Halloween is here, and while I am not one for it my partner is. She loves scary movies to the point that sometimes I am slightly worried, but it makes for a good laugh when she scares herself. It is less funny when she scares me in the process.
What I do love are the classic monsters in books and films, we’re talking Bela Lugosi as Bram Stokers Dracula, Boris Karloff as Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein’s Monster and The Mummy, Claude Rains as H.G Wells The Invisible Man, Henry Hull as The Werewolf of London, Ben Chapman and Ricou Browning as the Gill Man in The Creature from The Black Lagoon. Fantastic costumes, locations, brilliant acting and writing.
To distract myself from a rainy day I thought I’d write up a little list about what whiskies these classic monsters would love. Is it an excuse to put out another article? Yes. Is it amusing me? Sure is. Let’s dive in.
8 feet tall, hideous yet emotional, Frankenstein’s represents the horrors of man, not the beast. The monster himself is intelligent, and though he is often called monster, fiend, horror, and devil, referring to himself as monster once, he remains nameless. The best name for him however he gives himself, saying ‘I ought to be thy Adam’, referring to the idea of the first man created by God.
Well versed in biblical scriptures and literature, while film representations would have him often as muted or speaking in stunted sentences Shelley’s original monster was eloquent and fluent in several languages, also being a vegetarian.
So, what would he drink? Eloquent as he is he would likely have many tasting notes for us to wonder over, his vegetarian nature would make it apparent that in this age he would lean towards something environmentally friendly, and his love of the biblical would give him great joy to hear Pope Francis calling Scotch Whisky ‘the real holy water’.
Made with 100% renewable energy in a 100% recycled glass bottle the Nc’Nean would appeal to Frankenstein’s monsters caring nature. Coupled with the stunning landscape that surrounds the distillery I like to think the monster might find peace here. It is a damn tasty whisky too.
While film adaptations run Count Dracula from Max Schrecks goblin like being in Nosferatu to Bela Lugosi’s and Christopher Lee’s aristocratic figure and more recent adaptations such as Luke Evans warrior in Dracula Untold, Bram Stokers runs different.
‘…a tall old man, clean shaven save for a long white moustache, and clad in black from head to foot, without a single speck of colour about him anywhere…’
Proud of his heritage, primal, predatory, and cruel, Dracula is an aristocrat. Van Helsing speculates that he must have been Vlad Dracula, born centuries earlier in Turkey, and the character is nostalgic for the old world while recognising it is only a memory today. So, what would such a character drink, aside from blood?
The obvious idea is Cognac, Count Dracula’s nature would lean towards the drink with its royal connotations. We are talking whisky however, so it must be something of a similar fit, regal, old worldly, something from a distillery with history and rich character. Something Dracula would know from the old world, if not a closed distillery than something with history….
In the modern world no Scotch, perhaps no whisky, evokes a feeling of regality as Macallan. It was obviously that the Count would wish for something fitting that attitude, and the fact that it was distilled just after the Second World War the Count would undoubtable appeal to the Counts memory of heroism and valour. There might a few older whiskies out there but Macallan has the name.
Henry Hulls Wolfman is iconic. Intelligent and driven, his search for the wolf flower was not deterred when he and his college had to abandon their mounts to continue the search, even though a bit foolhardy. His desperate attempts to resist the werewolf that attacks him, and his attempts to resist the lycanthropy that takes him over after is often seen as a resistance to man’s bestial nature.
Choosing a whisky for the Wolfman was difficult. The temptation to say his favourite drink would simply be ‘hair of the dog’ is a great joke but does not answer the final question. A whisky that is bestial, fierce, and wild.
It is big, its heavy, it has all the flavour. Highland Park has always been a heavy hitter in the whisky world and the cask strength variant brings a new level of flavour. Coupled with that is the distillery itself, Orkney is a wild place and the island see fascinating and amazing views that can rival any amount.
The Invisible Man
Based on H.G Wells novel of the same name, the film differs from the source material on numerous accounts but The Invisible Man Griffin (not given a first name in the novel he is called Jack in the movie) has become an icon in popular culture. Remade just recently into what is quite a good film, the imagery is arguably the inspiration for Negative Man in the Doom Patrol comics, Darkman, Unknown Soldier, Hollow Man and others.
Regarding Griffin we know this, he is smart and damaged. While he would turn psychotic after becoming invisible within the novel, he is arguably a sociopath even before hand. In the book he seeks only his own wealth and power, in the movie he is sympathetic and misguided. Oh, and he is invisible, that is surely something. During the novel, the drug is made partially from opium, so the whisky should be something morish.
Something morish for a misguided and sympathetic sociopath. Kind of wrote me into a corner here…
Tasty, simple, better than outward appearances would have you believe and fit for any drinker. This may sound like I am slagging J&B off but its quite a nice whisky, though it tends to be invisible on the shelf. Still, people love it, me included. So does Patrick Bateman. I wonder what that says…
Creature From The Black Lagoon
Half-fish, half-human, the last of his kind. The Gill Man always seemed sympathetic to me, while a killer his sole place left in the world was invaded, his kin, dead though they were stolen by said invaders. He does feel for one of the invaders, almost falling for Kay, the sole female member of the team.
So, what whisky would the Gill Man drink? Lonely, isolated, dark, and mysterious? Yes, we are going for that one.
I know it seems obvious, but doesn’t it just fit? The colour reminding him of his home while being the last of its kind, collected by admirers while derided by the masses. Following that the roasted sweet flavour would appeal to the Gill Man, with his small knowledge of whisky and all. Maybe one day someone will make another Loch Dhu, and the bottle and the Gill Man will not be quite so lonely.
While there are other contenders as far as horror films are concerned Boris Karloff is the man. The Mummy, Frankenstein’s Monster, and originally intended to play The Invisible Man, he’s done it all. While he might be the most well known for playing Frankenstein’s Monster it could be argued that as Imhotep, The Mummy, he got to display more of his acting chops and boy does he display them.
Striking, intense and driven to search for his love Anck-su-namun sums up Imhotep, even through murdering her reincarnation to resurrect her to become his immortal bride. What whisky that all goes into is a tough one, while yes in the Brendan Fraser reboot a bottle of Glenlivet Twelve does make an appearance, it does not really seem to fit. Something intense and bursting with flavour seems more applicable.
Rich and powerful, the constant changes through the batches of this whisky would allow Imhotep to continuously search for his love while getting a fantastic whisky all at the same time. The heavy spice and sherry with fruit and chocolate all come together for a fantastic taste and a whisky even an immortal can enjoy.
So there you have it, the definitive list of what the classic monsters drink, using multiple iterations of said monsters and all different whiskies. I guess the best thing to do know is collect which of these whiskies you have, sit down and watch/read some of these classic tales.