The Hearach 46% ABV

The Hearach whisky

The Hearach is the first single malt whisky released from the Isle of Harris Distillery. Celebrating the history and people of Harris, Hearach is the Gaelic word for a person from Harris.

Each batch has natural variations due to individual choice of casks and differing ‘marrying’ periods. This is Batch 7 and is made up of a marrying of the following casks: Heaven Hill (21%), Buffalo Trace (64%), Oloroso (11%) and Fino (4%).

Lighted peated – 12-15ppm. Non-chill filtered / natural colour. From AD Rattray

Appearance: White wine/sun bleached straw. A sticky film forms instantly, with a substantial swirl mark, and many large teardrops soon morph into medium to thick trails. Some feelers also randomly adhere themselves to the glass.

Nose: A noticeable wave of ethanol, about what you’d expect from the ABV. The hoppy peat wafts up from the glass and it’s noticeable from some distance away. On closer inspection there’s a sweet meaty and slightly ashy BBQ smoke, charred strawberries and subtle sugary red apples.

Palate: Not especially oily, but there’s is some substance to the mouthfeel. Toffee apples, icing sugar, smoked pear (if that’s ever been a thing), black pepper and cinnamon. It’s a touch cloying at the back of the mouth too, a bit like popping candy (but not the same taste). There’s a citrus note accompanied by some deeper red berries and vegetal notes.

I can’t pick up much from the bourbon casks at first, but after a while there are softer custard-like elements that I recognise. The pepper spice grows throughout the palate and lasts long into the finish.

Finish: Medium to long. The toffee apple, black pepper and subtle apple pie and custard all linger for some time. There’s a very faint funk note that’s the last thing I taste before the flavours all dissipate entirely.

Overall: This one’s a grower I think. At first I was a bit dubious, but by the end of a decent sized dram I started to acclimatise and pick up the softer, sweeter profile of this whisky. A promising start and one I’ll enjoy exploring throughout the bottle (and many more to come!).

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