"“With the growth of McConnell’s Irish Whisky in the U.S., we continue to satisfy consumer demand,” said Senior Brand Manager Jon Dubin in a prepared statement. “This Sherry Cask finished McConnell’s is an exceptional representation of the high-quality Irish whiskey we are producing and the first in several innovations planned for the brand.”
The Sherry Cask Finish is matured in first-fill select bourbon barrels, then finished in Oloroso Sherry casks.
McConnell’s distiller’s notes show that the whiskey has aromas of dried figs and currents followed by Christmas spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon, dark chocolate and a hint of leather.
On the palate, there’s tastes of Demerara sugar, dark ripe cherries and black raspberry followed by bitter dark chocolate shavings and rich red apples. It finishes with lingering oak notes, a hint of leather, and subtle clove spice."The Whiskey Wash
McConnell’s Irish Whisky, it is said, once enjoyed great popularity in the U.S. from the late 1800’s right through the early part of the 20th century until Prohibition sent it into hard times. Noted as well for reportedly being the oldest whiskey brand ever to come from Ireland, having been founded in 1776 by two brothers, John & James McConnell, it is now making a comeback to the United States after over 90 years of dormancy.
The McConnell’s brand went quiet after its Belfast-based distillery closed in 1958. It has been brought back by Conecuh Brands, who is working with Great Northern Distillery to recreate the whiskey while a new distillery is being built “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 well known for housing political prisoners from the 1840’s to 1996, before being converted into an iconic tourist attraction. Once the building is complete, the new distillery will house production, aging, a visitors’ center and a retail area.”
What will appear in bottle for the time being is a five year old blended Irish whiskey that was aged in American oak barrels. It packaging consists of “a bottle shape inspired by a simple pill capsule, which harkens back to the original label, featuring three references from Doctors, who recommended the whisky and used to prescribe it for medicinal purposes. The label is signature green with a handsome metal plaque that reads J.&J. McConnell’s, Est. Belfast 1776, Ireland.”