It all started in 1776, when the McConnell family of Belfast began selling their whisky to the public. It quickly became one of the most sought-after spirits in Ireland, and to keep up with demand, the McConnells built a distillery: a sprawling, buzzing compound on the banks of the River Lagan. The next 154 years would be spent dedicated to a single pursuit: producing the finest whisky in all of Ireland. Many whisky drinkers believed that they achieved their goal, making McConnell’s the most famous Irish whisky of the time.
Prohibition, which outlawed the sale of liquor in America. In the blink of an eye, the biggest international market for Irish whisky was gone. More than 90 percent of Irish whiskies disappeared as a result – McConnell’s among them.
In the decades that followed, McConnell’s lived on only as a memory, a legendary whisky from another time. McConnell’s memorabilia still adorned the walls of pubs across Ireland, and occasionally a bottle would sell at auction – for an enormous sum. But for all intents and purposes, McConnell’s was gone. The world had lost one of its great spirits.
Presenting one of the newest – and oldest – names in Irish whisky: J+J McConnell’s. Reborn after 90 years for a new generation of whisky enthusiasts, it is, quite possibly, the greatest comeback in the history of whisky.
Visit the Belfast Distillery Company website to see more about this amazing story.