Admit it, you’ve been watching Game of Thrones, placing bets on when your favourite character will finally bite the dust, and thought to yourself; there should really be a line of single malt whiskeys based on this series. You haven’t had a thought even remotely close to that? Well, shame on you, because Diageo has decided to do exactly that.
The company is releasing a total of 8 single malt whiskeys that tie into the HBO series, which is certainly an unusual concept. However, some will already have come up with the idea of taking a drink every time someone unexpectedly gets their throat cut in the upcoming Game of Thrones season 8.
Let’s take a closer look at the whiskey collection and see if it is worth having a shot… or two.
We’ll just come right out and say it; linking single malt whiskeys to a series like Game of Thrones is a very unusual idea. Is there any real link to the show, beyond the fact that the name Game of Thrones will be printed on the bottles? The short answer is not really. There is not much whiskey-drinking going on in the show, if any at all. So it may as well just have been Game of Thrones branded jellybeans.
On the other hand, Ewan Morgan, the master of whiskey at Diageo did reveal that some serious thought had gone into it. He explained that he had got in touch with Joanne McKerchar, the lead archivist of Diageo, in Scotland. Using her incredible grasp of whiskey distilleries across Scotland, she set about matching each distillery to a house from Game of Thrones based on the history and specific geographical of that distillery.
Not much information was given on how the matches were made, but the result was that there is a whiskey for each major Game of Thrones house, as well as the Night’s Watch. So there is indeed some connection. Note, though, that the flavour of the whiskey was not significant at all in making matches, which could result in a raised eyebrow or two.
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Although the links to the Game of Thrones houses is perhaps flimsy, the packaging of each whiskey bottle is impressive, to say the least. An enormous amount of effort has clearly gone into making each bottle unique, recognisable, and visually appealing. House sigils are impressively printed on labels, with a noteworthy amount of artistic detail employed. Cork tops and lids likewise have the sigil, albeit a much smaller version. Those familiar with the lore of the universe will certainly have something to gawk at.
The sigils, of course, are accurate to the source material. A lion is present for house Lannister, which is likely the most well-known. A majestic trout for house Tully, the notorious sinister three headed dragon for the Targaryens, the sea dwelling kraken for the Greyjoys, and so on. Each appears as would be expected; in the style of the semi-fantastical medieval era used in the books and the TV show. As already said, the designs show a remarkable level of detail, and it is all but certain that the corks will be kept and displayed on fireplace mantles.
Choose a Flavour Or a House
Some may already by opening their wallets with the intention of snapping up the whiskeys for their favourite houses. The first thing to keep in mind is that although affordable, the whiskeys will still set you back a significant $70 per bottle. So, if you intend on collecting the whole set, your bank account is certainly going to wince a bit. The second thing to keep in mind is that Ewan Morgan made it very clear that the set is a limited offer, so you may want to get in there early if you’re planning on getting a whiskey of the most recognisable houses. Alternatively, you could collect the entire set, which will definitely be worth a pretty penny in the future, being a full set of collector’s items and all.
Thirdly, what is the best way to decide on which bottle to buy? Based on the house that most strikes your fancy, or the taste? Needless to say, the whiskeys selected are pretty good. The Lagavulin 9 Year is standing as the choice for house Lannister, and Dalwhinnie for house Stark, just to give you an idea. Choose wisely.