The story of Gerston whisky is a tale of two distilleries, known as Gerston One and Gerston Two. Gerston One was a family-owned farm- house scale distillery, with a typically small output, making high quality spirit that was in demand both at home and further afield. It was enjoyed by the great and good of London society and had customers as far apart as Brazil and India. It existed for over eighty years, and remained in the Swanson family for nearly all of that time.
Gerston Two was an industrial scale distillery with a capacity of 80,000 gallons of spirit per year. The owners hoped to emulate the success of the whisky from Gerston One by building a new distillery, which had a capacity almost ten times the size of Gerston One. When it was opened in 1886 it was arguably the most innovative and modern distillery in Scotland, and certainly the largest distillery in Caithness. Its design utilised a natural fall in the land, which allowed gravity to govern the process and the movement of liquids. Production at Gerston Two lasted for little over two decades ‚Äì they were unable to replicate the success and, importantly, quality of spirit previously associated with the Gerston name.
The Gerston distilleries were located in Halkirk in Caithness ‚Äì a remote area in the far north of Scotland. The economy in this part of Scotland is primarily farming and fishing based, although large parts of the region are comprised of rocks and bog, and unsuitable for cultivating or tending animals. It was, however, ideal territory for hiding and operating unlicensed stills. Excise returns for 1826 show at least 17 licensed distilleries in the area, with the Caithness Courier reporting over 200 convictions for unlicensed distillation in the county that year! To read the full history of Gerston Distilleries please click here.
The Lost Distillery Gerston is a modern day replica of this historic malt, but remaining true to the original taste profile of this whisky. Bottled at 46% alc/vol.
NOSE: Malty, sultana, a trace of allspice, a slight smoky note, and hints of hard toffee. Smoke note developing over time.
PALATE: Soft, initially sweet with hints of smoke and a mineral twist.
FINISH: Medium to long, smoke and a touch of pepper.