Kapil Mohan, Man Behind The Most Popular Rum ‘Old Monk’, Passes Away At 88

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Updated on 9 Jan, 2018 at 6:00 pm


The Old Monk brand of rum is very popular among certain classes of people, mainly artists, journalists or those in the armed forces. This dark rum is one of its kinds to have reached iconic status and hasn’t changed much over the years. It still comes in a distinctive bottle, short and fat. For long the brand has ruled the market, though there was decline in sales in the last few decades.

The fans of Old Monk swear by its taste and can tell it apart from all other dark rums. It is a blended rum, matured for 7 years and a 12-year variant is also available. Rising from Defence circles, the rum got popular all over India. It is said that a well-stocked bar at home was never complete without a bottle of OId Monk.


In what could be sad news for all Old Monk fans, Dr Kapil Mohan, chairman of Mohan Meakin, the maker of Old Monk rum, passed away on January 6 at Mohan Nagar, near Ghaziabad. He was 88. Apart from Old Monk, he was the man behind famous brands like Solan No.1 and Golden Eagle.



Despite the fact that Dr Mohan, ran India’s well known spirit company under his watchful eye for over four decades, he hardly ever downed a peg. The brand Old Monk was launched on December 19, 1954 and much of the market dominance was achieved through word of mouth, than through conscious marketing efforts. In an interview in 2012, Dr Mohan said:

“We do not advertise. I will not, and as long as I am in this chair, we will not (advertise).”

The brand enjoyed heavy patronage from military canteens and is one of leading dark rums in the world. The affordable pricing strategy has also worked in their favour.


According to the official website of Mohan Meakin, the company traces its history back to the establishment of a Brewery at Kasauli by Edward Dyer in 1855. E Dyer joined hands with Meakin & Co under the style of Dyer Meakin & Co Ltd. For those who are uninitiated, Edward Dyer was the father of General Reginald Edward Harry Dyer, the ruthless military general behind the Jallianwala Bagh massacre.

As soon the news hit the Internet, social media users and Old Monk lovers united to pay their tributes to Dr Mohan.



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