The World of Single Malt Whisk(e)y

September 2020

Whisky Fit for a King’s Man

Throughout the course of human history, governments and private entities have created secret service organizations that have guarded the world from destruction. However, the endeavors of these groups are kept as closely guarded secrets (for good reasons). While some information is known about government operatives and missions, less is known about the murky work of the private organizations. This is an area of human history that is rocket fuel for creative minds to tell harrowing tales of bravery, strength, duty, and the never-ending struggle between good and evil. 


The Kingsman franchise tells the stories of a fictional secret service organization (in the shared “Millarverse” – named after the creator, Mark Millar). Their agents are refined, intelligent, and principled people who can accomplish the impossible with flair and humor. Since the release of the comic book series and major motion pictures, this franchise has captured the attention of fans world-wide. Additionally, they celebrate financial success and critical accolades. 


A prominent character in the Kingsman organization is Harry Hart (aka Galahad – more on this later), and he uses the expression “Manners maketh man” in the first film Kingsman: The Secret Service. In this pivotal scene, he disposes of several thugs attacking him with precision and panache; true to the level of refinement that the organization stands for. It is a carefully woven thread throughout the film that politeness and etiquette are important social rituals that help prevent the world from descending into chaos and savagery. Of course, a well-prepared agent knows how to use the tools of the trade to defend themselves (while being polite, of course). The films in the franchise are worthy to revisit because there is an important development to discuss!


In September 2020, the next installment of the franchise is set to be released: The King’s Man. This is the third film to be released and plays a critical role as it is a prequel set in the early 1900’s (during World War 1). The origins of the organization will be told based on the following premise:


“As a collection of history's worst tyrants and criminal masterminds gather to plot a war to wipe out millions, one man and his protégé must race against time to stop them.” – 20thCentury Studios


In the previous films, some additional information has been offered as to the origins of the Kingsman. The character Harry Hart offers the following quote (and tells why he has the code name Galahad):


“Since 1849, Kingsman Tailors have clothed the world's most powerful individuals. In 1919, a great number of them had lost their heirs to World War I. That meant a lot of money going uninherited. And a lot of powerful men with the desire to preserve peace and protect life. Our founders realised that they could channel that wealth and influence for the greater good. And so, began our other venture. An independent, international intelligence agency operating at the highest level of discretion. Above the politics and bureaucracy that undermine the integrity of government-run spy organisations. A suit is the modern gentleman's armour. And the Kingsman agents are the new knights.” 


Of course, The King’s Man will delve deeper into the story of their origins with all the same action, refinement, poise, and grace that fans expect. Additionally, there are more film and television projects in development that will continue the story line and explore other elements of the franchise. Fans can continue to expect additional installments for some time to come!

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Given the stature of the Kingsman, they are deserving of an appropriate drink to celebrate their refinement, intelligence, and manners. There is no better choice than The GlenDronach Distillery of Scotland to produce a whisky fit for a King’s Man. Established in 1826 (one of Scotland’s oldest licensed distilleries), it is revered by whisky connoisseurs for its dedication to exceptional craft and use of fine sherry casks. Like the Kingsman creed, their values have remained constant, passed down through generations: impossible perfection built on unshakeable tradition. Using time-honored skills, each expression of The GlenDronach Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky is crafted to the same high standards established by the pioneering founder, James Allardice. The GlenDronach’s rich, robust Highland spirit is slowly matured in Spanish oak casks which once housed rich, fruity Pedro Ximénez and dry, nutty Oloroso sherry. These patient endeavors create The GlenDronach’s signature style: deeply sherried, characterful, and full-bodied to the last.


This expression is inspired by the oldest bottle housed at the distillery: a 29-year-old whiskey bottled in 1913, just before the outbreak of the first World War. The history of this bottle is that three friends each purchased one before leaving for the war, vowing to open them together on their return. In a tragic turn of events, only one friend returned home. His family gifted the bottle to the distillery where it remains on display and unopened to honor fallen friends. 


Following this inspiration and in celebration of whisky worthy of a King’s Man, the distillery has produced The GlenDronach Kingsman Edition 1989 Vintage. It will be highly collectible for both whisky connoisseurs and Kingsman film fans around the world. There will be 3,052 bottles available, and they have been labelled, numbered and wax sealed by hand. The luxurious gift box also bears the signatures of both Dr. Rachel Barrie (The GlenDronach Master Blender) and Matthew Vaughn (Kingsman Franchise Film Director). Finally, each will be adorned with an iconic, bespoke Kingsman insignia. 


This is a unique opportunity for whisky enthusiasts to taste a rare product. It draws its exceptionally deep color from the casks which it has rested in for twenty-nine years. Here are the product and tasting notes provided by the distiller:


●     Profile: Matured in Oloroso sherry casks with a final maturation in Pedro Ximénez casks from Spain

●     ABV: 50.1%

●     Color: Tarnished copper

●     Nose: Dark field berry and plum skin on a base of aromatic bitters, sherry-soaked walnut and vintage leather, with smoldering cedar wood on a slate and earthen floor.

●     Palate: Dense autumn fruits melt with date, fig and treacle pulling, rolling into black winter truffle, raisin and cocoa. 

●     Finish: Blackberry, tobacco leaf and date oil linger into the rich, deep finish.


Take a moment to watch Bill Varnell and Chad Cadden (the founders of the Whiskey, Bourbon, Scotch Enthusiast Network) offer their expert opinions on this unique whisky here.


This limited-edition bottling will be available from specialist retailers worldwide from September 1st, 2020 at the recommended retail price of $1,299.00. 


This is truly a whisky fit for a Kingsman!