It has been seven decades since the first adventure of James Bond was published, and ever since Ian Fleming’s works have had a considerable impact on British culture and whisky investment.
One of Britain’s greatest-ever fictional characters was also one with an astonishingly diverse palate when it came to the myriad of drinks he enjoyed. Whilst the vodka martini was his most famous drink, he also enjoyed a wide variety of spirits.
Whilst popularity is one reason why The Macallan produced six limited edition bottles to celebrate six decades of Bond on the big screen, another is the connection the character, most famously played by the late Scot Sean Connery, has to Scotland’s favourite dram.
In the 12 novels and two collections of short stories, Ian Fleming wrote between 1953 and his death in 1964, Mr Bond drank 317 drinks, three times the 109 named drinks we see him drink in the films as of 2021’s No Time To Die.
In the books, unfortunately, only one whisky appears by name multiple times, with Mr Fleming simply referring to “Scotch” in the rest of the books. The choice he makes, however, is fascinating.
The Haig & Haig Pinchbottle is a bottle that you rarely see and appeared as early as Mr Fleming’s second James Bond novel, Live and Let Die, with another appearance in the much later On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
The other whisky mentioned in the books was Black & White, a blended scotch that was famous for its terrier mascots and its appearance in the book Moonraker
Surprisingly, 007 tends to prefer bourbon to scotch, likely due to Ian Fleming’s tastes and peculiar belief that it was better for his heart. In particular, he loved Old Grand-Dad bourbon and stipulated its use when he had Old Fashioneds in Live and Let Die, as well as Jack Daniels and Jim Bean.
He also drank Suntory whisky whilst in Japan for You Only Live Twice, and whilst literary James Bond was critical of the drink and preferred sake, both the film version and its actor Sean Connery have both been seen drinking Japan’s first and most famous dram.