Conor McGregor has recently become less an athlete than a kind of globetrotting whiskey salesman, leaning on his value to the UFC, his enormous social media following and his remarkable international fame to market his new drink, called Proper 12.
The drink, as you may have imagined, has been selling well, with some Tesco outlets in Ireland limiting customers to a two-bottle maximum out of concern for their
The product's success is coming in spite of some fairly wretched reviews.
Few have been as scathing as Brin Jonathan-Butler's for Bloomberg.
He tasted the drink with friends while watching McGregor v Khabib, and...well, it didn't go particularly well.
All eyes took the measure of the first guinea pig as he raised a glass to his lips; after the noticeably unpleasant reaction to the first sip, we watched him return it promptly to the table, then push it safely distant, rendering the advertised “hints of vanilla, honey-like sweetness and toasted wood” helpless to accost him further.
It was inauspicious, yet it increased our anticipation of the next taster.
'Well?' I asked Earnie Gardner, private investigator, preferring to keep an open mind.
'I’d rather tap out than go another round with that vile, undrinkable shit. Sorry, Conor, I mean shite.'
Further tasting notes from my informal panel included 'watered-down,' 'obviously artificially colored,' and 'notes of turpentine interlaced with the musk from a crowded, poorly-maintained Turkish bathhouse sauna'.
Elsewhere, the drink was passed around the offices of Business Insider, to widespread disappointment.
In the interest of a thorough review, I tried it neat (not again), with ginger beer (decent, but more for the fiery soda snap of the ginger beer than anything else), and with Irn-Bru (don't ask me why).
One thing I noticed was that it made my lips go a bit numb, and I felt as if I could probably take a good punch or a kick. So I decided it would be for the best if I went home.
The review in Paste, meanwhile, was much kinder.
On the palate, Proper No. 12 is actually less booze dominated, which is to its credit. Thin of body and very easy drinking, I get notes of honey and Grape-Nuts cereal maltiness, with mild to moderate sweetness and a finish that is decently dry, with a slightly medicinal aftertaste. There’s honestly not that much else to write in terms of tasting notes, because this stuff is purposefully uncomplicated. It is by no means complex, but it’s largely free of serious flaws.
The Irish Times chimed with the above:
The flavour is much less sweet than I expected. It is incredibly mild, with a bitter caramel quality that I can only describe as unsweetened Werthers Original. I spent a long time trying to get more out of the whiskey but other than a bit of nuttiness, and quite a lot of tannin, there is not much there.