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Issue 120 - Hold on to Your Horses

Whisky Magazine Issue 120
June 2014


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Hold on to Your Horses

Join Hans Offringa on the racetrack and beyond in our series about old and interesting whisky labels

Tyrconnell, an Irish single malt, is named after a famous racehorse that once won at 100:1 odds and made the owner a very rich man. The brand itself is more than a century old, but when Irish whiskey went into a steep decline in the first half of the 20th century, Tyrconnell disappeared from the market. That is, until Cooley dusted off the brand and successfully relaunched this fragrant and gentle single malt in the 1990s. So successfully that Beam Global purchased Cooley distillery from founder John Teeling in 2012. Cooley gained a new owner in 2014: Beam Suntory, when Suntory drinks company acquired Beam Global. Will Tyrconnell be big in Japan? Or will the focus for Irish whiskey remain on the US market?

The Dutch have been producing single malt whisky for a number of years now. The first one was bottled in 2004 and sports a Frisian thoroughbred on label and stopper. Kentucky proudly presents Blanton's single barrel bourbon, with eight different stoppers, together showing a racehorse in full stride. And of course, the Kentucky Derby wouldn't be complete without its traditional mint juleps (mint, simple syrup and Bourbon) and special bottlings from Kentucky's Bourbon distilleries.

The Scots have been depicting horses on blended whisky for more than 100 years. First let's have a look at Derby Club Rare Scotch Whisky. The name points to the Derby Stakes, still being held at Epsom Downs Racecourse in England. The word derby stems from Edward Smith Stanley, the 12th Earl of De...

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