January 24, 2020

Whiskey Pairing: Pairing the Best Picture Nominee's with Bourbon

It's a crowded field of great movies. There's kind of a trend of darker, more serious movies this year. Here's what's going to help you make the most of movie watching season: pairing a little whiskey with some of the best films of the year.


When College Football is over and done with and the clock is just about to strike Midnight for the NFL, it becomes movie watching season. The weather outside is crap, there's no really great sports on, so it's time to catch up on pop culture.

And I am a serious movie buff. I watch a ton of movies and am a hopeless addict to streaming entertainment. My estemmed brother in law and his wife challenge me to watch every Best Picture Nominee that I can. This year, I thought I could help out the DBC by suggesting some delicious whiskey to compliment your viewing experience. And the nominees for Best Picture are...

The Irishman: Hancock's Presidential Reserve. While the film's main attraction, Jimmy Hoffa, didn't drink, you're going to want to stick with something on the lower proof side for this one. Clocking in at 3.5 hours, drinking anything barrel proof (or above 90 proof for that matter) will have you watching this movie in multiple sittings (true story: took me three sittings). Stick with Hancock's delicious 88.5 proof while you watch a young Robert DeNiro magically grow old again.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood: J.W. Dant. An ode to old school Hollywood deserves a call back to a Hollywood legend. I choose J.W. Dant for this one as a call back to Paul Newman's fantastic movie, The Hustler, in which he requests J.W. Dant - no ice, no glass - in order to take on Fats Domino. Maybe a bit of a stretch? But I feel like it fits the vibe of Hollywood in the mid-century...back when they called movies "pictures." However, unlike Paul Newman, feel free to enjoy your J.W Dant with ice maybe? Definitely a glass though...

A Marriage Story: This is a pretty tense and pretty sad movie at times. Nothing about a brutal divorce and child custody battle screams "Good times and whiskey!" However, that's not to say this isn't an excellent movie. Both Ben Swollo and ScarJo are outstanding. So for this nuanced film, I'll recommend a nuanced whiskey: Sagamore Spirit Double Oaked.

1917: This World War I drama is still in theaters, so pairing it with good bourbon could prove difficult. If you are able to view this one in one of our city's cool hip movie theaters, I'm going to suggest a Maker's Mark Old Fashion. Enough proof and flavor to keep your heart rate down during the amazing camera work and intense action.

Ford v Ferrari: This love story about American Muscle Cars and cool sunglasses deserves some big ass American Whiskey. As an ode to American Muscle and the coolness of the late 60's, go with an American classic: Jim Beam on the rocks.

JoJo Rabbit: In full disclosure, I have not seen this one. But, given the themes, let's keep it light and not get too heavy. It's a story about young children in some pretty awful circumstances so grab that Buffalo Trace and keep it easy.

The Joker: Some people really loved this one, and some people found it completely off putting. I happen to be in the latter half of that group: Don't get me wrong, Joaquin is outstanding, but Todd Phillips' brutalist film made me want to call my parents and ask them for a hug. So I'm going to recommend skipping alcohol all together here. Get a nice warm glass of milk, a cozy blanket and have mom on speed dial.

Parasite: The South Korean film getting all buzz may be the dark horse to win this year. It's a psychological thriller that has everyone buzzing. It's a foreign film, it's dark and intense, take a flyer on this one and pick something wild. How about a Whistle Pig Cask Finished Rye?

Little Women: I grew up in a house full of men. I just don't think my brain is wired to enjoy dramatic period pieces about domesticity. I know in the end, I will be forced to sit through this one so I'm reaching for a healthy six fingers of 1792 Full Proof to get through this. Apologies to my wife, but I may deliberately doze off during this movie.