Diageo Returns to Irish Whiskey, Plans Dublin Distillery

01 February, 2017, 00:54 | Author: Celia Hoffman

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".

In a news release, Diageo announced the launch of Roe & Co., a new premium blended Irish Whiskey that will debut in Europe beginning in March.

But the big news is that Guinness will be brewed in America for the first time since 1954, when the company closed its short-lived brewery in Long Island City, New York, and moved production back to Dublin.

Diageo has been absent from the Irish whiskey category since late 2014, when it sold Bushmills to Casa Cuervo, in exchange for Cuervo's 50% stake in Don Julio Tequila and roughly $400 million. The new brewery would be a home for new Guinness beers created for the United States market, while the iconic Guinness Stouts will continue to be brewed at St. James's Gate in Dublin, Ireland.

Diageo is just the latest major drinks maker to show an interest in Irish whiskey, with Beam Suntory, Brown-Forman and IIlva Saronno all having invested in brands recently.

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Roe & Co is non-chill filtered and bottled at 45% ABV with the brewers saying: "Its creamy vanilla balanced with its hints of fruit and soft spice and a remarkable depth for such an elegant and refined whiskey".

The company plans to build a mid-sized Guinness brewery and a Guinness visitor experience with an innovation microbrewery at the company's Relay site.

The new blend has already been matured in casks for more than five years.

The drink will join Johnnie Walker, Diageo's flagship Scotch whisky, as well as more regional names like Buchanan's and Windsor. The total project investment comes to €25m over three years. In addition, the Guinness visitor experience part of the project could create approximately 30 jobs.

"Irish-produced whiskey has never been as popular, garnering global acclaim and recognition".

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