White Walker by Johnnie Walker. There couldn’t have been a better partnership between Diageo and one of my favorite programs, Game of Thrones. In fact, this blend is only the first release of this partnership. Diageo has just released eight single malts tied to the different houses in the show.
Johnnie Walker blenders started with Cardhu and Clynelish. The fruit-heavy flavors from those distilleries are very present, as you’ll read in my tasting notes. White Walker is bottled at 41.7% ABV and available for $36 a bottle. The packaging needs a bit of mention. The bottle is wrapped as such to reveal icy blue writing and marks as the bottle reaches freezing temperatures. Winter is here, indeed.
I typically taste whisky at room temperature. However, the makers of this blend have created one that is meant to be served straight from the freezer. Before you start writing angry comments below, I know a lower temperature subdues the bouquet on the nose and the flavors on the palate. However, whisky drinking is supposed to be fun. Let’s let our preverbal hair down with this one.
Right out of the freezer, the nose shows some honey and sweet grain, as well as red fruit. The palate maintains a sweet profile, with hints of creme brûlée, berries, and honey. There’s a bit of vibrant sweet grain underneath. The clean finish evokes hints of caramelized fruit and a slight sprinkling of spice. As the whisky warms to room temperature, it expectedly becomes a bit more aromatic on the nose. More caramel and vanilla appear on the palate, and the finish becomes noticeably longer and richer.
The show tie-in and cool bottle aside, White Walker is a sweet and pleasant blend, but I wouldn’t call it a complex one. This whisky is designed to be served cold in a tumbler and sipped while watching Game of Thrones. I doubt it is meant to be dissected in a glencairn glass while writing lots of tasting notes… which is exactly what this writer did for this review. It’s enjoyable enough. I can sip on this, which is more than I can say for Red Label. Overall, not too shabby. 7/10
Thanks to Johnnie Walker for the sample. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.