The Killer’s Choice: Exploring the World of Bourbon with John Wick

After the first installment of John Wick, I was intrigued by the mysterious and lethal wardrobe of Keanu Reeves’ character. When I rewatched the series, I noticed that he had a certain affinity for bourbon, so I decided to explore the world of bourbon with John Wick.

In this article, I will be discussing Blanton’s bourbon, the whiskey glasses that John Wick uses, and how to conduct a bourbon tasting. Stay tuned to find out more about John Wick’s whiskey of choice and discover a few of the great bourbons yourself.

John Wick’s Inspiration

When John Wick decided to make whiskey his passion, he turned to the rich history of bourbon-making in the United States to give him guidance. Passionate and knowledgeable, John Wick has become a master of his craft. A connoisseur of all things related to bourbon, he travels around the U.S., visiting distilleries, testing liquors and learning more about the production process.

John Wick has been influenced by some of the most respected individuals in whiskey-making. His appreciation for tradition and quality can be found everywhere in his select choice of bourbons for both tasting and sipping. He believes that the amount of grains and sources used are critical elements to creating an exceptional bourbon experience with complex flavors.

A “personal teacher” on his own journey, John studies different whiskey styles including single malt Scotch whiskeys, Irish whiskies or Japan’s Nikka Whiskey brand along with many others to gain a better understanding of how certain elements are used when making individual blends. He often searches through vintage offerings or samples bourbons straight from Bourbon country – Kentucky – just for fun! Through these experiences he is able to create bourbons with depth, character and flavor that pair perfectly with any occasion or desired palate preference.

When asked why he’s chosen this as a profession and why it’s such an important part of his life, John responds simply – “I love exploring the depths of this spirit! Every time I sip on one I travel through time – from old world recipes passed down generations ago – sipping each drop gives me an opportunity to discover unknown beautifully crafted flavor profiles – What else could anyone ask for? What an incredible spirit!”

The History of Bourbon

The history of bourbon has roots that go back centuries, to the days of old Appalachia and the frontier settlers of Kentucky. It is a distinct style of American whiskey that has evolved over time, becoming its own iconic and beloved spirit.

Bourbon as we know it today was first mentioned in 1789 when Baptist minister Elijah Craig, otherwise known as “The Father of Bourbon” began distilling his now famous whiskey recipe from corn, rye and barley mash. He also developed a unique aging process and refined production methods, utilizing White Oak barrels to store the whiskey while allowing it to age in newly charred oak barrels onsite at his distillery in Georgetown, Kentucky. This process gave rise to what is now known as “the rickhouse approach” which is still used by many distillers today.

From Craig’s original recipe came other variations like Tennessee Sour Mash Whiskey and later on blended Bourbons with wheat or rye-based recipes — marking further developments in the world of whiskey production. Following Prohibition, smaller scale brands emerged too with craft products leading to change and innovation within the industry as a whole.

Today there are myriad bourbons available ranging from big names like Maker’s Mark or Blanton’s (John Wick’s favorite!) through to more obscure micro-distilleries offering up unusual flavors — thus bringing variety and excitement for those wishing to explore bourbon further!

The Basics of Bourbon

If you’re looking to get into the world of bourbon, one of the best places to start is to learn the basics. Bourbon is a type of whiskey that is made primarily from corn and is aged in charred oak barrels. This type of whiskey has a distinct flavor that makes it popular with whiskey connoisseurs and newcomers alike.

In this article, we’ll look at the history and production of bourbon, as well as some of the best brands to try.

Types of Bourbon

Bourbon is a type of whiskey, but not all whiskeys are bourbons. The major difference lies in the recipe used to make it. For a whiskey to be classified as a “bourbon,” it must meet certain legal requirements:

-It must be made from corn mash that is at least 51% corn (corn makes up the majority of the mash bill). -It must be distilled at 160 proof or lower and stored in new, charred oak containers. -It has to contain no additives other than water (which is often used to bring down the proof). -It must also be bottled at 80 proof or higher.

There are many different types of bourbon ranging from light and sweet (Kentucky Straight Bourbon) to full bodied and oaky (Rye Whiskey). Some popular varieties include: Johnnie Walker Blue Label, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, Jim Beam White Label, Bulleit Rye Whiskey and Blanton’s Straight from The Barrel Bourbon.

