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Whisky and Gin Tasting at Isle of Harris Distillery Scotland. Jillian Maclennan
Episode 20926th February 2024 • Your Positive Imprint • Catherine Praiswater
00:00:00 00:29:58

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Jillian Maclennan hosted my whisky and gin tasting at the Isle of Harris Distillery on the Outer Hebrides in Scotland. She shares two spirits and one purpose. Isle of Harris’s Hearach (Hearadh) Scotch whisky and gin and sustainable employment. Sit back, relax and find your sense of ceremony. 

Transcripts

Catherine:

Hello there.

Catherine:

I'm Catherine, your host of this variety show podcast.

Catherine:

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Catherine:

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Catherine:

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Catherine:

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Catherine:

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Catherine:

Thank you again for listening and for your support of this podcast.

Catherine:

Your positive imprint.

Catherine:

What's your PI.

Catherine:

Jillian McLennan, born and raised in the Outer Hebrides, guides distillery tours on the Isle of Harris..

Catherine:

Mike and I met her, and indeed, on our tour of the distillery over here in Scotland.

Catherine:

Well, we were chatting away, and I learned so much about her and her own positive imprints, and now she is featured here today.

Catherine:

Well, there's so much history with distilleries, and, well really just making the drink in Scotland dating back to the 1400s with Friar John Car..

Catherine:

Of course the history includes the high taxes, on the whiskey, and then of course illegal whiskey distilling.

Catherine:

But also there was poetry and there's writing.

Catherine:

Well, in the 1700s, the very famous Scott Robert Burns wrote Scotch Drink.

Catherine:

It's a much loved poem around the world, but of course, it's not as popular as the drink itself.

Catherine:

Well, prohibition in the United States caused hardship for distilleries in Scotland, even though doctors in the United States could prescribe scotch for medicinal health purposes, but that wasn't enough to keep All of Scotland's distilleries opened.

Catherine:

And if you listen to episode 208 with Max Maartense, you'll learn about the use of barrels from United States.

Catherine:

And in 2009 over in the UK, some of the most important legislation regarding whiskey was passed, and that is the Scotch Whiskey Regulations, protecting the reputation of Scotch Whiskey.

Catherine:

Well, today, Gillian McLennan shares her culture and life on the Outer Hebrides, as well as the newly established distillery on the Isle of Harris.

Catherine:

Hello everybody, it's Catherine with Your Positive Imprint.

Catherine:

Oh my gosh, we're having such a fun time, Mike and I are, here in Scotland and Iceland and just traveling about, meeting people from all over the world.

Catherine:

And of course, meeting people here in Scotland and sharing their culture.

Catherine:

And today, Jillian, a very young, beautiful, energetic Jillian we met here at the distillery here on the Isle of Harris in the Outer Hebrides working in the distillery and sharing your positive imprint with Everybody that walks in

Jillian:

the door.

Jillian:

Yeah, it's great fun.

Jillian:

I love working here.

Jillian:

I am originally from Harris.

Jillian:

now I get the chance to live here, at home, and work at home as well.

Jillian:

Well, born in Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis.

Jillian:

That's where the hospital is, but grew up in

Catherine:

Harris.

Catherine:

Okay, so just up the road.

Catherine:

Yeah.

Catherine:

The area we just came down from, uh, Stornoway.

Catherine:

So what is life like?

Catherine:

Well, first of all, let's get a geographic location of Harris.

Jillian:

Harris is a wee island off the west coast of Scotland.

Jillian:

Um It's not got many people here, and that obviously comes with a lack of sustainable employment which is why the Isle of Harris distillery is such a great thing to have here for people like myself and my friends, my family, the younger generation to allow us to live at home and work at home as well.

Jillian:

So we're very grateful that we get to enjoy our quiet life on Harris and have a great job that allows us to do that at the same time.

Jillian:

We don't have, like, loads of things to, to do, but I think That's all we've ever known, so it's not something that we feel we're missing out on.

Jillian:

When you grow up where we've grown up, you don't miss things.

Jillian:

So for us, I think being outdoors is a huge part of, kind of, growing up.

Jillian:

It definitely was for me and my sisters anyway, and my friends.

Jillian:

Um, so we, we, uh, we entertain ourselves in, in different ways, lots of different ways.

Jillian:

We're, we're totally blessed with our beaches on Harris as well.

