Now, after feuding for more than 150 years, the descendants of the Hatfields and McCoys finally agree on something: This is what American whiskey tastes like – The Legendary Hatfield & McCoy Family Brand Whiskey™.
“Our families have been blending and distilling American spirits in the Appalachian tradition since before the feud began,” said James “Big Jim” McCoy, a descendent of “Ole’ Ran’l” McCoy. “Now, all those recipes that we’ve been writing in the backs of bibles and in the backs of our minds for centuries are coming together in a way that our ancestors could never have imagined.”
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“This Whiskey is the first authentic product that is truly worthy of our Hatfield & McCoy names,” said John T. Hatfield, the great-great-great grandson of “Devil” Anse Hatfield. “While blood may be thicker than water, turns out this whiskey has them both beat.” And I would say that money is thicker than blood or water. The Legendary Hatfield & McCoy Family Brand Whiskey™ will be available in 21 states by the summer of 2015.
Even though the Hatfield and McCoy feud took place along the Tug River between the Kentucky and West Virginia borders, this whiskey is not made in Kentucky and is not a bourbon. As the label states, it’s “Hand-Crafted, Distilled & Bottled in the United States of America.” The actual location where its distilled and bottled is Charleston, South Carolina by Local Choice Spirits.
History of the Hatfield and McCoy Family Feud
The feud began in 1865 with the murder of Asa Harmon McCoy, the brother of Ole Ran’l, by the Logan County Wildcats. The Wildcats were a local militia and Devil Anse Hatfield was one of the more prominent members in the group. Though it was later proven that Anse was nowhere near the location of the murder that day, it did set the stage for years of feuding between the Hatfield and McCoy families.
Continuing to sour, interactions between the two families erupted in again 1878 when Ole Ran’l accused Floyd Hatfield, a cousin of Devil Anse, of stealing one of his hogs. The accusations escalated to a courtroom hearing that was presided over by a cousin of Devil Anse. The hearing was largely dependent on the testimony of Bill Staton, a McCoy who had married into the Hatfield family. Bill testified in Floyd Hatfield’s favor and, to the McCoys’ ire, the charges against the Hatfields were dropped.
Two years later, Bill Staton was violently murdered during a run-in with Sam and Paris McCoy, both nephews of Ole Ran’l. Sam and Paris were both arrested for the crime but were later acquitted on grounds of self-defense, and the charges against them were dropped. The rest of the story can be found here.