The Hosts Of The ‘Film & Whiskey’ Podcast Share Their Favorite Movie And Whiskey Pairings

Pairing a great movie with a great whiskey takes a little time and effort. Are you looking to match the vibe of the whiskey with the feel of the film? Or are you looking to match the taste of the whiskey — mellow, bombastic, murky, dark, bright, etc. — with the mood of the film? Maybe you just want to drink a good whiskey with a good movie and call it day. That’s cool too.

To help you pick the perfect whiskey/movie combo, we reached out to some stonecold experts in both fields — the hosts of the delightful Film & Whiskey Podcast. Bob Book and Brad Gee are over 300 episodes deep in their endeavor to watch the great films of cinema and pair those movies with the great whiskeys of the world. Over the course of all those film and whiskey reviews, Bob and Brad have sparred, commiserated, and found some deep truths about both cinema and whiskey.

If there are better experts for this whiskey and film pairing exercise, we couldn’t find them. These two are stone-cold pros.

Bob and Brad were kind enough to each call out five of their absolute favorite films that they’ve reviewed with five of their favorite whiskeys, creating a solid list of 10 movies paired with 10 whiskeys. The movies might surprise you and the whiskeys might too but this is a good list, folks. Read through, find a film to watch, and then hit those price links to pair it with the perfect dram.

Also Read: The Top 5 UPROXX Bourbon Posts Of The Last Six Months

PART I — Bob’s Picks:

West Side Story (1961) and Rye & Sons Straight Rye

West Side Rye & Sons
MGM/Rye and Sons

ABV: 48.75%

Average Price: $28

Why This Movie:

This is the quintessential American musical, and one of the most visually striking films to come out of Hollywood. New York looks almost nothing like the bold, elevated hues of the buildings and streetlights in this movie, but the use of color — Jets dressed in cool blues and khakis, Sharks dressed in bold purples and reds — helps sell the story of two diametrically-opposed and misunderstood groups of tightly-wound teens and the doomed romance at their center.

The Whiskey:

It may not embody the San Juan Hill of early-60s Manhattan, but Rye & Sons has a distinct NYC flair thanks to Andre Hueston Mack, the acclaimed sommelier behind the brand. Released as a partnership with Sean Josephs of Pinhook, this no-frills brand focuses on being accessible and approachable. A 60% rye, 20% corn, and 20% barley mash bill give this one just enough spice to satisfy rye whiskey drinkers, making it a perfect “gateway” into rye for the beginner.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: A shape-shifter in the glass, this one starts with bright notes of green apple, cantaloupe, and pineapple before settling into a brown sugar bomb with hints of orange and peppermint.

Palate: Pleasant caramel sweetness with pops of black pepper.

Finish: Warm baking spices like cinnamon add some nuance to the caramel finish.

Why It’s the Perfect Pairing:

Like the kids of ‘West Side Story,’ Rye & Sons isn’t interested in passing itself off as something different. It’s affordable, it’s uncomplicated, and it’s fundamentally for the people. When it comes to the everyday consumer, you won’t find a better value in American whiskey.

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial and Penderyn Portwood

ET Penderyn

ABV: 46%

Average Price: $82

Why This Movie:

‘E.T.’ might be the best coming-of-age movie ever made, and one that I find more richness and depth in every time I return to it. E.T., the character, serves as a perfect stand-in for whatever screenwriter Melissa Matheson needs it to be: in some scenes, E.T. is a metaphor for the boy Elliott, and in others, for the father who walked out on the family. E.T. brings hope to a broken home, and the final message he leaves with Elliott — “I’ll be right here” — is exactly what he needs to hear to accept and process loss.

The Whiskey:

Penderyn, one of the few Welsh distilleries, is quietly putting out some of the most consistent and notable whisky in the U.K. This single malt is aged in ex-bourbon barrels before being finished in ruby port casks.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: Dried cherries, dark chocolate, and a surprising amount of spicy pepper settle into subtle peach.

Palate: Like a boozy parfait, this has layers of black cherry, peach, and fresh yogurt with a drizzle of raw honey. It’s an incredibly creamy mouthfeel.

Finish: Soft oak with lingering honey and unripe cherry.

