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Gelston's Whiskey

The original Gelston's Irish whiskey brand was established in 1830 by Samuel Gelston. When he passed in 1869, the business was bought by Harry Neill, the great-grandfather of the man who eventually revived the brand, Johnny Neill. The founder of Whitley Neill Gin, he worked with Halewood to build on what Gelston’s historically did as an independent bottler, sourcing whiskey, and casks to finish some expressions.

The barrels are down in West Cork, with bourbon casks and some red wine casks, including Pinot Noir casks from New Zealand from a wine brand, called Two Paddocks owned by Johnny’s second cousin, Sam Neill. As in Jurassic Park Sam Neill. Harry Neill had actually ventured to Australia, motivated by the gold rush, before Gelston’s whiskey was his brand, in 1851. One of his younger brothers, Percival, went out to New Zealand and Sam is his great-grandson. Harry would then export Irish whiskey to New Zealand and Australia, so the brand has very much brought things back full circle.

The end goal is to build their own distillery in Ireland. Unfortunately, COVID and Brexit have impeded this ambition, but hopefully, there will be a Gelston’s distillery coming in the next few years.

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