Johnnie Walker White Walker is a limited edition blended scotch whisky dedicated to the TV show Game of Thrones (GoT). If you haven’t seen GoT, you likely know someone who has. It ran from 2011-2019, and it’s one of the most popular TV shows to ever air. However, it caused a lot of fans to turn their back on the show after the final season, which was criticized by most everyone.
As a fan of both Johnnie Walker and Game of Thrones, I figured why not give the limited edition whisky a review. I doubt the bottle will be as good as the show, but maybe it’ll have a better finish. After some brief history, we’ll get into more specifics of the bottle and its tasting notes.
Johnnie Walker History
Following his father’s death, in 1819 John Walker sold the family farm and bought a grocery store in Kilmarnock, Scotland. Shortly after, the Excise Act of 1823 passed, which softened the regulations around producing whisky. John Walker began selling spirits out of his store and custom blending scotch to fit the needs of his customers.
Whisky was simply a commodity offered by John Walker and his grocery store. However, after his death in 1857, Alexander Walker took over and transformed it into a booming business. A law passed in 1860 further softened the laws around scotch, and Alexander Walker took advantage. Whisky sales became 90% of their sales in comparison to the previous 8% or so under his father.
They began blending malt and grain whiskies together, introduced the rectangular bottle, and rebranded with a walking man as their logo. They also purchased the Cardhu distillery where they began producing single malt scotch to be blended in their whiskies.
Present day, Johnnie Walker is owned by Diageo.
Johnnie Walker White Walker Overview
There’s not much we know about what’s inside a bottle of Johnnie walker White Walker. Here’s what we do know: the scotch whisky is aged a minimum of 3 years, it’s 41.7% ABV (83.4 proof), and it uses single malts from Cardhu and Clynelish distilleries, two of the northernmost distilleries.
White Walker is also chill-filtered and said to be best served cold. Chill filtered means that the whisky was set to a very low temperature, in this case 1.5* Celsius, and passed through filters. When whisky get very cold it has a tendency to become cloudy due to particles clumping together. Chill filtering ensures that when a whisky spends time in a freezer, it won’t come out hazy.
One of the cool things about JW WW is about what’s on the outside of the bottle, not the inside. The bottle features a icy white and blue wrapping with the walking man on the front. However, much like a Coors Light can, the bottle changes when it reaches temperatures below freezing.
The Johnnie Walker walking man’s eyes light up into an icy blue like the white walkers, and the side of the bottle features the message “winter is here”.
GoT White Walkers
To those unaware of GoT’s White Walkers, they are an undead army that lives “north of the wall”. They have icy blue eyes, use spears and weapons forged with ice, and plan to kill everything and turn the world into the undead army.
There’s a reason the whisky is chill filtered and uses single malts from the northern most distilleries. It’s all meant to correspond with narratives around the white walker of Game of Thrones.
Johnnie Walker White Walker Tasting Notes
Okay, so what does JW White Walker actually taste like? Well, I was a little skeptical about the bottle saying best served directly from the freezer, so I tried it room temperature first. I found it to be average with nutty and fruity notes and a strong spice on the finish. After just one sip, I decided to let it rest in the freezer for a couple hours, and I must say, it’s definitely better that way.
Nose: Apple, vanilla, and caramel.
Taste: Brown sugar, toasted oak, caramel, apple. Light notes of spice round it out. It tastes almost exactly like a toasted or burnt smore to me.
Finish: Even when served out of the freezer, there’s some warmth to the finish. The finish is much lighter served cold. At room temperature, there’s much more spice to it.
Tasting Notes Summary
One glass quickly turned to two for me. The taste was something I’ve had a million times throughout my life, but I just couldn’t put my finger on it. I sipped and sipped and sipped, but it continued to elude me.
Finally, during my second glass it hit me. This tasted just like a smore. Not one where the marshmallow gets a nice golden color. This was a marshmallow that was forged in the fire and had the charred outside to prove it.
Feelings of nostalgia hit and it seemed to be the perfect drink to have outside around a night fire. I suppose that fits the theme of GoT as well. Drinking around a fire as winter comes.
JW White Walker Price
I’m a fan of what’s inside the bottle, but is it worth it? Let’s take a look at how much a bottle Johnnie Walker White Walker will cost you. As a note, prices will vary depending upon location and individual store.
This is a tough one due to the range in prices. Using various zip codes at Total Wine‘s website, I’ve found the bottle available from $22-36. I purchased my bottle from ReserveBar for $35, so it seems there’s quite a variance.
Deciding the value of a bottle of Johnnie Walker White Walker is tough due to it’s large price variance and it’s limited-edition nature. It’s not on the shelves of every liquor store you walk in to, and you don’t know what price you’ll find it at.
For $22, I’d buy this bottle as often as I could. At $35 I’d buy it occasionally. However, a lot of the value comes with the corniness of a bottle themed after a TV show. If you like GoT, definitely purchase a bottle. You know someone who loves GoT? Gift them a bottle.
As mentioned, the themed bottle and limited edition stuff can be a little gimmicky and corny, but the whisky is good. Not to mention, for people who still like Game of Thrones even after their abysmal final season, it can be fun to drink and have around.
Johnnie Walker White Walker Summary
Johnnie Walker White Walker actually surprised me. I was expecting one of their basic blended scotch whiskies that uses the Game of Thrones theme and packaging to sell. I think the bottle and the theme is neat. I like GoT and the bottle looks cool.
However, even if you think it’s corny or dumb, it’s what’s on the inside that counts (beautiful words, I know). The whisky that comes out of the bottle is unique and tasteful, and for that, I appreciate this bottle and Johnnie Walker.
When it comes to price, whether it’s $22 or $35, it’s not too expensive. I’m happy to have bought a bottle of Johnnie Walker White Walker, and I’ll happily do it again at the higher price point.
At the end of the day, this is a solid scotch whisky that I’d recommend. There’s certainly some added value if you or someone you know likes Game of Thrones. So pick up a bottle for yourself, or gift it to someone who isn’t afraid of what lies north of the wall.
GoT Johnnie Walker Selection
Johnnie Walker White Walker isn’t the only GoT inspired offering. They have two others – Johnnie Walker A Song of Ice and A Song of Fire – corresponding with House Stark and House Targaryen.
Below are frequently asked questions regarding Johnnie Walker White Walker. Many of these are answered in the article above. .
Where Can I Buy Johnnie Walker White Walker?
Since this is a limited edition offering, you’re best bet is to look online first. Check out Total Wine to see if your local store has it in stock. If not, you can use ReserveBar, and they will ship it to you.
What Changes With The Johnnie Walker White Walker Bottle?
When the bottle reaches temperatures below freezing, the bottle undergoes some changes. The eyes of the walking man logo become icy blue. The side of the bottle features the message “WINTER IS HERE”, and some extra icy blue slash marks are added to the bottle.
Is Johnnie Walker White Walker Different?
Johnnie Walker White Walker has a unique profile and flavor from other selections like their Red or Black Label that Johnnie Walker offers. It’s still a blended scotch whisky, but it’s a different blend.
What Does Johnnie Walker White Walker Taste Like?
The taste is quite different whether you have it at room temperature or out of the freezer. I recommend having it out of the freezer. It tastes like a smore. There’s a smoky and toasted oak flavor with notes of cinnamon brown sugar and apple.