Of course, we kept the No.1 Scottish Gin, as voted for in our Consumer Choice poll last year to last! The iconic Isle of Harris Gin has topped our public poll 2 years in a row – a testimony to how well-loved it is by the gin-drinking public. But what’s the story behind the famous bottle?
Isle of Harris Gin is the inaugural spirit release from the distillery which opened in late 2015.
Proudly a truly Outer Hebridean Gin, every drop is distilled in the small village of Tarbert where local distillers create it in a small copper gin still which sits alongside her larger whisky-making sisters in the distillery’s bright Spirit Hall.
Each stunning bottle is finished by hand at the distillery too, where the labels are applied and each one closed with a natural cork and wood stopper.
The team at Harris Distillery worked with an ethnobotanist to analyse dozens of potential botanicals from the island’s moors and machair before turning to the sea. Sugar Kelp seaweed was finally identified as the key botanical, and it is gathered by hand by diver Lewis Mackenzie from sea-lochs around the Outer Hebrides before drying.
It is then combined with 8 other botanicals from around the world to make this unique Scottish Gin in their small-batch, traditional copper still with ascending lyne arm with purifier, made by Frilli of Siena.
Their iconic bottle design embodies all elements of the distillery and community’s close connection to the sea.
Isle of Harris Gin was released in October 2015, selling exclusively from the distillery and online shop. Now available from a number of click ’n collect outlets, both the gin and the bottle have gone on to win multiple awards from both expert and consumer panels alike.
We spoke to Brand Ambassador Iona Cairns to find out about future plans and how they felt to be named No.1 Scottish Gin by the public:
– What does 2020 hold for Isle of Harris Gin?
2020 will see the Isle of Harris Distillery mark its fifth year of producing Outer Hebridean spirits and we are excited to continue to share the story of Isle of Harris Distillers. Our team are looking forward to continuing to provide a warm island welcome and sharing the work that we do here in Harris with those returning to visit our island shores as well as those joining us for the first time.
What were your biggest achievements last year?
Last year we were delighted to win ‘Exporter of the Year’ at the Scottish Gin Awards. This was a wonderful achievement for our team, we were delighted to have our work recognised and to see how far Isle of Harris Gin has come since the early days of 2015. We were also very proud to expand our team, creating more job opportunities, not only on the island but also through the opening of a new Brand Ambassador position on the mainland.
What are you (and your team) personally looking forward to this year?
We are looking forward to continuing to spread awareness of our island spirit as well as the story of our island distillery. Our Brand Ambassadors plan to attend events up and down the country to share a taste of our spirit so do look out for their events in Glasgow, Edinburgh and London in the coming months.
What did it mean to you to be voted No.1 in the 2019 (and 2018) Consumer Choice Awards?
We were absolutely delighted and truly honoured to be voted No. 1 in the Consumers Choice Awards for the second year running. The support from our loyal customers is very much appreciated by the entire team here at the Isle of Harris Distillery and so our many thanks go to them for their continued support.
Who will triumph in the Consumer Choice Awards in 2020? Not long till we find out!
Please enjoy Scottish Gin responsibly.