Whisky & Entertainment – A rich history that goes back decades
Moments are residue of the impact left behind on our minds by cinema, a medium that has fascinated millions of people all over the world. We always remember moments from our favourite films, and it is always amusing to find a mention or catch a glimpse of something familiar.
Whether it’s a film or television character driving the same car as you do, or perhaps in the same line of job are you are. What really takes the cake is watching your favourite film or show character profess their love for the same kind of whisky as you do.
There have been some instances like these in the past, where whisky and entertainment have come together much to our delight. Whether it’s watching the hysterical Ron Burgundy call for ‘three fingers of The Glenlivet’, or travel back to your earliest memory of a horror film where Father Karass exclaims “Chivas Regal!
Check out our list of such iconic associations between whisky and cinema that had us excited!
The Glenlivet & Don Draper in Mad Men
The character of Don Draper is one of the most classic, sophisticated and successful portrayals of a gentleman in 1960s America. The character, played by heartthrob Jon Hamm has been immensely popular among audiences and continues to stand out to this day.
Jon Hamm’s Don Draper character has been shown to share a proclivity for fine Scotch whisky. On a few occasions, he has been portrayed as having a preference for the classic Speyside single malt, The Glenlivet. As a character that commands authority and respect in a room, both the character and the whisky were a natural fit and the showrunners’ choice of Scotch blended seamlessly with Don Draper’s taste. The Glenlivet is the Speyside’s oldest licensed distillery and the bestselling brand of single malt Scotch whisky in America to this day!
The Glenlivet has made numerous appearances across mediums such as film and television appearing once in a pivotal scene of the sitcom Silicon Valley. The character Erlich Bachman, played by T.J. Miller is shown drinking The Glenlivet 12. The brand also finds a mention in Anchorman, as Will Ferrell, who plays the eponymous character orders ‘three fingers of The Glenlivet’ before acting out one of the film’s most popular scenes.
Father Dyer & Chivas Regal in The Exorcist
Few horror films have managed to become immortalized in public memory like The Exorcist has. The chilling film was a landmark in the genre in the 70s and manages to retain every shred of its relevance even today. As timeless as the film is, so is the mention of a Scotch whisky brand with similar attributes of timelessness and immortalization.
Chivas Regal, the pioneers of blended Scotch whisky find a prominent mention in the Exorcist in a scene that reaffirms the brand’s stature as a premium Scotch whisky. Father Dyer, a pivotal character in the film offers Chivas Regal to Father Karras. To this, Father Karras exclaims, “Chivas Regal! Where did you get the money for it – out of the poor box?” It remains one of the few scenes in the film that aren’t terrifying but may even inspire a wry smile from the viewers.
Macallan & James Bond in Skyfall
The world’s most famous spy shares an extremely particular liking towards Macallan, the iconic Speyside distillery in Scotland. The Macallan single malt is the third bestselling Scotch whisky worldwide alongside two other Speyside giants and needs no introduction but to share screen space with James Bond himself is something else entirely.
Daniel Craig, the current James Bond and one of the most successful actors to have played the iconic character is shown to have been extremely fond of the Macallan single malt. The brand is prominently mentioned as ’50 Year Old Macallan’ by the villain, Raoul Silva in the movie. Although no such expression was widely released by Macallan, a commemorative bottle of The Macallan 50 was released by the company for the 50th anniversary of the first James Bond movie, Dr. No. The bottle was autographed by Daniel Craig and two more important actors from the movie. The Macallan James Bond relationship was further strengthened when the bottle was later auctioned off for charity.
Johnnie Walker & Game Of Thrones
What could be termed as one of the most popular television shows in history, it was underwhelming that the Game Of Thrones universe did not present any logical opportunities to showcase a whisky brand in the show itself. Instead, Game Of Thrones collaborated with Johnnie Walker to create a clever creative association through a hilarious pun to form ‘The White Walker’.
The ‘White Walkers’ are a notorious army of undead creatures controlled by one of the show’s two main antagonists, the Night King. This was a limited edition release from the company, intended to generate a tremendous amount of hype among the show’s fans and to promote the sales of the whisky as a rare collectors’ item. The marketing ploy, although wildly successful, did not garner much acclaim among whisky lovers and only generated a lukewarm response for the Scotch itself. Nevertheless, it will go down as one of the greatest ever crossovers between whisky and television/cinema.
Lagavulin & Ron Swanson in Parks & Recreation
Ron Swanson is not simply a character but a certified legend among lovers of Parks & Recreation. The deadpan dialogue delivery, toothbrush moustache and rigidly masculine character was immortalized by Nick Offerman, himself a lovable gentleman off-screen.
The Ron Swanson character has been shown to be particularly fond of a bottle of Lagavulin 16, his go-to drink on the show. What could only be considered a pleasantly surprising co-incidence is that Nick Offerman himself shares an inclination towards the brand! Perhaps it was Offerman who chose to make his favourite Scotch his character’s favourite too. Nevertheless, out of this particular scenario, a deeply fascinating video was born. Nick Offerman, perched next to a log fire, sipping on a Lagavulin 16 Year Old, without uttering as much as a single word for FORTY FIVE MINUTES, and that’s it. That was the video!
Bob Harris & Suntory whisky in Lost In Translation
A film where there’s no cameo, but where the whisky is one of the central characters! The story of List In Translation revolves around a Hollywood actor, Bob Harris played by Bill Murray and Charlotte, a young woman played by Scarlet Johansson.
Bob Harris is a popular face in Japan for his endorsement of Suntory whiskies, and on the chain of events that occur on one of his Japan trips to film a commercial for the brand. The Suntory brand of Japanese whisky is featured heavily in the film, and played a considerable part in popularizing the brand in the West.