Fair Winds And Following Seas

As a small island community we are, in many ways, defined by the waters which surround us. Our villages nestle along the Harris coastline, by deep bays and rugged inlets, with many of our friends and families owning small boats for business and pleasure. For centuries we’ve worked upon the waves, drawing sustenance from the sea by long lines and baited creels. Langoustines and lobster, crab and cuddies, mackerel and much more all make their way to our plates and further afield, to restaurants in Spain and beyond.
The profound influence of the ocean which bounds us on all sides can even be seen in our Isle of Harris gin, the bottle hue giving hints of deep water blue, the glass rippled like waves, a sturdy vessel carrying our message to far away shores. The spirit we fill it with too speaks of the sea, infused with Sugar kelp, gathered by a local diver and harvested from forests far beneath the surface, imbuing sweet and subtle maritime notes.

So it’s no surprise to find ourselves supporting this weekend’s exciting St. Kilda Challenge, the inaugural yacht race to St Kilda, the legendary island and World Heritage Site some 45 miles off our western margins. The race, brainchild of our good friend Gus Macaulay, begins from Pabby at the western end of the Sound of Harris. The yachts then sail out to the St Kilda archipelago, around the towering stacs of Lee and An Armin and the islands of Hirta, Dun, Soay and Boreray, before making for the return leg and finish line in the Sound of Harris. 
It’s a beautiful but challenging journey which will take around 24 hours to complete, all being well. We’re also proud to say that as well as being one of the event’s official partners our very own Kenny Maclean, the distillery’s head of production, is taking part, setting off at 9am this morning with the other participants from all over the world. We wish him smooth sailing and rest assured there will be a good measure of Isle of Harris Gin awaiting his return.

It’s great to be involved in such positive events as these and we look forward to playing a role in many more to come. We’re also very hopeful that the proposals for a new marina in East Loch Tarbert, where our distillery now stands, come to fruition in the near future. What better way to navigate your way to us than with a full sail and an anchor ready to be cast just yards from our door? Meantime here’s to the men and women of the sea, fair winds and following seas to you all!

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