With the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones underway, it’s not long before the captivating yet morally dubious show will leave our screens. To see off the years of violence, incest, scandal and power plays in style, Diageo and HBO have teamed up to create a limited-edition collection of Game of Thrones inspired Single Malt Scotch Whiskies.
Seven whisky distilleries in the UK came together to create a unique whisky for each of Westeros’ most iconic houses, plus one for the Night’s Watch. “We are thrilled to be celebrating the final season of the show by toasting with whiskies that authentically pay homage to some of the greatest characters and houses,” said Pedro Mendonca, Global Reserve Marketing & Malts Director.
BYO had the chance to sample the collection, and it’s sure to impress Tyrion “I drink and I know things” Lannister. Read on for our take on each house’s inebriant.
House Stark - Dalwhinnie Winter’s Frost
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.
Winter’s Frost began with rich, honeyed notes, with a hint of fresh fig, and left a slightly malty, smoky taste on the palate.
House Tully – The Singleton Glendullan Select
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.
Much like its origins, Glendullan Select was slightly watery, while being sweet on the palate. A touch of orange and clove wafts into the nose, as spiced fruit lingers on the tongue.
House Targaryen - Cardhu Gold Reserve
Fuelled 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.
Somewhat reminiscent of a Christmas cocktail, Gold Reserve has a strong scent of baked apples mingled with cinnamon, cardamom, clove and star anise, while the palate is hit with caramel and nutty notes.
House Lannister - Lagavulin Nine Year Old
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.
Best served neat, the Nine Year Old is sweet and smoky, with heavy notes of vanilla and salted caramel.
House Greyjoy - Talisker Select Reserve
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.
Select Reserve has notes of chocolate on the nose, offset by the scent of Sichuan peppers. Spiced fruit cake and salted caramel dance on the tongue, leaving an aftertaste long after the drink is over.
House Baratheon - Royal Lochnagar 12 Year Old
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.
The 12 Year Old begins with liquorice and oak notes, which explode into a rich buttery, creamy vanilla taste on the palate.
The Night’s Watch - Oban Little Bay Reserve
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 Little Bay Reserve is lent oaky notes by the double-charred barrels used to make it, while notes of sweet vanilla and candied orange permeate the tasting experience.
You can buy the Game of Thrones Single Malt Scotch Whiskey collection at bottle stores across Australia.