Old Forester partnered with the movie’s producers to make Old Forester Statesman Bourbon, available at the distillery and at liquor stores nationwide. There aren’t many Bourbons out there that were made to go with a movie - in fact, I’m fairly certain The Statesman is the only one.
But there are plenty of Bourbon and American Whiskey references in movies and in popular culture, and some are less obvious than you might think.
From Kentucky to the Small Screen and the UniverseIn the original Star Trek series there were several references made to Saurian Brandy - which turned out to be poured from George Dickel Powderhorn decanters. In fact, you can see Captain Kirk (or his duplicate, anyway) taking a swig right from the Dickel bottle in the series.
This isn’t the only reference to American Whiskey in the Star Trek franchise. Captain Jonathan Archer made multiple references to Fine Kentucky Bourbon throughout the Enterprise series.
At one point in the series two crew members are trapped on a shuttlepod thinking they will die before being rescued when they find a bottle from Captain Archer’s stash - a fictitious brand called Dorton’s Best - which they down while waiting to die. (They were rescued, not to worry.)
There are, of course, many pop culture references to Kentucky Bourbon and other American Whiskeys that are far more mainstream. The popular television show Justified features so much Bourbon and other American Whiskey some people have called Bourbon a supporting character.
Pappy Van Winkle appears in so many movies that Preston Van Winkle once volunteered to me, on the record, “We’ve never paid anyone to mention our products and we’ve never given anyone live product.”
Pappy, Jim & Co. Hit the Silver Screen
There was the famous scene in The Internship where Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn ordered a round of Pappy for the table in celebration, and it has also been seen or mentioned in Crazy Stupid Love, CSI and more.
In one of my personal favorite movies, Easy Rider, Jack Nicholson is drinking a pint of what appears to be Jim Beam.
In The Hustler protagonist Fast Eddie, played by Paul Newman, says, “Preacher! Go on down and get me some Bourbon. J. T. S. Brown. No ice, no glass.”
In The Shining Jack Nicholson saddles up to the bar and repeatedly asks for Bourbon but is served what appears to be Jack Daniel’s - maybe this is why he went insane?
Roger Moore drank Old Grand-Dad Bottled-in-Bond AS Bond, James Bond, in Live and Let Die.
What kind of Bourbon does John Wick like to drink? Keanu Reeves’ character had expensive taste, from stylish cars to flashy weaponry, so what was his drink of choice? John Wick is seen drinking a bottle of Blanton’s at the Continental hotel, following a good old fashioned gunfight.
Whiskey Is Part of Our CultureBourbon is a part of our popular culture because it is a part of our culture and heritage, and it’s going to make many more appearances in our television and movies in our lifetimes.
Have I missed any great references to Bourbon in popular culture? I would love to hear about them - share in comments below!