost ($39.99; ABV 43%): This non-age statement whisky is bright, malty, and fruity, with notes of tropical fruit, vanilla, brown sugar, caramel, and toasty malt on the nose and a mellow and malty palate of pear, black tea, ginger, honey, and citrus. This is a lovely introductory expression from the Dalwhinnie distillery.

Game of Thrones House Tyrell, Clynelish Reserve ($59.99; ABV 51.2%): This lovely, dry, complex whisky offers a wonderfully aromatic nose of graham cracker, malted barley, molasses, and citrus, and a rich palate of mango, banana bread, almonds, milk chocolate, and a hint of smoke and maritime notes (especially after a drop of water is added to open it up). Yum.

Game of Thrones House Greyjoy, Talisker Select Reserve ($44.99; ABV 45.8%): This is a suitably beautiful bruising beast of a non-age statement whisky, with a smoky nose of dark chocolate covered orange peel, brine, charcoal, smoked meat, spice, and dried fruits, and a salty, smoky palate of smoked and charred meats, leather, salt, caramel, grilled fruit, charcoal, chili, and some sort of herbal element. The finish is more maritime-driven, with still plenty of beachside campfire, fruit leather, and some sort of slightly citrus glazed smoke meat. This is wonderfully complex and still quite feisty.

Game of Thrones House Lannister, Lagavulin 9 Year Old ($64.99; ABV 46%): As expected from this venerable distillery, this is a fabulous whisky—the nose is sweet and peaty with notes of apple, pear, banana, spice, malt syrup, wet smoke, and wet wool; the sweet yet earthy palate offers notes of dried banana, smoked meat, burnt cloves, red licorice, caramel, brine, a touch of eucalyptus, mint, citrus peel, and wet ash. The finish is smoky, juicy, fruity, malty, and wonderfully brooding.

L’Chaim!

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