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"In 1920 Charles Hepburn established 'Hepburn and Ross'. Owned jointly with Herbert Ross, a fellow soldier who had fought with the Scottish Horse Regiment in Palestine, Hepburn and Ross had a policy of employing ex-servicemen and produced 'Red Hackle' whisky which was aimed primarily at the export market."
"Hepburn's partner Herbert Ross died in 1957. Two years later, shortly after the death of his wife, Hepburn sold the business for a reputed £2m, commenting, 'When my wife died ... I realized that you never do anything for yourself, only for someone else. You come home in the evening and she asks - "Well, what have you done today?" When that's gone, a lot of the meaning has gone out of the game.'"(http://www.gla.ac.uk/departments/scotti ... klewhisky/)
This interested me and since then I wondered if this might be the only bottle of Red Hackle witch are unopened and still in its box.
Thus I would appreciate any information.
Red Hackle is the brand name and this will not help you much with your search. Search interesting by company name. It might be more useful.
Looks like a cheap blend, but It will be sometimes be opened this year.
jmrl wrote:I think Red Hackle was the name of the feathers in the soldier's head gear. Or did I dream it/make it up?
The Red Hackle, as worn by The Black Watch is in fact the feathers that are worn with their headgear. The colour is dependant on the regiment nowadays. Some wear red and white, some green, the Canadian Camerons wear blue, and so forth.
One of the myths that I heard in my time in Combat Arms was that the "Watch" originally was forced to wear a white hackle for cowardice and when they finally beat the enemy, dipped their hackles in the enemy blood to "wash away" the shame. A good story but not sure of the veracity of it.
All I've found is that it was issued to the 42nd in 1822.
Is the same text also on the bottles sold in Great Britain ?
(Gildermalsen is a misprint and must be Geldermalsen)
anton van winsen
I worked for Hepburn & Ross from 1957 to 1961. When I joined Ross had long gone but Captain Hepburn was still there. Hepburn was a pleasant man but a bit of a snob or at least I thought so. Red Hackle was named after the cap feather of the Black Watch regiment in which Hepburn served.
After WW11 Hepburn & Ross had still a good quantity of whisky in stock so unlike competitors was able to continue selling it in those rationed times. Because of its relative ease to find it aquired an unfair reputation as a fiery and cheap blend and consequently suffered when other brands became more freely available in the early sixties. I have an unopened bottle of de Luxe which was a decent dram.
It was a delightful company to work for and I spent some of the happiest days of my working life there. That is until it was taken over by Robertson & Baxter in 1959. They are the bottlers of Cutty Sark and bought H&R simply to get hold of their stocks of bulk whisky. They let the brand almost fizzle out and it did indeed become a 'cheap' brand which is a pity. (Incidentally, Berry Bros. & Rudd are the brand owners of Cutty Sark although R&B do all the whisky supply and bottling)
I moved on to another large company in the whisky market.
Best wishes, Jan
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