John Wick Bourbon

John Wick Bourbon: A Connoisseur's Guide to the Assassin's Choice Drink

John Wick, the legendary hitman portrayed by Keanu Reeves, has developed a cult following over the last few years, thanks to his action-packed exploits and unique taste in bourbon. His drink of choice? Blanton's Single Barrel Bourbon was first introduced in 1984 as the world's first commercially sold single-barrel bourbon. This exceptional spirit, with its rich history and exquisite tasting notes, has captivated countless fans of both the iconic character, and bourbon enthusiasts alike.

Master Distiller Elmer T. Lee, who worked at Buffalo Trace Distillery for nearly four decades, released Blanton's Single Barrel Bourbon as his final product. Its smooth, robust flavor profile and enticing aroma have made it a popular choice for connoisseurs and casual drinkers alike. In the John Wick films, the titular character is often seen savoring this fine bourbon, making it an essential part of his intriguing personality.

Key Takeaways

  • Blanton's Single Barrel Bourbon is John Wick's drink of choice
  • This bourbon has a rich history and was first released in 1984 by Master Distiller Elmer T. Lee
  • The spirit's smooth flavor profile and enticing aroma make it popular among connoisseurs and casual drinkers alike

Tasting Profile

Flavor Notes

The tasting notes of the bourbon enjoyed by John Wick, Blanton's Single Barrel Bourbon, can be described as a delightful balance of sweetness and spice. Its flavor profile is dominated by sweet notes of caramel, toffee, and vanilla, giving it a rich and smooth taste. In addition to these sweet elements, it also boasts a balance of spicy touches like nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove. The taste is further complemented by smoky hints and a nutty essence.


The finish of Blanton's Single Barrel Bourbon is known for its smoothness and lingering complexity. The sweet, spicy, and smoky flavors come together, creating a satisfying end to each sip. The smooth texture is a testament to the high quality of this bourbon and contributes to its overall appeal for aficionados like John Wick.


Blanton's Single Barrel Bourbon is visually striking, with its deep amber hue and slight copper tint. This distinctive color is a reflection of the bourbon's rich flavor palette. The bottle itself boasts a unique design, featuring a rounded body and a heart-shaped stopper, making it easily recognizable on the shelves. The eye-catching appearance of the bourbon, combined with its sophisticated flavor profile, makes it a fitting selection for an expert like John Wick.

Detailed History

Colonel Albert B. Blanton

Colonel Albert B. Blanton, a prominent figure in American bourbon history, was born in 1881 and raised in Kentucky. He began his career in the whiskey industry at the young age of 16, starting at the famous Buffalo Trace Distillery. He later became the president of the distillery and had a significant impact on the bourbon industry throughout his career. Blanton was dedicated to producing high-quality bourbon, and this passion led to the creation of his own single-barrel bourbon.

Kentucky Origins

Blanton's single-barrel bourbon originates from the Buffalo Trace Distillery, located in Frankfort, Kentucky. The distillery is one of the oldest and most renowned distilleries in the United States, with a history dating back to the late 18th century. Buffalo Trace has been producing fine bourbons and whiskeys for over two centuries and has become synonymous with Kentucky's rich bourbon heritage.

Silver Screen Connection

In the John Wick franchise, the protagonist (played by Keanu Reeves) is often seen drinking Blanton's Single Barrel Bourbon, making it a notable aspect of the film. The first instance of John Wick enjoying the bourbon is in the first film of the franchise, after a particularly intense brawl at Russian mobster Viggo Tarasov's nightclub. Since then, the bourbon has been featured in various scenes throughout the series, including at the mysterious Continental Hotel, a place where assassins can find refuge and protection.

