the social distillery. by, for and from the isle of harris
Isle of Harris Distillery
Nestled high in Scotland's Outer Hebrides, the Isle of Harris Distillery welcomes all with a sense of adventure.
We make our spirit in a remote corner of the world but we'd love you to make the journey to join us someday soon.
You’ll find us in the small village of Tarbert, where the Isle of Harris pinches into an isthmus between two sea lochs, the harbour moorings and local pier just a stone’s throw from our door.
Whether crossing The Minch by sea or by air, all winding roads will eventually lead you to us from the north and south of the Outer Hebrides.
However you choose to travel, simply bring a sense of adventure and we'll be ready to welcome you when you finally arrive...
The Social Distillery
The Isle of Harris Distillery is known as 'The Social Distillery', an ethos which embraces the generous character of our island and the people who live here.
Although very much a working distillery, we open our doors six days a week, to connect with all those who want to learn more about our story and share our spirit.
A peat fire burns at the heart of the building in Tarbert, symbolising the warmth of an Outer Hebridean welcome and the life we are bringing to our wider community.
We have built a distillery on the Isle of Harris to be about people and to benefit the people of Harris. In the face of local population decline, we are a creator of sustainable employment and a catalyst for commercial growth.
We strive to be symbol of optimism and change and a new voice for the islands, a nourishing source of pride and belonging for the Hearach in all of us.
Isle of Harris Gin
The award-winning Isle of Harris Gin is our distillery's inaugural spirit release.
Every drop is distilled here in Tarbert in our small copper gin still, known affectionately as 'The Dottach' after a similarly fiery and feisty local woman.
The Dottach imbues our spirit with the complex delights of nine carefully chosen botanicals as we seek to capture the elemental nature of our island, particularly the maritime influences of the seas which surround us.
Of all our botanicals, it is Sugar kelp which is key to the subtle coastal notes that mark out our spirit.
Hand-harvested by a local diver from the deep underwater forests of the Outer Hebrides, this natural and sustainable ingredient completes the wider aspects of the gin's flavour profile.
Unlike many gin-makers, our distillers discard, instead of recycling, the 'heads' and 'tails' of their spirit run, leaving only the very best of the distillate's 'heart'.
We capture all this in a beautiful glass bottle, ribbed and rippled like the seas of Luskentyre, a gentle azure rising from its depths. There are subtle imperfections, dimples and dips to hold it safely while you pour a generous measure.
The label is simple but you will struggle to find any two alike, each individually flecked with fragments of copper leaf and Sugar Kelp.
A latin motto to live by hides beneath the reassuring weight of the base, while a simple wood and cork stopper is sealed with the coordinates of our distillery's location, your guarantee that this a truly Outer Hebridean gin.
The final result is a smooth and complex spirit which is wonderful to enjoy on its own or with a few drops of our Sugar Kelp Aromatic Water to heighten the subtle coastal notes in your glass.
Scotland's Favourite Gin Distillery
The Isle of Harris Distillery was named 2018's Scottish Gin Distillery of the Year at the annual Scottish Gin Awards.
Nominated alongside the team from Harris were the respected businesses of Eden Mill, Edinburgh Distillery, Glasgow Distillery Co. and MacQueen Gin, a strong indication of the standard set for this prestigious award.
We’re incredibly happy to receive this recognition of the hard work and achievements made so far. There have been many highlights and milestones along they way but we’re perhaps most proud of the secure local employment we continue to create and the sound foundation being set for our future generations.