Game of Thrones - Oban Bay Reserve - The Night's Watch

$175.00
Sale price

Regular price $175.00

"Another bottling from the highly-collectable Game of Thrones-themed series, this single malt Scotch whisky from Highland producer Oban is paired with the hardcore military order The Night's Watch. They could probably do with some Scotch in The Night's Watch, as it's pretty darn chilly up there!

If you haven't seen the show, essentially The Night's Watch hold and guard the Wall, an immense ice structure which separates the northern border of the Seven Kingdoms from the lands beyond. If you're not very familiar with Oban, it's a whisky producer in the Highlands that sits on the edge of Scotland’s western coast that's known for its clean and intensely fruity Scotch. In our opinion, both provide equally important services. One protects the realm from raiders and worse (no spoilers, people), while the other makes very tasty whisky for us to drink.

Tasting Note by The Producer

The initial sip confirms the richness with a wave of heavy, luxurious notes of Morello cherry pie and candied orange peel that burst open on the palate. Long and rich as it drifts into wonderful crème caramel and a gentle wisp of charred oak.

--------THE PRODUCER--------

Oban Distillery

When brothers Hugh and John Stevenson arrived at the frontier of the Hebrides Islands in 1793, they found little more than a natural harbour and a windswept view. Here they opened the Oban Brewing Company, their ‘Cowbell Ale’ being the first production.

They started distilling whisky the following year.

The business remained in the Stevenson family for three generations, until local merchant Peter Cumpstie purchased it in 1830. In 1880, the railroad steamed into Oban, inaugurating a new age of improved communication and transport.

The distillery has changed ownership over the years and witnessed a bustling town grow up around it. But our fierce commitment to excellence and tradition has been constant.

In 1989, Oban 14 Year Old was named one of six Classic Malts representing the Western Highlands region.

Row just a few metres out to sea, and you can fit the entire town of Oban within the single frame of a camera. And the distillery is just a speck inside that image.  Oban is one of the smallest whisky makers in Scotland. And that’s key to the character of our products. When expansion isn’t an option and the volume we’re able to produce is limited, we stand on quality, authenticity, and heritage.  

"The copper of the still has a conversation with the whisky . . . . The cleaner the copper and the more you rest it, the fresher and cleaner that spirit is."
 Kenny Gray, former Oban Distillery Manager

That's why...

1.  We have just two small stills through which each drop passes, enabling precise monitoring and control.
2.  We ferment our malted barley for five full days for the development of rich, nuanced flavour.
3.  We rest our stills after every run, which protects purity and taste.
4.  We age our whisky as long as we do, with the understanding that time is essential to its aroma, mouthfeel, and palate.
5.  Our bottles don’t have to shout for attention from the shelf. Our whisky — and our story — speak for themselves.
6.  We’ve remained anchored to our process for over 200 years and continue to value craftsmanship over speed.

The best place to start when you are pairing food and wine is to think about the structural elements of both the food and wines. These elements are: sweetness, acidity, bitterness, umami, chilli heat and fat.

We have listed these elements in foods and how you can add wines with similar or contrasting elements to help create harmony in your matches.

Sweetness 

Sweet foods can overpower dry wines, white or red, making them appear acidic, neutral or bitter. In order to reduce this effect you should pair sweet foods with sweet wines. 

Acidity

Acidic foods, like fresh citrus, tomatoes or salads laden with vinaigrettes, will overpower the acidity in a wine making them appear flabby or less acidic than they were. In order to reduce this effect you should pair acidic foods with wines that have a higher acidity such as Champagne, Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc.

Acidity is a key element in creating balance in a dish or a food-and-wine match. If the foods are going to reduce the acidity in the wines then you need to add your own bit of acidity by bringing a more acidic wine to the table. It is the same principle behind adding lemon juice to seafood dishes, as seafood tends to have quite low natural acidity.

Bitterness

If a food is high in bitterness then it will make the wine appear bitter, or it will increase the perception of bitterness (tannins) in the wine. In order to reduce this effect you should pair bitter foods with wines that are not bitter but rather have refreshing acidity.

Umami (Savoury)

Foods that are highly savoury, like mushrooms, will increase the bitterness or acidic perception we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair umami rich foods with wines that are very fruity and do not have medium-high tannins. 

Often foods that are more savoury are best matched with white wines like Chardonnay or Soave as these do not have tannins but have lots of fruity flavours nor do they have extremely high acidity.

Chilli Heat

Chilli heat is similar to umami rich foods where by it will increase the bitterness or acidic perception as well as the alcoholic burn we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair chilli heat rich foods with wines that are very fruity but also have higher sweetness.

Wines that are just a touch off-dry like many Gewurztraminer or Riesling work best with chilli foods like a curry as they will be both a bit sweet but also very fruity. If you aren't a white wine drinker then you should consider red wines that have lower tannins such as a Pinot Noir or a Gamay Noir. 

Fatty

Foods that are high in fat will make the wines feel flabby and less fruity. In order to reduce this effect you should pair fatty foods with wines that have high acidity. This is similar to the rule of adding in acidity (in the form of citrus) to seafood to help balance out not just the acidity but to cut down the perception of fattiness in the seafood. 

This is why when you are having a piece of red meat that is high in fat, like lamb, then you should pair it with a Pinot Noir instead of a Merlot as a Pinot Noir will have a higher acidity and will help to balance out the dish.

 

 

These rules will help you with starting to think about how to create pairings. It often isn't helpful to think about 'red wine and red meat' or 'white wine and fish' because it is actually the structural elements of the wine and food that are what need to be balanced. It is the acidity in white wines that work well with cutting through the fattiness of a piece of fish but you could get that acidity through a Pinot Noir. 

