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6 Years: A Quiet Celebration

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Isle of Harris Gin, Batch No.1 from September 2015

On the 24th of September 2015, we opened our distillery doors and welcomed in friends and family from the Harris community as we gathered around the hearth for the first time.

We lit an inaugural peat fire after some heartfelt words from our founder Burr, managing director Simon, and vice lord-lieutenant of the Western Isles, John Murdo Morrison.

Three generations of Hearach placed a fàd of peat on the growing blaze to mark the occasion, and that evening we threw the biggest ceilidh our island had ever seen in the then empty on-site warehouse.

The first fire lit in the distillery hearth.

We had just 1,004 bottles of Isle of Harris Gin on sale that day, and as the queues formed to snap up this special edition, we perhaps should not have been surprised at what was to come.

Initially, the plan was just to sell our new Sugar kelp infused creation to distillery visitors, but the reaction to its release was soon quite overwhelming.

Thanks to the power of social media, word of our work spread like moor fire, and Isle of Harris Gin soon became one of the most sought after spirits in the country.

The first warehouse cèilidh, September 24th 2015.

Today in 2021 the warehouse is full of maturing whisky.

Within a year, we experienced what was to become known as The Great Isle of Harris Gin Drought of 2016, when we ran out of bottles to sell!

The national press has a field day with the news, but only served to create even more demand with gin-loving customers when we finally replenished the shop shelves.

And the rest, as they say, is history...

Before the distillery was built, just a car park by the harbour walls.

Today, our distillery stands proud by the sea.

Back then, we set out to bring our Outer Hebridean home to the world, share our story with all those who would listen, build a successful island business, and create sustainable local jobs.

Happily, we've done just that, and we're particularly proud to have grown the team here in Tarbert from a founding family of ten to over thirty full-time local men and women.

Today, our island's name is known from New York to New Zealand, and the contents of our beautiful bottles are being enjoyed in (almost!) every corner of the globe.

Making beautiful island spirits with local distillers like Domhnall Macleod.

While we continue to share our journey with you through this weekly Journal, please accept a huge thanks for your support and taking the time to read these online tales as the enterprise grows.

As we quietly celebrate six years of distillery life tonight, we're reminded that this is just the beginning. We have a historic whisky on the way, and many more great chapters are yet to unfold.

Rest assured, the best tales from here in the heart of Harris are still to be told.

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