Moreover, each variety has its own unique flavor profile. Some are smokier with stronger hints of oak, some are sweeter with richer notes of vanilla and caramel, while others can have more of a robust spice profile due to their higher concentration of rye grains. Ultimately it will depend on your personal preference for the type of flavor profile you prefer when it comes to choosing your favorite type of bourbon!

The Aging Process

Bourbon is a special type of whiskey that must be produced in the United States and conform to certain requirements in order to be labeled as such. It’s created through a process that varies slightly from producer to producer, but it typically involves the distillation of fermented grains, the addition of other ingredients, and aging in charred, oak barrels.

The aging process is extremely important when it comes to Bourbon; although there are no strict requirements in this regard, most producers age their Bourbon for at least two years and often much longer. During this period of time, the alcohol molecules interact with the wood of the barrel and create complex flavor compounds that give bourbon its unique flavor profile. The type of barrel also matters; many producers use white oak because its natural properties yield bourbon with an unmistakable richness.

For many connoisseurs, the length of aging is associated with quality; bourbons aged over 4-5 years are often considered to have more nuanced flavors than those aged for two or three years. However, not all whisky drinkers feel this way; some prefer younger whiskies because they perceive them to have more flavor intensity than older varieties. Ultimately, choosing your ideal whisky should come down to personal taste preferences rather than preconceived notions about age being indicative of quality.

The Different Grades of Bourbon

The grade of bourbon you choose can take your taste buds on a journey. Each bottle uses the same mix of grains (corn, rye, wheat, and barley), but the percentages are varied to provide unique flavor profiles. So let’s examine what makes each grade worth savoring and explore the grades of Bourbon that John Wick has probably savored throughout his career.

Light Bourbon – The least common in terms of grade. Light Bourbons generally have more rye in addition to corn mash, imparting a spicier flavor profile than other types and while they are easy on the surface it still carries the sweetness from its corn mash undertones. The classic example here is Blanton’s Bourbon which is loved by John Wick fans for its smoothness and for being one of only two bourbons mentioned by name in John Wick: Chapter 2.

Bottom Shelf Bourbons – Bottom shelf Bourbons can be described as “light” in comparison to top shelf varieties, but don’t let that deceive you because bottom shelf Bourbons are usually still very good; they just may not possess as much complexity or complexity as their pricier counterparts. These go-to bottles usually come with straightforward flavor, no false advertising on packaging or strong sentiments on any label detailing, nothing ostentatious but good solid bourbon with all sorts of potential cocktails depending on your level of creativity! Think Buffalo Trace; it’s often mentioned as a great bourbon for cocktails because it is not too expensive and mixes well with other flavors due to its lightness in body and less sweet syrup-like qualities than other mid-range bourbons offer.

Top Shelf Bourbons – These premium blends are higher octane versions compared to Light Bourbons and Bottom Shelf items offering fuller flavor profiles with higher ABV content at around 40%. Here, everything should be special – substance over sizzle is key! Therefore when choosing one of these sophisticated sippers look out for details like barrel-charring levels (ie range from light (1stick) to heavy charring(4 stick)), oaks used in aging processes such as American White Oaks etc., all key indicators pointing towards an enjoyable finished product! For example Old Forester Signature exhibits those deeper oaky tones enjoyed so much by both connoisseurs & casual tipples alike — just keep your eyes peeled when shopping around because alcohol taxation has some distillers substituting lower quality ingredients so they can maintain price stability while retaining mouthfeel & purity at higher ABV percentages!

John Wick’s Taste in Bourbon

In the movie, John Wick loves to drink one particular brand of bourbon: Blanton’s. Its sweet, bold, and smoky taste is an iconic part of his character.

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If you’re interested in exploring the world of bourbon with John Wick, then you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what kind of bourbon John Wick drinks and other whiskey-related topics.

Blanton’s Bourbon

For bourbon lovers, Blanton’s bourbon is the peak of the mountain. It’s the single barrel whiskey created specifically for the legendary John Wick, who, like his namesake character, has a taste for only the best whiskey.

Blanton’s is distilled from corn and rye mash at Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky. It’s aged for 8-10 years in new charred American oak barrels before it goes into Blanton’s distinctive bottle — an exclusive design that shows off a copper horseshoe stopper ball top with a miniature horse and jockey atop each one.

