Monday, June 30, 2014

It's Not 'Monk' or 'Mork,' It's Old Mock

Old Mock is a whiskey produced before Prohibition and sold as medicinal whiskey during Prohibition by A. Ph. Stitzel and the Wathen family's American Medicinal Spirits Company, both of Louisville.  People know about it because Mike Miller, the owner of Delilah's in Chicago, acquired a supply some years ago and sells it for about $50 a drink at the bar.

Because of the odd name and the odd typeface used on the bottle, some people think the name is 'Old Monk.' There is, in fact, a brand of rum called 'Old Monk,' but that is something else entirely. Others think it's called 'Old Mork,' which would be funny but it's not true.

No, the name is Old Mock, but no one has ever explained its origins.

Many products, of course, are named after people, and that appears to be the case here. In Athertonville, in Kentucky's LaRue County, there were several distilleries beginning as early as 1800. Thomas Lincolon, Abe's father, reportedly worked in one of them. The final chapter in Athertonville's story was a distillery called Cummins-Collins that was last owned by Seagram's. It closed for good in 1987. In 1933, the company's officers included Arthur Cummins, of course, but the secretary and treasurer was E. J. Mock.

The Mock family has been in Kentucky since the earliest days. According to a family publication called "The Mock Family Historian," William Randolph Mock came to Kentucky in 1796 and settled near Danville on a farm of 550 acres. He established a distillery there in 1842, which was continued by the family until about 1899. It was never very big, mashing at most 50 bushels a day. Old Mock was their brand. Someone, possibly E. J. Mock of Athertonville, kept the brand alive after 1899, until it came to rest with Stitzel after 1920.

Cecil says Old Mock was merely bottled by Stitzel using whiskey obtained from a variety of sources but he didn't know what those sources were. The Mock family has located a full-size bottle apparently produced by Stitzel-Weller after Prohibition, but its run was clearly short.

Miller still has a Prohibition pint on his back bar in Chicago.


Unknown said...

Price is up to $150 a pour as of last Friday...

Whiskey Balls said...

Verified. I purchased it this past Saturday. Does anyone know when the bottle at Delilah's was distilled?

Steve Lehner said...

Just had a pour of it two weeks ago. Still $150. Label says made spring 1916 and distilled fall 1933. Delicious!

Unknown said...

Henry Prejean I have a bottle of OLD MOCK that has never been opened.The probation seal is still on the bottle.The box is still in tact only the top is missing. I wounder how much the bottle is worth.It was a gift that I received in 1965 and two bottles were purchased in Las Angeles Calif.
APRIL 6 2019

Unknown said...

I have a 1916 never opened and sealed bottle of old mock whiskey with the box curious what this would sell for?