Jillian:

Um, me and you were speaking about hiking and I'm not a massive hiker, um, but I will enjoy my outdoor time and go on walks and things like that.

Jillian:

, yeah, I think you've got to make use of your landscape, your nature that we have here, like right on our doorstep.

Jillian:

There's a lot of people who, you know, grow up in the city and they aren't, they don't have what we have here.

Jillian:

So I think that's kind of probably one of the main things that we do is go outside and enjoy, and enjoy being outdoors.

Catherine:

Yeah, getting outside is so important.

Catherine:

But your culture is so rich over here in Scotland.

Catherine:

Mm hmm.

Catherine:

The Highlanders, the Hebrideans, tartans, and

Jillian:

clans?

Jillian:

I'm Clan MacLennan, so I believe our tartan is yellow.

Jillian:

Um, but there's loads of different ones.

Jillian:

We're actually right next to the Tweed Shop at the moment, the Harris Tweed, the famous Harris Tweed.

Jillian:

There's so many now, kind of, in Scotland as well, there's loads.

Catherine:

What is schooling like

Catherine:

? Jillian: We have a public school, there was about three different primary schools when I was growing up, and now there's only two.

Catherine:

So there's one in Tarbert, which is the main village in Harris where we are just now, and there's another primary school down in Leverborough, which is a village down the south of Harris.

Catherine:

And once all those kids are ready to go to secondary school, that's just the one secondary school we have in Tarbert as well.

Catherine:

Um, but as you can imagine, a very small school.

Catherine:

There was 17 people in my whole class.

Catherine:

Um, so yeah, very, very small.

Catherine:

And we were just simply split into two groups.

Catherine:

Um, and that was it.

Catherine:

Really straightforward.

Catherine:

But even comparing our school in Harris to the school in Lewis, there's a huge difference.

Catherine:

There's so many more, young, people up in Lewis and their school is much bigger.

Catherine:

So, um, I think with that comes a lot of kind of personal attention from your teachers.

Catherine:

So I'm very grateful that I had some classes where I'd only have maybe six or seven people in that classroom at one time.

Catherine:

Because we're given the same time in school, but for us we got so much one to one with our teachers and I think that is definitely a great thing to have when you're kind of learning,

Catherine:

So I'm grateful that I kind of grew up in a

Catherine:

smaller school.

Catherine:

Yeah.

Catherine:

And I notice a lot of Gaelic.

Catherine:

Mm hmm.

Catherine:

So, did you learn

Jillian:

it?

Jillian:

I did, yes.

Jillian:

Do your parents speak it?

Jillian:

Mm hmm.

Jillian:

Oh, they do?

Jillian:

Yeah.

Jillian:

So, my parents are both fluent.

Jillian:

Well, my dad is fluent.

Jillian:

My mum, um, was fluent, but I think she's kind of just lost it over the years, and that's kind of a normal thing, um, to happen, but for, for me and my sisters, we all went through Gaelic medium, so that means that your whole primary education is taught in Gaelic, and then when you go up to secondary school, you are then enrolled into fluent Gaelic.

Jillian:

You do religious and moral education in Gaelic, and, um, history in Gaelic as well.

Jillian:

So it's, it's pushed, which is great.

Jillian:

And for a language that was a dying language, a couple of years ago, it's made such a great comeback, and I think it's really great to, to hear more young people speaking it now.

Catherine:

That is awesome, here on my podcast, I had on a gal from Nigeria.

Catherine:

And she was doing some research on her language.

Catherine:

Her language is written up in the United Nations as going extinct by 2050.

Catherine:

Wow.

Catherine:

So she took it upon herself, along with other people in Nigeria, to travel the world and to try to bring that language back through the Nigerians.

Catherine:

That's amazing.

Catherine:

It is, because you don't want to lose that.

Catherine:

And so your schools, bringing Gaelic back.

Catherine:

Into the schools, full time, , as part of your education, I think is so important for the culture.

Jillian:

Absolutely, yeah.

Jillian:

Yeah, I've got a lot of younger cousins as well.

Jillian:

And, they all speak it, and they speak it at home, and they speak it to their grandparents, things like that.

Jillian:

And it's just lovely to hear.

Jillian:

It's lovely to hear.

Jillian:

And sometimes we even have, , some of the choir groups coming in, and that's obviously Gaelic singing as well.

Jillian:

, so yeah, really lovely to see kind of the younger generation keeping it on.