Master Distiller Elmer T. Lee

The origins of Blanton's Single Barrel Bourbon can also be traced back to Master Distiller Elmer T. Lee. He was responsible for the development of the single-barrel concept, with the inspiration coming from Colonel Blanton, who had a tradition of handpicking barrels of bourbon to be served exclusively to his special guests. In 1984, Elmer T. Lee decided to bring this concept to the market, making it the first single-barrel bourbon to be sold commercially. Today, Blanton's continues to be produced under the watchful eye of Buffalo Trace's Master Distillers, a testament to the legacy of both Colonel Albert B. Blanton and Master Distiller Elmer T. Lee.

John Wick Bourbon Characteristics


Blanton's bourbon, known as John Wick's favorite drink, is a single-barrel bourbon produced by the Buffalo Trace Distillery in Kentucky. It has a high-rye mash bill #2, which consists of corn, malted barley, and a prominent amount of rye. The use of oak barrels in the aging process contributes to its unique flavor profile.

The aging process takes place in Warehouse H, which is known for its optimal temperature and humidity conditions. Each barrel is handpicked by experienced tasters to ensure quality and consistency. As a Kentucky straight bourbon, it adheres to strict production regulations, including at least 51% corn mash in the mash bill and a minimum of two years of aging.

Price Range

Blanton's bourbon has a price range of $60 to $70, positioning it as an upmarket brand. Its unique bottle design with a distinct heart-shaped stopper adds to its premium appeal.

Alcohol Volume

With an alcohol by volume (ABV) of 46.5%, Blanton's bourbon is slightly above average in terms of alcohol content, offering a satisfying experience for whiskey enthusiasts.


The popularity of Blanton's bourbon has surged, in part due to its association with the John Wick film franchise, in which the character played by Keanu Reeves enjoys this particular drink. Moreover, John Leguizamo's character in the film also praises the bourbon for its smooth flavor and sophistication.

As a high-quality whiskey with a smooth taste and sweet notes of caramel, toffee, and vanilla, Blanton's bourbon appeals to a wide range of connoisseurs. Its balanced smokiness and hints of spice make it a popular choice among those looking for a distinctive whiskey experience.

In conclusion, Blanton's bourbon, enjoyed by John Wick himself, is a well-crafted and premium whiskey with a unique flavor profile, appealing bottle design, and an upmarket positioning. Its rising popularity among whiskey connoisseurs and film enthusiasts alike makes it a prominent and sought-after choice in the world of fine bourbon.

John Wick Bourbon in the Market

 Video Credit: Dark Spirits

John Wick's go-to bourbon, Blanton's Single Barrel Bourbon, has gained popularity not just in the film, but also in the market. Its unique taste, style, and connection to the famous character has stirred interest among bourbon aficionados and movie fans alike. This section will focus on the marketing aspects of John Wick's favorite bourbon, including special editions and its availability on the international market.

Special Editions

Blanton's occasionally releases limited edition offerings, which creates a sense of exclusivity and excitement for its consumer base. These editions are often produced in small batches, featuring unique labels and packaging. An example of such a release would be the "John Wick-inspired" edition, which was specifically tailored to fans of the film franchise. By doing so, Blanton's gained the attention of both bourbon enthusiasts and movie lovers.

International Availability

Blanton's Single Barrel Bourbon has become a popular choice for bourbon aficionados worldwide thanks to its international availability. Although it is produced in the United States at Buffalo Trace Distillery, the brand has successfully expanded to other regions, allowing enthusiasts to purchase this beloved bourbon at their local liquor stores.

In particular, Blanton's has gained popularity in Japan, where the demand for this specific bourbon has risen significantly. The brand has seized this opportunity to cater to the Japanese market by offering exclusive releases and marketing tailored to the region.

In summary, Blanton's Single Barrel Bourbon has successfully expanded its presence on the international market, with a strong focus on captivating special editions and catering to the constantly growing demand for John Wick's favored bourbon. Through strategic marketing and international distribution, the brand has managed to establish a strong connection with the famous film character while maintaining the original essence of the bourbon.