Why It’s the Perfect Pairing:

Spielberg may have made his masterpiece here, and the Penderyn is a great partner to it: underappreciated, with much more nuance than they get credit for. At their cores, both the movie and the whiskey are fundamentally sweet, but there’s more depth to be found the longer you sit with them.

Apollo 13 and The Sexton Irish Whiskey

Apollo 13 Sexton

ABV: 40%

Average Price: $30

Why This Movie:

Ron Howard is one of the great Hollywood directors, but he’s too often considered a Spielberg knockoff. While Howard is known for similarly uplifting material, the difference in Howard’s films is that the stakes are often considerably lower, but no less noble in their depiction of heroism. Even ‘Apollo 13’ essentially boils down to a story of a core NASA team trying to ensure three men get home safely, perfectly capturing Howard’s bent towards everyday heroes who achieve small victories over incredible odds through acts of endurance.

Also, it’s just a technically perfect film without an ounce of fat.

The Whiskey:

Packaged in a distinctive and squat black bottle, The Sexton looks at first like it might be trying to separate itself from its shelf mates through marketing. But this single malt is a brilliant entry point into Irish whiskey. Soft and sweet with a nice layer of spice and none of the bittering or astringent qualities of other lower-shelf Irish whiskeys.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: Pear and peach soften a fairly standard Irish pot still nose.

Palate: Fruit sweetness and honey carry across the palate, covering a subtly smoky and grain-forward malt.

Finish: Medium, with a touch of bitterness added to the honeyed cereal taste, along with some fig.

Why It’s the Perfect Pairing:

To underestimate either of these is to do them both a disservice. The Sexton is every bit as satisfying as the flagship offerings of much larger Irish whiskey distillers but feels like it has to work twice as hard to get out of their (deservedly) long shadows. Likewise, ‘Apollo 13’ is remembered as simply a pretty good Spielberg knockoff. In reality, this is one of the best “dad movie” combos ever. They’re down-the-middle and entertaining, a perfect way to spend a channel-surfing Saturday afternoon.

Coco and Woodford Reserve Double Oaked

Coco Woooford

ABV: 45.2%

Average Price: $59

Why This Movie:

It’s a testament to Pixar that we could make a compelling “best Pixar movie” argument for about 75% of their films. For me, though, nothing tops 2017’s ‘Coco,’ a movie about family, loss, and memory with an emphasis on responsibility to others that undercuts so many “me-first” Disney heroes.

The Whiskey:

When I moved to Kentucky in 2014, the first stop I made on the Bourbon Trail was Woodford Reserve. New to the world of whiskey and not sure if I even liked it, something changed the moment my lips touched the tiny plastic sample cup of Double Oaked. Woodford Reserve Bourbon finished in a second new charred oak barrel, it’s significantly richer and darker in color than standard Woodford.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: The barrel char is evident but not overwhelming. Tons of vanilla and bonfire-toasted marshmallow.

Palate: Not as sweet as the nose lets on. Ethanol-forward, but vanilla underlies everything else on the palate. A deeper, darker experience overall than expected.

Finish: Long-lasting with just a pop of barrel char, a pleasant if generic sweetness, and warmth without the burn. The finish is where this whiskey shines.

Why It’s the Perfect Pairing:

One of my fondest whiskey-related memories was telling then-Master Distiller Chris Morris that Woodford Double Oaked was “the whiskey that made me fall in love with whiskey.” Drinking this bourbon is a walk down memory lane for me, and like ‘Coco,’ it reminds me of the things worth remembering.

Double Indemnity and Ardbeg Uigeadail

Double Indemity Ardbeg

ABV: 54.2%

Average Price: $79

Why This Movie:

The epitome of 1940s film noir, this hard-boiled story of a femme fatale and the dope who falls for her is still the genre’s best example in large part due to its pitch-perfect dialogue. Billy Wilder and cinematographer John F. Seitz essentially invented the noir look — moody, high-contrast shadows at extreme angles reminiscent of German expressionism. And if that’s not enough for you, it’s got an all-time supporting performance from cinema’s favorite wiseguy, Edward G. Robinson.

