Not since the last Bond launch have we seen so many drinks brands announce partnerships with a film. As the second Kingsman film premieres, a slew of limited-edition releases are launching.
First up is Old Forester Statesman (47.5% abv, £45/70cl). The whiskey’s mash bill is the same as Old Forester’s, comprising 72% corn, 18% rye and 10% barley, but what makes this new release different is the fact that it’s made solely from ‘honey spot barrels’; casks that sit in the best spots of the brand’s warehouses. The result is a light-bodied whisky with flavours of drying cocoa powder and leather mixing with juicy orange oils and bitter grapefruit pith, sweeter butterscotch and a green edamame bean tinge.
Also from the Brown-Forman stable is the GlenDronach The Kingsman 1991 (48.2% abv, £550/70cl) – a whisky aged in sherry casks and distilled the year that Eggsy, the film's protagonist, was born.
'I was in two minds when [film director] Matthew Vaughn selected the year,' said GlenDronach master distiller Rachel Barrie. 'My first thought was, "but we've not got very much stock from that year!", but then I thought well, yes. Because 1991 was a low production year, this whisky has quite a distinct character.'
It certainly does, with aromas of stone fruit, tobacco leaf and forest floor leading onto a vinous, brambly palate which develops an interesting funky character on the finish. Made up of a blend of four sherry casks from that year, there are only 2,137 bottles available.
Moving onto gin (because every self-respecting spy obviously has his Martini preferences), No 3 has created a limited-edition navy-strength variant (£49% abv, £42/70cl). A number of scenes in Kingsman: The Golden Circle were filmed in the premises of historic wine and spirits merchant Berry Bros, which owns No 3, and as a result the company decided to create the 5,000 bottle release.
We're sure that Colin Firth's character would rather have his Martini stirred - James Bond doesn't know what he's talking about.
Brown Forman, 020 7478 1300; Berry Bros & Rudd, 0800 280 2440