Vintage George Roe Framed Advert promoting the health benefits of regular whiskey consumption.
27cm x 35cm Granard Co Longford
Roe & Co Whiskey is a contemporary whiskey brand steeped in a rich history. Named to honour the memory of George Roe, a whiskey maker whose distillery was in its time, the largest in Ireland (and possibly the world). George Roe helped build the golden era of Irish whiskey in the 19th century. As one of the biggest names in Irish Whiskey they were in good company. Their neighbours were, Powers Whiskey, John Jameson and The Dublin Whiskey Distillery or DWD for short. For hundreds of years George Roe and Guinness were two of the biggest names. The beating heart of Dublin’s historic brewing and distilling quarter in The Dublin Liberties.
Peter Roe purchased a small distillery on Thomas Street in the heart of Dublin In 1757. This proved to be a sound business decision and with their success the premises expanded. Such was the Roe’s the distillery soon fronted both Thomas Street and South Earl Street. In later years Richard Roe took over operations at Thomas Street from 1766 to 1794.
At the time in the “Kingdom of Ireland” laws restricted the expansion of distilleries to a certain size. This curtailed the Roe’s plans for expansion in 1782, so Richard Roe needed to be content with a capacity of 234 gallons.
To combat this problem another member of the family, Nicolas Roe, set up a distillery in Pimlico in the year 1784. The distillery was a larger operation. It was recorded as having a Pot Still capable of producing 1,165 gallons in 1802. This was replaced by an even larger 1,575 gallon still by 1807.
George Roe’s distillery was located just across the road from Arthur Guinness’ world-famous Guinness Brewery. 100 meters to be exact and it is said that they were avid business rivals. The Roe & Co. distillery at Thomas Street in Dublin extended over 17 acres and they were Ireland’s largest exporter of whiskey. When Roe’s site closed, Guinness bought the site and sold the remaining stock of liquid until it was depleted. Later they sold the entire site.
The amazing story of George Roe, his family and their famous whiskeys, had almost been lost to history since the distillery closed its gates in 1926. All that remains of the original distillery is a windmill tower and a pear tree that flowers to this day. But that lone pear tree was to be the inspiration for the reinvention of the exciting new brand Roe & Co.
The symbol of a pear is emblazoned on the bottom of each Roe & Co release to date and a symbol of the past that has built it’s bright future. George Roe’s original product was an age statement liquid and was pot still whiskey too. Diageo currently has no intention of recreating an old brand but instead is focused on the future and new beginnings for it’s brand new Whiskey.
Who knows what product releases we will see from distillery in Future. Only time will tell and I for one hope we will see the release of some age statement whiskey. We have already seen the Original Blend, a Cask Strength release and the Curators 0.1 series – So exciting times are ahead for the team at the Roe & Co Distillery.