Eagle Thief, Hole 1

Eagle Thief is a tribute to the late Kevin McLaughlin of Kelvin Cooperage, who passed away in December of 2019, and funds a donation to his charity of choice: West End School of Louisville.

Kevin McLaughlin ran Kelvin Cooperage with his brother, Paul, after their father founded the cooperage in Glasgow, Scotland in 1963. Kevin passed away December 27th, 2019, after a courageous battle with cancer. Kevin was an avid and skilled golfer, who played collegiate golf at Pepperdine University, where he captained the golf team. As such, much of the labeling of the batch are tributes to Kevin’s golf game and the cooperage he ran so successfully. Kevin and Kelvin Cooperage was instrumental in the founding and early success of Four Gate Whiskey, and the company hopes to unveil a new Eagle Thief batch, or “Hole,” each year in his memory.

Highlights of the label include:

  • The label Colors match the collegiate colors of Pepperdine University
  • The year of his birth (1963) and passing (2019) are included
  • Kevin was an impressive +2 handicap, so the 12-year age statement is listed as 10 “+2”
  • The release is named ”Eagle Thief,” incorporating the golf score of “eagle” and the “whiskey thief” tool used to extract whiskey from a barrel
  • “KM” and “RIP” are printed as watermarks on the back label
  • The proof was 122.7, which is also the day of his passing (December 27th)

The underlying whiskey is a barrel proof 12-year Kentucky Straight Bourbon with a mash bill of 74% corn, 18% rye, and 8% malted barley. Only 4 barrels were selected, resulting in 423 total bottles. Sales from this batch will fund a donation to Kevin’s charity of Choice, West End School of Louisville. West End School provides a safe and structured environment for boys in grades Pre-Kindergarten through 8th in which academic rigor, character development, and responsible action establish the foundation for a purposeful life. Their vision seeks to enable students, regardless of their circumstances, to achieve their highest potential. More info can be found at

Special thanks and recognition must be made to all involved. To maximize the contribution to the school, Republic National Distributing Company, Sterling Cut Glass, Resource Label, and White Dog Trading and Storage all agreed to participate at lower margins to make this batch a reality, including all participating on-premise retailers and online sellers- and thanks to their generous support, this batch raised $31,506 for the West End School.

Eagle Thief was released in November of 2020.

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