NewsRoe & Co Unveils First Ever Irish Whiskey Aged In Japanese Sugi Casks

Roe & Co Unveils First Ever Irish Whiskey Aged In Japanese Sugi Casks


Roe & Co Irish Whiskey has announced the launch of Roe & Co Japanese Sugi. The new offering showcases a unique wood type, Japanese Sugi, as well as a maturation process never before seen within the category.

Born out of technical experimentation with Japanese Sugi wood, Roe & Co had to elongate the bungs and add five of these to each cask. By increasing the surface area of the wood and inserting five bungs into the cask it results in a unique flavor profile, which delivers notes of wood spice and tropical fruits.

Roe & Co Japanese Sugi bottle

The Japanese Sugi bungs were inserted to extend into the finishing of the whiskey, adding the unique flavor 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.

Roe & Co used Japanese Sugi wood because of its porous nature, which imparts flavours fairly quickly, but also adds 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.

“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,” said Lora Hemy, Head Distiller at Roe & Co Irish Whiskey. “East Asian wood species offer unique and beautiful aromatic compounds and the toasted Sugi in particular really brings out flavour 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 recommended to be 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 can be pre-ordered via the distillery’s online store until August 18. Priced at €80 per bottle, Roe & Co Japanese Sugi will be available for shipment across ROI and NI.

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