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Where Wick finds his smooth and rich flavor of Blanton’s comes from its high-rye content. The ratio of corn to rye in its mixture is two to one. You will find a strong caramel smell with hints of apple or grapefruit tangerine in the mix. The taste brings out notes of caramelized sugar alongside a fire-roasted marshmallow sweetness with light oak accents and complexity that won’t let you down when you take your first sip. Finish it off with just a touch of black pepper spice — delicious!

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Though Blanton’s is the whiskey we see in the film, there’s also an official John Wick bourbon from the Silver Screen Bottling Company. Though it doesn’t appear to currently be available.

Whether you try it on ice or as part of your favorite cocktail concoction, Blanton’s bourbon has undeniable flavor appeal that can leave you feeling invigorated like no other beverage can — just like John Wick does when he knocks back his nightly glass of the good stuff with style and class. Re-create those magical professional assassin moments at home with your own bottle today!

Other Bourbons John Wick Likes

John Wick’s tastes appear to vary as much as his weapons, when it comes to bourbon. He is known to have a few favorites, such as Blanton’s, Rittenhouse Straight Rye Whiskey, Henry McKenna Single Barrel Bourbon, and Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon.

But there are many other bourbons that can be enjoyed just as much by John Wick aficionados. Thomas H Handy Rye is a wickedly delicious whiskey made with rye that showcases the mouth-watering complexity of spicy and sweet flavors. Colonel EH Taylor Small Batch Bourbon has notes of caramel and honey on the tongue and smooth tannins on the finish. Garrison Brothers Texas Straight Bourbon is another great choice for any John Wick fan – it features a heavy corn base with Citrus accents that leave a pleasantly spicy flavor on the palate. Ask Brown Forman’s Old Forester Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey for hints of orange rind and sweeter oak characteristics for an intensely balanced flavor profile that ends in just the right amount of heat to satisfy your taste buds. Finally, Wild Turkey 101 K ENTUCKY BOURBON is renowned among connoisseurs of fine whiskeys, this legendary spirit blends sweet maple sugar with smoky maple and rye complexity for an unforgettable taste sensation – so it may well be worthy of John Wick’s approval!

Tasting Bourbon

If you’re a fan of the John Wick movies, you may be curious about the bourbon that John Wick (Keanu Reeves) drinks. In the first movie, he orders Blanton’s Gold Edition, a single-barrel bourbon whiskey. Since then, he has become known as the unofficial “brand ambassador” for the bourbon and even inspired a special John Wick whiskey glass.

If you’d like to join John Wick in exploring the world of bourbon and learn more about tasting bourbon, then read on!

Choosing the Right Glass

When it comes to tasting bourbon, the right glass can make all the difference. It may seem like an insignificant detail, but choosing the right glassware is essential if you want to get the most out of your whiskey tasting experience. The size and shape of the glass help you to focus on the aroma and flavors of your whiskey while limiting evaporation. Ideally, you should be using a tulip-shaped or a brandy snifter for your whiskey tasting.

The tulip-shaped glass is designed in such a way that it helps disperse the aroma of your whiskey, giving you a richer flavor profile when compared to straight sided glasses or flutes. One alternative shape would be a snifter or brandy glass with its wider base, allowing more surface area for dispersion and greater capture of volatiles allowing further inhalation and appreciation.

What’s more important than having all these fancy glasses is that they should be clear in color – this will allow more clarity when observing color as well as other attributes during bourbon tasting sessions. Experiment by trying different shapes and sizes to find what works best for you, but always try using glasses that have sufficient weight and sturdiness – John Wick recommends “The Killers’ Choice”from Blanton’s – featuring stable crystal construction with an iconic toucan resting atop each piece for easy identification in social settings.

Preparing for a Tasting

Before you begin your tasting session, there are a few steps you should take in order to ensure that you get the most out of your experience. First, set yourself up with the right supplies. You will need an appropriate glass for tasting such as a Glencairn whiskey glass or a tulip-shaped snifter. Placing each sample on its own coaster will help to prevent any spills or cross-contamination. Additionally, it’s helpful to prepare an individual “tasting sheet” for each sample in order to keep track of all of your notes and impressions.

Secondly, allow yourself time and space for proper tasting. If possible, choose a location that is quiet and free from distractions so that you can focus completely on your experience with the bourbon. When sampling more than one bourbon, it’s important to make sure that between tastings you have enough time for your palate to reset itself so it can be ready for each new pour. Additionally, start off with lighter bourbons before moving onto darker styles and add some water if necessary in order to concentration tastes without being overwhelmed by ABV (alcohol by volume).