The Whiskey:

Named after the loch from which Ardbeg draws its water, Uigeadail is a high-proof peated scotch finished in sherry casks. Its potency works in its favor, this is by far our favorite offering from the distillery and the lack of dilution means that more subtle scents and flavors remain.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: Look, it’s a peated scotch, but behind that is a much softer, fresh, and floral sweetgrass scent with citrus, stone fruit, and black coffee.

Palate: Honey sweetness up front with clove on the mid-palate. The peat bursts forth at the back of the palate but isn’t overwhelming.

Finish: Dark-roast coffee and smoke linger with orange and honey. The final impression is a sweetness that’s not always present in heavily-peated scotch.

Why It’s the Perfect Pairing:

When you watch a film noir, you want a whiskey with some bite to it. Something that feels appropriate for a smoke-filled room playing host to an illicit love affair and a series of double-crosses. Ardbeg Uigeadail is, quite simply, the most well-rounded peated scotch we’ve ever tried. The more subtle floral notes complement the peat smoke, but the high proof gives it the appropriate prickliness for a hard-edged movie like this.

PART II — Brad’s Picks:

Charade and Talisker 10


ABV: 45.8%

Average Price: $66

Why This Movie:

This is one of those classics that I watched as a kid, was worried that it would not stand up to scrutiny as an adult, and then was blown away by how much I still loved it. Carey Grant and Audrey Hepburn’s chemistry makes you wish that they had done 10 more films together, and Henry Mancini’s score drives you forward through the mystery and intrigue. ‘Charade’ is the last great film of the Golden Age of Hollywood, and you should check it out immediately.

The Whiskey:

Talisker 10 is a 92-proof Island Single Malt Whisky from Diageo’s Classic malt lineup. This whiskey is the Isle of Skye’s premiere single malt, and it packs a fruit and peat-filled punch.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: Soft peat, bits of brine, and caramel mix with leather, tobacco, and a hint of green apple.

Palate: Savory flavors of leather, tobacco, peat, and oak are balanced with a backend of crisp apple and pear.

Finish: Strong peat finish with oak, saline, and marshmallow.

Why It’s the Perfect Pairing:

Just like Carey Grant’s transatlantic accent, Talisker 10 is something brought to the U.S. that is impeccably unique and hard to replicate. It’s not hard to imagine the well-traveled Peter Joshua (Grant) enjoying a glass of scotch on his holiday to Switzerland. So to get in the mood for this Euro-centered film, Talisker 10 would be a perfect pour.

Shaun of the Dead and Nomad Outland

Shaun of the Dead

ABV: 41.3%

Average Price: $36

Why This Movie:

‘Shaun of the Dead,’ on the surface, should not be as incredible as it is. What starts out as farcical British comedy about the end of the world due to zombie stuff ends up tugging on the heartstrings as a strange coming-of-age story for millennials (like most millennials, his adventure into adulthood comes in his mid-thirties). Don’t miss Bill Nighy’s performance, which comes out of nowhere to make you cry about halfway through the film.

The Whisky:

Nomad Outland Whisky is an 82.6-proof blended Scotch whisky. From the Speyside region, this blend of 30 malt whiskies is aged in Scotland for six years and then spends its final year in Jerez, Spain, finishing in old Pedro Ximenez casks.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: Exotic nose of grape, cinnamon, cherry, and flurries of orange creamsicle.

Palate: Delightfully rich, the palate is a mixture of cherry cordial, brown sugar, and barley.

Finish: Grainier on the finish, you get lots of barley with a mixture of fresh orange and grape drink.

Why It’s the Perfect Pairing:

If I am going to be blunt, I did not think that either of these offerings would hold my attention, yet somehow, they both ended up being incredible! ‘Shaun of the Dead’ is potently funny but has a technical brilliance to the camerawork and writing that helps it transcend surface-level analysis. Nomad Outland is a low-priced (~$35) blended scotch that is a perfect introduction to scotch for a bourbon lover who is looking for a sweet experience.

Is the film or the whiskey perfect? Nope, but they are a heck of a lot better than I thought they would be.

