We are first and foremost a whisky distillery and our distillers are busy creating beautiful spirit for a historic Isle of Harris dram.
The Hearach, being the Gaelic word for a person from Harris, will be the name given to our first, defining single malt whisky.
Every drop of 'The Hearach' Single Malt is being made, matured, and will eventually be bottled, right here in the island and nowhere else.
We have trained five local men from scratch in the art of distilling to ensure we produce a whisky with real provenance, made by and for the people of Harris.
Like The Hearaich themselves, our malt whisky is a conversation between nature and nurture, with two powerful parents, each influencing the dram in their own unique ways.
Firstly, there are the elements of Harris itself. We're making The Hearach from the softest of Hebridean waters, the burn from which it flows, Abhainn Cnoc a ’Charrain, running over the oldest rocks on earth. And then there's the environment in which it all takes shape, a place swept by the Gulf Stream and Atlantic storms.
For all its wildness, the island is not a savage place. Those infamous winds keep the summer cool and in winter snow rarely lies except on the heights of the mighty Clisham mountain, helping to ensure that, despite all odds, we have a climate which is perfectly balanced for whisky maturation.
The second parent is the long, complex process of spiritual interaction with wood. We take the sourcing of our casks very seriously, using only the best bourbon barrels from carefully chosen distillers in Kentucky and sherry butts from a single Spanish bodega. We are also experimenting with full maturation in Pennsylvanian rye casks, an industry first we believe.
This focus on good wood will have a profound influence on the hue and expression of The Hearach as it resides in our warehouse by the shores of Loch an Siar near Ardhasaig over the coming years.
The final results remain to be seen but, rest assured, our first whisky will be free from chill-filtering and naturally coloured, embodying all the character, soul and elemental nature of the Isle of Harris when it's finally ready to drink.