Winter is coming – both here in the southern hemisphere and also for the eighth and final season of the HBO acclaimed series Game Of Thrones.
And to celebrate the event, Diageo is releasing 7 premium Scotch expressions that are sure to keep you warm as the cold descends.
The GOT collection features seven Scotch whiskies paired with six of the “iconic” Houses of Westeros, as well as the Night’s Watch, each bearing the house sigils, which we are reliably told gives drinkers an “authentic taste of the Seven Kingdoms”.
Reaction so far
Now while you might think of these whiskey’s solely as a marketing exercise by Diageo and HBO, it is a marketing exercise that has not only been highly anticipated but one that is also strongly in demand.
decanter.com tells us that when the single malts were released for pre-order in the UK in January, a number of high profile retails sold out of their initial stock in just a few hours.
A spokesperson from masterofmalt.com told Decanter, ‘The Game of Thrones Whisky Collection has been one of the most successful launches we’ve seen in recent times, with almost every line selling out on pre-order in less than two hours.”
And in some ways it’s not surprising, GOTs has captured the hearts and minds of millions across the globe. And with this the final season, there is really no better way to celebrate the end of this era, than by kicking back and relaxing with a glass of Scotch. Some might say, with all the drama of the last seven seasons, we’ve definitely earned it.
“Game of Thrones is one of the most popular TV shows around the globe,” said Jeff Peters, Vice President, Licensing & Retail at HBO. “We’re thrilled to be able to give fans in so many countries the chance to celebrate the final season with these fantastic whiskies.
“Whether they’re choosing allegiance to a House or collecting the whole range, there’s a wonderful diversity of the utmost quality thanks to Diageo’s unparalleled Scotch distilleries.”
The different Houses
Each of the major distilleries in Scotland was assigned a House to represent with a limited-edition batch of single malt whiskey that displays the unique characteristics of the families.
Like the Houses of Westeros, the range of Scottish distilleries each have their own unique characteristics and produce a distinctive whisky representative of its local terroir. These similarities were the inspiration behind the collection, drawing an authentic storyline between each House and single malt pairing.
For example, Lagavulin is one of the most well-known scotch brands, with a reputation for making some of the best scotches in the world is presented under the banner of House Lannister, who themselves boast some of the most well-known figures in Westeros.
Similarly, the distillery for Talisker Select Reserve is located on the Isle of Skye, making it a perfect match for House Greyjoy, which hails from the Iron Islands in Westeros.
Cardhu Distillery, which has been bottled with House Targaryen’s dragon crest, was founded in 1824 by Helen Cumming and her husband John. Their Gold Reserve is not only a nod to the strength of Targaryen women but also that of the distilleries foundress.
Legend has it Helen would disguise the distillery as a bakery when taxmen came around to avoid paying alcohol taxes and smuggle bladders of whisky under her skirts because she knew that she, a lady, wouldn’t be searched.
The full collection is:
Game of Thrones House Tully – The Singleton Glendullan Select
House Tully located at Riverrun, rules as the lords 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.
RRP: $99.99 for 700ml; ABV 40%
Game of Thrones 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. 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.
RRP: $99.99 for 700ml; ABV 43%
Game of Thrones 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.
RRP: $99.99 for 700ml; ABV 40%
Game of Thrones House Lannister – Lagavulin 9 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. 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.
RRP: $129.99 for 700ml; ABV 46%
Game of Thrones The Night’s Watch – Oban 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 liquid’s richness is balanced with a woody, spicy dryness that The Night’s Watch could enjoy even on the coldest of nights.
RRP: $129.99 for 700ml; ABV 43%
Game of Thrones 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. The layered flavours and signature maritime character of Talisker Select Reserve is 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 flavours.
RRP: $99.99 for 700ml; ABV 45.8%
Game of Thrones 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. Balanced with delicate fruits and spices, this taste of royalty is best enjoyed neat.
RRP: $129.99 for 700ml; ABV 40%
The range will be available to purchase from liquor stores around Australia from the end of March.