Gerston

The below is taken from The Whisky Distilleries of the United Kingdom by Alfred Barnard first published in 1887.

Gerston Distillery, Halkirk.

WE took Halkirk on our way from Pulteney to Brora. The country round Halkirk is flat but well cultivated, and it has a special attraction to the angler in the splendid fishings in its neighbourhood. The village is situated on the river Thurso, one of the best angling streams in the North of Scotland.

The Gerston Distillery is situated about half a mile from the village of Halkirk and one mile from the railway station. It is also within six miles of Thurso, from which town there is a regular service of steamers to all parts of the country. Owing to its position and construction the Distillery is a commanding feature in the landscape, and has been erected close to the site of the old Gerston Distillery, which enjoyed a reputation for the excellence of its Whisky, said to have been due to the quality of the water, the sole rights to which have been conserved to the new Company. The buildings and plant are constructed on the most approved principles, full advantage being taken of a natural fall on the site for getting everything worked on the gravitation system. On the highest part of the ground are erected the Malt Barns, with Grain Lofts over them, adjoining which is the Malt Kiln, so arranged as to be easily loaded and discharged, and by a simple contrivance the application of the hot air to the malt is under complete control. From the Kiln the malt passes into the Deposit Room, thence into the Hopper, which supplies it to the Mill after being ground it is instantly elevated to the Grist Hopper, from whence it drops into the Mash Tun, and when the mashing is completed the grains drop through a sluice port into the Draff House, which is immediately under the Mash Tun.

From the Mash Tun the Worts pass into the Underbacks, and then flow by gravitation through the refrigerator into the Washbacks in the Tun Room, which adjoins the Still House. The Stills, which were manufactured by Willison & Co., are heated by steam from a large boiler placed at one end of the Still House. The latter vessel also supplies the steam for boiling the water in the Brewing Coppers in the Mash House; there is thus only one fire to stoke instead of four, the furnace being situated on the lowest level, close to the coal store. This arrangement effects a great saving of manual labour, and leaves the Mash and Still House beautifully clean.

The present proposed output is 2,000 gallons per week, or about 80,000 gallons per annum, but the Works have been so constructed that the output can, at little expense, be doubled if required. The whole buildings and internal fittings and plant have been carried out from the drawings and under the superintendence of Messrs. A. Maitland & Song, architects, Tain.