If you’re enjoying The Last of Us on HBO as much as I am, you probably sit there watching the show, thinking all the time, Damn, this would be a whole lot better with a show-branded glass of Scotch.
Well folks, wish granted. Moth & Wolf is a limited-edition blended Scotch whisky that was originally developed late last year for the video game The Last of Us Part II. Considering how faithful the show is to the game, one can’t help but assume this fits in just as well. (The name has some symbolism to elements of the game, but I’ve never played it, so fill us in if you can.)
What’s in the bottle, you ask? A blend from the Chivas Brothers, best known for producing Chivas Regal. The finished whisky is aged in bourbon barrels filled in 2013. There’s no formal age statement, but let’s guess this is around 9 years old. We got a bottle, complete with spooky apocalyptic canister. Let’s give it a try while enjoying some dad jokes, OK?
An immediate note of smoke separates this from standard Chivas bottlings. What’s here is more brooding, more punchy, more, well, like cordyceps. Heavy elements of leather and (yes) mushroom give the nose an umami character, almost soy-like at times, with a backbone of toasted cereal and chimney soot.
Quite brooding on the palate, the whiskey evokes a long ride to Kansas City (or Pittsburgh, I suppose), only to find more trouble lies ahead. More smoky/earthy/mushroomy elements lie in wait en route to notes of white pepper, fresh wheat bread toast, and just a hint of marmite. Notes of sesame, roasted almonds, and a touch of sea salt keep things on the savory tip, though a light touch of brown sugar late in the game gives a nod toward the more traditional blended Scotch notes of a fresh box of breakfast cereal.
All told: It’s not something I’d sip as a daily dram, I mean, unless the mushroom people take over.