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distillery-2Belfast’s newest tourist attraction, McConnell’s Distillery, has opened its doors this week at the A-wing of Crumlin Road Gaol, with tickets now on sale to the general public.

McConnell’s Distillery and Visitor Experience is the first Single Malt distillery in the world to open in a former prison, following its two-year renovation and restoration of the historic venue, offering a truly unique experience for Australian travellers visiting Belfast. The Crum, as it was known locally, opened in 1846 and operated as a prison for 150 years before closing in 1996.

The guided tour of the distillery will introduce visitors to the historic McConnell’s Irish Whisky brand, whilst taking them on an immersive journey through the art of brewing, distilling and maturing McConnell’s signature Irish Whiskies.

Visitors will enjoy an up-close and personal experience, led by their expert guide – who will share the secrets of McConnell’s historic roots in Belfast and more recent successes, as they continue to grow their distribution of McConnell’s to over 45 markets across the world. Visitors to the distillery will have the unique opportunity to observe the process of making triple-distilled, Single Malt Irish Whisky, and of course, sample some of the brand’s award-winning whiskies along the way.

Transforming a former prison into a ground-breaking distillery, the McConnell’s Distillery and Visitor Experience is the first Irish distillery open to Whisky aficionados to visit and the first of its kind globally. The multi-million-pound destination captures the resurgence of McConnell’s Irish Whisky and marks a pioneering endeavour that intertwines heritage, innovation, and culture – and above all pride and passion.

The guided tour, which costs £25 for an adult ticket ($48 AUD), will include a welcome drink, McConnell’s 5 Year Old Whisky, McConnell’s Sherry Cask Whisky and some ‘new make’ liquid, straight off the stills.

CEO of McConnell’s Belfast Distillery Company John Kelly is looking forward to welcoming the first visitors to the iconic site.

‘We are thrilled to welcome our first visitors, after years of planning, building and fitting out.

‘I am very confident that all of our guests, locals and tourists alike, will have a truly world-class experience when they come through our doors.

‘Following significant investment from our Board and international investor community and support from the Northern Ireland Government Departments, we have put in place an experience which really will take the breath away.’

Mark Johnston, Head of Sales and Marketing at McConnell’s said the opening of the distillery and Visitor Experience marks a milestone in the return of the iconic whisky to the global market.

“McConnell’s is an historic Belfast brand which is now making a big impact on the Irish whisky market at home and on a global scale with our trusted partners, with our whiskies now enjoyed by consumers in over 45 countries worldwide. With our award winning brand now having a new home, the future holds great promise for McConnell’s Irish Whisky!’

Tickets can be purchased at mcconnellsirishwhisky.com For Whisky fans eager to sample the Belfast born McConnell’s Irish Whisky Down Under, McConnell’s Irish Whisky 5 Year Old is available to purchase in Australia from Dan Murphy’s and BWS for $74.