Jillian:

I went to Glasgow to study for a wee while.

Jillian:

I didn't last too long in Glasgow.

Jillian:

Too big?

Jillian:

Yeah, I had the itch to go away and experience.

Jillian:

Um, you know, city life and things, and I've got three older sisters and that's what they did, so I went and copied them and I followed them.

Jillian:

, but of course when I went away they'd all come back, so, uh, totally kind of, uh, yeah, fending for myself, which, which isn't a bad thing, kind of.

Jillian:

Gileán Jillian: I've learned things the hard way sometimes.

Jillian:

, and while I was studying in Glasgow, , , I got a phone call from my now colleague, Colin Barker, and he phoned me and he said, , Hi Jillian, I see you're living in Glasgow.

Jillian:

Would you be interested in working in our Christmas pop up shop?

Jillian:

, in Princess Square, which is a known, , a very well known shopping centre in Glasgow.

Jillian:

And I was very excited.

Jillian:

I thought, yes, because at this point I was feeling quite homesick.

Jillian:

, so I thought that would kind of make me feel a wee bit better.

Jillian:

So I did that for the Christmas period and then I came home, , for the summertime and I was supposed to go back to Glasgow, that September.

Jillian:

And I joined on a Monday as a shop assistant when I was 19 and I came for my second shift on the Tuesday as a tour guide having never drank whiskey and I wasn't too clued up on the whole process but I think sometimes being thrown in the deep end is a really great thing and having worked with um, these, this wonderful team who I know already from, from sharing a community with and being family, friends and things like that.

Jillian:

I kind of realized very quickly that they were, they weren't asking me to be a tour guide.

Jillian:

They were letting me know that that was going to have, that, that was what's going to happen, . , so it wasn't taking no for an answer, but now, , I, I see that as like a cruel to be kind moment.

Jillian:

I'm, I'm very grateful because at 21, I get to have a fantastic job here as a tour guide and sharing our story as a young person from Harris, , and just enjoying a drum with some people.

Jillian:

It's great sitting in here and, , just talking to people like yourselves from all over the world and you meet so many people, so many different, , people.

Jillian:

It's so, , kind of refreshing as well to, to meet all these new people and, , take them round and, and talk to them.

Jillian:

Yeah.

Jillian:

So I'm.

Jillian:

I'm really grateful, and I never went back to Glasgow.

Catherine:

So, well, I'm glad you're here, and I'm so glad we met you.

Catherine:

You have such a delightful personality.

Catherine:

Thank you so much.

Catherine:

Yes, and, and you immediately are talkative greeting people.

Catherine:

We have found people in Scotland, the Scottish people, to be very, very hospitable.

Jillian:

Fantastic.

Jillian:

Well, I'm glad to hear it.

Jillian:

Right now we're in our distillery.

Jillian:

So, the gaelic for the distillery is taigh-staile.

Jillian:

So, Fàilte gu taigh-staile Eilean na Hearadh..

Jillian:

That means welcome everyone to Isle Harris distillery.

Jillian:

Okay, so that's a wee bit of Gaelic for you.

Jillian:

I know that, um, our lead tour guide, um, Mari, she always introduces her guests in Gaelic when she's standing in this room that we're in and she starts her tours off, she'll always start it off like that and then she'll go off in English and it's lovely.

Catherine:

That's awesome.

Catherine:

Well, do you and your girlfriends go out and speak in Gaelic at all?

Catherine:

Gileán Jillian: No, we really should though.

Catherine:

We really should.

Catherine:

, we don't, , yeah, we're going to have to change that.

Catherine:

I do speak it sometimes to, to my grandparents, to my dad as well.

Catherine:

He's really kind of pushy on keeping it going.

Catherine:

Um, my grandfather, he passed away a couple of years ago, um, and he had dementia.

Catherine:

And all he kind of remembered was Speaking Gaelic, because that was their language, that's all they spoke during his, his time growing up.

Catherine:

So it was, it was respectful to speak Gaelic to, to maybe an older generation.

Catherine:

Well, going to United States, if you go with your girlfriends and you're speaking Gaelic around there, you're going to have the guys all over

Catherine:

Gileán Jillian: you.

Catherine:

Kris Marshall in Love Actually.

Catherine:

Oh my goodness, that time of year again where we're all going to be watching Love Actually . Ah, so that's yours as well.

