The award-winning Isle of Harris Gin is made in the village of Tarbert, every drop distilled in a small copper gin still known as 'The Dottach', before being bottled and sealed by hand. The inclusion of local, hand-harvested Sugar Kelp speaks of the island's deep connections to the sea while working with eight other carefully chosen botanicals.
A well-defined juniper note with pine needles, immediately followed by the fresh citrus notes of bitter orange, lime and grapefruit. Develops a complex floral note of rose and wallflowers with crushed green herbs, coriander and gooseberry all underpinned by mixed spice. Sugar Kelp adds to the complexity and richness and gives a dry maritime note.
Much more than just a pretty bottle!
|Style||London Dry, Citrus, Maritime, Rich, Sustainable|
|Where's it from?||Isle of Harris, Hebrides, Scotland
About the Distillery and Process
Every drop of the award-winning Isle of Harris Gin is made in the small village of Tarbert.
The local distillers created this first offering from the island distillery in a small copper gin still which sits alongside her larger whisky-making sisters in the distillery's bright Spirit Hall.
The gin still has the nickname 'The Dotach' in honour of a similarly small and feisty local woman who is fondly remembered in Harris from days gone by.
Sugar Kelp seaweed is used, having been gathered sustainably by hand from local sea-lochs, as the key botanical to express the island's unique maritime nature.
The spirit is softened by the fresh, low-mineral rainwaters which flow from the nearby source stream of Abhainn Cnoc a ’Charrain.
Isle of Harris Gin is bottled by hand at the distillery, before applying the labels and closing each one with a natural cork and wood stopper.
Finally, they apply a paper seal bearing the distillery's geographical coordinates to every single bottle by hand, your guarantee of a truly Outer Hebridean gin, made in the Isle of Harris and nowhere else
No effort nor expense is spared in making Isle of Harris Gin the best it can be.
During the distillation process they truly do something quite unusual to create a gin which is exceptionally smooth and luxurious to taste.
Each distillation done can be divided into three parts: the heads, the heart, and the tails. Or, put more simply, the beginning, middle and end.
The heads are the first part of the crystal clear liquid which will flow from the still, high in strength but poorer in flavour.
Then comes the heart, the very best of the distilling run and the part they strive to capture.
Finally, the weaker tails emerge, also less desirable in terms of taste, as the distilling process comes to a close.
Some gin-makers may 'recycle' these heads and tails, returning them to the still to be used again, but in this case they remove them from the process entirely.
It is an expensive decision for them to make but it means they only ever bottle the purest heart, ensuring every drop of Isle of Harris Gin shared with the world holds only the very best of the distilling craft.
The result is a luxuriously smooth and complex spirit of superior quality, perfect to sip on its own, enjoy over ice or in a classic Martini.
Every step of the Isle of Harris Gin journey is placed in the care of skilled local hands.
Friend of the distillery and local diver Lewis Mackenzie, is responsible for managing the underwater seaweed forests where Sugar Kelp grows during the warmer months. A former scallop diver, he now handpicks the best gold-green fronds of Sugar Kelp to help make Isle of Harris Gin.
This defining ingredient in the island spirit-making is then dried for them by the expert team at Hebridean Seaweed Company in the nearby town of Stornoway and sent directly to the distillery in Tarbert.
There, the five local distillers and two trainees perfect their craft, setting to work each day creating the Isle of Harris Gin we know and love in small batches and with traditional technique.
In this way, the success of the distillery's first release is directly connected to the creation of sustainable island employment as more jobs are made to help meet demand and, in turn, support the islands' often fragile economy.
They are proud to be finding roles for young people, like new recruit Rebekah Morrison who has joined them as an apprentice distiller after leaving school, this will allow her to learn her craft while she continues to live in her Harris home."
By keeping every aspect of the business local, Isle of Harris Gin is generating work and vital full-time jobs within their community, allowing them to realise the distillery's ambitions to help the beautiful island survive and thrive.
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