The final seven episodes of Mad Men begin tonight! I don’t think there’s been any show where more people drink, and usually whiskey. Sales of whiskey have actually been up in the US in the past few years – if the cast was drinking real whiskey while filming the show, sales would’ve been through the roof!
It got my grapefriend brain thinking: If each Mad Men character was a whiskey, what kind they would be?
Five main whisky regions in Scotland all make very different styles of scotch, from light and floral to heavy and peaty.
Mad Men match: Don. On the show he actually drinks a lot of Canadian whisky and Old Fashioned cocktails (which have bourbon in them) but he’s actually most like the brown stuff from Scotland. Very complex, ranging from bold and stalwart and utterly masculine to softer and lighter moments with Sally, Peggy, and Joan.
This is the sweetest of the whiskies, packed with caramel and vanilla from all the new oak they use to age it. It’s like creme brûlée in liquid form, very creamy and rich.
Mad Men match: Joan. The sweet flavors make it quite voluptuous, like our favorite ladder-climbing secretary turned partner. And she’s the sweetest one at the agency.
This can be rather gruff, dry, and sometimes spicy. It’s had a revival lately as people have been using it in cocktails – a great balance to sweet ingredients.
Mad Men match: Betty. The clear choice for someone who barely shows human compassion even towards her own kids. She’s harsh and the least sweet character on the whole show.
Said to be the lightest whisky due to its high corn-base content. Usually thought of as sort of one-dimensional, there are definitely some good ones out there.
Mad Men match: Peggy. Most people didn’t think she had it in her but she’s clearly proved them wrong over the years, coming out of Don’s shadow with her own ideas. And as Don’s protege she’d be most aligned with the Canadian whisky, which is what Don drinks.
There aren’t many legal rules and definitions for Irish whiskey. It ranges in style just like scotch, but can be a little all over the place. Some of the famous ones in the states – like Jameson – are pretty light.
Mad Men match: Roger. He always keeps things pretty light too, generally bemused by everything going on around him. He’s also arguably the loosest with his acceptance of his hippie daughter and taking LSD with Jane.
The guys who founded the first commercial distilleries in Japan went to Scotland to study the whisky making process there, so the style is modeled after scotch. After a long time of being under the radar, they’ve been getting more distribution in the US and winning major awards lately. They do have a unique oak called mizunara that gives a floral quality to some of their whiskies. Huge, huge fan of these!
Mad Men match: Pete. The usual comparison to the most delicate member of a group would usually be a woman, but not in the Mad Men world. Pete is always the most persnickety and sensitive. I still got love for the dude, though.