If you ask an Irish person about whiskey, then they will proudly tell you that it was originally an Irish spirit.
Although the origin of whisky is difficult to say for certain, it is generally accepted that it was originally brought to Scotland from Ireland. Monks, who mastered the art of distillation creating what was then know as Uisge Beatha (Water of Life), which evolved over the years to the word we now know as whisky.
Along the way, Irish Whiskey has had its ups and down, most notably in the 1900s when Powers, Jameson and Roe had all established distilleries and well known whiskey brands. All three blossomed and sold large volumes of whiskey for the next hundred years. Sadly, Thomas Street Distillery was closed in the early 1920s
Fast forward to now and Diageo have created a brand to honour George Roe and even plan to build St James’ Gate distillery near where Roe’s distillery once stood. This will take some time though, with building planned to start in 2019. So for now, we have to settle for a new blended whiskey created to pave the way.
Appearance: Deep, Rich Mahogany Brown
Aroma: Sweet caramelising brown sugar, with crisp fruity apples and pair flavours, then a creamy, buttery backdrop. All of this which combined to remind me of toffee apples and pear drop sweets.
Taste: Initially starting as you expect from an Irish whiskey, there are creamy, honeyed notes, which are sweet, smooth and moreish.
Then as the dram opens up, it moves towards something different. Here in the middle of the dram, there is a deeper, richer, fruiter note than most Irish Whiskeys. There are pear and apple notes, but they are ripe fruit notes, almost over ripe, like a stewed fruit. This part of the dram is also malty, creamy and biscuity, like an oatey crumble top.
Finally, there is a gentle, warming spice, like a dusting of cinnamon, which brings a warmth, but a sweet warmth that quickly turns to a creamy final note.
Mouthfeel: Sweet, fruity and gently warming.
Overall: This is genuinely interesting and high quality example of blended Irish whiskey, especially at its price point. I was served it neat from a tumbler, which was great, but also in a cocktail. Neat, the whiskey was easy to drink, but moreish, which would appeal to anyone that likes their whiskey to be smooth and sweet.
Then the cocktail was made with a good cup of ice, some freshly squeezed apples and pear juice (1:2 ratio), the whiskey and a dash of ginger beer. This made for a super refreshing, summery alternative to drinking the whiskey neat and really brought out the fruity qualities of the whiskey
This makes its a great example of whiskey that would appeal both to bartenders looking for something new to mix into high end cocktails, whilst still having lots to offer more ardent fans of drinking whiskey neat and unadulterated.
Real Dram Factor: 7.6
Source: We were served the whiskey and cocktail from a special Roe & Co bar at Smoked & Uncut Festival, which took place at the Pig Hotel near Bath.
More Information: You can find out more about the festivals here: http://www.smokedanduncut.com
and more about the whiskey here: https://www.diageobaracademy.com
Buy Online: Amazon – £30.00 with free delivery on Prime.