It’s easy to approach branded products with a degree of cynicism. After all, what better way to make a quick buck than slap the word “Game of Thrones” logo on anything and everything.
Thankfully this isn’t the case with the latest Johnnie Walker Game of Thrones whiskys. Sure, they’ll sell like hotcakes, they won’t blow your mind, but for $59 a pop, they’re a pretty decent dram.
The Johnnie Walker Game of Thrones collection has two bottles: A Song of Ice – a mild malty scotch, and A Song of Fire – a spicier whisky with a bit more bite to it.
A Song of Ice is a rather pale drop, straw-like in colour. The nose is slightly sweet, with a hint of tropical fruit to it. Sipping the whiskey reveals a light, grain malt character that transitions into an oaky, vanilla butterscotch finish. There’s not much to it, but it sure is a whiskey. A drinkable one at that. The lack of character means it’s not something you’d go out of your way to get, but it’s enjoyable enough that you wouldn’t complain if you were given it as a gift or are just a Game of Thrones fan after the bottle (and the bottles are lovely, for what it’s worth).
On the other hand, A Song of Fire has more of an amber tinge to it. A quick whiff elicits a peppery nose with smoked bacon notes. These characteristics carry over to the palate and finish: lightly peated with a lingering somewhat meaty spice. It’s not overly complex, but it’s enjoyable. It’s a flavoursome whisky that has a bit of peat to it without delving into Ardbeg or Laphroaig territory. It has bite, but it’s still accessible.
Out of the two, I definitely prefer the Song of Fire. Both are reasonably priced entry-level whiskies, but the Song of Fire is easily the more interesting scotch. But either way, the pair are better than what you’d expect for a branded tie-in, and hey, maybe if you drink enough, you’ll manage to forget season eight.
Obviously, we don’t regularly review things that aren’t tech gadgets. However, none of us minds a drink, and when we received an odd pitch to review some whisky, who were we to say no?