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The Isle of Harris Distillery has fired the starting gun on its much-anticipated new whisky, The Hearach.

Announcing the launch date for the single malt as Friday, September 22, on World Whisky Day, the distillery also released a new promo video about the whisky and the launch plans.

It is also planned to live stream the first dram of The Hearach at the September 22 launch at 1 pm BST via the distillery’s website.

The distillery’s managing director Simon Erlanger said it “feels like the end of the beginning” of the lengthy eight-year lead-in to the whisky’s final launch.

He commented: “Quite an emotional moment on Harris this week as we gave batch one its official sign-off. Some very broad smiles around the Flavour Room table, I can tell you.

“Next step: preparing to bottle the first 1,916! “

Ron MacEachran, executive chairman and chief financial officer, added that it was “truly wonderful” to have reached this final stage of the journey.

“It’s been enabled by the contributions of so many people over the years and, above all, by my marvellous colleagues. They have brought the distillery to life and have remained focused on delivering service and product of quality in the best traditions of Harris - now shortly to be embodied in the Hearach,” he added.

The September 22 launch celebration will be accompanied by a limited release to local bars the same evening.

The Hearach - the name for a Harris person - will officially go on sale on Saturday, September 23, in the distillery’s Tarbert shop and on their online store. It is planned to roll out the whisky to specialist outlets in the UK and internationally in October.

Meanwhile, another island distillery in the running to launch a new whisky, North Uist Distillery, has been admitted to the Hebridean Whisky Trail.

The week-long Hebridean Whisky Trail in September celebrates the unique drams and dramatic landscapes of five Hebridean islands.

North Uist Distillery will be hosting the festival on Monday, September 4, after the festival kicks off in Jura. The Isle of Harris Distillery will be the host on Tuesday, September 5.