When most people think whiskey, they think Scottish. Over the water in Ireland though, they’ve been making fine, distinctive, whiskeys (in Gaelic – fuisce or uisce beatha) a very long time.

In fact in the 1890s Ireland had no less than 28 distilleries, but by 1972 one monopoly held sway. That ended in the 1980s and Irish whiskey has been the fastest-growing spirit in the world every year since 1990 and now there are around 32 distilleries

So what makes Irish whiskey different to Scotch whisky? Is it the accent?

In a way yes, Irish whiskey is a lot smoother and without the smokiness found in Scotch whisky, which comes from peat smoke used to dry the barley] Peat is not often used in the malting process outside of Scotland. 

Which leads us to Samuel Gelston.Established in Belfast in the 1830s, and purchased by Harry Neill in 1869, the Samuel Gelston’s brand is doing famously.

It’s remained in the Neill family for five generations. The business is now being revived by Harry Neill’s, great, great grandson, Johnny Neill, who has followed in Harry’s footsteps to create a six-strong line-up of innovative, quality Irish whiskeys with exceptional cask finishes and rate aged single malts.

Samuel Gelston’s Blended Irish Whiskey is now available from 180 Waitrose stores across the UK,
RRP £20.

The range is also available in Booths, specialist whisky retailers, and also online via

Irish Whiskey comes in various styles

Single pot still whiskey is made from a mixture of malted and unmalted barley completely distilled in a pot still within a single distillery. Usually called”pure pot still” whiskey and “Irish pot still whiskey”

Grain whiskey is whiskey made in a column or Coffey still from a variety of grains. It’s mostly used to make blended whiskey.

Blended whiskey – A mixture of the two styles, and now the most common style of Irish whiskey.

Samuel Gelston’s Blended Irish Whiskey
Samuel Gelston’s Single Malt Irish Whiskey

Samuel Gelston’s Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey

Samuel Gelston’s Aged 5 Years Sherry Cask Finish Single Malt Irish Whiskey

Samuel Gelston’s 12 Year Old Single Malt Irish Whiskey

LIMITED EDITION – Samuel Gelston’s Single Pot Still Pinot Noir Finish Irish Whiskey