Conor McGregor names new whiskey after Crumlin roots

Mixed martial arts fighter scrapped idea to call product ‘Notorious’ after trademark row

Mixed martial arts fighter Conor McGregor has included a nod to his Crumlin roots in the new name for his whiskey brand, which was changed following a dispute over trademarks.

The Dublin-born athlete had been planning to cash in on his name by launching a whiskey brand using his moniker, Notorious. However, following a challenge on trademark grounds, the idea was scrapped.

McGregor is the founder, chairman and majority owner of Eire Born Spirits, which announced the launch of "Proper No. Twelve Irish Whiskey" in the Republic and the United States on Monday. The company signalled there would be "further expansion" in 2019.

“For years, McGregor developed the brand under the project name Notorious through which came the foundation of what was to eventually become Proper No. Twelve,” said the company.


“It became a longer and more complicated project than originally expected, so McGregor turned to the world’s oldest whiskey distillery [the Old Bushmills Distillery, Co Antrim] with a proven history of quality whiskey making.

"He met David Elder, esteemed master distiller, previously of Guinness, and together they took painstaking measures to bring the whiskey to fruition."

McGregor said the whiskey, which costs €45 a bottle, was “the one and only proper” blend, and that the name was a reference to Dublin 12, where Crumlin is located.

‘Close to 100 blends’

“We created close to 100 blends and ultimately selected what we knew was the one and only proper whiskey blend,” he said. “We took the time to develop an incredible whiskey and I’m excited to share it with the world.

“I come from a place called Crumlin, in Dublin 12. It’s a place dear to my heart. 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.”

McGregor said the company would donate $5 for every case sold to first-responder organisations and charities, setting an annual cap at $1 million.

“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,” he said. “I have great respect for these men and women.”

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson is an Irish Times reporter