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 launch showcases a unique wood type, Japanese Sugi, as well as a maturation process never before seen within the category.
The distiller explained that 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,' it added.
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.
The whiskey maker highlighted that this process 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.
Lora Hemy, head distiller at Roe & Co Irish Whiskey explained, "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,” she said.
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.
George Harper, master blender for Roe & Co noted that while looking to create unique flavours as a blender, they turned to raw materials such as wood to add that depth and uniqueness to the liquid.
A total of ten casks were laid down and given the exploratory nature of this innovation, Roe & Co explained and 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.
"Irish Whiskey regulations allow us to look beyond oak and so working with Japanese Sugi wood has been a really exciting process for us," Harper said.
"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,” he added.
Roe & Co Japanese Sugi is exclusively available from the Roe & Co Distillery and is now available via the distillery’s online store.
Priced at €80 per bottle, Roe & Co Japanese Sugi will be available for shipment across ROI and NI.