Isle of Harris Distillery prepares for launch of first whisky

Isle of Harris Distillery prepares for launch of first whisky

The Isle of Harris Distillery is preparing to launch its first single malt whisky on 22 September.

‘The Hearach’, as the whisky will be known - meaning a native of Harris in Scottish Gaelic - has been made by local men and women each trained from scratch in the art of distilling. 

Celebrations on their launch weekend begin at 14.00 on the 22nd at a private event but people are cordially invited to join them for an hour long live-stream online from 14.30 via the distillery’s website.

Live Gaelic singing performances will mark the moment, alongside speeches from a number of the team, before a shared toast with the dram.

Later that evening, a traditional ‘cèilidh’ will be held in the village community centre with more live music. Sadly, the hall lacks the space to welcome everyone but the distillery extends a warm invitation to support the ‘fringe’ events in the local hotel bars where people can enjoy more live music and sample the whisky from 19.00.

Isle of Harris Distillery prepares for launch of first whisky

The first 7 batches of The Hearach single malt officially go on sale in the UK the next day Saturday 23rd September at 10am both online and at the distillery. The whisky will then be made available in bars, restaurants, and specialist retailers across the UK and in over 20 countries globally from October. 

The distillery is expecting a large turn-out on the Saturday as the shop opens its doors and requests that customers come dressed for the weather and a potential wait in the queue.

Opened in 2015, the distillery was built to act as a symbol of hope and optimism for the Harris community by creating sustainable jobs for local people and supporting the wider island economy. 

Starting life with just a team of 10 locals, today the distillery family numbers some 48 full-time staff, making the Tarbert-based business the biggest private employer in Harris. The distilling team is testament to the Company’s commitment to the development of young people’s careers, with 4 distillers with an average age of 25 making whisky under the mentorship of head distiller Norman Ian Mackay. 

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