Gelston's 15-year-old single malt

This is a nice single malt that I was recommended at Shelbourne bar - the never-ending source of good Irish whiskey.

Gelston is an old brand from Belfast, founded by the wine and spirits merchant Samuel Gelston in 1830, and it was taken over by Harry J Neill after Samuel died in 1869. The brand has now been revived by a Neill descendant – Johnny Neill. The whiskey itself is made by Bushmills.

Some year ago I wanted all whiskeys to be total flavour bombs, primarily at least finished in sherry casks and bottled at cask strength. Since then my taste has changed a lot, or it’s possible that it’s more about my attitude. I still love a nice cask strength sherry (or other fancy wine casks) finished dram, but I also very much appreciate more subtle flavours, and I’ve come to love a really well-made bourbon cask matured Irish whiskey. This is one of them.

Gelston's 15-year-old single malt
Gelston's 15-year-old single malt


My first impression is an overload of green apple. Then grapes, and an odd mixture of biscuits and black pepper.


Pear. Buttery biscuits? A slightly oily feel. Sweet but not too sweet. Nice and fresh, with a peppery finish and a hint of wood.

This is a nice whiskey that is still available to buy at Celtic whiskey shop and around the country in different Off Licence shops. If you’re outside Ireland you can also buy it – and other Gelstons – at Master of malt (they don’t ship to Ireland for some reason). I personally bought a bottle at the Off Licence in Kenmare, Kerry. Maybe a bit overpriced but it’s still a nice whiskey and as I wrote in the post about the Burke’s 14-year-old single malt, I like seeing old brands being revived.