Belfast Telegraph

Guinness owner to distil a new whiskey in heart of old Dublin

By Staff Reporters

Drinks giant Diageo is to launch a new Irish whiskey as it looks to tap into the booming popularity of the tipple.

The owner of Guinness, Captain Morgan rum and Johnnie Walker Scotch said that it will pump €25m (£18.6m) into a start-up premium blend.

It will be dubbed Roe & Co, after 19th-century whiskey maker George Roe, with the investment to be made in the former Power Station at St James's Gate in Dublin - formerly a Guinness factory - in The Liberties.

Just over two years ago Diageo off-loaded Bushmills Whiskey - made in the Co Antrim village - to Casa Cuervo in Mexico in return for the tequila, Don Julio.

A spokesman for Diageo at the time denied the company was admitting defeat in the Irish whiskey market.

The popularity of Irish whiskey has soared, making it the fastest growing spirit drink in the world, according to the Irish Whiskey Association.

The Republic's Agriculture Minister Michael Creed welcomed the investment, adding that Irish whiskey sales have increased by more than 300% in the past 10 years, with record exports of over €400m (£344m).

He added: "Irish whiskey is experiencing a renaissance and is truly an Irish success story."

Production in Dublin will begin in the first half of 2019.

Earlier this month Diageo cheered rising profits thanks to a triple tonic from the Brexit-hit pound, robust Scotch sales and a strong US performance.

Colin O'Brien, operations director at Diageo, said: The planned distillery will provide employment in the coming years - both at construction and operation stages.

"It will complement what is already the country's most popular tourism offering, The Guinness Storehouse.

"This investment further demonstrates Diageo's commitment to the growing vibrancy of The Liberties, one of the City's most dynamic districts and the home of Irish Whiskey during the original golden age of Irish distilling."

Belfast Telegraph