Finally, recognize that everyone experiences tastes differently and that is totally ok! Whether this is your first time trying John Wick’s mythical Blanton’s Bourbon or you’re an experienced connoisseur of the finest American whiskeys – take this opportunity make connections between aroma, flavor and pleasure as you would in any other situation – even if those connections don’t look like anyone else’s map but yours!

Tasting Tips

No matter your level of experience, tasting Bourbon is an enjoyable and informative experience. To get started, be sure to have a few classic glasses nearby – preferably Blanton’s – and follow the steps below to become a true Bourbon connoisseur.

1. Take in the aroma of the Bourbon: Make sure to take your time as you swirl the glass and inhale slowly, taking in all of the notes coming from the spirit;

2. Taste slightly smaller sips: Pay attention to each note that you taste as you sip, similar to how one tastes wines;

3. Cleanse your palate in- between tasting other Bourbons: Have clear still or sparkling water available and allow it to cleanse your mouth between sips;

4. Enjoy with food: Your favorite Bourbons (such as John Wick’s) are great for mixology purposes and for pairing with certain foods!

Following these steps will help you elevate every tasting experience into a journey for exploration through taste and aroma as opposed to simply drinking for intoxication’s sake. Remember, bourbon is life-giving so don’t forget to savor every sip!


As we saw in this exploration of the world of Bourbon, the Killer’s choice of Blanton’s Bourbon is a great choice. It has a complex, smooth taste and a long history. You owe it to yourself to try a glass of Blanton’s, and I have no doubt that you won’t be disappointed.

As John Wick himself said, “I always go for the best. No compromises.” With Blanton’s, he certainly got that.

The Benefits of Trying New Bourbons

Exploring the world of bourbon through John Wick and his whiskey tasting habits has been enriching and rewarding. Not only can one appreciate the nuanced flavors of different bourbons, one is also able to experience a range of new distilleries, production processes, and recipes. From surprisingly sweet to devastatingly bold, there are numerous avenues for the enthusiast to pursue when embarking upon a journey in Kentucky.

The rewards from independent tasting are not limited to the palate alone. One can make notes on what type of bourbon they prefer, get a better understanding of production methods from smaller craft distilleries, and ultimately become a more informed enthusiast — both for personal pleasure and when entertaining guests.

Additionally sampling new bourbons provides an opportunity for social bonding between like-minded individuals. By gathering group members at events such as John Wick’s Bourbon Tasting parties in Chapter 3 –– or at home with friends –– one encourages community building while discovering new shared passions — all while unlocking secrets behind an age-old spirit production process enjoyed by generations before us.

The world of bourbon is wide and ever-evolving, ripe with opportunities to discover something –– or someone –– new every time one sets out on their whiskey quest. The benefits that come with testing old favorites while uncovering pure gems are invaluable — so cheers!

The Joy of Sharing Bourbon with Friends

As John Wick says, “One bourbon, one scotch, one beer.” That is true joy. Sharing the exact same kind of bourbon you enjoy with friends who appreciate it makes for an experience you’ll want to relive again and again.

It’s easy to create a memorable tasting experience at home. The best part is that once you’ve chosen a quality bourbon or whiskey, the rest can be left up to your imagination and your guests’ preferences. You might consider providing a few mixers like sweet vermouth or club soda and letting your guests craft their own cocktails; or presenting a selection of small-plate accompaniments from charcuterie meats to rich chocolate desserts.

No matter how you choose to try your whiskeys, don’t forget that whiskey should be savored, not shot down in record time. The single most important element in sharing whiskey with friends is conversation — engaging in meaningful dialogue about what each person likes about the particular whiskey being tasted adds enormously to the pleasure of experiencing it together. This can help deepen and enrich everyone’s appreciation for whiskeys from Blanton’s Bourbon to Johnnie Walker Scotch Whisky and more!

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of bourbon does John Wick drink?

John Wick is known to drink Blanton’s Single Barrel Bourbon Whiskey.

Where can I buy John Wick whiskey glasses?

You can purchase John Wick whiskey glasses from various retailers online, including Amazon and Etsy.

Is there a John Wick tasting event?

Yes, there is a John Wick tasting event held annually in the US. The event features a variety of bourbons, including Blanton’s, as well as food and drinks inspired by the films.

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Author: Justin

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