Johnnie Walker Game of Thrones White Walker Whisky

Well, everyone’s been posting about Johnnie Walker Game of Thrones. I finally had it, and I hated it. In fact, hate is an understatement.

It’s as torturous as being behind a Prius driving 60 MPH in the fast lane. It is the sound of an obstreperous screech (well above the frequency level of Middle C on a piano) coming from a child’s mouth inside a restaurant.

Some men think glitter is their nemesis. Well, this whisky is definitely the Kyptonite to my Superman. This tastes like Kombucha…and Kombucha sucks ass cuz it’s a Double Debbie Downer. Kamucha tastes like the love child of an IPA and a Sour beer without an end game. Both of these drinks taste like last night’s regret with a double shot of vomit, minus the buzz. Komubucha is like wine. …They’re both different types of liars. Wine is fruit juice pretending to be alcohol and Kambucha is vinegar pretending to be a healthy drink at Whole Foods.

I imagine this is what it feels like when an old, rich guy is being hustled by a hot chick in pleather, thigh-high boots. It looks good on the surface, but hot damn. There goes your JP Morgan Chase Palladium Visa. You just got bitched-slapped in the face by a hustler with acrylic nails and hair extensions.

Look. I don’t hate Johnnie Walker. In fact, I like the Green Label, Blue Label and Double Black. I think King George is good, too, but some of the stuff from them can get pretty expensive. For a value blend I think Monkey Shoulder is great (but maybe unfair to compare since there’s some malty goodness in that blend, but I’m sure Jason may disagree with me :p). I think if I had a lot of money I’d stock up on King George. HAHA. It’s expensive, but it’s delicious. I love the artwork on this GoT bottle, but that’s about it. On the flip side, everyone’s palate is different and it’s subjective. Opinions are buttholes. Everyone has one and the things that come out of orifices are shit (insert: my opinion. teehee).

I’ve been known to be too harsh, and sometimes I should be softer. I hear that the hardest gig to have is being a master blender, so it’s rude of me to feel this strongly about a whisky. That’s where I feel really torn when I hate something.

I mean, do I have a right to talk shit on someone or a team when I don’t know how to make whisky at all? UGH. On top of that, I was reminded of my experience working at a bar. There was a man who came off super hyper-masculine to me. He was flaunting his cash, and he told me he brought some King George to New Orleans. He mentioned it 3 times because he didn’t get the reaction he wanted from me.

Finally, he said, “It’s a $600 bottle.” I looked at him dead in the eye and said, “Yeah. I know.” Then, we had a 3-second, Wild West Showdown. His eyes said, “F U. I can’t believe you’re not impressed by my money,” and my eyes said, “F U. HARDER. You think I’m gonna metaphorically like your D cuz you got cash? Get off my lawn.” (I promise on my mama’s last name I am not a full-fledged Dragon Lady. My nickname is Gentle Lotus Flower on the streets…ok. Maybe that last part was a lie).

Later on, I went home and thought about the situation and I thought, “Ya know what? People want to be validated, loved and understood. Why am I coming off like a Dragon Lady? I’m in the service industry. WTF.” Sometimes it’s hard, man, but I do know when I soften up I’m able to get to know people better. The ones with swag and bravado drop their guard down and they end up being pretty nice.


So, I guess what I’m trying to say is, if you buy this and it makes you happy go for it. For me, I’m dippin out on this one. On the flip side, I will give this another shot and revisit it when I see my friend who owns a bottle. This is, of course, a first glance and it may change and open up like a blossoming butterfly…or it may just suck. IDK.

Score: 2/10

Images from Diageo.

    1. Jason says:

      Hi James, sorry your comment has been lost amongst the others here. It probably is just more along the lines as you say. A high price no doubt was paid for the tie-in. Certainly the lower end of the Johnnie Walker range isn’t a friendly environment for a whisky drinker nowadays. Cheers, Jason.

