Clynelish Reserve - Game of Thrones House Tyrell
Game of Thrones, one of the biggest TV franchises ever, teaming up with one of the biggest whisky and spirits brands, Diageo... sounds interesting! Big brands, but do they deliver together, or is it just a gimmick?
Personally, I'd say this whisky is arguably the most interesting of the GoT / Diageo range, given the other releases are all within the 40% - 46% range... yet this highland Clynelish packs a punch at a cask strength level 51.2%!
One of the worst kept secrets with some Diageo staff is that this is "the best whisky in the Game of Thrones release series". In fact, this exact bottle was recommended by staff at the Glenkinchie distillery shop over their own whisky! Now, if that doesn't say something about the quality of this dram...
On the Nose
The deep caramel colour is a hint to the nose, as sweet caramel is the initial predominant smell from this whisky. The caramel develops into the first bite of a Toffee Apple, with the more 'perfumed' apple skin notes fighting through the caramel.
Some smoke appears, with spice in the form of chilli, and onto fresh pineapple drizzled with honey. It does smell like a younger Clynelish, but that's not to say it doesn't deliver on the nose.
On the palate
Chilli spice comes through from the nose to the palate, and the sweetness is still present, albeit not caramel now, more like ripe baked apple and poached pear sweetness. After the first sip, the chilli spice starts to feel more like a warming baking spice, and a long warming finish of peppercorn.
This is a very nice whisky! I've only tried a few different Clynelish expressions before, but this was by far my favourite.
So good in fact, that this was the dram of choice during our Christmas Dinner last year (2020). Given Christmas was a strange affair, with lockdowns and restrictions in place, it felt a little sombre and subdued. That was quickly changed with the introduction of such a lively and interesting whisky.
Would I buy it again?
Absolutely! This is a delicious whisky, and for a reasonable price given it's a cask strength Clynelish, it's a contender for restocking as soon as the bottle has been killed. Also, it's always good to have a GoT bottle in the collection!
Want to try it for yourself?
This is a limited release whisky, and you may lucky to find an 'in stock' bottle with one of the following retailers:
If not, head to any Diageo distillery and there may be one hiding in the distillery shop... you can only try!