DISTILLER SPOTLIGHT

Roe & Co Distillery
Lora Hemy

By Colin Hampden-White

Roe and Co Distillery

Whisky is having a boom time right now, and it’s not only Scotch that’s getting in on the action. Irish whiskey is having a heyday as well. From only having two distilleries in Ireland in the 1980’s, more than 35 distilleries have opened in the last few years. One of those is the Roe & Co distillery in Dublin, which is owned by Diageo. The first distiller to work there, helping to build the distillery and now making the whiskey, is Lora Hemy.

Lora comes from the Black Isle in Scotland and started her career about as far away from whisky as one could get. Her first degree is in fine art as she wanted to be a painter, and she has also spent time as a DJ. Lora eventually became bored with two dimensions and developed an interest in perfume, which led her to whisky with all of its aromas and flavors. Having gained a love for whisky, Lora decided to take the brewing and distilling course at the prestigious Herriot Watt University in Edinburgh, passing at the top of her class.

After a short time consulting, Lora was snapped up by Halewood Artisanal Spirits as their head of distillation, where she helped build the Aber Falls distillery in Wales. She then spent a year at ATOM brands before finally settling at Roe & Co. distillery. As Dublin’s newest distillery, the brand is known for innovation, which is perfect for Lora. By buying stock as their own mature, Roe & Co has created some great whiskeys. They have now laid down their first mature stocks, at just over three years old. It shouldn’t be long before the whiskey Lora is making finds its way into the Roe & Co blends; if they are as good as everything else she’s done, I can’t wait to try them.

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