“There’s a special rung in hell reserved for people who waste good scotch. Seeing as how I may be rapping on the door momentarily — sip — I must say, damn good stuff, sir.”
– Lt. Archie Hicox (Michael Fassbender) in Inglorious Bastards
Below, we present the ultimate film and whiskey pairing guide, AKA the greatest movie appearances by whiskey bottles. We’ve omitted scenes where the whiskey brand is hidden, made up, or otherwise unidentifiable. This is about drinking what the characters are enjoying onscreen, not what we “suppose” they “might be” drinking.
Should you feel especially brave, perhaps try watching the entire batch with each of their respective pours. And on the occasion that the movie doesn’t happen to be your kind of flick, here’s an important quote from Bill Murray in Lost In Translation: “The good news is the whiskey works.”
LOST IN TRANSLATION (2003)
The Scene: Suntory is a reoccurring character in Sofia Coppola’s Oscar-winning romantic comedy-drama. But it all comes together when Bob Harris (Bill Murray) is sipping on a glass and recites the brand’s catchphrase when first meeting Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson).
The Bottle: Hibiki 17 Year
THE MAN FROM UNCLE (2015)
The Scene: CIA agent Napoleon Solo (Henry Cavill) and KGB operative Illya Kuryakin (Armie Hammer) toast the completion of their mission on a rooftop while sipping a glass of Johnnie Walker Black. Their boss Waverly (Hugh Grant) is even a little jealous of the moment, saying, “What a touching scene. Nice view. Glass of whiskey.”
The Bottle: Johnnie Walker 12 Year Black Label
28 DAYS LATER (2002)
The Scene: Jim (Cillian Murphy) gets schooled on “how to loot during a zombie apocalypse” by Frank (Brendan Gleeson). The first lesson is to focus on grabbing the high-end Islay single malts, like Lagavulin, and leave the lesser brands behind.
The Bottle: Lagavulin 16 Year
The Scene: Shot by his partner Eve and left for dead by M, Daniel Craig’s James Bond decides to lean into his KIA status by playing parlor tricks with scorpions for cash and sipping on heavy pours of Macallan 18-year neat. Later in the movie, Javier Bardem’s supervillain Silva challenges Bond’s marksmanship by putting a glass of Macallan 50 year on the head of his new lady friend.
Spoiler alert: the whiskey gets spilled.
The Bottle: Macallan 18 Year
The Scene: Tommy DeVito (Joe Pesci) orders a Cutty Sark and water during a mafia poker game, which is unheard by the bartender Spider. The punishment for not bringing over his drink? A few rounds in the foot.
The Bottle: Cutty Sark
MISSISSIPPI GRIND (2015)
The Scene: Curtis (Ryan Reynolds) kicks off his friendship with Gerry (Ben Mendelsohn) by offering to buy him a glass of Woodford. Unfortunately, the bar doesn’t carry it, bringing a different offering instead. Eventually, the duo gets their Woodford and it becomes their celebratory drink of choice.
The Bottle: Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
THE SHINING (1980)
The Scene: Pining for a drink, the unhinged Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) orders a “bottle of Bourbon” from the bartender yet gets passed a bottle of Tennessee Whiskey from Jack Daniels. The horror.
The Bottle: Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey
KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE (2017)
The Scene: The Statesman are the “American cousins” to the Kingsman, and instead of tailoring they produce bourbon. They also are known to enjoy their own product, as you see from their members and leadership like Champ (Jeff Bridges).
The Bottle: Old Forester Statesman Straight Bourbon Whiskey
THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW (2004)
The Scene: The worst ice storm imaginable is approaching, and death imminent, but the senior member of the research station in Scotland makes it clear that there is still time to enjoy good whiskey. Pulling a few dusty glasses out, he opts to pour their stock of 12=year Scotch rather than see if it will fuel their dying power generator.
The Bottle: Balvenie 12 Year
BLADE RUNNER (1982) & BLADE RUNNER 2049 (2017)
The Scene: Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) gets a shot of whiskey poured for him when his former boss first gets informed of the new replicants. Later on, Deckard sips from his own personal stash of Johnnie Walker at his apartment in a cool angular rocks glass. The relationship was so cool, the brand even decided to make a limited-edition bottle to celebrate when the reimagined version that came out later with Ryan Gosling.
The Bottle: Johnnie Walker Black Black The Directors Cut
Think we missed one? Put it in the comments below.