As Gizmodo’s resident Walking Dead viewer and whiskey enthusiast, I was very surprised to discover I’d somehow missed the partnership between the show and The Sexton Single Malt Irish Whiskey during the first third of the show’s eleventh and final season. Luckily for me, Sexton has released a second special edition for season 11’s second batch of episodes, because if there’s one thing I deserve after watching more than a decade of The Walking Dead, it’s a drink.
The Sexton’s second outing — there’s be a third for the show’s final eight episodes, airing next fall — is all about the special, limited-edition packaging and not about a special flavour, which is almost certainly for the best as there’s absolutely nothing from the world of The Walking Dead I’d care to taste. (Tanned Whisperer Mask! Daryl’s Unwashed Jacket! Father Gabriel’s Willingness to Murder Unarmed Men!) In addition to adding rotting flesh to the brand’s trademark top-hatted skeleton logo, the silver label is covered with some of the most uplifting quotes from the TV series.
It’s a lovely sentiment, but if you’ve watched the show, it’s an odd choice given that uplifting quotes are very few and far between on The Walking Dead, but many, many moments of exceedingly bleak action. For example:
• “We fight for our future, we don’t fight for revenge.” — Daryl, who is arguably the show’s current moral centre, but spent season eight killing as many Saviors as he could, including ones Rick had already deserved mercy.
• “It’s human nature to come together.” — Rick Grimes, whose track record of veering wildly between morality and thirst for blood speaks for itself. Never forget when his dying son Carl begged him to stop the war with the Saviors, Rick lied to his face and got even more bloodthirsty.
• “Life is always a test.” — Hershel, who genuinely was a moral man, which go him brutally decapitated by the Governor way back in season four.
(It’s also worth noting that while Sexton is the Official Whiskey of The Walking Dead, the brand’s “mantra” is “celebrate life,” to which I would argue I can’t think of a show that celebrates life less than TWD.)
But while the label might be sending mixed messages, the Irish single malt inside the bottle is straightforwardly good. In fact, I’d honestly say it’s excellent, given its shockingly low price of $US30 ($42). I’m not one to go into “notes of dried apricots” or anything about the taste of any alcoholic beverage, but I will say the sherry casks the whiskey has been matured in give it a lovely sweetness that isn’t cloying, followed by a spicy tingle that isn’t overbearing either. Honestly, I find the Sexton most agreeable, and any character of legal drinking age on The Walking Dead should be thrilled to get their hands on a bottle before they’re inevitably and brutally murdered by somebody else.
The Sexton Single Malt Irish Whiskey x Walking Dead Limited Edition should be available at certain stores now, but can also be pre-ordered for a slightly higher price on ReserveBar here.