Roe & Co is an Irish blended whiskey developed by Diageo. It is their first step in the Irish whiskey market after having sold Bushmills in 2014 – obviously they can’t ignore the booming trend in Irish whiskey (which apparently they hadn’t foreseen).
It is a blend of grain and malt whiskey, matured exclusively in bourbon casks (most of which are first-fill).
The brand goes back a long way, it was started as George Roe & Co in the 19th century. The distillery in Thomas Street, Dublin used to be the largest of the country. Diageo is planning a new St. James’s Gate distillery which will begin production in 2019.
Roe & Co (45%, OB 2017, Batch #1)
Nose: starts on carpenter workshop aromas. Freshly sawn oak, peppery notes and hints of rye perhaps. Plenty of mint. Oranges. Vanilla syrup, cinnamon and light coconut as well. Youngish, but rather pleasant and aromatic.
Mouth: sweet oranges and pears, with some tinned pineapple and coconut cream. Minty oakiness. White pepper. Vanilla custard. Like a blend of American bourbon and Irish whiskey. Spice builds over time, showing rougher and grainier notes towards the end.
Finish: a bit short, peppery, with chocolate and cinnamon powder.
Diageo sells it as a premium blend but there’s not much to justify this claim, not even the pricing. Given the entry-level situation, this is quite good. Sweet and spicy, works in cocktails as an alternative to bourbon whiskey but even on its own. Under € 35 from Master of Malt.