Tuesday, October 01, 2019

M'Connell's Whisky - Belfast and Stromness, Orkney

J&J McConnell Limited was founded in 1776, the year of the American Revolution. Based at the Cromac Distillery in Belfast, one of their brands was abbreviated as Old Cro' Irish Whisky. This is yet another Ulster whisky brand with a meaningful connection into Scotland – but this time not to the big cities in the mainland but, ironically, to the Orkney island which is itself called 'Mainland'. The firm was in liquidation in August 1931, but bottled products were still being sold for some years after. The Stromness distillery had closed around 1928 and the building was later demolished. However, the McConnell's brand is due to be revived in Belfast in the near future.

Companies do things for commercial reasons – but surely the geographical proximity with Scotland, and potentially the cultural connections and similarities – were additional factors in so many Ulster distilleries looking west for new business ventures.


Daniel Seawright said...

The Cromac Whiskey explains "The Old Crow" pub / restaurant in Comber. It closed in the 80s but the building is still known as the Old Crow Building. I seem to remember it having that crow logo on the gable.