Review: Johnnie Walker A Song of Ice and A Song of Fire

The latest entries in spirits giant Diageo’s Game of Thrones whisky collection inspired by the two most important houses on hit HBO television show are these two Johnnie Walker expressions: A Song of Fire and A Song of Ice. Thus far, we’ve seen a Johnnie Walker White Walker blended whisky that was built around Clynelish.

A Song of Ice

Like White Walker, Johnnie Walker A Song of Ice is also built around Clynelish, one of the most northern distilleries in Scotland. It’s bottled at 40.2% ABV. The brand suggests this whisky is best served over ice. The whisky features vanilla, honey, and some waxy fruit thanks to Clynelish. The palate carries over those same notes in a light, crisp way. The short finish features a lingering honey note.

A Song of Ice is a bit more pleasing to than the similar White Walker thanks to its slightly richer palate and mouthfeel. It’s okay by itself, but is screaming to be mixed in a cocktail.

A Song of Fire

A Song of Fire starts with Caol Ila, an Islay malt that imparts much welcome smoke and spice. This expression is bottled at 40.8% ABV. On the nose, subtle smoke meets salted caramel and red fruit. Creamy vanilla and caramel are elevated on the palate by spice notes. There’s a touch of smoke in the background. Spiced caramel and smoke are featured in the medium-length finish.

This expression is more complex and slightly more enjoyable than its crisper and lighter sibling. A Song of Fire is the one I’d sip neat, though its inclusion in a cocktail isn’t out of the question.

The dichotomy between the expressions is interesting and nicely reflects the Starks and Targaryens from the Game of Thrones series. The brand has released some nice GOT-inspired whiskies over the last year. These two latest fall in the “pleasant” category, going more for a softer flavor profile. Don’t expect big, bold whiskies. That said, for the $36 per bottle asking price, I think these two Johnnie Walker expressions deliver a nice value for what you’re getting.

Thanks to Johnnie Walker for the samples. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.


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