When you see a new whiskey on the shelf and it says Batch 1, you just gotta have it. This was the case with Roe & Co Blended Irish whiskey, which I picked up a few months ago.
I’ve never had Batch 1 of anything, so it was a no-brainer. Irish whiskey in general has seen a big surge in popularity lately and I wasn’t going to leave this one on the shelf as it was only £28.
It may be the newest Irish whiskey offering from Diageo, but I’m one who doesn’t care about who produces the whiskey – I care about what it’s like. Sure, I’d rather support the smaller, craft-type distilleries, but quality is the name of the game when it comes down to it.
So, let’s get into this a bit more. Launched just around a year ago, Roe & Co is Diageo’s re-entry into the Irish whiskey market. Named after George Roe, a whiskey maker whose eponymous Dublin distillery was once Ireland’s largest, Diageo are drawing a link between the fact that Roe’s distillery was next door to the (now Diageo-owned) Guinness brewery for hundreds of years.
A blend of malt and grain whiskeys with a minimum age of five years that have been aged in predominantly first-fill ex-bourbon casks, Roe & Co is non-chill-filtered and has an ABV of 45%. Before getting into any nosing or tasting notes, this in itself is a plus. Non-chill-filtered automatically raises things up for the true whiskey lover.
APPEARANCE: Light, golden.
NOSE: Honey, vanilla, toffee apple with lightly spiced pear. Light on the nose, but aromas are nice both standing out and blending well together. The aroma also has a richness to it which holds all the aromas together and brings out a note of nicely baked pear. A really lovely blend or aromas.
PALATE: Spiced apple and pear with a drizzle of honey. A bit of a smooth nutty, malty feel with oak also manifests itself. It retains the sweetness of the nose, but the palate also shows a darker side, particularly as it lingers to a finish, with char and dark toffee/coffee coming through. Very nice indeed.
OVERALL: Roe & Co is light and smooth, with a subtle spicy edge. As my bottle is a Batch 1, I’ll be keeping it as a souvenir. And I’ll be keeping a bottle of this on my shelf too. It’s good value, it’s good whiskey and that extra proof gives it an edge it probably wouldn’t have at 40%. A good, solid choice that is good value. Don’t overlook it.
PC RATING: 84/100 (B)
SAMPLE SOURCE: From my own collection, bought from The Barbican SuperValu, Newcastle.
DISCLAIMER: I am not a whiskey expert, just a guy who loves whiskey and writing about it from a completely personal point of view. All opinions expressed are mine and the only influence on what rating I give comes purely from what I think of what’s in the bottle.