The Lost Distillery Company believes “it is a tragedy that over one hundred Scotch Whisky distilleries have been permanently closed during the last century.” The Lost Distillery Company has breathed life back into many of these distilleries, by painstakingly researching all of the important elements that made a distillery unique and then taking their research to heart by producing archival bottles of these magnificent ghosts.
One such distillery is Gerston, a North Highland producer that actually had two lives during their history. The original distillery opened by the Swanson family in 1796 and produced spirits until 1882. They were globally popular with customers as far away as Asia and Argentina. The malt was peated and exhibited a style that was traditional North Highland Coastal. Records indicate that both ex-Rum casks and ex-Wine casks were used in the aging process. After closing in 1882, the distillery remained closed until 1886, when it was reopened as a larger, more commercially-oriented distillery, producing un-peated malt. The distillery shuttered for good in 1914.
Recently, I came across a bottle of Gerston from my friends at Julio’s in Westboro, MA. The Archivist Bottle is exemplary of the original style of Gerston. This particular malt was bottled in 2017 after being finished in Ribera del Duero casks.
The malt is a pleasure on the nose and palate, showing a light briny bouquet with dried fruits, allspice and vanilla in the nose. The palate is smooth and slightly smoky with hints of juniper, caramel and saddle leather. Very long in the finish.
The Lost Distillery Company should be commended for their efforts! The revival of high-quality malts long deceased is a labor of love. While no one really knows whether their creations are actually representative of the original products, the results of their efforts are still wonderful libations that evoke the past beautifully.