Summers span decades. Winters can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne begins.
House Tully – Singleton of Glendullan Select
N: A simple, fruity, modest nose of apple rings, pear, toffee, vanilla, and malt.
P: The sweet, malt-driven palate brings orange, peanuts, toasted almonds, and the crunchy edges around a well-baked chocolate chip cookie.
F: Short and a bit spirit.
House Stark – Dalwhinnie Winter’s Frost
N: A very fruity, almost-brandy like nose delivers white grape, pineapple, kiwi, Meyer lemon, and a touch of sherry. Vanilla, brown sugar, malt, and oak. Over time, toasty malt, fruitcake, and caramel emerge.
P: Mellow and malty at first, followed by a wave of high-toned pear, cinnamon, Constant Comment tea, dried pineapple, ginger, honey, and wax.
F: A spiced, warming, slightly bitter similar to black tea. Thick mouth feel, sharp on the palate.
House Targaryen – Cardhu Gold Reserve
N: Toasty and savory, like a piece of whole-wheat toast slathered in salted butter. Concord grape note, some grassy/stemmy stuff, honey, and a good dose of leathery vanilla bean.
P: Sweet and gentle at first, then slowly ramps up to a modest, grapey crescendo. Graham cracker and cardboard underpins. There’s some bitter tartness too – grapefruit pith.
F: Tingly and warming, with cinnamon, clove, and black pepper, plus more bitter pith and an odd metallic note. A little funky and clunky.
House Baratheon – Royal Lochnagar 12YO
N: Musty. Old furniture, polished wood. Then blackberries, Muscat grape, vanilla ice cream, cut grass, and salty shortbread. Very perfumed and enticing.
P: Mild, building to a malt-driven peak with fresh berries and a touch of crisp citrus. Full-bodied and artful.
F: Tapering, malt-driven. Biscuits with marmalade, nutmeg, and some nice evolved woody tannin. An interesting mix of confectionery, fruit, and holiday baking space, integrated and textured
The Night’s Watch – Oban Bay Reserve
N: Orange zest, milk chocolate, gentle peat smoke, apple, pear, lemon, tangerine. Very appealing.
P: Classic Oban chocolate-orange thing is front and center, but there’s some extra lactic tang in the finish reminiscent of leesy chardonnay.
F: Strong, with yeasty bread, shortbread, and a drying sensation that invites another sip. Lean and muscular.
House Greyjoy – Talisker Select Reserve
N: Mexican chocolate, sweet lacquered barbecue ribs, salt water, and banana.
P: Salty and smoky followed by a savoury turn—charred meat, grilled nectarines, chili powder—that takes things in a culinary direction.
F: Bold yet approachable.
House Tyrell – Clynelish Reserve
N: Shy and nectar-like. Marzipan croissant, cheese Danish, brioche, plus freshly waxed hardwood floor and clean wool sweater. Creamy, toasty, strange, and a bit tingly in the nose.
P: Well integrated, with a very crescendo-like feel. Rich papaya, mango linger in palate, plus yeasted bread and canelés. A touch of gentle milk chocolate and a whisper of elderflower.
F: Endless. Water brings out more smoky and maritime notes, plus milky white corn and marzipan. Bizarre and lovely.
House Lannister – Lagavulin 9YO
N: Banana and dried mango, puffs of wet smoke, sandalwood, incense, rich malt syrup, and that damp wool sweater you wore to a barbecue and left wadded up in your trunk.
P: Very sweet and a little earthy up front, with some dried banana, strong smoke, clove, burnt caramel, salty dark caramel, and lots of saline maritime goodness, with mint, cannabis, and lanolin peeking through.
F: Long, cooling and refreshing, with spearmint, eucalyptus, ash, and salt.