California-based Concannon Vineyards will team up with Ireland's Cooley Distillery to launch Concannon Irish Whiskey.

Distilled and blended at Ireland's Cooley Distillery with American consumers in mind, this special project is a unique expression of Concannon's American and Irish roots. The first cases of Concannon will reach American consumers in January 2012 and initially will only be available to the U.S. market, according to the Digital Journal.

"The United States is presently the largest market for Irish whiskey and growing," said John Concannon, Fourth Generation Vintner of Concannon.

"We're thrilled to offer a unique take on the category to American consumers with Concannon, a fiercely independent spirit from Ireland's sole craft distillery that shares the heritage of both cultures as so many Irish-Americans do."

A refined blend of malted barley and corn, Concannon Irish Whiskey is craft distilled for proper balance of character and purity, then matured in bourbon barrels for a minimum of four years.

Concannon Petite Sirah wine barrels are transported from California to Ireland, where a portion of the whiskey is then finished for four months before blending. Known as 'the Concannon Effect' this gives Concannon Irish Whiskey a uniquely fruity character.

"In the 1900s Irish whiskey was the drink of choice, but the industry took a serious blow thanks to the Irish War of Independence, U.S. Prohibition and the boom of Scotch blended whisky," said John Concannon.

"Now the industry is experiencing a renaissance, much like that of the great American invention, the cocktail. We can't wait to introduce Concannon in this watershed moment."

Products ship nationally on January 16, 2012. Concannon Irish Whiskey can also be found at specialty shops.

Cooley Distillery was established in 1987 with a vision to revive many of the historic brands and distilling techniques of Irish whiskey, Cooley has established a world-wide reputation for the quality of its whiskey. Cooley has developed an exciting portfolio of different whiskeys, from Single Grain whiskeys to Single Malts and all in-between. These whiskeys have captured the interest and taste buds of consumers all over the world.

In January 2012 Cooley Distillery teamed up with Concannon Vineyards to launch Concannon Irish Whiskey, the independent spirit of Ireland.