"Another bottling from the highly-collectable Game of Thrones-themed series, this single malt Scotch whisky from Highland producer Oban is paired with the hardcore military order The Night's Watch. They could probably do with some Scotch in The Night's Watch, as it's pretty darn chilly up there!

If you haven't seen the show, essentially The Night's Watch hold and guard the Wall, an immense ice structure which separates the northern border of the Seven Kingdoms from the lands beyond. If you're not very familiar with Oban, it's a whisky producer in the Highlands that sits on the edge of Scotland’s western coast that's known for its clean and intensely fruity Scotch. In our opinion, both provide equally important services. One protects the realm from raiders and worse (no spoilers, people), while the other makes very tasty whisky for us to drink.

Tasting Note by The Producer

The initial sip confirms the richness with a wave of heavy, luxurious notes of Morello cherry pie and candied orange peel that burst open on the palate. Long and rich as it drifts into wonderful crème caramel and a gentle wisp of charred oak.

--------THE PRODUCER--------

Oban Distillery

When brothers Hugh and John Stevenson arrived at the frontier of the Hebrides Islands in 1793, they found little more than a natural harbour and a windswept view. Here they opened the Oban Brewing Company, their ‘Cowbell Ale’ being the first production.

They started distilling whisky the following year.

The business remained in the Stevenson family for three generations, until local merchant Peter Cumpstie purchased it in 1830. In 1880, the railroad steamed into Oban, inaugurating a new age of improved communication and transport.

The distillery has changed ownership over the years and witnessed a bustling town grow up around it. But our fierce commitment to excellence and tradition has been constant.

In 1989, Oban 14 Year Old was named one of six Classic Malts representing the Western Highlands region.

Row just a few metres out to sea, and you can fit the entire town of Oban within the single frame of a camera. And the distillery is just a speck inside that image.  Oban is one of the smallest whisky makers in Scotland. And that’s key to the character of our products. When expansion isn’t an option and the volume we’re able to produce is limited, we stand on quality, authenticity, and heritage.  

"The copper of the still has a conversation with the whisky . . . . The cleaner the copper and the more you rest it, the fresher and cleaner that spirit is."
 Kenny Gray, former Oban Distillery Manager

That's why...

1.  We have just two small stills through which each drop passes, enabling precise monitoring and control.
2.  We ferment our malted barley for five full days for the development of rich, nuanced flavour.
3.  We rest our stills after every run, which protects purity and taste.
4.  We age our whisky as long as we do, with the understanding that time is essential to its aroma, mouthfeel, and palate.
5.  Our bottles don’t have to shout for attention from the shelf. Our whisky — and our story — speak for themselves.
6.  We’ve remained anchored to our process for over 200 years and continue to value craftsmanship over speed.

The best place to start when you are pairing food and wine is to think about the structural elements of both the food and wines. These elements are: sweetness, acidity, bitterness, umami, chilli heat and fat.

We have listed these elements in foods and how you can add wines with similar or contrasting elements to help create harmony in your matches.

Sweetness 

Sweet foods can overpower dry wines, white or red, making them appear acidic, neutral or bitter. In order to reduce this effect you should pair sweet foods with sweet wines. 

Acidity

Acidic foods, like fresh citrus, tomatoes or salads laden with vinaigrettes, will overpower the acidity in a wine making them appear flabby or less acidic than they were. In order to reduce this effect you should pair acidic foods with wines that have a higher acidity such as Champagne, Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc.

Acidity is a key element in creating balance in a dish or a food-and-wine match. If the foods are going to reduce the acidity in the wines then you need to add your own bit of acidity by bringing a more acidic wine to the table. It is the same principle behind adding lemon juice to seafood dishes, as seafood tends to have quite low natural acidity.

Bitterness

If a food is high in bitterness then it will make the wine appear bitter, or it will increase the perception of bitterness (tannins) in the wine. In order to reduce this effect you should pair bitter foods with wines that are not bitter but rather have refreshing acidity.

Umami (Savoury)

Foods that are highly savoury, like mushrooms, will increase the bitterness or acidic perception we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair umami rich foods with wines that are very fruity and do not have medium-high tannins. 

Often foods that are more savoury are best matched with white wines like Chardonnay or Soave as these do not have tannins but have lots of fruity flavours nor do they have extremely high acidity.

Chilli Heat

Chilli heat is similar to umami rich foods where by it will increase the bitterness or acidic perception as well as the alcoholic burn we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair chilli heat rich foods with wines that are very fruity but also have higher sweetness.

Wines that are just a touch off-dry like many Gewurztraminer or Riesling work best with chilli foods like a curry as they will be both a bit sweet but also very fruity. If you aren't a white wine drinker then you should consider red wines that have lower tannins such as a Pinot Noir or a Gamay Noir. 

Fatty

Foods that are high in fat will make the wines feel flabby and less fruity. In order to reduce this effect you should pair fatty foods with wines that have high acidity. This is similar to the rule of adding in acidity (in the form of citrus) to seafood to help balance out not just the acidity but to cut down the perception of fattiness in the seafood. 

This is why when you are having a piece of red meat that is high in fat, like lamb, then you should pair it with a Pinot Noir instead of a Merlot as a Pinot Noir will have a higher acidity and will help to balance out the dish.

 

 

These rules will help you with starting to think about how to create pairings. It often isn't helpful to think about 'red wine and red meat' or 'white wine and fish' because it is actually the structural elements of the wine and food that are what need to be balanced. It is the acidity in white wines that work well with cutting through the fattiness of a piece of fish but you could get that acidity through a Pinot Noir.