  1. Richard Baum says:

    Dear Malt – I think you need to set a baseline for your contributors that they at least explain why they don’t like a whisky. This is just a showboating rant with no useful information. Believe it or not, I am actually interested in reading an informed review of this release. Regards – A reader with little time and many options.

    1. Jason says:

      Hi Richard, thanks for your comments – taken on board. All of our team have their own opinions and individual style, I would rather they keep that intact. As for this piece, Linh is well versed in whisky and has a great deal of experience. She didn’t enjoy the whisky itself and I feel that comes through strongly. That’s useful information. Some readers have enjoyed this review with comments on our Instagram channel today as well. We all look for different things within a review and sometimes it is difficult to satisfy everyone. Thanks, Jason.

      1. Richard says:

        I think the way to square this circle would be some kind of signposting that managed expectations better. There’s absolutely a place for a voice like this, it’s just very disorientating when you expect a certain thing from Malt and find something different. If this was a print publication, your layout would indicate that this piece of content is different from the rest. Online, that’s trickier, especially if you have only a simple CMS to work with. But maybe a headline prefix such as “Linh on Whisky” would let everyone know that this is a funky cask finish of a post rather than a more orthodox malt. Cheers!

        1. Jason says:

          Solid thoughts Richard, thanks. There’s a place for this as you say and it does upset some of the more traditionalists who like the structured notes format and 85-97 points scoring system.

          1. NOTNICE75 says:

            I’m totally with Richard here…except that, to be frank, I wouldn’t publish this content-free nonsense under any imaginable rubric. I’m not necessarily looking for anything “traditionalist” when I browse the whisky web, Jason. I don’t pay much or any attention to ratings on any scale, 85-97, 1-10, A-F or otherwise. But this sort of vacuous word-noise contributes nothing to the discussion, in my opinion.

  2. Venomus says:

    Hi Malt,
    I’ve read quite a few of your reviews and I have to agree with Richard. We’re not asking for a change in style, we’re asking for some substance within the style your writer chose.
    They don’t like it. Fine. Why? Is it harsh? Not complex? No finish? Peaty? Light? What does it compare to? What notes if any? Does it fit into a particular style? That’s the type of information we’ve come to expect from Malt and it was sadly lacking in this review. No one is questioning the reviewer’s ability or competence to conduct a review but this review was decidedly uninformative and useless. Don’t defend the indefensible.

  3. Jason says:

    Hi Venomus, thanks for dropping by and commenting. All noted and it’s not indefensible. Tomorrow it is one of my reviews so hopefully, that’s more to your liking but it might not be to some either. Cheers, Jason.

  4. PBMichiganWolverine says:

    As interesting as this read was ( I actually liked it for its sheer entertainment value), I need to agree with Richard and Venomus. I read only 3 review sites: this one, whiskynotes by Ruben, and Broome’s scotchwhisky, all with the singular goal of “ is a bottle worth buying? What do these folks , reviewers that I share a common like and dislike based on previous experiences, say about a whisky bottle that I may be interested in?” I’m honestly not sure this fills that need. I’ll look to Netflix for entertainment, or even the current political climate in the US, but here I’m really hoping to understand why a reviewer liked or disliked a whisky. Linh is very competent and I value her opinion, I just wished it was more substantive in this one case, especially considering such a popular bottle as this one, where I’d really like to decide if $35-40 of hard worked money is worth the purchase.

    1. Jason says:

      Cheers PBMichiganWolverine. This is an unusual whisky with mainstream appeal who might not like the traditional review style. We’re taking everything on board and glad you still enjoyed aspects of it. Such things give us food for thought. Thanks, Jason.

  5. NOTNICE75 says:

    This is not a review. Nothing is reviewed here. Rather, it is a hopelessly muddled, poorly constructed, and purposefully obtuse word salad of the sort regularly employed by @realDonaldTrump. MALT is great looking site, and there are some interesting ideas shared here. But there seems to be an almost complete lack of competent editorial supervision, as evidenced by the daily litany of run-on sentences, over-coordinated constructions, misapplied vocabulary and general abuses of standard syntax.

    This is just my opinion, and I submit it with respect for your consideration.