The Matrix and Rebel 100

Matrix Rebel
Warner Bros./Lux Row

ABV: 50%

Average Price: $18

Why This Movie:

‘The Matrix’ might be the perfect sci-fi film. From the nearly non-stop action to the long-winded explanations of how the world works, ‘The Matrix’ simply checks every single science fiction box and does it spectacularly. The opening scene sets the stage for a wild ride into the unknown, and never lets up until the credits roll.

The Whiskey:

Rebel 100 is a 100-proof straight bourbon whiskey from Lux Row Distillers. This high-wheat bourbon is one of the greatest values on the market with an incredible amount of flavor for a $20-ish price tag.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: Soft nose of corn, ethanol, caramel, and vanilla.

Palate: Pleasant mouthfeel with lots of vanilla and wheat mixed with bits of caramel.

Finish: Vanilla and oak linger with cherry cordial coming to mind.

Why It’s the Perfect Pairing:

Rebel 100 is one of the most unexpectedly great values in the world of whiskey, packing incredible wheated bourbon flavors into a bottle that will cost you next to nothing. When ‘The Matrix’ came out, it was an absolutely revolutionary movie that made over 6.5 times its budget back at the box office, proving that you do not need to blow out the spending to create movie magic. Rebel 100 does the same thing, making them a perfect (and affordable) pairing for an enjoyable evening.

When Harry Met Sally… and Old Forester 1910

When Harry Met Sally... Old Forester

ABV: 46.5%

Average Price: $54

Why This Movie:

‘When Harry Met Sally…’ is one of the best-written and smoothest romantic comedies ever put to screen. The chemistry between Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan is dynamite, the supporting cast is impeccable, and it contains one of the most perfectly timed comedic scenes in film history. It’s easily my favorite romantic comedy to date.

The Whiskey:

Old Forester 1910 is a 93-proof straight bourbon whiskey that has undergone a second barreling in a lightly toasted, heavily charred barrel. The result is a rich and smooth experience that lingers on the palate for quite some time.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: Beautifully attenuated vanilla pairs with a smattering of nuttiness and caramel.

Palate: Creamy caramel mix with oak and a bit of hazelnut.

Finish: Rich oak, old leather, and soft notes of hazelnut and caramel.

Why It’s the Perfect Pairing:

Old Forester 1910 is a delectable experience from start to finish, and it is one that you want to keep coming back to, and ‘When Harry Met Sally…’ is an absolute treat of a film that is incredibly easy to watch at least once a year. Neither the film nor the whiskey has a low point, which means that this is a pairing that I will be enjoying for years to come.

Fargo and Found North Batch #002

Fargo Far North
PolyGram/Far North

ABV: 64.9%

Average Price: $125

Why You Love This Movie:

‘Fargo’ may not be the greatest movie we have ever reviewed, but it is definitely one of the movies that I constantly want to go back to. One of William H. Macy’s finest performances is somehow overshadowed by Frances McDormand as Marge Gunderson, the quietly confident sheriff of a tiny Minnesotan town that explodes into chaos when some two-bit crooks come into town. Hilarities and violence ensue, as one would expect from a good Coen Brothers film, easily making this my favorite of their filmography.

The Whiskey:

Found North Batch 002 is a 128.4-proof Ccask strength whisky from the blenders at Found North. Nick and Zach Taylor are blending geniuses, importing Canadian whiskies with crazy age statements and blending them into staggeringly good juice. Courageously, they moved their whiskey from being able to be called a rye into just being a “Cask Strength Whisky” because they knew that it would diminish the flavor to do so. In their words, they “bottled this black sheep as is.”

Tasting Notes:

Nose: Complex nose of green apple, fresh sweet corn, brown sugar, vanilla, and sweet mint.

Palate: Warm brown sugar starts us off and the high viscosity coats your mouth with a caramel and toasted marshmallow flavor that turns into a nice tart green apple on the back end.

Finish: Spice bomb to finish, the rich flavors on the palate transform into black pepper, oak, and tobacco.

Why It’s the Perfect Pairing:

‘Fargo’ and Found North Batch 002 are both born out of an experience in the frigid north and force you to contemplate life as you know it. Will you be content with who you are, or will you strive to become something you are not? The blenders at Found North knew that they could make a more marketable whisky, but chose to perfect the flavor instead, and would fit right into Marge Gunderson’s view on how the world should work.