Ever since Game of Thrones series seven came off the air two years ago, almost every nerdy millennial has been bereft. Long evenings without the company of Arya, Daenerys, Jon Snow and the crew have made 2018 even worse than we might otherwise have expected. We could have handled Trump if we'd had Tyrion. HBO-less nights have been long, dark and full of terrors. Fortunately, desperate fans finally have a way to wean themselves through to next summer. Bring out your goblets and prepare to make merry. Whisky is coming.
To tide them over until what promises to be the most TV obsessed summer in recent memory, the smash hit HBO series has unleashed a new alcoholic collection to its rabid fanbase. The booze, which features eight individual bottles of single malt scotch, pays tribute to each of the major houses of Westeros, as well as the Night’s Watch. Each label is ornately decorated with a different crest, whilst the Night’s Watch bottle is jet black.
As if things couldn’t get any more exciting, each bottle has been partnered with its own distillery, based on characteristics that they share. For instance, Cardhu distillery, near the northern town of Elgin, has been paired with House Targaryen, owing to both group’s connection with strong female leadership. It is rumoured that, in order to avoid paying alcohol tax, Cardhu founder Helen Cumming used to smuggle whisky barrels past taxmen under her skirts. Daenerys Targaryen, meanwhile, rides dragons into battle. The similarities are pretty obvious.
Some connections have more to do with geography than matriarchal leadership styles. Oban, who represent the Night’s Watch, have been selected because the distillery lies atop a windswept cliff, while Dalwhinnie have been chosen for House Stark as they sit in the cold, harsh heart of central Scotland. Talisker distillery, meanwhile occupies the shoreline of the Isle of Skye - a perfect choice for the Iron Island inhabiting House Greyjoy.
Despite the many wars and general skullduggery that afflict the relationships between Westeros’ elite, they are all at least on the side of the living. However, if you find yourself wishing to dabble in darkness, there is another new option, delivering something significantly more sinister. Separate from the new release, Johnnie Walker have released their own “White Walker” whisky, in a nod to the undead hordes currently trudging inexorably towards the wall. It might be pure evil, but sometimes it feels good to be bad.
If you want to get your hands on one of the new bottles, your best bet is to head to international liquor purveyors Drizly and scour the selection for yourself. There, you will find bottles ranging anywhere from $30 for a small serving of Glendullan House Tully, to $150 for the biggest sizes on offer. Whether you’re a grumpy Stark or a cocky Lannister, there’s no excuse not to enjoy the culmination of everyone’s favourite fantasy boob bloodbath with a bottle of something seriously alcoholic. Suddenly, the wait for 2018 just became that much easier to stomach.