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Issue 121 - The Club, the Stash, the Heist

Whisky Magazine Issue 121
July 2014


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The Club, the Stash, the Heist

An eye-popping tip-off sent me in search of a century-old whiskey, a truckload of hijacked booze, tales of a Harlem night club – and a big reward!

The tip came from Brian McGinley, friend and drinking mate who spent a couple of careers in US Intelligence and bank security communities fighting bad guys.

“I meant to bring an article detailing an event to your attention which may merit an article for your Whisky Magazine friends. Saw that 884 cases of whiskey, Chicken Cock Whiskey ­– no I'm not making this up – were hijacked in a truck trailer from Charleston, SC a week or so ago on 10 June 2013. Just found the trailer yesterday in Florida – with no whiskey – distiller has put up a $10,000 reward. This story has ole “Chicken Cock Jim” written all over it.” Brian wrote.
• “Chicken Cock”?
• The Cotton Club!
• A whiskey heist? • $10,000 reward!
Hell yeah, count me in!

Dating it back to 1856, Chicken Cock Whiskey was already legendary prior to Prohibition, US law banning the sale, production and transportation of alcohol (1921 to 1933). Churchill sneered at it, calling it a blight on civilization… “It is possible that the dry, bracing electrical atmosphere of North America makes the use of alcohol less necessary and more potent than the moist, humid climate of Britain. . . I must confess that on one occasion I was taken to a ‘speakeasy.' I went, of course, in my capacity as a Social Investigator...”

The Club

“Speakeasies” first mentioned in an 1889 newspaper, were so named since one had to speak quietly about unlicensed clubs and saloons so not to alert the law. Already in ...

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