Samuel Gelston’s Launches Irish Whiskey Finished in Sam Neill’s Pinot Noir Casks – Irish Whiskey News

Samuel Gelston’s Launches Irish Whiskey Finished in Sam Neill’s Pinot Noir Casks

Samuel Gelston’s has announced the launch of its latest expression – a Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey, matured in actor Sam Neill’s Pinot Noir casks.

The new release is the result of collaboration between Gelston’s owner, Johnny Neill and Sam, who is based in New Zealand. It sees the cousins bringing together the two sides of the family, whilst also merging the brilliant flavours and aromas of the two hemispheres.

The liquid has been triple distilled and matured for 19 months in ex-bourbon casks, before spending a further 21 months maturing in Sam’s French oak casks, which had previously held his prestigious Central Otago Pinot Noir.

It is malty on the nose with hints of strawberry, nutmeg and tropical fruit. On the palate it is big, rich and sweet, with a hint of dryness, a note of blackcurrant and dash of spice – all with sweet, jammy notes on the finish.

Johnny Neill

Johnny Neill, owner of Samuel Gelston’s Irish Whisky, said; “The Neill family have been making quality spirits for generations. My Great, Great Grandfather Harry Neill set up the successful McCallum Neill & Co in Australia in 1851, and Percival, one of his younger brothers set up Messrs Neill & Co in Dunedin in 1882 – Percival was Sam Neill’s Great Grandfather.

Sam Neill

“Sam and I have continued this legacy in our respective sides of the world – I’ve been focused on the creation of artisanal spirits using local ingredients, whereas he has dedicated nigh on 30 years winegrowing super premium pinot noir. For the first time in 150 years, we’re bringing together the expertise from both sides of the family  – the result being an incredibly exciting sweet, honeyed and very inviting Single Pot Still Whiskey”.

Samuel Gelston’s Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey finished in Pinot Casks (40% ABV, 70cl), is available via the Drop Store now.   


More about Samuel Gelston’s Irish Whisky

Samuel Gelston’s Old Irish whiskey was founded in 1830 by Samuel Gelston. It was a time when Irish whiskey was famous around the world.

Samuel, a wine and whiskey merchant from Belfast, made it his mission to source, blend and bottle the best Irish whiskey from across Ireland. At the time there were 88 licensed distilleries on the island, and Samuel selected the very highest quality liquids for each bottle.

In 1869, upon Samuel’s death, the business was bought by Harry J. Neill. Harry had previously left Ireland’s shores with his younger brother Percival in order to make their fortunes in the Australian Gold rush of 1851. Having set up and subsequently sold his successful provisions business in Melbourne & Geelong, Harry returned to Belfast and purchased Gelston’s. His brother travelled on to New Zealand to set up Messrs Neill & Co in Dunedin in 1882.

Harry was the son of a Belfast merchant and French wine importer and was passionate about whiskey – indeed his grandfather and great grandfather had been whiskey distillers in Comber in the 1750s and 1760’s. He therefore continued their and Samuel Gelston’s legacy of sourcing, blending and bottling the very finest whiskeys, and developed the Gelston’s Irish whiskey brand around the world.

However, the Irish Whiskey landscape faced serious challenges as it entered the 20th century, and the combined effects of World War I, the Irish War for Independence and finally Prohibition, resulted in the near collapse of the Irish Whiskey industry – which, in turn, led to the demise of Samuel Gelston’s Irish Whiskey.

The brand remained with the Neill family, and five generations on it has now been brought back to life by Harry’s great great grandson, Johnny Neill. Johnny and well-known master distiller Frank McHardy made it their mission to journey across Ireland again to source, bottle and blend the best liquids they could find and Samuel Gelston’s Old Irish Whiskey was reborn.

The current collection includes Samuel Gelston’s Single Malt, Single Pot Still, 5 Year Old Single Malt, 10 Year Old Single Malt, 15YO Single Malt, 26 Year Old Single Malt. Cousins, Johnny & Sam Neill, descendants of Harry and Percival have joined forces on the latest launch that marries Johnny’s Irish Whiskey with Sam’s Pinot Noir New Zealand Wine Casks.

This exciting brand is back doing what it did best.

More about H J Neill Ltd

HJ Neill Ltd are craft spirit purveyors responsible for Samuel Gelston’s Irish Whiskey, The Pleasure Gardens Distilling Company, Mary-Le-Bone Gin, Yattendon Distillery and the Berkshire Botanical artisan spirit collection. 

Drinkaware is an independent UK-wide, alcohol education charity with the objective of positively changing public behaviour and the national drinking culture. It aims to reduce alcohol misuse and minimise harm by helping people make better choices about their drinking. It achieves this by providing impartial, evidence-based information, advice and practical resources; raising awareness of alcohol and its harms and by working collaboratively with partners (including the medical community, public health, third sector organisations, local authorities, police and the drinks industry).

Drinkaware has more than 100 funders, including UK alcohol producers, retailers in the on-trade and off-trade, and wholesalers.

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