Introducing our story teller, Mike Donald

Real people are at the heart of what we do. From the men and women who have helped drive our plans forward, to the team of talented folk we’re gathering together at the distillery, and onwards to you, out there in the wider world, looking forward to the first drop of a truly Harris dram. Each and all will play a vital role in our endeavours.

As ‘The Social Distillery', we’d like everyone to get to know each other and really feel part of this unfolding story, sharing in our first steps, learning about the land and labours that are bringing forth our whisky, and getting to know the characters who will be working hard to create a true and honest reflection of this beautiful isle. And so, to help relay our tales by taking you along for the journey, we’ve asked a fellow islander to make time to be your eyes and ears, wherever you may be in the world.  

Our new writer, Mike Donald, hails from the most northerly tip of the Outer Hebrides and although a proud Leodhasach (person from Lewis), he can quietly lay claim to Hearach ancestry through family connections with Scalpay. Although the isles of Harris and Lewis are actually a single land-mass, the borders are marked by profound changes in topography, dialect and, dare we say it, character, so every little helps!

From his croft in the small village of Port of Ness, Mike weaves Harris Tweed cloth on his loom by day and works with words at the desk, usually with a dram to hand, in the evenings. Like so many islanders, Mike left these shores, working on the mainland until the pull of home, that uniquely Hebridean homesickness known in Gaelic as 'cianalas'  brought him back again.

Putting years of experience in the bustling music, food and drink world of Glasgow behind him, Mike now looks after his flock of black Hebridean sheep, a family of hens and some challenging vegetable patches as well as working the weaving loom. And thanks to ever-improving rural internet connections he can also work, and earn, from his first love, writing.

We’re proud that our distillery is working for the people of these islands, people like Mike, by opening up new possibilities and opportunities, allowing us to play a part in the success of local communities, right out here on the edge, for generations to come. And prouder still to help bring the ethos of so much vibrant island life, through a shared love of distilling, to people like you.

We’ll be meeting more people like Mike over the coming months and years but meantime, in the spirt of the traditional ceilidh, we invite you to come join us and join in through our email newsletter, Facebook page and the other forthcoming plans and let’s continue to gather together in the best of spirits…”

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