Deep in Kreis 4, we were treated to an introduction to new Irish Whiskey Roe & Co at Raygrodski Bar. Part of the Diageo portfolio, Roe & Co has been a three-year labour of love for the small team behind it.
A team that includes Peter O’Connor the Global Brand Ambassador who, sitting on his bar stool like Jackanory last night, took us back in time to the roots of Irish Whiskey and why this drink is an homage to a once very strong part of Dublin’s history.
Meet Roe & Co
Let us start by saying that this Zuri-Girl is somewhat of a Whisky aficionado at heart (spelled the Scottish way of course!) . We should spend more time celebrating the craftsmanship behind the drinks that form the backdrop to our social lives, and when someone comes along with a story as compelling as the one Peter told us last night – it makes you sit up and listen.
Everything about this Whisky is rooted in Dublin’s ‘spirited’ history. The brand takes its name from George Roe & Co, once one of the biggest Whisky distilleries in the world. Sitting in the heart of The Liberties in Dublin all that is left standing now is the St Patricks tower, built in 1751, and a Pear tree planted out the front dating from the 1850’s. The tower and the pear tree have pride of place on the new Roe & Co bottle and the site of the Roe & Co planned distillery is a stone’s throw away in the old Guinness Power House which used to provide power to the whole Guinness brewery operations!
An Idea is Born
Aside the history which has clearly driven the team behind Roe & Co, what struck us most was how passionately Peter talked about this Whisky being a barman-led creation (we’re using Barman as gender-neutral pronoun ladies so let’s get that straight!). The team behind the drink wanted to create something that a barman would use by choice in a cocktail instead of blindly reaching for a bourbon. The challenge was creating a whisky that would hold its structure and flavour when added, mixed or shaken or stirred with or to something else.
The mind’s eye pictures master blender Caroline Martin and her team in a lab locked away somewhere filled with glass vials and jam jars – almost like you imagine a Disney movie for adults – toiling away to make something unique. And toil away they did, Peter let slip that the Roe & Co we have in the bottle today is prototype 106…of 120… so we’re not exaggerating when I say this team were tireless in their efforts.
Everything about this Whisky has been created with those barmen in mind – so much so that they even involved Dublin’s top barmen during the blending process, under heavy cloak and dagger conditions of course, to taste some of the final prototypes. We know for sure it has passed muster with some discerning taste buds!
The Tasting Experience
If the story wasn’t interesting enough, the taste itself did not disappoint either!! The best way to describe it is as a ‘friendly’ whisky. This is not one you have to train or force yourself to like – it is just straight up super tasty. It starts of fruity on the nose with a hint of vanilla, then spicy when it hits the tongue. It has that warmth you characterise with Whisky, but not too much, and a lovely woody taste from the American oak majority first fill barrels. The finish is wonderfully fruity, with almost a caramelised taste to it… oh, and let’s not forget that note of pear giving the nod to George Roe himself and his pear tree.
Girls Night Out…with Whisky!
Our advice, grab your friends, grab a bottle of Roe & Co, and start discovering all the possibilities of this Whisky. We’ve even started you off with a creation below by the bar team at House, Dublin. We tried it last night thanks to Peter, and we may have found our new go-to apero!
The Roe & Co Peaches and Cream
by Kenneth Herlihy & The Bar Team at House Dublin
– 50ml Roe & Co
– 30ml Fresh peach
– 25ml Lemon juice
– 1 Barspoon of lavender infused honey
– 25ml Egg whites
– pinch of Cinnamon
– pinch of Chocolate
– Shaken and garnished with bee pollen, bitters and a cut flower
Article by Mhorag Sharp…Mhorag arrived in Zurich from Edinburgh in 2016 and has wasted no time in getting out and about in her new home. By day she is an Executive Recruiter but by night she is exploring the best of what CH has to offer. An avid lover of all things theater, music, books, culture if any of these are matched with a coffee, juice or a wine then that is where you’ll find her….that is, if she’s not doing some sport that requires a helmet and an insurance waiver! She also has a keen interest in personal and professional development and occasionally finds time to scribble on her