Conor McGregor, surely the world’s toughest Irishman, has founded distillery Eire Born Spirits to launch Proper No Twelve Irish Whiskey.
The Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) champion, famous for his fights on UFC, the chairman and majority owner of the Eire Born, has launched his tipple in Ireland and the US, with more markets to follow next year.
“I come from a place called Crumlin, in Dublin 12. It’s a place dear to my heart,” McGregor explains of his path to fighting and whiskey. “It’s where I learned how to fight; it made me who I am today. It’s a place I’m still very much a part of every single day of my life.
“So, that’s where the name came from. It’s proper Irish whiskey and 12 is my hometown. Growing up on the streets of Dublin 12, I learned the values of loyalty and hard work. I respect other Irish whiskeys, but I am coming in strong, with passion and with purpose. I am the founder of this company and I am going to give it my all.”
While several Irish whiskey brands sought McGregor’s endorsement over the years, the fighter decided he would rather create his own.
Inspired by his pride for Ireland and his love of Irish whiskey, McGregor took a detailed, time-intensive approach to creating a blend that would match his high standards and make his country proud.
He sought the counsel of David Elder, a master distiller, previously of Guinness, and together they took painstaking measures to bring the whiskey to fruition.
“We created close to 100 blends and ultimately selected what we knew was the one and only proper whiskey blend. We took the time to develop an incredible whiskey and I’m excited to share it with the world,” said McGregor.
He describes his whiskey as “complex and sophisticated yet smooth and approachable with hints of vanilla, honey and toasted wood”.
For McGregor, who over five years transitioned from a plumber receiving social welfare to one of the the world’s highest-paid athletes, it i important to give something back. His company has committed to donating US$5 for every case of Proper No Twelve Irish Whiskey sold to local first responder organisations and charities, or up to $1 million annually.
He says first responders exemplify his core values and those of Proper No. Twelve – commitment, loyalty and community – a “One For All” mentality.
“First responders all over the world are the unsung heroes who act with courage and answer the call of duty every day for people in need,” McGregor commented. “I have great respect for these men and women.”
The organisations/charities will be identified for each state and country around the world and donations will go directly to specific states and countries where sales take place.
Proper No Twelve Irish Whiskey will be distributed globally by Proximo.