What does James Bond drink in Skyfall?

macallan-1962There were expectations regarding the potential prominent product placement of Heineken (a lager beer) in the latest Bond installment, Skyfall. Well, lo and behold, it appeared at least 5 times. It is the first drinks brand that we see, even making the pre-title sequence.

Despite its numerous appearances, I didn’t find it that intrusive (and I was looking for it); in fact, Scotch whisky gets almost as much of a look in, in particular the brand Macallan.

Macallan features in Skyfall no fewer than four times, with three different varieties being shown:

  • Macallan 10 Year Old Fine Oak
  • Macallan 12 Year Old Sherry Oak
  • Macallan 1962 – This usually retails for around £6,400 a bottle, or about £280 a glass (read more here).

The whisky is sometimes drunk from fine tumblers, sometimes small, shot-like glasses and even swigged straight from the bottle.

The Macallan distill a range of Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky in Moray, Scotland and are one of the top 3 best-selling single malts in the world. They were founded in 1824 and are well-known for their sherry cask and oak cask ranges of whisky.

Whilst visiting a new character, Mallory (Ralph Fiennes), M drinks half a tumbler of Courvoisier VSOP Cognac, which she also drinks at home; speaking of which…

M’s Apartment

In Skyfall, we get a glimpse into M’s home-bar and find that it consists of the following:

  • Canadian Club Whisky
  • Harvey’s Bristol Cream
  • Courvoisier VSOP
  • Macallan Scotch Whisky (which is also drunk by M in her office)
  • No:3 Gin

Interestingly, No:3 Gin also appears earlier on in the film, when Bond has a bit of “time off”; given his location at the time, I can only assume that he took it with him – kudos, indeed.

No:3 Gin is produced in Holland for Berry Bros and Rudd, Wine and Spirits Merchants to the British Royal family. It is a crisp and classic gin, with hints of spicy cardamom coming through, along with dry juniper and zesty citrus. It makes an excellent Negroni and a rather good Gin & Tonic.

In another bar of the movie – a public one, this time – a plethora of identifiable brands can be found:

  • Famous Grouse Blended Scotch
  • Black Grouse Blended Scotch
  • Cutty Sark Blended Scotch
  • Canadian Club Whisky
  • Grey Goose
  • Macallan 10 Year Old Fine Oak
  • No:3 St. James Gin

At another bar in a casino, Bond does order a Martini-like cocktail, made with Grey Goose vodka. Although it is not specified by name, Bond comments on how well it is made and it contains lemon peel, so one could argue that it was a Vesper – we’ll never know.

In Conclusion

I reserved judgement on Heineken and it seems that my faith in Bond’s drinking habits has paid off, because, as well as the lager, he drinks a plethora of other fine spirits; mostly Scotch, but, then, he was brought up in Scotland….

David T Smith runs the blog Summer Fruit Cup, looking at all things related to drink and drinking. Topics covered include tasting and reviews, cocktail history and vintage bar-ware.


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