The Jewbilee of Thrones, Season Six
A Song of Whisk(e)y and Food
Some might argue that the best binging these days is watching whole seasons or even whole series. Others might decry binge drinking as the scourge of college-age kids. To binge or not to binge is not ever really the question; the questions are how to binge, what to binge, where to binge, and why that pretty little surrey had a binge on the top. (Guys, that was funny, wasn’t it! Guys? Guys?) We were fortunate to be invited to the 6th Annual Jewbilee in New York, and even more fortunate that we were able to leave our robust otter and ferret farms in capable hands so that we could attend. And attend we did, on June 15th! You might be wondering why the write-up is coming out only now, to which we reply that we are modeling ourselves after George R. R. Martin. So much so, in fact, that this review might even end 5/7 of the way through—with a promise that some day, we’ll finish it.
So, enough with the blather about binging—and which looks weirder, “binging” or “bingeing”?—on with the Jewbilee of Thrones! The plan is to whimsically connect various aspects, people, drinks, and food with Game of Thrones characters, settings, episodes, and the like. Warning: Jewbilee and Game of Thrones spoilers may abound. Also, we’re not looking for any sort of consistency by any means, so if a character in Game of Thrones dies violently, or has other horrible things befall him or her, or is an unredeemable psychopath, that doesn’t mean that the Malt Impostors harbor death wishes or negative opinions of said person or dram.
Season Five started for Eddard “Ned” Stark (Malt Impostor Stephen) and Jon Snow (Heroic Correspondent Bill) at the Purple Wedding (the Master Class in the 2017 Feis Ile bottlings). Theon Greyjoy (Malt Impostor John) was in a dungeon somewhere and wasn’t free for the event. The wedding was introduced by the Imp, Tyrion Lannister (Joshua Hatton), and the sellsword Bronn (Jason Johnstone-Yellin). The whisky was obtained on Islay and provided by Joffrey “Baratheon” (Tam) and Margaery Tyrell (Jess), the charming folks from Scotch Whisky Auctions. Each Islay distillery bottles at least one special expression for the Islay Festival Feis Ile, and this year’s offerings were all, unsurprisingly, quite tasty. Midafternoon quaffs swaddle a day in a particular kind blowsy glowing haze, and these proved no exception. Recalling the pleasure of that informs what happens next: To wit, I’m going to just list the wonderful people I met, the wonderful drams I drank, and maybe the wonderful food I ate, and line them up with various Game of Thrones pseudo-equivalents. Play along with us! The order might be quasi-chronological, but at this point, I don’t really trust anyone, even myself. Let’s start with people.
Booze Dancers (folks from It’s the Booze Dancing)–so great to meet y’all at last!
G-Lo: Petyr Baelish
G-Lo’s neighbor and friend at lunch: Ser Pounce
Aaron197172: Tywin Lannister, Hand to the King
Sarah (no cool alias?): Arya Stark–I was glad you didn’t have your direwolf with you at the Jewbilee.
Whisk(e)y Women CEOs
Allison Parc of Brenne: Brienne of Tarth, duh
Jennifer Nickerson of Tipperary Boutique Distillery: Tyene Sand
Friends of the Malt Impostor, New and Old
Swim around Islay guy: Khal Drogo
Robin R. : Sandor Clegane, The Hound
Robin’s Daughter: Daenerys Targaryen
Liza Weisstuch: Melisandre
Matt Lurin: Davos Seaworth, the Onion Knight
Joshua Gershon Feldman: Samwell Tarly
Kilt-wearing dude on the deck: Barristan Selmy of the Kingsguard
Jared Card of ImpEx (and SCN Member 708): Gregor Clegane, the Mountain Who Rides
Matthew Spinozzi (of https://www.matchbookdistillingco.com/) Jojen Reed, because this guy is the master of unusual sustenance.
The delightful pourers of Widow Jane: Shae and Ygritte–You know nothing, Jon Snow!
Chris Riesbeck, with Westland: Grand Maestre Pycelle, because it takes ancient knowledge to be part of a project as wild as the Garryana Oak.
It feels a bit cruel to talk about the Feis Ile drams from the Master Class, because most of them were limited editions, confined to sales on Islay. Suffer, like Theon Greyjoy suffers.
Ardbeg: Catelyn Stark, née Tully
Bowmore: Brynden Tully, The Blackfish
Bruichladdich: Brandon Stark
Bunnahabhain: Rickon Stark, because everyone forgets Rickon.
Caol Ila: Robb Stark
Kilchoman: Wun Wun the Hardhome giant
Lagavulin: Jaqen H’ghar, the Faceless Man. Valar Morgulis.
Laphroaig: Hodor (Because sometimes, I can only say “Laphroaig. Laphroaig? Laphroaig! Laphroaig.”)
The Glatt smoked sausages of the Master Class deserve a character, too: Hot Pie, naturally.
A quick relaxing constitutional to-and-fro the Wolcott Hotel, and on to the Main event!
The drams I drank, in order as best I remember:
Also it’s worth bearing in mind that I’ve had the fortune to try many, many whiskies over the past decade, so at shows such as the Jewbilee, I tend to hang around people who tolerate my presence (I know nothing, after all) and sample mostly those that are new to me, or too expensive for my budget, along with a few whiskies that are beloved by me.
Westland Garryana Oak, edition 2: Aegon V Targaryen, one of the best of the ruling family.
Michter’s 10yo bourbon: Jorah Mormont, the knight wildly in love Daenerys.
Glenmorangie Signet: Cersei Lannister, the Queen of Westeros.
Hirsch 8yo: The High Sparrow. Is green your favorite color?
Widow Jane 10yo Single Barrel straight bourbon: Meera Reed, because she’s a badass.
Ohishi brandy cask: Tommen “Baratheon,” brother to Myrcella.
Ohishi sherry cask: Myrcella “Baratheon,” sister to Tommen.
Tipperary Single Malt Irish Whiskey, Knockmealdowns 10: Yara Greyjoy
Macallan Old Particular 21yo: Renly Baratheon
Exclusive Malts Highland Park 25yo: Lyanna Mormont
Exclusive Malts Cameron Bridge 33yo: Olenna Tyrell
Beastmaster: Roose Bolton, because it’s a horrible feeling not remembering which drams I drank; I’m being flayed alive.
Random Exclusive Malts, Damn I Should Have Taken Notes, Ditto About Wishing I’d Taken Notes: Ramsay Bolton, because as bad as I feel about forgetting the Beastmasters, I feel a whole lot worse about forgetting the Exclusive Malts (besides the HP and the Cameron Bridge).
Blackadder Drop of the Irish 26yo Single Malt: Tormund Giantsbane, because hell, yeah!
The Balvenie Tun 1501 that Ran Out Just Before I Arrived: Fuck you, it ran out just before I arrived.
Compass Box Hedonism: Benjen Stark, Ned’s brother, the First Ranger of the Night’s Watch.
Glengoyne 21yo, I think, surely I tried that, think memory, think, think, think: Ilyn Payne, the King’s Justice–a mighty fancy name for an executioner.
Single Cask Nation Ben Nevis 20yo: Mance Rayder, the former Night’s Watchman who became King of the Wildings.
The Delicious foods
Glatt Kosher cuisine by Ari White: the Red Wedding (if it had really been a wedding)
Cacao Prieto Distillery Chocolates (via Widow Jane): Jaime Lannister, because chocolate is noble and cruel and misunderstood and really good-looking.