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Man behind “Old Monk” dies

The founder of Old Monk, which is one of the popular drinks in the work passed away recently. Kapil Mohan, the man behind the iconic 'Old Monk' rum, passed away on Saturday. He was 88.
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The founder of Old Monk, which is one of the popular drinks in the work passed away recently. Kapil Mohan, the man behind the iconic ‘Old Monk’ rum, passed away on Saturday. He was 88.

Mohan, the chairman of Mohan Meakin Ltd, which makes and bottles ‘Old Monk’, among other liquors and non-alcoholic beverages, is said to have suffered a fatal cardiac arrest at his residence in Ghaziabad. Launched in 1954, Old Monk was for a long time the largest selling dark rum in the world. It was, for many years, the biggest Indian Made Foreign Liquor brand as well.

In recent years though the company has been battling rumours that it’s taking its bestselling beverage off the market amid dropping sales. In 2015 it was reported that ‘Old Monk’ saw a 54% decline in sales between 2010 and 2014. Mohan Meakin apparently sold only 3.9 million cases of the rum in 2014; its sales were a quarter of what they were in the 1960s.

Old Monk is a vetted Indian dark rum which has a distinctive vanilla flavor and is blended and aged for a minimum of 7 years and has an alcohol content of 42.8%. Old Monk is such an iconic Indian brand that as soon as the news of Kapil Mohan’s demise came into the media the rum brand started trending on Twitter. Kapil Mohan was a Padma Shri awardee and received the award in 2010.

Old Monk was largest selling rum in world. However, in 2013 Old Monk lost its rank as the largest selling dark rum to McDowell’s No.1 Celebration Rum Old Monk has been the biggest Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) brand for many years. Old Monk was ranked 5th among Indian spirits brands at the Impact International’s 2008 list of “Top 100 Brands At Retail Value” with a retail value of US$240 million.

It is sold in six size variants: 90 ml, 180 ml, 375 ml, 500ml, 750 ml, and 1 litre bottles. Old Monk had been awarded gold medals at Monde World Selections since 1982.

What has worked in the brand’s favour in terms of retaining customer loyalty is that, since its launch in 1954, the product hasn’t changed – at least, not in its most popular form, though a Supreme version is available, aged for 12 years and presented in a bottle shaped like, well, an old monk. But the classic blended, chocolate-brown rum continues to be aged for seven years, and the bottle’s shape and design have remained exactly the same, as has its taste.

Twitter and Facebook users were flooded with this news. They also paid homage and Old Monk even trended on Twitter. Jokes were also made regarding Old Monk.

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