Catherine:

Oh yeah, that and The Holiday, top two Christmas films.

Catherine:

Absolutely, I'm very excited.

Catherine:

Love that one too,

Catherine:

The Holiday and Love Actually.

Catherine:

Alright, so we're going to go here to the distillery here.

Catherine:

Because there's something that really intrigues me . Those are these words.

Catherine:

a sense of ceremony.

Catherine:

I absolutely love that because your positive imprint, what you do is not just here in the distillery, but you being Jillian out there, you're bringing this sense of cultural ceremony to all of the tourists that step into your little space, whether it be here at the distillery or you're across the street just talking to a tourist.

Catherine:

Or someone else from Scotland so let's talk about a sense of ceremony, what that means to you first, and then on to how it's used here at the distillery.

Jillian:

Something we say here a lot is, from time to time, be here.

Jillian:

And if you have looked on maybe our social media pages, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, anything like that, you will see those words being said, like, from time to time, be here.

Jillian:

My colleague Mike, who is fantastic, he's our chief storyteller, he, , put together this clip of, maybe it's a clip of a really busy, , time in New York, and then it's put in comparison to the serenity of, of being in the hills in Harris and the comparison, but from time to time be here, be here together and enjoy our, our spirits and, that also How we take, um, Harris Gin and the Hearach all over the world, it connects people to Harris, no matter where you are sitting, having your dram, whether that's here or on the other side of the world, you're, you're here in Harris.

Jillian:

So, um, yeah, it's a really lovely way of describing Harris and how these spirits will make you feel when you're enjoying them.

Catherine:

I agree.

Catherine:

And I just.

Catherine:

I absolutely love those words, and I love, from time to time, be here.

Catherine:

It's lovely, isn't it?

Catherine:

It is,

Catherine:

yeah.

Catherine:

Anywhere in the world, where you find your own peace, your own tranquility, and for everybody that's different.

Catherine:

Yeah.

Catherine:

Whether it be sitting with a dram or not, or sitting in Iceland, near the icebergs, watching a seal on the iceberg, or Whether you're in Poland and sitting outside where you might be seeing a bear in their forests.

Catherine:

, it, it's such a inviting, it's a way, I don't know, it's very fantastical.

Jillian:

My colleague Neil, he works with us seasonally.

Jillian:

He's in a university in Glasgow at the moment, studying mathematics and physics, and one word he says all the time is fantastic.

Jillian:

He says it every day, and it's become kind of like a running joke in here now.

Jillian:

So I totally get what you mean.

Jillian:

He says that word every single day.

Jillian:

And yeah, it is, it is really, it's so welcoming.

Catherine:

It is.

Catherine:

And so, one of the things also That I've learned.

Catherine:

People here in Scotland, we see it all over the place.

Catherine:

We see it here at the distillery.

Catherine:

We hear it from people, especially in the Hebrides.

Catherine:

They say, , put the phone away.

Catherine:

Put life on pause.

Catherine:

Listen to the surroundings.

Catherine:

Watch, look around.

Jillian:

Yeah.

Jillian:

I think.

Jillian:

For me, where I stay at the moment, I stay just a five minute drive away from the distillery on, , in a village called Artazic.

Jillian:

And if you guys might have driven through Artazic um, on your time here, and it's just got the most beautiful view and I'm so grateful that that is my living room window I don't hike but I like to go outdoors but just being able to sit in my living room and look out and it's just it's wonderful it's really really nice.

Jillian:

My, my, uh, family are from a village called Grosebe.

Jillian:

, and that's very much crafting village, things like that.

Jillian:

When we were younger we would go out and cut the peats, or in Gaelic we would say, (Gaelic.) So that, that's something that we would do.

Jillian:

Go out and help our dad cut the peats and pick the mussels.

Jillian:

You said you were having mussels tonight for your dinner.

Jillian:

That's something that we would do when we were younger.

Jillian:

So, um, that way of just kind of enjoying, enjoying your life and enjoying where you live.

Jillian:

So the muscle picking depends on the tide.

Jillian:

That's kind of just, if it's the right weather then you red

Catherine:

tides here where it's dangerous to go pick them or not?

Jillian:

For us, I think it was just kind of how high the tide was, and yeah.

Jillian:

So it was more safety?

Jillian:

Yeah, more of a safety thing.

Jillian:

Um, so there would be certain seasons of the month where you would go out and do that.

