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Review: Game of Thrones House Baratheon – Royal Lochnagar 12 Year Old

Game of Thrones House Baratheon – Royal Lochnagar 12 Year Old

Almost four years ago, we started reviewing the Game of Thrones Single Malt Scotch Whisky Collection. We made it three whiskies in before we stopped. A LOT has happened since our last review, including personal and professional changes and a global pandemic. However, we believe in finishing what we start, no matter how long it takes, so we’re back with our long overdue fourth review in the series. Game of Thrones House Baratheon – Royal Lochnagar 12 Year Old is a single malt whisky from the Royal Lochnagar distillery, located in the Highland region of Scotland.

Royal Lochnagar 12 Year Old is new to the United States, but has been available in select European markets for quite some time. Much like Game of Thrones House Targaryen – Cardhu Gold Reserve, Royal Lochnagar 12 Year Old has simply been repackaged for the Game of Thrones Single Malt Scotch Whisky Collection.

Game of Thrones House Baratheon – Royal Lochnagar 12 Year Old Specifications:

  • Spirit: Scotch.
  • Classification: Single Malt.
  • Region: Highland.
  • Age: 12 Years Old.
  • ABV: 40% (80 Proof).
  • Cask Type: Matured in ex-bourbon casks.
  • NCF (Non-Chill Filtered)? No.
  • Natural Color? No.
  • Price: $55.24 for 750 mL.

Elias’ Notes:

  • Color: Amber.
  • Nose: Orchard fruits (apples and pears), melon (cantaloupe), and orange zest. Light honey. Grassy. Chalky. Oak. A hint of vanilla.
  • Palate: Thin mouthfeel. Apples, cantaloupe, and lemon. Light honey. Baking spices and black pepper. English breakfast tea. Milk chocolate. Oak. Chalk. A hint of vanilla.
  • Finish: Short and dry. The apple and cantaloupe notes fade and the baking spices and black pepper become more pronounced. More English breakfast tea, lemon, oak, milk chocolate. A hint of vanilla and tobacco.

Despite being an entry level whisky bottled at only 40% ABV, Game of Thrones House Baratheon – Royal Lochnagar 12 Year Old delivers more complexity than expected and makes for a pleasant sipper. With that being said, Royal Lochnagar 12 Year Old would have benefited from being bottled at a slightly higher 43% or 46% ABV to allow all its aromas and flavors to really pop. If Royal Lochnagar 12 Year Old was priced lower, I’d be able to overlook the low ABV, but it was averaging $65-$75 at retail upon release. In that price range, it doesn’t present a great value when compared to other entry level single malts. Game of Thrones House Baratheon – Royal Lochnagar 12 Year Old may be worth a purchase if you’re able to pickup a bottle on closeout, but at full retail price there are better options.

Elias’ Rating: C+ (77–79%).

A Second Opinion:

My cousin Jayson and I frequently participate in bottle splits and share samples of new releases. When possible, I’ll share his tasting notes alongside mine.


Jayson’s Notes:

  • Color: Amber.
  • Nose: Sweet. Deeper than the others, likely due to age. Fresh fruit, lemon meringue pie, vanilla and marshmallow. Keep your expectations in check and this might surprise you.
  • Palate: Sweet with a nice vanilla note but somewhat watery. Dried fruit. Sweet and nutty spices – nutmeg and cinnamon.
  • Finish: Short. Felt a little disjointed from the palate and nose. Slightly creamy honey, more cinnamon, whipped cream, and some faint pepper.

This was better than the Dalwhinnie and much better than the Cardhu from the Game of Thrones Single Malt Scotch Whisky Collection. Age helped bring more body and flavor to the Royal Lochnagar. Sweet and zesty on the nose that carries through fruit, honey, vanilla and spice but stays in a tight range. The finish was probably my least favorite part. Price aside, this one is tied with the Glendullan as far as this humble palate is concerned.

Jayson’s Rating: C+ (77–79%).

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