|By Whisky Live Staff||19-02-2017|
Just two years after selling its Irish whiskey brand Bushmills, drinks giant Diageo PLC is investing 25 million euros in a new distillery to create a premium Irish whiskey at James’s Gate, the Dublin city home to the Guinness brewery.
The whiskey, to be named Roe & Co., will be a blend of hand-selected malt and grain whiskeys aged in bourbon casks, creating a smooth whiskey with a depth of flavour to target Europe’s currently flourishing cocktail culture.
The move comes at a time when Irish whiskey is enjoying a huge surge in popularity, growing 131% by volume globally in the last decade to beat the 13% rise for Scotch whisky and 56% gain for bourbon in the same period, as the Wall Street Journal reported, citing industry tracker IWSR.
Irish whiskey sales are smaller than Scotch and Bourbon sales volumes at just 7.8 million cases in 2015, but such strong growth rates make it the world’s fastest-growing spirit.
Growth has been driven by the US and specifically by demand for Jameson, the brand owned by Pernod-Ricard who reported a 16% rise in Jameson sales for fiscal 2016, driven by the US and South African markets.
Pernod-Ricard played a key role in promoting Irish whiskey when it joined with Irish distillers to provide global distribution opportunities for Jameson and other brands, said Mooney.
The new Roe & Co. whiskey is named after George Roe, who is credited with building the Irish whiskey business in the 19th century. His distillery extended over 17 acres in Dublin’s city center and was the biggest in Ireland at that time.