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Roe & Co launches Japanese Sugi Irish whiskey


Roe & Co Irish Whiskey today announced the launch of their latest innovation, Roe & Co Japanese Sugi. An award winning first in Irish Whiskey, with a Gold from The Spirits Business Irish Whiskey Master’s 2021, this exciting launch showcases a unique wood type, Japanese Sugi, as well as a maturation process never before seen within the category. This innovation spotlights new ways to truly celebrate layers of flavour and explore what’s possible within Irish Whiskey.

The team of expert Blenders and Distillers at Roe & Co are constantly striving to explore the boundaries and experiment, bringing to life new dimensions in the flavour experience. It was this energy and thirst for discovery that led to a technical twist in cask production, bringing unique flavour notes to life in whiskey through the use of different wood types.


Roe & Co Japanese Sugi Launch


A unique wood type and a maturation process was used in the creation of Roe & Co Japanese Sugi, which is a technical first for the Irish whiskey category. This involves elongating the length of the bungs and adding five of these to each cask, while using lightly toasted Japanese Sugi for its aromatic qualities. By increasing the surface area of the wood and inserting five bungs into the cask it results in a unique flavour profile, which delivers notes such as wood spice and tropical fruits.

The Japanese Sugi bungs were inserted to extend into the finishing of the whiskey, adding the unique flavour note descriptor profile that is so apparent. A total of ten casks were laid down and given the exploratory nature of this innovation, the expert team tasted the blend on a regular basis to closely monitor the liquids’ interaction with the wood.

Japanese Sugi was the ideal wood to use in this innovation as its porous nature imparts flavours fairly quickly, but also adds beautiful, natural aromatic and perfumery compounds to the liquid. Think matcha tea, toasted sandalwood, the sweetness of lychee and pineapple mint, earthy notes from orris wood and treacle toffee. These unique flavour notes are layered with the backbone notes from Roe & Co Blended Irish Whiskey, such as vanilla, toffee and spiced orchard fruits, it’s a journey for the senses.

Lora Hemy, Head Distiller at Roe & Co Irish Whiskey said;

“We are lucky to be part of such a bold, and evolving industry that we wanted to create something really special for this innovation and really stretch our imagination as to what we can achieve technically. East Asian wood species offer unique and beautiful aromatic compounds and the toasted Sugi in particular it really brings out flavours notes of matcha tea, toasted sandalwood, lychee, orris root and treacle toffee. Working with this wood has been extremely exciting for me. This experimental whiskey has Roe & Co as its backbone and is bursting with exciting new flavour components to compliment.”


George Harper, Master Blender for Roe & Co added;

“When looking to create unique flavours as a blender, we turn to raw materials such as wood to add that depth and uniqueness to the liquid. Irish Whiskey regulations allow us to look beyond oak and so working with Japanese Sugi wood has been a really exciting process for us. The liquid has a lovely base character, adding on layers of wood space, tropical fruit and grassy herbal notes, while retaining the character of Roe & Co.”


Roe & Co Japanese Sugi is perfect served neat, over ice, or built into Japanese inspired highballs. This new liquid joins a line of innovations from the brand since its inception in 2017, including Roe & Co Curators 0.1, Cask Strength 2019 and 2020 Editions and Distillery exclusives such as Single Malt, Single Grain and Cask & Keg, Guinness Open Gate Brewery Antwerpen Stout and Citra IPA editions.

Roe & Co Japanese Sugi will be exclusively available from the Roe & Co Distillery and available for pre-order from 18th August via the distillery’s online store. Priced at €80 per bottle, Roe & Co Japanese Sugi will be available for shipment across ROI and NI.

Link for pre-order from 18th August – https://shop.roeandcowhiskey.com/products/roe-co-japanese-sugi


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