Posted on 19 April 2019
You’ve heard it yelled from across the corridor and from every rooftop, rarely is there this much talk about one tv-show. There must only be one answer – Game of Thrones has returned. The eighth and final season of the mythical saga has been the most anticipated yet, and to celebrate its launch, GoT has paired up with some of the world’s finest whiskey distillers to bring us eight single-malt scotch whiskeys representative of each of the eight kingdoms.
The GoT franchise has gone through extensive lengths to pair each house with a representative scotch distillery in Scotland:
House Baratheon was paired with Royal Lochnagar 12 Year Old. 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. Light notes of oak and sweet liquorice that develops into a rich, creamy vanilla coffee and finishes with a mild nutmeg custard note.
House Targaryen, for example, was paired with Cardhu Gold Reserve. Like the powerful leadership shown by Daenerys Targaryen, the Cardhu Distillery was spearheaded by Helen Cumming and her daughter-in-law Elizabeth during the 1800s, a time when the whiskey industry was almost exclusively run by men. Baked apple with baking spices open on the first nosing than transforms on the palate into a rich caramel character with hints of clove, red apple and a gentle nuttiness.
House Tyrell rules over the Reach, the lush and fertile region of Westeros. Like the Reach, Clynelish is positioned among green pastures and rolling hills, with scenic views of the North Sea. Bursting with fresh tropical fruits like papaya and mango that subsides into a creamy vanilla character. The finish is slightly maritime in quality with a delicate floral note.
House Lannister 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 Lannisters in their rise to conquer the Iron Throne. Characteristic Lagavulin sweet smoke explodes on the nose with a little more brine than the other expressions. The palate opens with smoked caramelized banana and heavy vanilla and burnt marshmallow which subside into a light dry, slightly salted caramel.
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. Dry Sichuan peppery smoke and dark chocolate on the nose. On the palate the salted caramel with chilli flakes explode into a smoky fruit cake of spice and the finish is long and complex with a lasting character of leather.
House Tully 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. Orange and clove open on the nose but on the palate there’s red berry compote and vanilla cheesecake with a pronounced cereal spice finish.
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 the highest distillery in all of Scotland is cold and remote much like The North where House Stark calls home, making the two an iconic pairing. Honey and fresh fig develop on the palate followed by a delicious maltiness and rich fruit cake.
The Night’s Watch paired with the Oban distillery that 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 sits between Westeros and the lands beyond The Wall. Rich notes of cherry pie and candied orange peel open up on the palate that drifts into a wonderful crème caramel and a wisp of charred oak.