Diageo, the global leader in beverage alcohol with brands like Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, JεB, Buchanan’s and Windsor whiskies, Smirnoff, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas, Captain Morgan, Baileys, Don Julio, Tanqueray and Guinness, announced its comeback to the Irish Whisky market with its new whisky, Roe & Co. Two years ago, the spirit giant, got out of the Irish Whisky when it sold the Bushmills brand to Jose Cuervo in exchange for its Tequila brand.

The company also announced plans for investment in a whiskey distillery in the once Power Station at St. James’s Gate. The total project investment comes to €25 million (£18.6 million) over three years.

According to the recent press release from the company;

…As seen in other spirit categories in recent years, Diageo identified a clear opportunity in Irish Whiskey to drive overall category growth via premiumisation. Responding to this, Roe & Co was born. The brand has been created to reflect modern, contemporary luxury, in eve-rything from pack to liquid, and with a focus of making Irish Whiskey more prominent in Eu-rope’s booming cocktail culture. Roe & Co is made from the finest hand-selected stocks of Irish malt and grain whiskies and aged in bourbon casks. It has the signature smoothness of Irish Whiskey with remarkable depth of flavor – a luxuriously smooth blend, with a perfect harmony between the intense fruitiness of the malt and the mellow creaminess of the grain whiskies.

Roe & Co is named in honour of George Roe, the once world-famous whiskey maker who helped build the golden era of Irish Whiskey in the 19th century. His distillery, George Roe and Co extended over 17 acres on Thomas Street in Dublin and was once Ireland’s largest distill-ery. As neighbours for hundreds of years George Roe and Co and Guinness were the two big-gest names at the heart of Dublin’s historic brewing and distilling quarter. Diageo will now build on this rich heritage with the creation of a new distillery by converting the historic for-mer Guinness Power House on Thomas Street. The new St. James’s Gate distillery, will be situated just a stones throw away from where the George Roe and Co distillery once stood and subject to planning approval will begin production in the first half of 2019.

Using her 30 years of experience, Diageo’s Master Blender Caroline Martin and her team set about meticulously sourcing and selecting stocks of the very finest Irish whiskies. Having trialed over 100 prototype blends since December 2014, Caroline has created an extraordi-nary expression of Irish Whiskey. The high proportion of first-fill casks gives notes of creamy vanilla balanced with its hints of fruit and soft spice and a remarkable depth for such an ele-gant and refined whiskey. Roe & Co is non-chill filtered and bottled at 45% ABV. The first blend of Roe & Co will be available in key European cities from 1st March 2017 as part of Diageo’s growing Reserve portfolio.

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