Whisky And The Entertainment Industry - The Whiskey Wash

Whisky And The Entertainment Industry

Perfectly placed on the back shelf of a dusty dive bar, or proudly sitting in a crystal decanter to be devoured by the opulent. Whether it is Jack Daniels being the Rockstar’s drink of choice, or a Manhattan being the tipple of the discerning actor – we’ve seen whiskies associated with all walks of life, for quite some time. There are numerous celebrities getting involved in the drinks industry, with tequila and gin brands, and it now seems as though there is a trend of celebrities making themselves acquainted with the world of whisky. 

Given the connotations and preconceived ideas of a ‘whisky drinker’ it is understandable how celebrities can be enticed to be involved with such a complex and historic spirit. Film and television play a huge part in ramping up the desirability of whisky. Take fictional characters such as Marvel’s Jessica Jones – who will drink any kind of bourbon that she can get her hands on – and the smoky, scotch-obsessed Ron Swanson of Parks and Recreation. Swanson’s fondness for Lagavulin allowed actor Nick Offerman to star in the Christmas adverts of Lagavulin distillery, and Jones’ drinking habit has help shift mindsets that women can also be allowed to drink the manly spirit.

Actor Matthew McConaughey and the Russells of Wild Turkey (image via YouTube screen grab/Wild Turkey)

‘One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer’ was written in the 1950s, and there have been hundreds of songs dedicated to whisky, since then. The Doors, AC/DC, Lynyrd Skynrd and more – one of the greatest combinations in life is whisky and music. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the recent collaborations between celebrities and whisky makers.

Swedish distillery Mackmyra have released a five-year-old whisky in collaboration with Motörhead. Whilst it would be easier to just put their name and face on a brand, the band themselves actually helped select the casks. The same can be said with No.9 Iowa Whiskey. Distilled at Iowa’s Cedar Ridge Distillery, the whiskey has a high-rye content and was done in collaboration with one of Slipknot’s founding members, Shawn ‘Clown’ Crahan.

Perhaps the most interesting of these whiskies comes from Metallica, who teamed up with the late Dave Pickerell of Whistle Pig. The secret to Blackened Whiskey is that it has been exposed to heavy metal, in its ageing process, to make the casks vibrate, encouraging more interaction between the barrel and the spirit.

Some say wood makes the whiskey, and Matthew McConnaughey – creative director of Wild Turkey – decided to bring his Kentucky and Texan roots together, alongside master blender Eddie Russell, with the launch of their Longbranch whiskey, which is filtered with charcoal from Texas mesquite.

It appears that there is a lot of involvement between these celebrities, and the makers of their chosen whiskies. Which can be refreshing, due to the wealth of huge corporations that dominate the market. The latest announcement of an enterprise-endorsed whiskey comes from Diageo.

Following the success of their Game of Thrones malts, which coincided with the final ever season of the franchise, Diageo is showcasing their American whiskey portfolio by releasing The Walking Dead Kentucky Straight Bourbon, in collaboration with Skybound Entertainment. The whiskey itself will be launched in time for season 10 of the TV show, and it is pretty fair to say that just as the HBO Game of Thrones whiskies were a huge success, the Kentucky Straight Bourbon will knock everybody dead.