Saturday 29 April 2017

After 258 years of being the home of Guinness, St James's Gate is now set to add whiskey to production

Around 20 to 30 jobs will be created when the new distillery, which is subject to planning permission,  is up and running. 
Around 20 to 30 jobs will be created when the new distillery, which is subject to planning permission,  is up and running. 

Alan O'Keeffe

After 258 years of stout making at the Guinness brewery at the renowned Saint James's Gate in Dublin, plans to develop a whiskey distillery on the vast site are underway.

Today, Diageo launched a new luxury whiskey brand named Roe & Co which has been created by blending some of the finest whiskies from Ireland's existing distilleries.

When the new distillery goes into production in an old converted power plant at the site in 18 months, the newly distilled spirit will be be matured and used at some point in the future with other whiskeys to produce the blended whiskey, said Diageo's master blender Caroline Martin.

The new blend has already been matured in casks for more than five years. Roe & Co will be very much in the luxury category when it goes on sale next month with a retail price of around €35 a bottle.

Around 20 to 30 jobs will be created when the new distillery, which is subject to planning permission,  is up and running.  The workforce will include staff would will work in a new visitors' centre.

A total of €25m is being invested by Diageo in its move into the top end of the Irish whiskey market.

A total of €25m is being invested by Diageo in its move i
A total of €25m is being invested by Diageo in its move i

Roe & Co is made from the finest hand-selected stocks of Irish malt and grain whiskies and aged in bourbon casks.

The makers said it is "a perfect harmony between the intense fruitiness of the malt and the mellow creaminess of the grain whiskies."

The name Roe & Co was chosen to honour George Roe, a once world-famous Irish whiskey maker who had a big distillery on 17 acres on Thomas Street in Dublin. The distillery, which opened in 1757, two years before Arthur Guinness's brewery nearby, finally closed in 1926.

"The high proportion of first-fill casks gives notes of creamy vanilla balanced with its hint of fruit and soft spice," said master blender Caroline.

Colin O'Brien, operations director of Diageo, said "This investment further demonstrates Diageo's commitment to the growing vibrancy of The Liberties, one of the city's most vibrant districts and the home of Irish whiskey during the original golden age of Irish distilling."

Agriculture and Food Minister Michael Creed welcomed the launch of the new whiskey and the new distillery.

The minister said: "Irish whiskey is experiencing a renaissance and is truly an Irish success story. It is now the fastest growing spirit drink in the world with record exports of over €400m."

Jobs and Enterprise Minister Mary Mitchell O'Connor welcomed the investment which will help in the overall regeneration of The Liberties.

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