Diageo has announced today it is to launch a new premium Blended Irish Whiskey, Roe & Co. The company’s move into the premium Irish Whiskey category comes as it 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 over three years.
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 everything from pack to liquid, and with a focus of making Irish Whiskey more prominent in Europe’s booming cocktail culture. It is made from the finest hand-selected stocks of Irish malt and grain whiskies and aged in bourbon casks.
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 distillery. As neighbours for hundreds of years George Roe and Co and Guinness were the two biggest 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 former 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. Subject to planning approval the distillery will begin production in the first half of 2019.
Commenting on the launch, Tanya Clarke, General Manager of Reserve Europe said: “This is a wonderful project for us at Diageo, highlighting the opportunity we see to develop the premium segment of Irish Whiskey and contribute to the category’s growth as it sees new investment and entrepreneurial interest. In crafting Roe & Co we explored the demands of today’s consumers for more premium drinking experiences and the desire of bartenders for an adaptable, flavourful whiskey that works in both traditional and new cocktails.”
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.