The first whisky to be made on the Isle of Harris sold out in less than five hours – after more than 25,000 people queued online to get their hands on the dram.
Islander Murdo MacLeod was the first to purchase the Scotch at the distillery, having camped outside since 2am on 23 September to purchase a bottle.
Some 1,000 people waited outside the distillery for up to three hours to buy a first release bottle, with some travelling from as far away as Canada for the occasion.
More than 25,000 people queued online to bag the first eight batches of The Hearach, which sold out in just four and half hours.
The release of the Hearach from the distillery – better known for its all conquering gin – has been long awaited.
‘Those who have tried The Hearach at the distillery or the various fringe events on island over the weekend have all been fantastically complimentary about it,’ said managing directo Simon Erlanger.
‘It has been a monumental moment for everyone involved.
The Hearach is an elegant, highly drinkable single malt, with fruit and floral notes and a long, slightly smoky, finish.
The whisky, handcrafted by a team of locals from Harris, has been distilled, matured, married and bottled (at 46% ABV) on the island.
The distillers describe it as ‘complex and utterly delicious’, reflecting in part its use of the softest of water and the Harris climate, second to none for the maturation of spirit.
The launch of The Hearach follows the success of the Isle of Harris Gin.
Conceived by Anderson Bakewell, who has a 50-year relationship with Harris, the distillery opened in 2015 to act as a symbol of hope and optimism for the Harris community – creating sustainable jobs for local people and supporting the wider island economy for generations to come.
Starting life with a team of just 10 locals, today the distillery family numbers some 48 full-time staff.
The Hearach single malt whisky, supported by Isle of Harris Gin, will enable the distillery to continue supporting the local community and provide exciting job opportunities for islanders.
Read more news and reviews on Scottish Field’s food and drink pages, in association with Cask & Still magazine.