  6. David says:

    Writing reviews cannot be the easiest of tasks, I for one wouldn’t know where to start.
    So whilst this particular review wasn’t exactly one I found particularly interesting, it’s refreshing to see a different style nonetheless.

    1. Jason says:

      Thanks, David, it’s not for everyone which we really appreciate and possibly this whisky will be purchased by many who don’t know or care for the traditional review as such. Something different can be refreshing we hope. Tomorrow we’ll be back to a more rugged format.

    2. NOTNICE75 says:

      What part of this disordered rambling equated to a “review”, David? I don’t see a review. Perhaps that second paragraph in which Linh compares IPA and sour beer to “Kombucha”, “Kamucha” and “Kambucha” (take your pick)…and wine? I have literally no idea what she is talking about. It’s complete stream-of-consciousness irrelevance, which you might consider a “style” of writing, I suppose. It’s not a style that appeals to me.

  7. Helen says:

    Sorry to be grumpy but the tone of this piece really isn’t good at all. I really like different styles and structures, but this just doesn’t fit with Malt.

  8. YYC Chris says:

    Like all “reviewers” posting to Malt, I find that I enjoy the distinct voices from one to another. The more varied the better I say – keep at it Malt! I have no problems with the irreverent send off of JW’s marketing and the frequently ridiculous attitude around whisky in general from Linh. And really, who’s seriously looking for a numerical score/ nuts & bolts review for such a release?

    Let’s all remember this is just a very pleasant drink we’re reading about here, not a treatise on Heavy-Ion science. Thanks for being one of my top sources of whisky reading without any industry varnish.

  9. Jason says:

    Thanks Chris, good to hear from you. Glad you like the variety of what we do here and pleased we’re on your list. Hopefully you’ll continue to enjoy the daily content. Cheers, Jason.

  10. NineteenEightyTwo says:

    One of the things I like most about Malt is how the reviewers will generally give the same type of thoughtful consideration to even workaday supermarket whiskies as they will to the epic unicorns and single casks in runs so low that the average punter will never get within sniffing distance. As the team seems mostly well aware, the vast majority of the whisky drinking public is not enjoying Brora or Chichibu on a nightly basis. I appreciate that y’all are willing to set aside preconceptions and review Grant’s or Johnnie Walker, while still bringing your expertise, providing context and disciplined critical assessment, fairly calibrating expectations according to provenance and price.

    Linh, this was a missed opportunity, in my view. Even if you wanted to dismiss the whisky out of hand, there’s a broader (and, frankly, more interesting) discussion to be had here. What does it say that Diageo is increasingly focusing its attention and marketing dollars on gimmicky Limited Editions, tied in with some really spurious connections to a popular TV show? Malt is generally excellent at cutting through the PR BS and setting the record straight about what the true motivations are. Justine’s superb piece about the Jane Walker Black Label was exemplary in this regard. So much more

    While I’m not personally a fan of the “ZOMG [eye roll emoji] UGH [cat meme]” literary style (I believe it’s officially known as “Post-Postmodern Social Media Basic B*tch,” no offense), I’m not strictly opposed to reading a whisky review in this genre- so long as it actually contains a review. Call me a traditionalist, but hearing about color, aroma, and taste allows me to calibrate my expectations and decide whether I’d care for a particular dram. Maybe I love kombucha and wine! (I do).

    Anyway, there seems to be no shortage of strong feeling, both positive and negative, about this post already. Just throw my comments on the “constructively critical” part of the “negative” pile. You’ll still be receiving my $10 next month. [heart eyes emoji] LALWZ.

  11. We tried the White Walker and can confirm it is a truly mediocre Johnnie Walker. The taste is rather flat and uninspiring, no smoke just some lemon peel. Also this “Game of Thrones whisky” feels younger than it should be for this price point. The quality is somewhere between Red Label and Black Label – but with the price tag (atleast in Germany) being close to the Green Label 15 years which is a blended malt and far superior in taste and quality.

    So while Linhs article is more a rant than a review – she is still right!


