We work with nine carefully chosen ingredients, each lending their own individual characteristics, and all sourced with our usual attention to detail.
Sugar Kelp plays the starring role, bringing a complex, maritime edge to proceedings and we work with local diver and seaweed expert Lewis Mackenzie to gather this magical seaweed from our local seas and sea-lochs in a sustainable harvest.
Lewis picks the gold-green fronds from hidden underwater forests by hand during the spring and summer months, before taking them to be dried locally. During the winter months, the kelp is left to recover and grow, ensuring this vital local habitat for sealife is not harmed.
There are also eight other ingredients at play, each of which shines through thanks to our ‘less is more’ approach.
So, we have the joy of Juniper berries first and foremost, providing the basic gin character familiar to us all, giving green notes of leaf and pine. Coriander seed provides citrus and spice flavours, with discreet orange and grapefruit twists.
Cassia bark lends a gentle bitterness to the mix, as well as bringing the welcome warmth of cinnamon and a degree of mixed spice. Angelica root gives some sweet floral notes and adds to the wider green grassy and herbal aspects of our spirit.
Bitter orange peel, paradoxically, adds both bitter and sweet tastes and, as you might expect, is very important in adding to the citrus flavours we love. Cubebs (an Indonesian spice) give a peppery flavour with an almost ginger-like note, as well as contributing to the overall complexity.
Liquorice root is not added in sufficient quantities to give a direct anise flavour. Instead, it builds on the sweetness. Finally, Orris root brings it all together, smoothing and integrating the other botanicals to ensure a well-rounded finish to the disparate flavours.
Together, in carefully calculated quantities, our distillers achieve a wonderful balance between the bitter and sweet, the gentle spice and the soft floral. Next time you pour your Isle of Harris Gin, do see what you can discern from this interesting interplay but, most importantly of all, please enjoy!