Isle of Harris secures £1.7m to increase single malt stocks

15th September, 2017 by Nicola Carruthers

Isle of Harris Distillers has obtained £1.7 million (US$6.3m) in funding from HSBC to support its growth and allow for further investment in the distillery’s maturing single malt whisky stock

Isle of Harris Distillers’ inaugural single malt The Hearach will be ready for bottling in 2020

Dubbed The Social Distillery, it is the first commercial distillery to be built on the Isle of Harris and is only the second distillery in the Outer Hebrides.

Currently lying in cask, the first batch of The Hearach single malt is scheduled to be ready from late 2020 for bottling.

The distillery is also producing a gin to support the funding of stocks laid down for single malt whisky production, the company’s primary focus.

According to the distillery, sales of the Isle of Harris Gin have “significantly” surpassed the company’s initial expectations.

The finance was allocated from HSBC’s national £10 billion SME fund to actively support UK small and medium-sized enterprises.

“HSBC recognised our mission to be a catalyst for economic growth for the island and to create even more sustainable jobs for local people,” said Simon Erlanger, managing director of Isle of Harris Distillers. “We’re committed to Harris, whose water, weather and people are integral to the overall production of our high quality spirits.”

Neal Tully, relationship director at HSBC, added: “The team at Harris Distillers instantly impressed us with their innovative approach to creating spirits and social ethos.”

“As one of the island’s largest employers, we were more than pleased to provide finance to increase whisky production. We hope with the wider availability of the single malt we’ll see the business grow and also attract even more tourists to the distillery and Harris.”

Based in Tarbert, the distillery opened on 24 September and has created 20 local jobs. It is the result of an eight-year project, led by Bakewell, and will eventually produce 300,000 bottles of whisky per year.

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