The Storied Past of a Historic Whisky Brand: J & J McConnell’s Irish Whisky

February 3, 2023

In 2020, a whisky brand that once dominated export manifests and shop shelves reappeared after an almost 80 year absence. Resurrected by Belfast Distillery Company, McConnell’s Irish Whisky has a focus on the Belfast and Irish whisky landscape of today while keen to understand, learn from, and be inspired by its rich history. 

With a distillery under construction, Belfast Distillery Company is betting big on the brand. We sat down with Brand Manager, Sarah Kennedy, to learn about one of the oldest whisky brands in Ireland. 

In this video Sarah shares:

  • The founding story of the company in 1776
  • The story of the first McConnell’s Distillery
  • The sad story of the fires that wiped out much of their whiskey stock in the early 1900s
  • Their spelling of the word “whisky”
  • What inspiration was taken from the original brand
  • How a resurrected brand can work in today’s market
  • The design cues that influenced the current bottle shape and look
  • What releases we might expect from McConnell’s in 2023
Sarah, employee #1 at McConnell’s is a passionate ambassador for the brand and in the short time that the company has been in existence has done a tremendous job of introducing whisky fans and the general public to the plans for McConnell’s. 

Watch our full video (12 minutes) below