Type: Blended Scotch Whisky
Ageing casks: N/A
Additional coloring: Yes
Average price: € 25.00
Official website: www.johnniewalker.com
In the wake of the limited editions dedicated to Game of Thrones, Diageo has decided to involve its best-known blended wine with this “out-of-series” bottle, soon to be followed by a pair dedicated to ice and fire, the two key elements of the series.
A particular feature of this bottle is the label that changes when the bottle is kept in the freezer (and in fact they recommend drinking it cold), a pure marketing frill like the whole operation.
The main components are Clynelish and Cardhu, and it is a blend of single malt and grain.
Here’s a list of all the special editions dedicated to GoT:
Cardhu Gold Reserve (dedicated to the House Targaryen);
Clynelish Reserve (dedicated to the House Tyrell);
Dalwhinnie Winter’s Frost (dedicated to the House Stark);
Lagavulin 9yo (dedicated to the House Lannister);
Mortlach 15yo (dedicated to the Six Kingdoms);
Oban Bay Reserve (dedicated to the Night’s Watch);
Royal Lachnagar 12yo (dedicated to the House Baratheon);
Singleton of Glendullan Reserve (dedicated to the House Tully);
Talisker Select Reserve (dedicated to the House Greyjoy).
Nominally not part of the series, but nevertheless inspired by GoT, are the following:
Johnnie Walker White Walker (dedicated to the White Walkers);
Johnnie Walker Song of Fire and Johnnie Walker Song of Ice.
Kept in the freezer before drinking as recommended, the cold tends to dampen the aromas on the nose, initially of caramelised cereal and hay, I would say ‘fresh’ but that would be stating the obvious! As it goes to room temperature, the sweet notes are amplified a lot, with the addition of tropical fruits (coconut and mango) while revealing a bitter and plastic touch in the background (ah, the good JW, now I recognise you!).
Drunk while still cold, it remains rather anonymous and weak, very light, with a hint of cinnamon on the cereals, honeyed candy, and a grassy touch in the background. As it warms up, the synthetic part emerges decisively, almost like a plastic distillate, bringing with it a clear sensation of wood.
The finish is short, bitter, dry, of cardboard, plastic and cereals.
Not a total disaster like the Red Label but just about, drinking it cold as recommended (and rightly so) dulls the more unpleasant elements, but they are present and vivid.
To be used for cocktails, certainly not straight, and to impress friends or pick up fans of Martin’s books.
The Whiskey Wash