A spring in our step

view from the jetty

As the days start to stretch we find ourselves with a spring in our step here in Tarbert, the longer days providing a welcome boost after the challenges of winter weather. Crofters across the island are busying themselves with the joys of the lambing season and our own work continues apace on the distillery site, each new day bringing us one stage closer to making our first island spirit.

There are now 35 people working hard on site as all manner of specialist trades, from electrical to mechanical, take over from the structural side of construction. The bold exteriors of brick, copper and glass are now almost completed with just a single roof left to be tiled and already the distillery has begun to settle into its location. Nestled within steep-sided hills by the harbour waters, the architecture is blending in beautifully, already feeling an integral part of the small village which it now calls home.

We’re setting down deeper roots here too as the essential pipeline which will carry precious water from Abhainn Cnoc a ’Charrain to our door has now been laid. And complementing this essential aqueous ingredient comes heat, as we gave warm welcome to a rotund Wee Chieftain, the eponymous steam boiler from Cochran of Annan in Dumfries & Galloway. Carefully winched into our boiler room earlier this week, its robust form will soon be in action, ready for firing the big copper stills. 

While the teams on the ground continue connecting and wiring the myriad of contraptions required to make our special spirit, behind the scenes others are working hard on other exciting aspects of the project which we look forward to sharing with you over the coming weeks and months. It’s a wonderful time to be involved with the Harris Distillery project and like the local shepherds toiling around the clock we’re feeling the thrill of bringing forth new life in our own way too.

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