After 90 years out of the market, McConnell’s Irish Whisky is coming back to America.
“We’re resurrecting one of the greatest global brands of all time, McConnell’s Irish Whisky,” says Roy Danis, president and CEO of Conecuh Brands, which is now behind the brand.
McConnell’s Irish Whisky was originally established in Belfast, Ireland, in 1776, by two brothers, John and James McConnell.
McConnell’s enjoyed popularity in the U.S. from the late 1800’s through the early part of the 20th century, the company says, when McConnell’s, like many Irish distilleries, ran into hard times as a result of U.S. Prohibition. Ultimately closing its Belfast distillery in 1958, the brand went dormant, until it was recently recovered by Conecuh Brands.
The brand worked with Great Northern Distillery to recreate the whisky, while work is being done on its new distillery in the historic Crumlin Road Jail in Belfast, Ireland. The Crumlin Rd. Jail is not far from the original distillery site on Cromac St. The “Crum” is known for housing political prisoners from the 1840’s to 1996, before being converted into a tourist attraction. Once the building is complete, the new distillery will house production, aging, a visitors’ center and a retail area.
McConnell’s Irish Whisky (spelled without the ‘e’ as originally spelled) has hints of vanilla, nutmeg and other spices, the company says, and aged in American Oak barrels. It is a 42%-ABV, five-year-old blend, with a suggested retail price of $32.99 per 750-ml. bottle.
The new package features a bottle shape inspired by a simple pill capsule, which harkens back to the original label, with three references from doctors who recommended the whisky and used to prescribe it for medicinal purposes.