UFC legend Conor McGregor has finally released Proper No. Twelve, his long-awaited Irish whiskey. McGregor has been talking up this initiative, which he referred to as “Project Notorious,” for awhile, but he announced on Instagram yesterday that after three years of work, the project has finally come to fruition. He says that instead of sponsoring an existing whiskey brand, he decided to create his own as a way of honoring his birthplace.
“I wanted to make an Irish whiskey emblematic of Irish culture as a whole,” he wrote on Instagram, “something that would showcase the great skill we possess of distilling the best whiskey in the entire world.”
Like a lot of celebrity whiskey releases these days, some of the details around Proper No. Twelve are still murky. According to the new label’s press release, it’s an 80-proof blended whiskey sourced from an existing Irish distillery and crafted in association with master distiller David Elder. Taste-wise, it features notes of vanilla, honey, and toasted wood, and it’s named after the neighborhood near Dublin where McGregor grew up.
According to British GQ, McGregor and his team went through over 100 blends to decide on the final recipe, but an age statement or details about the style of barrels used have not yet been released.
The whiskey will hit stores in Ireland and the United States some time in 2018, with a larger market expansion to come after that. Given those numbers, we expect the whiskey to be affordably priced and likely not carry an extreme age statement. The exact retail price hasn’t been released, but McGregor has pledged to donate $5 for every case sold to first responder groups in the area where the sale was made. On Instagram, he made a point to highlight this aspect of the new label:
“These are the men and women who run into buildings while everyone else is running out. They are our real life heroes.”
Ireland is increasingly saturated with new brands and distilleries as the country’s whiskey boom gains momentum. Only three Irish distilleries were in operation 20 years ago; the Irish Whiskey Association reports that now about three dozen are either open or in the works.