Q&A with Sarah Kennedy about McConnell’s Sherry Cask Whisky and a giveaway!

by | Jun 10, 2024

McConnell’s Irish Whisky, a brand steeped in history and tradition, is making waves in the whisky world with its latest release and an exciting consumer engagement opportunity. Let’s dive into what makes this launch special and how you can be part of an unforgettable Belfast experience.

  1. Can you tell us about the new McConnell’s Whisky that was recently launched? What makes this particular variant unique compared to previous product launches?

We recently launched McConnell’s Sherry Cask finish. Much like our McConnell’s 5-year-old, our whisky is a blend of Irish Grain and Malt Whiskies aged for 5 years in ex-bourbon casks. Unlike the 5 Year, McConnell’s Sherry cask is finished and rested for a further 9-12 months in Spanish Oloroso casks and bottled at 46% ABV and is non-chill filtered. McConnell’s Sherry Cask is just the next step in our exciting portfolio of whiskies.

McConnells 5 Year Sherry 750ml Bottle | Q&A with Sarah Kennedy about McConnell's Sherry Cask Whisky and a giveaway! | it's a Sher thing
  1. The new distillery in Belfast seems to be a source of pride for McConnell’s. How does having a production facility in Northern Ireland tie into the brand’s heritage and vision?

Belfast City was the whisky capital of Ireland in the early 1900s exporting 75% of all Irish whisky. This was the Golden year for McConnell’s Irish whisky. With prohibition, technology advances, and political challenges, Belfast’s export and import trade suffered, and with that the McConnell’s Brand and Irish whisky in Belfast fell silent. McConnell’s Distillery has now played a massive part in bringing distilling back to Belfast and giving McConnell’s Irish whisky a home worthy of its heritage.

McConnells 5 Year 750ml Bottle | Q&A with Sarah Kennedy about McConnell's Sherry Cask Whisky and a giveaway! | it's a Sher thing
  1. For whisky enthusiasts looking to enter the competition to win a trip to Belfast, what should they expect from this all-inclusive experience if selected as the winner?

Our distillery is producing 500,000 LPAs of single malt whisky from our world-class distilling equipment, our breathtaking pot stills, and an outstanding distilling team. Winners will expect a VIP tour of our distillery hosted by one of our fantastic team, a selection of our whiskies, a chance to try our New Make Spirit, and a limited-edition release. Further to that, winners will take a tour of our home learning the history of our brand, the historic building, our cocktail master class facilities, and finishing off in our Bar area. An unforgettable experience.

Sarah 1 | Q&A with Sarah Kennedy about McConnell's Sherry Cask Whisky and a giveaway! | it's a Sher thing
  1. Beyond touring the new distillery, what are some other highlights or activities around Belfast that competition winners could look forward to as part of this brand experience?

Belfast has so much to offer as a vibrant, up-and-coming city full of stunning hotels and restaurants, exciting nightlife, an abundance of tourism and now the revival of Irish Whisky. Our competition winners will experience the luxury of one of our hotels, experience a tour of Belfast City discovering the history, and the food and drinks it offers. It is an opportunity you don’t want to miss!

Sarah 2 | Q&A with Sarah Kennedy about McConnell's Sherry Cask Whisky and a giveaway! | it's a Sher thing

  1. In a crowded and competitive whisky market, how does McConnell’s approach things like innovative releases and consumer engagement opportunities like this Belfast trip competition to stand out?

McConnell’s Irish Whisky is one of the oldest whiskies from Ireland – so old that it predates the introduction of the E to Irish Whisky. We’ve intentionally kept it as McConnell’s Irish Whisky – to recognise the legacy of the Belfast brand and as a testament to how old the brand is. This legacy of the brand can be seen on the walls of many pubs in Belfast, which have lots of old McConnell’s memorabilia – including mirrors, posters and even an old bottle or two – if you know where to look for it! We plan to re-establish McConnell’s Irish Whisky to its former glory in Belfast and beyond. Being Belfast Born 1776 is a key element in our brand offering. Belfast has a rich history, and we are proud of our city, even with its ups and downs. On an international scale, Belfast is perhaps known for shipbuilding and industrial past, and we see the whisky heritage being just as important. Already we are seeing that the Belfast aspect of the brand piques the attention of people. Belfast is a transformed city from even just a decade ago, and as a location for visitors it is certainly growing – the introduction of McConnell’s Distillery and Visitor Experience in Autumn 2023 is indeed a very timely addition to what Belfast has to offer.

The competition will launch in July and end on 30 September. The winner will receive a trip for two to Belfast, including a VIP tour of the McConnell’s Distillery and a visitor experience. More information on the giveaway will be shared next month.

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I’m just a girl who loves new beauty products, alternating between being a blonde and a brunette, travel tips, parenting hacks, eating out, and having fun!

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