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!).