Guinness owner Diageo to launch new Irish whiskey

Undated handout photo issued by Diageo of a bottle of Roe & Co Irish whiskey, which is to be launched by Diageo as it looks to tap into the booming popularity of the tipple
Undated handout photo issued by Diageo of a bottle of Roe & Co Irish whiskey, which is to be launched by Diageo as it looks to tap into the booming popularity of the tipple

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 25 million euro (£18.6 million) into a start-up premium blend.

Undated handout photo issued by Diageo of master blender Caroline Martina with a bottle of Roe & Co Irish whiskey, which is to be launched by Diageo as it looks to tap into the booming popularity of the tipple

Undated handout photo issued by Diageo of master blender Caroline Martina with a bottle of Roe & Co Irish whiskey, which is to be launched by Diageo as it looks to tap into the booming popularity of the tipple

The whiskey 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.

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

Irish agriculture minister Michael Creed hailed the investment, adding that global Irish whiskey sales have increased by more than 300% in the past 10 years, with record exports of over 400 million euro (£344 million).

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

Undated handout photo issued by Diageo of a bottle of Roe & Co Irish whiskey, which is to be launched by Diageo as it looks to tap into the booming popularity of the tipple

Undated handout photo issued by Diageo of a bottle of Roe & Co Irish whiskey, which is to be launched by Diageo as it looks to tap into the booming popularity of the tipple

"It is seeing a return to the success it experienced in its golden era in the 19th century and is now the fastest growing spirit drink in the world."

Production at the Dublin plant 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.