Red Hackle Whisky

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Red Hackle Whisky

Postby carelv » Mon Dec 29, 2008 2:02 pm

I am in possession of a bottle of Red Hackle Whisky witch is in my family since December 1955. A couple of weeks ago when I opened my cupboard and saw the bottle of Red Hackle again I tried to browse the web for more information on it and the only article I could find was by The University of Glasgow which only consist of a short history of the founder of the company and the origin of the Red Hackle name.

"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.'"( ... 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.

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Re: Red Hackle Whisky

Postby corbuso » Fri Jan 16, 2009 5:01 pm

I recently acquired a Red Hackle bottled at 43%, 75 cl.
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.

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Re: Red Hackle Whisky

Postby Muskrat Portage » Sat Jan 17, 2009 8:33 pm

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.

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Re: Red Hackle Whisky

Postby DukeofSandwich » Mon Jan 19, 2009 5:33 am

Tried a miniature of this a while back. Possible the most horrible soapy whisky I've ever tired. Could have just been a bad batch, but doesn't say much for their quality control if they let something like that our the door. Then again, this was made in the 50's, quality control was a relatively new concept. It's amazing how far we've come in the last 60 years.

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Re: Red Hackle Whisky

Postby antonvanwinsen » Fri Jan 23, 2009 10:09 pm

I have a few bottles of Red Hackle whisky (75 cl.) sold for export to Italy with on the back label the following text "The Red Hackle is a head dress plume of small feathers presented to the Black Watch regiment in the honour of their courage at the Battle of Gildermalsen in 1795"
Is the same text also on the bottles sold in Great Britain ?

(Gildermalsen is a misprint and must be Geldermalsen)

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Re: Red Hackle Whisky

Postby anstie » Tue Apr 07, 2009 2:43 pm

I might be able to help you here.
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.

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Re: Red Hackle Whisky

Postby killiman » Mon Jan 03, 2011 4:35 pm

I came across this posting whilst surfing Rec Hackle. I have a sealed bottle of Red Hackle Reserve whiskey sealed in cellophane and in it's original box. The bottle is of the domed type and is marked 75º Proof 26 & 2/3rds floz 75.5cl. No idea what it tastes like as I have no intention of opening it!


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Re: Red Hackle Whisky

Postby jan mcnab » Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:22 pm

Hello. I currently work in what was THe Red Hackle Building. This weekend 17th and 18th Septmber 2011 we are involved in the Doors Open weekend .. we will expect 100 - 200 visitors over that weekend , all sharing an interest in Red Hackle. I don't know if you are local to Glasgow, but I wondered if you would be ionterested in Attending the event. Address is 37 OTAGO STREET> GLASGOW G12 8JJ 0141 337 2845. I would be delightes to hear from you.
Best wishes, Jan

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