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Johnnie Walker A Song of Ice

Review: Johnnie Walker A Song of Ice  85/100
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Published February 01, 2020

In 2018, to celebrate the final season of the critically-acclaimed HBO series, Game of Thrones; Johnnie Walker began to introduce a series of Game of Thrones themed whiskies. Included in this series was a range of eight single malts whiskies each representing a different house faction from the television series as well as White Walker, inspired by the White Walkers beyond The Wall. These 2018 releases been followed by more releases in 2019 including Johnnie Walker A Song of Fire and Johnny Walker A Song of Ice which were inspired by the two of the remaining powerful houses of Westeros, House Stark (A song of Ice) and House Targaryen (A Song of Fire). They serve as successors to the 2018 release White Walker.

Johnnie Walker, A Song of Ice features single malts from Clynelish, one of Scotland’s most northern distilleries. The crisp blend and the bottle design which evokes an icy setting with frosted blue and gray colors inspired by the North, known for its cold winters and frozen landscapes, and also known as the home of House Stark.. The whisky is labeled as a blend which means that although the Clynelish is the featured single malt within the whisky, other whiskies both grain and single malt will also be included in the blend.

Johnnie Walker A Song of Ice is bottled at 40.2 % alcohol by volume.

In the Bottle  4.5/5

I will admit I got excited when I saw the Johnnie Walker Song of Ice whisky in the local liquor shop just before Christmas. I have been enjoying the Game of Thrones Television Series for several years now, and the idea of a whisky blend based upon the House Stark appealed to my sense of whisky adventure.

The frosty toned bottle featuring a Sigil of the House Stark Dire Wolf is stunning and what a great touch using the iconic Johnnie Walker ‘walking man’ logo as a White Walker.

The only disappointment is in the pressed on metallic cap closure which diminishes the impact of the bottle presentation.

In the Glass 8.5/10

When I poured the whisky into my glass I saw the spirit’s hue in the glass was a light amber tone and the aroma seemed clean with familiar scents of butterscotch, vanilla and hints of oak spice. There is a light fruitiness in the air as well with orange peel and banana as well as hints of almond and perhaps a smattering of tea leaves. There is evidence of malt, however there is just as much evidence (if not more) of grain spice.

I was expecting a whisky with a hard edge. Something to take a bite out of the cold so to speak, but instead I am finding the Song of Ice has a lighter side as if we are just beginning to experience the spring thaw.

In the Mouth 51/60

The whisky brings light malty flavours playing within a larger bed of grain and grain spice. There are bright citrus flavours, hints of lemon meringue pie, and orange zest as well as hints of raisin-like dry fruit, and soft smokey notes. Although he whisky is light, the flavour nuances seem to be in balance. Everything plays well together which makes this whisky easy to sip.

I built a few cocktails, an Old Fashioned Whisky Cocktail which I enjoyed. A Mamie Taylor (see recipe below) which I enjoyed more, and a bright citrus cocktail where I mixed the Song of Ice with lemon and lime and a dash of Orange bitters.  All recipes were well received, and it was a matter of mood more so than anything else which made me choose the Mamie Taylor as my suggested serving.

In The Throat 12.5/15

The Whisky is light bodied with perhaps a touch of sherry flavour found in the clean finish. There is a light musty quality in the exit as if some corn whisky made its way into the blend and also some spicy grain and citrus.

The Afterburn 8.5/10

A Song of Ice is certainly pleasant. It features clean flavours of grain and fine oak spice oak complimented by citrus.

You may read some of my other Whisky Reviews (click the link) if you wish to have some comparative reviews.

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Suggested Recipe:

The Mamie Taylor Cocktail is named for the famous opera singer of the same name just before the turn of the 20th century. Although we are not entirely sure of the first creation of the libation it is believed that an unnamed Rochester bartender may have created this drink at her request. The tall serving is uses lime to offset the sweetness of ginger-ale.

Of course, my serving rather than being named for a famous opera singer is instead named for the famous protector of Sansa and Arya Stark, Brienne, Maid of Tarth. I have added bitters to give the serving more depth than the original cocktail.

Brienne’s Cocktail

2 oz Johnnie Walker A Song of Ice
2 oz Ginger Ale
1 1/2 oz Club Soda
1/2 Lime (fresh squeezed)
Dash of Orange Bitters
Ice

Add the Ice-cubes to a Collins glass
Pour the Whisky over the ice
Add Ginger Ale, Soda and Lime juice
Stir and garnish with a lime slice
Enjoy!

Enjoy Responsibly!

Note: If  you are interested in more of my original cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!

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I am always asked what my numbers actually mean. In order to provide clarification, you may (loosely) interpret the scores as follows.

0-25     A spirit with a rating this low would actually kill you.
26-49   Depending upon your fortitude you might actually survive this.
50 -59  You are safe to drink this…but you shouldn’t.
60-69   Substandard swill which you may offer to people you do not want to see again.
70-74    Now we have a fair mixing rum or whisky.  Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79    You may begin to serve this to friends, again probably still cocktail territory.
80-84    We begin to enjoy this spirit neat or on the rocks. (I will still primarily mix cocktails)
85-89    Excellent for sipping or for mixing!
90-94    Definitely a primary sipping spirit, in fact you may want to hoard this for yourself.
95-97.5 The Cream of the Crop
98+       I haven’t met this bottle yet…but I want to.

Very loosely we may put my scores into terms that you may be familiar with on a Gold, Silver, and  Bronze medal  scale as follows:

70 – 79.5    Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
80 – 89.5     Silver Medal (Recommended for sipping and or a high quality mixer)
90 – 95         Gold Medal (Highly recommended for sipping and for sublime cocktails.)
95.5+            Platinum Award (Highest Recommendation)

 
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