Monday, April 13, 2015


The Belfast Distillery Company has announced that The Great Whisky Company will be the sole UK distributor of its new premium blend; McConnell’s Irish Whiskey, when it launches in June this year.

Located in the historic Crumlin Road Jail, the Belfast Distillery Company is currently developing a £7 million malt whiskey distillery and visitor centre in the jail’s A-Wing. The Victorian prison closed in 1996 but in 2012 work began to transform part of this former jail into a working distillery and tourist attraction. On completion, this will be the first distillery in Belfast for 85 years.

The famous Crumlin Road Jail - Now home to Belfast's only whiskey distillery

The distillery will be home to three 3000 litre pot stills, commissioned at Forsyth’s, and will have the capacity to produce 480,000 OLAs of malt whiskey annually. Full planning permission and funding is in place, with in-house production set to commence in January 2016.

In the meantime the Belfast Distillery Company has acquired a large inventory of mature grain and malt whiskey in cask, from which it has blended a premium addition to the resurgent Irish whiskey category.

McConnell’s Irish Whiskey, will be the first expression from the company, taking its name from a historic Belfast brand that was produced not far away on Cromac Street up until the early 19th century.

This premium blend has been aged for a minimum of five years in American Oak and Oloroso Sherry casks and offers a high malt content consisting of eight and 10 year old malt. It is said to boast a full fruit nose and an unmistakable Oloroso aroma.

Commenting on the news, Simon Ray, Chairman of Belfast Distillery Company said: "We are delighted to be working with The Great Whisky Company to bring our first premium blend to the UK market. This is an exciting time for both Belfast Distillery Company and McConnell's and the experts at The Great Whisky Company share our brand values and passion for quality whiskey, making them the ideal partners for the next step in our journey."

McConnell’s Irish Whiskey will be available in the UK through The Great Whisky Company from June 2015.

Source: The Great Whisky Company