John Wick Bourbon and Other Drinks

John Wick, the legendary assassin portrayed by Keanu Reeves, is known for his impeccable taste in suits, love for his dog, and affinity for bourbon. His drink of choice, as seen in the movies, is Blanton's Bourbon, a high-quality, single-barrel bourbon produced by Buffalo Trace. It uses the high-rye mashbill #2, composed of at least 12% to 15% rye, which gives the bourbon a unique flavor.


Although John Wick is often seen sipping his bourbon neat or on the rocks, there are various cocktails that can be made using his chosen spirit. A popular option is the Old Fashioned, which consists of bourbon, sugar, bitters, and a twist of lemon or orange peel. Blanton's Bourbon can be used to create this classic cocktail, allowing the whiskey's distinct flavors to shine through.

Another option for a bourbon-based cocktail is the Whiskey Sour, a blend of bourbon, lemon juice, sugar, and sometimes egg white, garnished with a cherry or a lemon twist. Blanton's Bourbon can be incorporated into this drink for a rich, complex Whiskey Sour that is both refreshing and satisfying.


It is worth noting that John Wick, being a man with refined tastes, might appreciate other singular and exceptional spirits while navigating the dark underworld of New York City. Some of these drinks include:

  • Glenlivet 18yr Scotch: A bottle of this smooth, aged single malt scotch might make its way into John's collection. With its rich, fruity flavors and long, smooth finish, it's a whiskey that many aficionados would enjoy.
  • Peligroso Tequila: This high-quality tequila is known for its clean and smooth flavor profile, perfect for sipping neat, like how John would drink his bourbon. Made with 100% blue agave, it would make a welcome addition to any sophisticated drinker's shelf.
  • Quintessentially Q Vodka: A luxury vodka created for those who appreciate the finer things in life, like John Wick. It is made with the purest water and grains, resulting in a smooth and clean taste, perfect for sipping or mixing into high-end cocktails.
  • Russian Standard Vodka / Putinka Vodka: As a nod to the Russian underworld in which John Wick often finds himself entangled, these vodkas embody the strong and assertive flavors that are emblematic of John's world.
  • Champagne: In more celebratory moments or encounters with high-class clientele, John Wick might appreciate a sip of champagne. The bubbles offer a refreshing contrast to the hard-hitting flavors of his beloved bourbon.

In summary, John Wick's choice of Blanton's Bourbon represents his refined tastes and appreciation for quality spirits. Further, when indulging in other beverages, his preferences range from classic cocktails to equally exceptional alternatives.

Frequently Asked Questions

What bourbon does John Wick drink in the movies?

John Wick's bourbon of choice is Blanton's. This premium bourbon is enjoyed by the legendary hitman throughout the franchise and has become quite popular among fans.

Which bourbon is featured in the Continental Bar?

The Continental Bar features an exclusive bourbon called "Continental Straight Bourbon Whiskey." This high-quality whiskey is reserved for the clientele of the renowned hotel and bar.

How rare is the bourbon in John Wick?

Blanton's bourbon, which John Wick drinks, is considered a high-quality and somewhat rare bourbon. It is not the rarest on the market, but its reputation for quality and taste makes it sought after by whiskey enthusiasts.

Is the bourbon John Wick drinks expensive?

Blanton's bourbon, the choice drink of John Wick, is relatively expensive compared to other bourbon brands in the market. While individual preferences may vary, many whiskey connoisseurs believe that the nuanced taste of this beverage justifies the higher price.

What liquor does Winston consume in John Wick 3?

In John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, Winston, the manager of the Continental Hotel, is seen enjoying a glass of Macallan 1926 Fine and Rare Collection Scotch whiskey. This exclusive and limited-edition whiskey is renowned for its unique flavor and rarity.

What is the Japanese whiskey mentioned in John Wick 4?

As the movie John Wick: Chapter 4 is not yet released, it is unclear what specific Japanese whiskey will be mentioned or featured in the film. However, the John Wick franchise is known for showcasing various high-quality liquors, so we can anticipate another intriguing choice.

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