Now when whiskey distilleries are beginning to reopen, I'll finally write a few words about a special Roe & Co whiskey that is available to buy only at the distillery in Dublin. I didn't want to mention it during the lockdown, because I wanted to highlight whiskeys that were accessible to people to buy online. Better times are coming... and I really hope it will all go well so that businesses can stay open.
My experience of Roe & Co has been excellent so far, both their sourced whiskeys are gorgeous, and the distillery is stunning. If you haven't visited yet, plan to do that when you're comfortable with visiting tourist attractions. There is no information yet about when Roe & Co distillery plans to reopen, but it looks like it will happen during the next few weeks.
The new Roe & Co distillery opened its doors last summer. I was there in November last year while I was in Dublin for Whiskey Live, and was highly impressed.
It's built in the old Guinness Powerhouse, and you still see some of the old parts of the building. It's a fascinating place, where the new meets the old. The use of branding colours throughout the building is exceptional - everything is designed with the copper and turquoise theme that you also see on their bottles. Even the bathrooms have stylish copper details! My impression is that the designers have gone wild there, and I love that. Everything is very nice and spacy with an industrial style. I'm not usually a big fan of industrial design but at Roe & Co they've done a really good job to make it good looking.
The tour takes you briefly through the history of Irish whiskey, the history of Roe & Co and the building, and through the new distillery. Upstairs there's an open area from which you can see the distillery equipment below - even through the floor of a bridge while crossing over to the tasting and bar area.
The tour also includes a cocktail class. There's a tasting room where you'll get a lesson in cocktail flavours, and make your own cocktail based on a few flavour types - sweet, sour, bitter, umami, and salt. They have recommended ingredients to use for each type, and even if I'm more about the actual whiskey than cocktails, I found it interesting and enjoyable, although a little too rushed.
The bar area is very pleasant and it is huge, so I can imagine it is a good place to relax and have a drink and still practise physical distancing! When I was there a dram of the standard blend or a cocktail was included in the ticket. We stayed there for a good while, it was November, the weather was horrible and we needed to walk back to the city centre, so the distillery bar was a good place to wait for the rain to stop.
Like many other distilleries, Roe & Co has a "fill your own bottle" service, with two different options. When we first entered the shop, we certainly noticed the two barrels but there was no information written on them. When we asked the lads in the shop, they gave us the lovely news that the bottling service would start later that same day! When we came back down after the tour and drinks, the barrels were labelled and ready to be opened for happy customers. There were a single grain and a single malt - both still sourced whiskeys. The malt wasn't bad but we much preferred the grain, it's an absolutely beautiful whiskey.
Roe & Co single grain, 57,7%
This whiskey is matured in a 1st fill bourbon cask, and is about 10 years old - at least the cask info reveals that it was filled in 2009.
Coconut, light wood, caramel and fruity sweetness of sorts. Quite much alcohol sting.
There's an immediate spicy attack to the palate. Then a very characteristic flavour of sweet berries - I think it's sweet cherry. Tropical fruit flavoured jellies, and continued spice. It has a nice soft mouthfeel, on the creamy side, and a long sweet and spicy finish.
This is absolutely gorgeous! That sweet cherry flavour surprised me from a whiskey of this type. I'd definitely get another bottle if they still have it when we're comfortable about visiting Dublin again. It's as far as I know only available in the distillery, and the price is nice for a single cask - €85 when we bottled it. If you want a really nice single grain, I highly recommend this.
And of course I recommend a visit to the distillery!