Last month, Old Glory DC and Clonakilty Distillery announced the winner of the Clonakilty Golden Ticket Legacy Bottle Raffle, which will send the winner on a trip for two to Cork, Ireland, to visit the Clonakilty Distillery. The winner is Brian George, a Virginia Tech rugby alumnus and Northern Virginia resident. Brian attributes his luck in winning the prize to his rugby teammate and late friend, Paul. In fact, Brian wouldn’t have purchased the Clonakilty bottle at all if it weren’t for Paul.
“My friend Paul went to all the rugby games with me – we always go to Old Glory games together – he talked me into buying a bottle and I bought it. He could always talk me into something, and he talked me into buying that bottle of whiskey. And then I turn around and asked him, ‘will you buy one?’ and he goes ‘Well, no. You bought one.’”
Brian and Paul met at Virginia Tech in 1981, and like most rugby relationships, their friendship continued off the field and long after they graduated. “We’re both local studs in our mind,” joked Brian.
Very sadly, during the off-season, Paul passed away, and Brian knew immediately what to do with the bottle. “I ended up saving the bottle for his wake at Bearclaw. As many as I could round up, we ended up doing a little toast to him. 20 people or so took a small sip of the whiskey and it went very quick.”
Brian reflected that the whiskey was great, although he didn’t get much of it. “I’m a casual whiskey drinker. I’m pretty simple – mostly a beer guy.”
When Old Glory drew Brian’s name during the team’s International Match on February 26, he felt he had received one last gift from his friend Paul.
“It was pretty cool, you know? Maybe Paul was looking down and won the trip on his bottle.”
Clonakilty Distillery will welcome Brian and his wife to Cork, Ireland in the next few months as a part of the grand prize.
“I’m most looking forward to getting my wife to Ireland, to be honest,” said Brian. “She’s 98% Irish and she’s never been. I’ve always wanted to see it. I’ve seen England before, but we don’t travel a lot. It will be really nice to get her overseas.”
Congratulations and Sláinte Brian George!