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New Scottish Whisky Distillery

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New Scottish Whisky Distillery

New Scottish Whisky Distillery
March 07
12:54 2014

Work has begun on the first whisky distillery to be built on the Isle of Harris – with the aim of creating 20 local jobs. As only the second whisky distillery in the Outer Hebrides, the venture will open up an entirely new whisky region for Scotland.

A new single malt – to be called The Hearach, the Gaelic for an inhabitant of the island – will be distilled, matured and bottled at the distillery in Tarbert. Isle of Harris Distillers have raised £10 million to build and fund the distillery from a number of public and private investors. All the necessary building and production permissions are in place and contractors have started work on the site.

The plant will over time bring 20 vital jobs to the island, a very important boost to an economically fragile area. It has been a central plank of planning for the distillery from the start, that the project is based not only on commercial success but on the benefit that it can bring to the island and its people.

The distillery, which has attracted finance from 17 private investors around the world, has also won the support of the Harris Tweed Authority, lovers of the Outer Hebrides, local politicians and the people of the island themselves, as well as whisky enthusiasts and connoisseurs.

This involvement with Harris and its community has helped to secure significant financial commitment from the public and private sectors, includingHighlandsand Islands Enterprise, the Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise, including its Globalscot network and the backing of these organisations has been crucial to the project.

The distillery was part funded with a £1.9 million grant from the Scottish Government’s Food Processing, Marketing and Co-operation scheme.

The project has been awarded £900,000 from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE). Rachel Mackenzie, HIE’s area manager, says: “We are delighted to be progressing on plans for the first distillery in Harris. The development has huge potential for theIsland, its economy and its people. In time, Harris whisky will develop a worldwide reputation for quality in the same way as Harris Tweed has.”

The new distillery is scheduled to be completed by the first quarter of 2015 and will produce around 300,000 bottles of single malt whisky a year. It will also distil a Harris gin.

The first production of The Hearach will not be available in the shops until it has matured in the distillery’s Harris warehouse for a number of years. A limited number of casks from the first year’s production will, however, be made available for sale to individuals. There will also be an early opportunity to form closer ties with the distillery by joining a members’ club.

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An artist’s impression of the new distillery.

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