Kapil Mohan, creator of Old Monk rum, dies of cardiac arrest at 88; was awarded Padmashri in 2010

Brigadier (Retd) Kapil Mohan, the founder of the legendary dark rum, Old Monk, in the much-recognised and distinctive square bottle passed away on Saturday, 6 January. He was 88.

According to media reports, Mohan died of a cardiac arrest in Ghaziabad’s Mohan Nagar area. He is survived by his wife Pushpa Mohan.

In 2010, Mohan was awarded the Padma Shri.

Mohan, whose Old Monk evokes nostalgia for generations of rum-loving Indians, was a teetotaler. Besides Old Monk, the other famous brands from his stable was Solan No.1, and Golden Eagle, before age and competition caught up, the Business Standard said.

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Twitter mourned the passing away of Mohan. Some wanted to grieve nursing a bottle of Old Monk rum.

Brig Dr Kapil Mohan, chairman of Mohan Meakins Breweries, makers of the iconic Old Monk dark rum passed away; let’s mourn tonite with a bottle of rum and thumsup

Some recalled how the distinctive drink was a favourite of the youth and the armed forces: Sad to hear about the demise of the creator of iconic OLD MONK RUM - Brigadier (Retd.) Kapil Mohan, who ran Mohan Meakin Ltd. Undoubtedly the most favorite drink of youth and the armed forces among others in India. May his soul Rest In Peace. Prayers.

After water, a natural resource as a favourite, Old Monk rum came second said this lover of the rum on Twitter: Ayyo! God created water for us. And he the next best liquid in the world. Old Monk.

The first and one of the largest distilleries in Asia, Mohan Meakin bought over the assets of the Dyer Breweries incorporated in 1855 in Kasauli in what is now Himachal Pradesh, the IANS said. Another entrepreneur, H G Meakin, opened his own set of breweries from 1887 and the two entities merged after World War I. Mohan's grandfather, Narendra Nath Mohan, who acquired the breweries after independence in 1947, had first distilled Old Monk in 1954.

Until 2002, Old Monk retained its leadership as a single brand leader among all branded spirits in the country. But later competition saw it losing its leadership position. According to Euromonitor International, Old Monk was selling hardly 3 million cases against its nearest competitor McDowell’s Celebration Rum which sold 11 million cases

The company did not believe in advertising too, according to the Business Standard. The report states that in an interview in 2012 Mohan had said, "We do not advertise. I will not, and as long as I am in this chair, we will not (advertise). The best way of my advertising is the product: When it comes to you and you taste it, you look at the difference and ask what is it. That is the best advertisement.”

Besides spirits, Mohan Meakin had other businesses such as malt houses, glass factories, breakfast food, fruit products and juices, malt extract factories, cold storages and engineering works among others, media reports said.


Updated Date: Jan 09, 2018 12:25 PM

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