Diageo Reserve’s premium Irish Whiskey, Roe & Co, is set to open the doors to a new €25 million urban distillery and visitor experience this month, located in the former Guinness Power Station at St James’s Gate in Dublin.
The new distillery, positioned in the heart of Dublin’s buzzing Liberties district, is home to three unique copper stills, which can run both triple and double distillation, under the talented eye of Head Distiller Lora Hemy and her team. Roe & Co’s malt whiskey spirit has been flowing through the spirit safe ahead of the distillery doors opening and will distil 14,000 litres of whiskey in every run, with an annual maximum capacity of up to 500,000 litres of alcohol.
In the 19th century, George Roe helped build the golden era of Irish whiskey and put Irish whiskey on the global map. The Roe & Co blend was crafted by Master Blender, Caroline Martin, who chose an intense, fruity malt whiskey and smooth grain whiskies that have been slowly matured in first fill Bourbon casks. The new Roe & Co visitor experience will allow guests to explore Roe & Co in its working distillery, with tour groups able to trace the rise and fall of Irish whiskey and celebrate its current revival. At the start of this decade, there were four working Irish whiskey distilleries, now with the coming-on-stream of Diageo’s Roe & Co Distillery, there will be 27.
Fun and flavour will be at the centre of every aspect of the Roe & Co experience, which will transport guests on a journey of taste and discovery. The boutique experience, which will have a maximum of 16 guests per tour, will consist of a fully immersive 75-minute tour, with visitors clocking in and out as they commence a ‘shift’ at the Power Station with a time card, a nostalgic nod at the building’s past. Guests will get the chance to observe the operational live distillery and witness the copper pot stills and mash tun from an impressive elevated glass walkway.
Visitors will be invited to explore the unique process that makes Roe & Co a whiskey like no other in Room 106, named after the number of blends it took to perfect the Roe & Co whiskey. The Flavours Workshop will encourage guests to explore the five pillars of flavour; sweet, sour, bitter, salt and umami, and discover their ideal taste profile when it comes to whiskey cocktails. The showstopping Power House Bar, designed by Drinksology, the creative minds behind some of the world’s best bars, will use a wide variety of Irish wildflowers and home-grown ingredients from the distillery’s landscaped garden to create seasonal Roe & Co signature serves created by world class bartenders.
The launch of the premium Roe & Co Irish whiskey, distillery and experience has been led by a talented female team in Diageo comprising distillers, blenders, marketeers, bartenders and commercial specialists, including:
Gráinne Wafer, Global Brand Director for the whiskey
Caroline Martin, Diageo’s Master Blender
Lora Hemy, Roe & Co’s Head Distiller
Fiona Sheridan, Roe & Co’s Assistant Distiller
Tanya Clarke, General Manager Reserve & Incubation Brands
Hayley Millner, Marketing Manager, Roe & Co Irish Whiskey
Shannon Green, Project Engineer
Gráinne Wafer, Global Brand Director for Roe & Co at Diageo said: “Our master blender, Caroline Martin began the journey of reimagining Irish whiskey, but we didn’t stop the reinvention there. Today we are launching a state-of-the-art distillery and experience like no other, led by our extremely talented distiller, Lora Hemy. This boutique experience, which will have a maximum of 16 guests per tour, will ensure visitors can get up close and personal with our remarkable distillery and whiskey, focusing on the five pillars of flavour.
“The distillery will provide direct employment for 18 people and will complement what is already the country’s most popular tourism offering, The Guinness Storehouse. This €25m investment into the Roe & Co Distillery further demonstrates Diageo’s commitment to the growing vibrancy of The Liberties, one of the City’s most dynamic districts and the heart of brewing and distilling.”
Speaking at a lunch to officially open the distillery, Diageo CEO, Ivan Menezes, added: “I am proud to be standing here today in one of the most iconic buildings of the Dublin skyline, which has been reimagined and regenerated into this world-class distillery and experience for Roe & Co. I am proud that we are here because of Diageo’s most valuable assets, its employees. We encourage them to be the best they can, to achieve great things, to be inclusive and diverse. We have focussed on gender and today you see the progress we’ve made, because we are here now in this Roe & Co Irish whiskey distillery and experience because of the amazing team of talented women. You should be so proud Gráinne, Lora, Fiona, Caroline, Tanya, Shannon and Hayley.”
The Roe & Co distillery building has been regenerated with modern urban décor and an industrial feel. This is reflected throughout all design elements, from staff uniforms to a specially commissioned tiki print featured on all the bar ware. The contemporary tiki illustration reflects key elements of the Roe & Co story, from the original pear tree which has stood in the grounds since the 17th century, to the iconic chimneys of Dublin’s skyline.
The new opening of the Roe & Co distillery has already garnered global attention, following the Lonely Planet announcement in October, which named the Roe & Co distillery one of the 10 best new openings in the world for 2019.
Find out more about the Roe & Co distillery and visitor experience
Tours cost €25 per guest, which includes a whiskey taster, flavours workshop and complimentary cocktail in the Power House Bar.
Tours run from 11am-5pm daily, seven days a week.
Address: 8 James St, Ushers, Dublin, Ireland