First look: malt whiskey distilling begins at Roe & Co Distillery ahead of opening to visitors this month
A world-class immersive Irish Whiskey distillery and experience revives the iconic St. James’s Gate Guinness Power Station in Dublin 8
Ivan Menezes, Diageo CEO "clocking in" at the new Roe & Co distillery and visitor experience on James’s Street in Dublin which will open to visitors from June 21st. A €25m investment has seen the Guinness Power station transformed into a working distillery.
Lora Hemy, Head Distiller, Roe & Co; and Ivan Menezes, Diageo CEO ; as Diageo has unveiled its new Roe & Co distillery and visitor experience on James’s Street in Dublin will open to visitors from June 21st. A €25m investment has seen the Guinness Power station transformed into a working distillery.
Gráinne Wafer, Global Brand Director, Roe & Co; Ivan Menezes, Diageo CEO ; and Lora Hemy, Head Distiller, Roe & Co as Diageo has unveiled its new Roe & Co distillery and visitor experience on James’s Street in Dublin will open to visitors from June 21st. A €25m investment has seen the Guinness Power station transformed into a working distillery.
The malt whiskey spirit has been flowing through the spirit safe at the Roe & Co Irish Whiskey distillery ahead of the doors opening on James’s Street in Dublin on 21st June, when guests will be welcomed into the visitor experience. Inspired by one of the biggest names in Irish Whiskey in the 19th century, George Roe, the iconic Guinness Power Station has been regenerated into a new visitor experience and urban distillery. Tickets are on sale from today at ROEANDCOWHISKEY.COM.
Located in the heart of Dublin’s whiskey district, visitors will be treated to one of the most immersive experiences in whiskey distilling. The 75-minute tour will allow guests to observe the operational distillery, hear the hum of production, and witness the copper pot stills from an impressive elevated glass walkway. Fun and flavour are at the centre of every aspect of the Roe & Co visitor experience, which will transport guests on a journey of taste and discovery.
A visit to the fully live, working distillery will also involve guests clocking in and clocking out as they commence a ‘shift’ at the Power Station with a time card, a nostalgic nod at the building’s past as an operational power station. The experience concludes with guests able to clock off work with one of Roe & Co’s World Class cocktails in the showstopping Power House Bar.
Gráinne Wafer, Global Brand Director 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 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, Senior Engineering Project Manager
Speaking at a lunch to officially open the distillery, Diageo CEO, Ivan Menezes said: “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.”
At the start of this decade, there were four working Irish whiskey distilleries, now with the opening of the Roe & Co Distillery, there will be 27. The distillery will distil 14,000 litres of whiskey in every run, with an annual maximum capacity of approximately 500,000 litres of alcohol.
Gráinne Wafer added: 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.”
The new home for Roe & Co has already garnered global attention, following the Lonely Planet announcement in October, which named the distillery one of the 10 best new openings in the world for 2019.
The 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 bar ware. The contemporary tiki illustration reflects key elements of the Roe & Co story, from St Patrick’s Tower and the pear tree which has stood in the grounds of the former George Roe Distillery since the 17th century, to the iconic chimneys of Dublin’s skyline.
ABOUT ROE & CO IRISH WHISKEY DISTILLERY AND EXPERIENCE
Guests to the distillery will clock in and clock out as they commence a ‘shift’ at the Power Station with a time card, a nostalgic nod at the building’s past. Tour groups will trace the rise and fall of Irish whiskey at the new Roe & Co Distillery and celebrate its current revival which is evident in the country today.
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 distillery boasts three unique copper stills and can run both triple distillation and double distillation, under the talented eye of Head Distiller Lora Hemy and her team.
Visitors will be treated to an exploration of the Roe & Co working distillery, located in the former Guinness Power Station in the heart of Dublin’s buzzing Liberties district. Fun and flavour are at the centre of every aspect of the Roe & Co visitor experience, which will transport guests on a journey of taste and discovery. Guests will enjoy a fully immersive 75-minute tour and get the chance to observe the operational live distillery, hear the hum of production and witness the copper pot stills and mash tun from an impressive elevated glass walkway.
During the intimate tour visitors will learn about the history of George Roe, who ran his distillery until the 1920’s and helped build the golden era of Irish whiskey in the 19th century, putting it on the global map. Visitors will 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 blend. Take a deep dive into taste in the Flavours workshop where guests will explore the five pillars of flavour; sweet, sour, bitter, salty and umami, and uncover their ideal taste profile when it comes to whiskey cocktails. Finally, relax with one of Roe & Co’s World Class cocktails in the showstopping Power House Bar, designed by Drinksology, the creative minds behind some of the World’s 50 Best Bars.
The Roe & Co Distillery sits within a landscaped garden that is home to a wide variety of Irish wildflowers and home-grown ingredients. These will be used to create the seasonal cocktail serves on offer at The Power House Bar, created by world class bartenders.
Tours cost €25 per guest and includes whiskey tasting, a flavours workshop and a complimentary cocktail in the Power House Bar. Tours run from 11am-5pm daily, seven days a week.