When a piece of pop culture becomes insanely popular, like really, really ubiquitous, it starts popping up everywhere. When it comes to HBO’s mega-hit Game Of Thrones, that ubiquity started years ago (I’m a casual fan, and I’ve got pint glasses with the sigils of House Targareyn and House Tyrell in my cupboard). Now that we’re approaching its final season, however, it’s safe to expect things to ramp up even more sharply. Enter White Walker by Johnnie Walker. The night is dark and full of gimmicks.
In partnership with HBO, multinational beverage company Diageo has announced White Walker, a limited-edition blended scotch that’s meant to be served straight from the freezer. Created by Johnnie Walker’s blenders alongside a whisky specialist, the spirit combines single malts from Cardhu and Clynelish. The latter, per a press release, is one of Scotland’s northernmost distilleries, “where whiskies have endured long Scottish winters, not dissimilar to the climate north of the wall.” The same release describes tasting notes of “caramelized sugar and vanilla, fresh red berries with a touch of orchard fruit and is best served chilled,” because “the Night King would have it no other way.”
There’s a bonus to sticking this sucker in the freezer, beyond the fact that it’s apparently the best way to taste it. The bottle uses “temperature-sensitive thermochromic ink technology,” meaning that when frozen, there’s a graphic revealed on the bottle. When at room temperature, the bottle showcases Johnnie Walker’s striding man outfitted like the Night King, though they left the gentleman his top hat.
While this sounds fun, it should be noted that serving your whisky ice-cold is a great way to not taste any of it. That said, I haven’t tried this, so it’s possible that palate-blasting temperatures are actually ideal here. It should also be noted that absent from this press release is any age statement for the blend—we’ve reached out to Diageo and will update if and when we hear more.
In addition to the White Walker announcement—seriously, that partnership was probably inevitable, no?—Diageo also announced a Game Of Thrones single malt scotch collection, and this sounds considerably more appealing. The collection features eight scotches, and each is new to the United States. Seven are named for a House of Westeros, and one for the Night’s Watch.
Diageo’s unparalled diverse range of distilleries in Scotland, much like in Westeros, 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 – from the power of water between both House Tully and The Singleton of Glendullan, to the legendary women behind House Targaryen and Cardhu, or the royal lineage of House Baratheon and Royal Lochnagar and more.
The distilleries are: House Tully–Singleton of Glendullan Select; House Stark–Dalwhinnie Winter’s Frost; House Targaryen–Cardhu Gold Reserve; House Lannister–Lagavulin 9 Year Old; The Night’s Watch–Oban Bay Reserve; House Greyjoy–Talisker Select Reserve; House Baratheon–Royal Lochnagar 12 Year Old; and House Tyrell–Clynelish Reserve.
These aren’t the first Game Of Thrones-related alcoholic beverages to storm The Wall, and I’m not just referring to that Hot Pie-themed cocktail your friend Tina made for the season three finale. Brewery Ommegang’s wildly successful line of Westeros-centric beers have been around for years at this point, and winemaker Bob Cabral partnered with HBO for a line of Thrones-themed wines.
The suggested retail price for White Walker is $36, plus whatever it costs you to put a perfectly drinkable bottle of whisky in the freezer, and it will be available globally this month. The collection spirits range from $29.99 to $64.99, and will be available in November. All are limited edition, so get them in a hurry if you’re so inclined, and we strongly advise against giving them as a wedding gift.