Roe & Co whiskeys

As you may know, the new Roe & Co distillery opened in Dublin this summer, and a visit there is definitely on my to-do list the next time we go to Dublin, probably when we go there for Whiskey Live (which, by the way, has a VERY interesting lineup this year!).

During the 18th and 19th century, the Roe family ran several distilleries in Dublin. George Roe inherited the distilleries of Thomas street and Pimlico, and he expanded the company that soon became the largest of the Dublin distilleries. Sadly, at the end of the 19th century, like many other Irish whiskey distilleries the company began suffering from the effects of the Scotch whisky industry success. They continued distilling in collaboration with two other Dublin distilleries, until the 1920s when the George Roe & Co distillery eventually had to close down.
Last November I learned that a new distillery was in the making, just a few steps away from the Pearse Lyons distillery in the Liberties.

The new Roe & Co distillery is now located near where the old Thomas street distillery used to be, repurposing the old Guinness Power House. I’ve heard lots of good things about the distillery, and can’t wait to visit.

The first whiskey under the new Roe & Co brand has been around for some time. It’s a very nice dram, and I’ve been waiting impatiently to see more Roe & Co whiskeys. Then some time ago, news about another release started floating around on social media – the Roe & Co Curators series 0.1. I didn’t take interest in it immediately, thinking I would run into it sooner or later. Instead I was waiting for the new Teeling single pot still to come to Cork, but when it didn’t arrive as expected, I decided to taste the new Roe & Co instead (and at the time of writing, I’ve had the opportunity to enjoy the new Teeling too).

A few words about the first Roe & Co blend, 45% ABV

This is a nice blend that is matured in bourbon barrels, primarily first fill according to most sources. The bottle itself doesn’t reveal much information.

Nose
Vanilla, wood, mint and something fresh fruity.

Palate
Soft and nice on the palate, with a clear woody feel that reminds me of virgin oak. There’s some citrus there, something like Bassett’s winegums, the dark yellow one. It has a slight bitterness in the finish, but still soft on the palate, and with some spice there too.

It’s a rather light bodied whiskey but it has quite some flavour that stays around for a while in the mouth. I like it!

Roe & Co Curators series 0.1, 46% ABV

This bottling is made from port cask matured malt whiskey, grain whiskey matured in first fill bourbon casks, and refill American oak cask matured malt, with a high malt content. It’s only available in Ireland and is limited to 4836 bottles.

Nose
My first impression is that it has the typical aromas of a heavily sherried Scotch, but with the typical sweetness of an Irish whiskey. There is sweet dried fruit, cinnamon, perhaps a bit of salted caramel, or at least some toffee. Wet wood and the feel of an old damp warehouse. Fresh herbs, burnt sugar and old varnished oak. An interesting mixture!

Palate
There’s a lovely honey sweetness, together with cinnamon, cloves maybe. Red berries. There are some herbs in there too. Soft and sweet, dark chocolate towards the end with a nice long finish.

This was a lovely drop, and quite unexpected flavour profile, for me at least. I guess I expected more of a “standard Irish blend”, but there are loads of them already (and nothing bad about them!) so this was a nice addition to the world of Irish whiskey. Considering the name of it, should I expect a 0.2 eventually? That would certainly be nice, and of course I can’t wait to see what these people will have to offer from their own stills in a few years.


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