Jillian:

Um, same with kind of cutting the peat, you would only do that certain times of the year as well.

Jillian:

to make sure that the soil is at its best and you would dry it and leave it in the byer and that would keep you going, um, if you have an open fire in your house.

Jillian:

So, um, yeah, it was really, looking back on it, I, I, sometimes I can't believe that I, I, that's the way I grew up, kind of.

Jillian:

Um, my, my dad had cows as well, so we'd go out and feed the cows and just things like that, kind of really.

Jillian:

grounded upbringing, , without technology.

Jillian:

I'm very glad that I feel like I was kind of, I'm 21, I feel like I was kind of the last generation that didn't grow up with phones and things like that.

Jillian:

I feel like anybody younger than me, maybe a few years younger than me, didn't have kind of what I had.

Jillian:

So I'm very grateful that I grew up that way instead of seeing younger kids now with iPads and things like that, you know.

Catherine:

Oh, that, you're awesome, I love that, you, you fit right into that, putting life on pause, and pouring a dram, of course you didn't do that when you were young, but putting your life on pause and really getting that sense of, of ceremony, cultural ceremony, and work ethic.

Catherine:

Yeah.

Catherine:

Definitely that work ethic.

Catherine:

I mean your dad taught you.

Catherine:

work ethic and what it's like to live on the land.

Catherine:

Yeah.

Jillian:

And you don't appreciate those times when you're young.

Jillian:

You just think that that's just what you do on a Saturday.

Jillian:

But when you're older, I'm older now and I look back and I'm going, thank goodness that that I, that's the way I kind of grew up.

Jillian:

Because at that time you don't think twice about going and picking mussels or feeding cows.

Jillian:

You don't think twice about that, but you do appreciate these things when you, when you get a wee bit older.

Jillian:

I live closer to my work now, but you have a great living room!

Jillian:

I have a great living room.

Jillian:

I have a fantastic living room.

Jillian:

But

Jillian:

There's nothing better than just having a wee space where you know that you can just unwind and sit in silence if you want to and not feel awkward or not feel weird.

Jillian:

It's really nice.

Catherine:

How did this distillery come about?

Catherine:

Cause it's been just

Jillian:

recent.

Jillian:

Yeah.

Jillian:

So our founder's name is Anderson Bakewell and he's originally from the United States and he visited Harris.

Jillian:

And like a lot of people do, they'll visit.

Jillian:

and it'll just get under their skin and he just fell in love with our island.

Jillian:

But he did notice the aging population and declining population because of this lack of sustainable employment.

Jillian:

Um, which wasn't just a problem in Harris, I think that was a problem in a lot of kind of smaller areas in general.

Jillian:

, And he wanted to create a company that sole purpose was to create employment for young locals to allow them to live at home and work at home, raise their families here because they now have sustainable employment and, , keep our population going.

Jillian:

So with the help of.

Jillian:

17 investors all together, , we were able to create the Isle of Harris distillery.

Jillian:

So we, , have a lot of gratitude towards Anderson and all these investors who, , took a chance on Harris.

Jillian:

They really did.

Jillian:

Um, and our managing director, our chairman, everyone, we've got a lot of people to thank for, , now 52 people in our, in our company now having jobs and allowing us to live in Harris.

Jillian:

We're a very close knit team as well.

Jillian:

And that just comes from the fact that we all maybe knew each other beforehand.

Jillian:

Um, but it is, it is one big family in here.

Jillian:

Yeah, it never really feels like you're coming to work.

Jillian:

That's a, that's a

Catherine:

good feeling actually.

Catherine:

And that's such great foresight.

Catherine:

, if more people had that foresight instead of just today, this moment.

Catherine:

He had foresight for a population, for a culture.

Catherine:

Yeah.

Catherine:

I love that.

Catherine:

That is such an amazing positive imprint that you became a part of and are spreading that imprint upon everybody that walks in.

Catherine:

There's something to be said about it, because as you said, there's jobs.

Catherine:

But there's also this historical, cultural piece.

Catherine:

And the peat, you were cutting the peat early as a child.

Catherine:

Whether or not that was sent down to distilleries or not.

Catherine:

That is something that is so essential, as you said, for the sustainability of people here on Harris, and Lewis,

Jillian:

Yeah.

