The first thing to note about Isle of Harris Gin is its beautiful, blue-hued glass bottle. A visually striking thing that is reminiscent of the sea in the rock pools next to the distillery where it’s made. But it’s not just the outside which is impressive; the liquid inside is noteworthy, too.
The development of Isle of Harris Gin took over two years, as the team worked with a botanist to assess the flora on the island and find suitable ingredients for the Gin.
Juniper, coriander, cassia bark, orris root, orange peel, cubeb and angelica root all add to the flavor, but it’s the local sugar kelp – a kind of seaweed – which sets Isle of Harris Gin apart.
The botanicals are macerated in a neutral grain spirit in a small copper pot still, but the sugar kelp is removed before distillation to avoid overpowering the delicate balance of the Gin’s flavor with its sugary but herbal taste.
Isle of Harris
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Isle of Harris
The only place to buy a bottle of Isle of Harris Gin is directly from the Distillery, a decision made to ensure that every bottle is personally presented, in the best possible light.
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The Isle of Harris Distillery opened its doors in September 2015, after a seven-year commercial drive to secure funding and the future of the distillery project. The Isle of Harris is located in the Hebrides; an island off the North West coast of Scotland.
Its industry relies on tourism, and the founders of the Distillery wanted to create something that would add to the island’s economy, boasting and celebrating its natural resources. Isle of Harris is described as a ‘social distillery’, which ties it back to the community which helped to build it.
Harris has a population of just over 1,900, and everyone who works with or on this brand feels very much a part of it. That’s why guests are invited to see the distillery at work six days a week, visit the shop (which sells local produce, not just the distillery’s wares) and have a drink around the fire afterward with the people who make it all happen.
A transcript for non-audio situations
Woman: This new facility in Tarbert, Harris provides islanders with employment opportunities and it also gives visitors a fabulous place to enjoy.
Anderson: The things that flow from the production of a good Malt Whiskey can benefit the community. The heart of something should be the fire, the living fire. The opening ceremony should really be about that. Inclusive of the community and of Harris is so important to us because we get everything from the island. I mean, the water is here that we're making the Whiskey from. It's running over the rocks, and the raw materials, and the good will from the island that's poured forth in the last few years.
Rachel: This distillery that's based in Tarbert here in a very fragile area, on a community on land will be transformational to the whole of the outer Hebrides. We're seeing the distillery already working with other food and drink producers to sell their produce here, to make this more of a destination, and selling the Hebrides brand.
Woman 2: And usually you finish off in the flavor room, but we're gonna be starting off in here. We want people to be aware of the different smells and aromas that they should be getting as they...as the... Lord
John: Well the benefits have started already because it's kept a lot of the local people working over the past two years, I should say. But as I look forward to the future, it's going to give a big boost to tourism, because distilleries attract people. And this one is unique. And so we see...