What’s the hype?For those of you that are uninitiated, Game of Thrones is a medieval epic TV series with lots of blood and sex. So pretty standard viewing for a Saturday night.
It is hugely popular and it seems that everyone is talking about it, (or not, if they’re trying to avoid spoilers). If you haven’t watched it, now is the time. With seven series already finished, there’s plenty to binge watch before April 14th when the eighth series will be released.
As with all things pop culture, there is a great opportunity for merchandising and lots of other companies getting on board to create collaborations. And now we have Diageo’s eight bottlings released to celebrate the eighth series.
1. House Lannister – Lagavulin 9 Year Old Single Malt ScotchLagavulin has been around for over 200 years, mirroring the meticulous calculation and tenacity employed by the Lannister’s in their rise to conquer the Iron Throne.
The palate of House Lannister Lagavulin 9 Year Old is bold and full of Oceanside notes; brine, seaweed and oily ropes. This, coupled with the peat, is intense and delicious.
The finish is sweet and slightly spicy, with a little hint of cinnamon.
2. House Greyjoy – Talisker Select Reserve HouseGreyjoy 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.
Thick notes of dark chocolate and bitter coffee come through, which add a lovely edge to the smoke.
The palate is bursting with caramel, treacle and vanilla. It is exceptionally sweet and full of flavour.
House Greyjoy Talisker Select Reserve House finishes with more fruit and caramel and a lasting impression of pepper and spice.
3. House Stark – Dalwhinnie Winter’s FrostHouse 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.
The nose opens with lots of soft floral and honey, with big bold vanilla notes and a gentle spice. The sweetness is crisp and refined, with a welcome bite to it.
The palate is bursting with figs, raisins and dried apricots. These add richness and texture and go perfectly with the honeyed notes.
The finish of House Stark Dalwhinnie Winter's Frost is strong and full of honey and oak, with a little hint of vanilla.
4. House Targaryen – Cardhu Gold ReserveGame of Thrones House Targaryen Cardhu Gold Reserve is fueled by the same fiery spirit of the fierce female leadership of Daenerys Targaryen.
The palate is full of oak and barley grains. It has a wonderful apple crumble with custard flavour that goes really well with the spices.
More apples and some pears, with oranges and caramel come in, adding some zest to the overall flavour
The finish is bold, with notes of caramel and grains to end.
5. House of Tyrell – Clynelish ReserveHouse Tyrrell of Highgarden rules over the Reach, the lush and fertile region of Westeros, just as Clynelish is positioned among green pastures and rolling hills.
The palate of House of Tyrell Clynelish Reserve is delicious, with big, bold notes of sea salt and apple blossom. The lighter floral tones add a lovely delicate sounding board for the salt and vanilla to bounce off.
The wood of the casks takes over and brings in a slightly warming note. It is full of cinnamon and nutmeg, with tannins and loads of vanilla.
The finish wraps everything with brine and vanilla, offering a lovely contrast and the perfect ending.
6. House of Tully – Singleton of Glendullan SelectTully 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.
The nose is full of sweet vanilla and char. The heat from the char is excellent and adds a homely warmth to the vanilla.
Cinnamon and cloves, with a hint of orange citrus appears, adding a lovely depth to the flavour.
The palate is packed with orchard fruit and spice; apple, pears, peaches, all smothered in thick caramel and cinnamon.
The finish rounds off with more grains and a lasting note of apple and vanilla.
7. House of Baratheon – Royal Lochnagar 12 Year OldGame of Thrones House Baratheon pays royal homage to Robert Baratheon ruling the Seven Kingdoms upon the Iron Throne.
This 12 year old is very lively and fresh. The nose begins with malted grains and summer berries. There is a tart flavour that goes ideally with the citrus notes that follow.
Oranges, lemons and clementines are joined by cinnamon and vanilla to bring a sweet and spicy note. The palate brims with toasted brown sugar, oak wood and ginger. It is rich and luxurious.
The finish of House of Baratheon Royal Lochnagar 12 Year Old is strong, with more honey and vanilla and a lasting note of oak wood.
8. The Night’s Watch – Oban Bay ReserveOban, which sits on the Highland coast of Scotland, has been chosen for this release and it’s coastal notes are perfect for this expression. The liquid’s richness is balanced with a woody, spicy dryness that The Night’s Watch could enjoy even on the coldest of nights.
Cherries and summer berries, with hints of chocolate and sea salt add complexity and richness to the overall flavour of The Night's Watch Oban Bay Reserve.
Smoke wafts in from the charred casks. It goes hand in hand with the oak wood and sweet caramel notes.
The finish is heavy on the char, with more caramel and notes of biscuit.
Even better if you are a Game of Thrones fan; what could make your viewing better than doing so with an exceptional drop of Whisky to go with it?