Happy Hour: A Blind Taste Test of Whiskey Brands by David Beckham, Drake and Brett Ratner

Whiskey Split Preta H 2016
Kristyna Archer

We put three celebrity branded libations to the test, with help from pros at L.A. whiskey bar Seven Grand.

Celebrities have extended their name brands into everything from personalized emojis to signature marijuana strains in recent months. Liquor is also a popular side business for top Tinseltown talent. Director and producer Brett Ratner, singer Drake and soccer icon David Beckham are all trying their hands at the whiskey game. How do their pours measure up?

The Pitch

Ratner, who named his The Hilhaven Lodge whiskey after a Beverly Hills estate of the same name that was known for playing host to wild celebrations, says he thought a home with such a unique history should have its own spirit. We set out to create a great American whiskey, and we succeeded (as evidenced in our winning the Double Gold at the San Francisco Spirit Awards); it's a whiskey Bogart or Sinatra would have loved," explains Ratner.

Drake's Virginia Black is meant to evoke a "swagger and soul" that is missing in the American whiskey category, according to the superstar's partner, founder and creator Brent Hocking.

And Beckham's Haig Club, crafted in Scotland’s oldest grain whisky distillery, Cameronbridge in Fife, "is built on heritage but designed for the modern world," according to press materials.

The Tasting

Below, watch Andrew Abrahamson, 213 Hospitality's single-spirits bar director and manager of Seven Grand whiskey bar, put whiskey brands The Hilhaven Lodge, Haig Club and Virginia Black to the test in a blind tasting. 

Classic CocktailsFrom left: An Old Fashioned made with Hilhaven Lodge, a Whiskey Sour created with Haig Club and Virginia Black straight up. To learn more about these whiskeys and to see Seven Grand general manager Victor Delgado create cocktails, click here