Jillian:

Anderson also, , wanted to utilise the water here, so we've got the softest water in the whole of Scotland, which was proven by testing on the islands here.

Jillian:

Um, there's a rock called Louisian Gneiss.

Jillian:

which is the bedrock of the Earth.

Jillian:

Um, but because it's so close to our surface, our water runs straight over it.

Jillian:

Now, Louisian Gneiss is about 2.

Jillian:

6 billion years old, and it's very, very hard.

Jillian:

So the minerals don't escape or impart from that rock.

Jillian:

But they leave, it leaves our water very, very soft.

Jillian:

And he knew that and he wanted to, to, to utilise that water.

Jillian:

It's something we're never going to run out of.

Jillian:

I feel like you guys have experienced more of our bad weather than good on your visit.

Jillian:

Um, so we, we control our water supply.

Jillian:

We get our water sourced from up behind the Harris Hotel, which is just a stone throw away from us here.

Jillian:

Um, from a loch called Avain Chnoch Charraig.

Jillian:

So that's some more garlic for you.

Jillian:

So that's where we get our water from.

Jillian:

We're the only property in the whole of Harris that is allowed to take from that loch.

Jillian:

But yeah, utilising what we have and Harris producing this wonderful water already.

Jillian:

Uh, and we've found a way to, to make use of that, , and create jobs with two spirits and one purpose.

Catherine:

So the two spirits, ah yes.

Catherine:

I had gin.

Jillian:

Yes.

Jillian:

Oh my

Catherine:

gosh, and it was so good.

Catherine:

I never thought gin, , would taste as good as this did.

Catherine:

It comes from sugar kelp.

Catherine:

Yes.

Jillian:

The gin.

Jillian:

So, our gin, , we're first and foremost a whiskey distillery.

Jillian:

, but Harris Gin was what we have been known for for the last eight years.

Jillian:

Harris Gin was put out there to keep us going financially, but also in a way to build our brand and build our name.

Jillian:

You know, we're a brand new distillery on a small island off of Scotland who nobody's even heard of before.

Jillian:

, so it really, really built a brand for us.

Jillian:

And, and, you know, when it came time to, to sharing the whisky, that, that was a much easier transition because we'd already done a lot of things with the, with the gin.

Jillian:

, it is infused with sugar kelp, which is a local botanic, which is it's harvested by our lovely diver, Lewis McKenzie, and, , that will get dried and sent down to us here, and we'll macerate that in a green neutral spirit along with eight other botanics, and create our beautiful gin, , flavour profile, and the sugar kelp captures, , just the essence of Harris.

Jillian:

It really does taste very maritime and coastal and we tried the aromatic drops as well which are optional and you can add them into your gin to enhance more of these flavors and so yeah it's really about capturing Harris in, in that, in that gin and I think we've achieved that and done it, done it very well.

Jillian:

Well

Catherine:

I certainly captured Harris and I purchased some of that.

Catherine:

Both the, the infused drops and the gin.

Catherine:

Yeah.

Catherine:

Very, it was very good very earthy.

Catherine:

Yeah, yeah.

Catherine:

But very, , fruity also.

Jillian:

Yeah.

Jillian:

It's, it's packed full of so many different botanics.

Jillian:

There's so much going on.

Jillian:

We've got bitter orange peel and English coriander seed.

Jillian:

When you crush down that coriander seed, it's very limey.

Jillian:

So these two act as like that citrus.

Jillian:

fresh, uh, burst from the gin, Cassia bark, which is a member of a cinnamon family.

Jillian:

, and cubebs are a Java peppercorn.

Jillian:

So these two acting as that heat, that warmth that you feel when you have a gin and tonic, , and almost representing the warm welcome that, , we hope people feel when they visit our islands.

Jillian:

Then we finish off with Angelica root, licorice root and orris root..

Jillian:

So these are earthy, sweet notes.

Jillian:

And Orris root is local to Harris as well.

Jillian:

It comes from the yellow iris plant.

Jillian:

So that's our floral finish.

Jillian:

So there is really a lot going on.

Jillian:

And we were talking earlier on and I was saying to you that a plain tonic is the best thing to pair with Harris gin.

Jillian:

We like Walter Greger's tonic the best.

Jillian:

It's a Scottish brand.

Jillian:

And one bottle of tonic should last you at least two gin and tonics.

Jillian:

If you ask my friend Harry how many gin and tonics he gets out of one bottle, his answer is four, so never go out with Harry.

