Isle of Harris Distillers has been named Scottish Gin Distillery of the Year at the Scottish Gin Awards.
The ultimate award was presented to members of the team whose mission to create a Social Distillery - bringing jobs and increasing tourism to the island - was praised.
The Hebridean distillery fought off competition from four other distilleries to win the award.
Judged by a panel of experts, the awards recognise the greatest achievements in the Scottish gin industry with awards presented to winners in 18 categories by Kaye Adams and Des Clarke.
Back in Tarbert, the rest of the local team are also celebrating and Managing Director, Simon Erlanger was delighted to hear the news: “Until very recently few people outside Tarbert could have imagined the Isle of Harris would become widely renowned for making beautiful gin, but thanks to the talents of our local distillers and distillery team, our work is shining through.
“We are all so proud of what we do, not least because people around the globe are hearing our island story and visiting our Social Distillery, which was created with the prime focus of helping regenerate the local economy and stemming the half century of population decline.”
Thanks to the success of Isle of Harris gin and the establishment of the distillery as a tourist destination in its own right, after just two years Harris Distillers now employ 30 local people and are seeing benefits which are starting to accrue to the wider Hebridean economy.
Simon continues “It’s great to see recognition too for our friends and colleagues in the wider industry here in Scotland, who join us in leading the world in developing gin as a spirit to rival the whisky our country is so rightly famous for.”
Chairman of the judging panel, Alex Bruce, managing director of Adelphi Distillery commented; “Congratulations to all the Scottish distilleries and supporting companies who have won at the Scottish Gin Awards.
“The Scottish gin sector can be very proud. These medals will help retain our precious reputation as a global centre in the production of high-quality spirits.
“With a phenomenal 80 Scottish gins in the finals and 18 taste medal winners presented, the results will provide winning distilleries with a real boost in advance of the busy Christmas season.”