    1. Jason says:

      Thanks, Lucas, I avoided this release despite seeing it everywhere going through some airports recently. Deep down you just know when something is more brand than experience. Cheers, Jason.

  12. Wil says:

    Hi everyone,

    This is Wil. I am new to this site and I have found all the reviews very informative except this game of thrones johhnie walker one, it’s like reading a story about two guys at the bar ,suddently at the end the “whisky reviewer” told us certain whisky is 2/10(means a bad whisky) without telling any tasting notes ,review of certain whisky while saying certain producer is allocating money on bs pr or whatever .

    For godsake if Linh just put a one sentence line review after the long irrelevant bar story likes ” This whisky is very watery and after taste is really short” . I go though the long bar story and bad words to the producer and suddently I see the 2/10 score without even a single line of tasting note or review while the only relevant word is “hate” at the beginning of this essay.

    I guess 99.9percent people who check out this site is serious wine and whisky lover or people who really wanna learn and understand more about whisky. I guess there’s no Primary one student here with all due respect and we all understand tasting review style is very personal and could be different among reviewers but please remind your colleague Linh it’s always review a wine or whisky with a personal story but please let us know your actual tasting review , even a one sentence informative or personal tasting review will be good enough for everyone. English is not my mother language, please forgive my typo and grammatical mistakes and hopefully you guys can still get my point and I hope Jason and his colleagues will keep up with all the great work and share more unbiased whisky reviews to all whisky lovers in the future. A big thanks to the whole team from malt review.com !

    1. Jason says:

      Hi Wil, all well put and no apologies required your English is excellent.

      I’m glad you are enjoying what we’re putting online and we’ll certainly keep on going. This was something different from Linh and as prompted much debate, like the whisky itself. I’m always someone who would rather try and fail rather than not at all. So we take all these lessons on board, adapt and move forward together. Cheers, Jason.

  13. James says:

    I don’t have time to read through all the comments sol I’ll just ask: did you drink it out of the freezer and allow it to warm up slightly at room temperature (as they recommend)? It makes a HUGH difference.

    1. Jason says:

      Hi James, I cannot say either way on that. I wasn’t a fan of the Grouse release that utilised the freezer. Was mainly a trick to hide the huge levels of industrial grain in the mix. Cheers, Jason.

  14. Jessica says:

    Im late commenting. Not sure anyone will even see this. But i feel compelled to add my two cents anyway. makt regularly posts reviews that veer into rant territory with nary a complaint. And the field of critique is adorned/littered with reviews that are more literary or more humorous. I had no trouble understanding distilling substance from this review. The kombucha reference made me laugh but also gave me some info. As another commenter said in essence, lighten up people, it’s a drink. I will say though — getting ***serious*** Malt’s responses to the reviewer’s harshest critics were surprisingly appeasing compared to Malt’s responses to its own critics

    1. Jason says:

      Hi Jessica, the party continues here and the door is always open. This piece certainly did provoke a great deal of reaction and I’m sure it’ll continue to do so. Time has shown that the whisky really isn’t that good if we’re being generous. Replying to comments and the interaction element is something that we’re getting better at.

      1. Jessica says:

        I would leave it at Meh but apparently thats too short. I am an irrascible person with oppositional defiance issues and a love fro springbank. I know you dont know anything about such. I dont care if people tell me I have no business speakomg my ming. In fact it feeds my soul. But I sought out this review because I like reviewer’s writing not because i was wondering about the crap whisky. So disappointed to see the responses to the comments. Do better

        1. Jason says:

          Normally the writer responds to all comments on their work. This is exception to the rule, by their request. A shame so you’ll have to make do with me instead.

  15. SpartaTodd says:

    I wrote a similar review for my distiller. The liquid was so young and vile that I didn’t do tasting notes. I liked the review a lot and found it funny and entertaining. I do agree that since we look for reviews her a few more tasting notes would have been helpful (aroma of industrial cleaner, the taste of cat piss, etc). Good job overall Linh! Bad job Diageo!

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