The book narrates the story of three generations of the Wise family as they became Cork-based merchant princes. It is also the story of their North Mall distillery, the then largest in Cork city , which even rivalled the great distilling houses of Dublin.
Barry Crockett joined the staff of Midleton Distillery at seventeen as a laboratory assistant, before moving to the production side, ultimately becoming Head Distiller. A BA and BCL, and a diploma in genealogy, have since helped provide research skills used to study the Wise family and distillery.
Stephen D'Alton first started investigating the Wise family in 2006 as he suspected a connection between his Cork-based Wises and those of the distillery. In 2019 he discovered Barry Crockett's thesis, where he found that his ancestor, Francis George Wise, was a partner in the North Mall distillery.