Roe & Co Irish whiskey is a blend of single malt and grain whiskeys created by Diageo Master Blender Caroline Martin and her team. The distillery at St. James's Gate in Dublin opened in 2019.
Launched in early 2017, Roe & Co heralds Diageo's return to the world of Irish whiskey just a couple of years after selling Bushmills (which they purchased back in 2005) to Casa Cuervo. It was a deal that saw Cuevo's stake in Don Julio tequila move in the opposite direction.
The new brand is named after George Roe & Co, whose Thomas Street distillery was once the largest in the world and a leading light of the 19th century 'golden age' of Irish whiskey in Dublin alongside John Jameson's distillery on Bow Street and James Powers' on John's Lane. All located within a short distance of each other, this area of Dublin was also famous for brewing with George Roe being neighbours with Guinness' St. James's Gate Brewery. More recently, it was, of course, Guinness PLC's merger with Grand Metropolitan in 1997 that formed Diageo.
All that remains of Roe's distillery now is a bladeless smock windmill (once the largest in Europe at 150 feet tall) called St. Patrick's Tower that was used for power. Both the patina hue of the distinctive copper roof and the ancient pear tree that still survives at its foot feature prominently in Roe & Co's branding. Fittingly, the new St. James's Gate distillery will be built in an old Guinness power station just around the corner.
Roe & Co is bottled at 45% abv without chill filtration and is a blend of single malt and grain whiskeys matured exclusively in bourbon casks (a high proportion of which are first-fill).
Nose: Creamy, delightfully fragrant and remarkably rounded with notes of soft spice and mellow spun sugar along with warm hints of woody vanilla.
Palate: The quality and perfect balance of the blend is immediately apparent on the palate through its velvety texture and sweet flavours including spiced pears and vanilla.
Finish: Lingering and gentle, ending with a light creaminess.