Jillian:

Oh my gosh,

Catherine:

that's incredible.

Catherine:

Well, such a, uh, a wonderful story with starting the distillery here, gin, and then the Hearach

Jillian:

yes.

Jillian:

Which is the whiskey.

Catherine:

Yeah.

Catherine:

Yeah.

Catherine:

So what about the

Jillian:

whiskey?

Jillian:

The whiskey, the Hearach?

Jillian:

It's, well, we should speak about the name, first of all.

Jillian:

Um, it's called The Hearach (Hearadh) because somebody from Harris is called a Hearach (Hearadh), so native people of Harris are Hearadh.

Jillian:

So I'm a Hearach, but my granny, she's a Lewisach because she's from the Isle of Lewis (Leòdhais).

Jillian:

Okay.

Jillian:

and our team, um, have Hearadh, Leòdhais, and.

Jillian:

Sgitheanach as well, so that's somebody from the Isle of Skye.

Jillian:

, and these are just Gaelic names given to people depending on what island they're from.

Jillian:

And for us, our whisky is born here, brought up here, raised by the people and the place, , so therefore it is nothing else but a heroch as well, it's one of us.

Jillian:

It is a true character of the island, being that it can be quite stubborn, , we do welcome it as a Hearadh.

Jillian:

We opened our doors on the 24th of September, eh, back in 2015.

Jillian:

, so not only did we celebrate our launch a couple of weeks ago, we celebrated our 8th birthday on the same weekend.

Catherine:

So when we were talking earlier You mentioned that you want to go to Nashville, Tennessee, USA because you absolutely love the music.

Jillian:

I do.

Jillian:

I'm a total country music . Just fanatic.

Jillian:

I do love it.

Jillian:

I need to go and I'm very jealous of my mom who has already planned her trip yeah, I'm going to have to gate crash that.

Jillian:

I haven't figured out the logistics of that yet, but I I will do it and I'll get back to you.

Jillian:

I'll let you know how I get on.

Jillian:

So

Catherine:

how did, where did you pick up the music from?

Catherine:

Do you have radio stations?

Catherine:

Well, I

Jillian:

actually, I'm not sure.

Jillian:

I think it was a friend who just listened to country music quite a lot.

Jillian:

And I just I just thought this is great, it's fantastic.

Jillian:

So then I started and then I grew arms and legs and yeah, I, I do, I love it.

Jillian:

Do you have a favourite artist?

Jillian:

Right now, I think Luke Combs, which is a very basic answer, but you know, basic is good for a reason.

Jillian:

Um, Luke Combs is definitely, um, up there and Zach Bryan, fantastic.

Catherine:

Yeah, awesome.

Catherine:

Well, I think I shared with you that the music for my podcast was written by Chris Nole, who lives in Nashville, and he was the keyboardist for John Denver,

Catherine:

Chris Nole does amazing, great music of all sorts of different genres.

Catherine:

I'm very grateful to him for the music that he provides.

Catherine:

A lot of gratitude today.

Catherine:

There is.

Catherine:

It's lovely.

Catherine:

And that's such a great way to end today.

Catherine:

Absolutely.

Catherine:

The gratitude I have, obviously, for you in everything that you do with your positive imprint.

Catherine:

And so we end with last inspiring words.

Catherine:

From

Jillian:

time to time, be

Catherine:

here.

Catherine:

Jillian, I absolutely love your last inspiring words, and I'm glad we are here and spending time together and enjoying a little bit of our own dram, yeah, in our own special way.

Catherine:

Lovely,

Jillian:

thank you

Jillian:

Thank you so much for having me.

Jillian:

thank you

Catherine:

so much.

Catherine:

Oh Jillian, thank you for your positive imprint.

Catherine:

Thank you.

Catherine:

To learn more about Jillian's tours and the distillery, head to harrisdistillery.

Catherine:

com That's H A R R I S and remember, "From time to time, be here."

Catherine:

I just absolutely love that.

Catherine:

Well, thank you for being here with Jillian and me.

Catherine:

Join me next month for more positive imprints.

Catherine:

You can learn more about the podcast at yourpositiveimprint.

Catherine:

com, where you can access all of the 200 episodes of fabulous positive imprints.

Catherine:

And thanks for leaving positive reviews.

Catherine:

Your positive imprint.

Catherine:

What's your PI?