our family Distillery0
Standing out in the Atlantic on the far western edge of Scotland, you’ll find our home, our distillery.
Distilled and bottled on the remote Scottish Island of Barra, our gin has a piece of our home in each bottle.
There are two sides to every story and ours is no different. The Isle of Barra is our family home but for a time we were away. Fearless spirit brought us back. The desire to return to our roots and create Scotland’s most westerly distillery. Start our own family on the edge of the Atlantic, the vast ocean that many of our courageous ancestors crossed, often leaving everything behind.
We are the lucky ones. Many people cannot return home. That is why we started our charity foundation, to create opportunities for more families to call Barra home. That is why we support the corncrake, an endangered bird species that returns to Barra every summer to nest and start their own families. That is why we celebrate home. Creating the true taste Barra, sharing the best of our island, home and away, with family to the fore. There are two sides to the Isle of Barra Distillers story, with the wild Atlantic to the west, the tranquil Sound of Barra to the east.
Our home. Our inspiration. Our family.
This is distilling on the edge
Breaking the waves of the mighty Atlantic Ocean on the far western edge of
Scotland, of Europe, the Isle of Barra is our home, our inspiration, our family.
Distilling and bottling at Scotland’s most westerly distillery, we create the
true taste Barra, sharing the best of our island home with the Barra family,
home and away. The Isle of Barra makes you feel
alive, it makes you feel free.
Come summer, the warming
North Atlantic Drift brings our
drop in the ocean calm, tranquil
days and long, gentle nights –
respite after the harsh winter; a
tonic for the soul.
We call ourselves a family distillery, and we really are, but that goes way beyond our own family. It’s all about connections, making everyone welcome and sharing this amazing experience with as many people as possible, extending our family as we do so.
"ADA" OUR COPPER STILL
Throughout our story, the connection between the 'Barra Family' as we like to call it and our Island home can be felt. This is found more so with our custom build copper still, 'Ada' who is named after the daughter of our Co-Owners Katie & Michael. Ada, their daughter, was born in the early part of 2020, and with the installation of the newly commissioned copper still being in the later part of 2020, it felt natural to call this beautiful still after an equally beautiful and just as firey little girl. It was also helped with the advice from Forsyths, the world leading copper smiths who crafted our copper still, who said it is a tradition to name the still after a woman from the family. So, with that, it was just natural to name our still Ada.
Moving to our new still, Ada was something of enormous pride for the Barra Distillers Co. In the early years, we began with a small 50 litre still, which we learned so much from, then we added a 75 litre still to work alongside the existing 50 litre still, but with a little determination, we pushed on to the goal that we always had, that was to have a custom built still commissioned by Forysths. So, to have our still Ada now installed and working as well as she does, means a great deal to our team and of course, holding the name Ada just makes it extra special.
OUR IMPACT & OUR CONTRIBUTION
Our commitment to our Island, the environment & the wider world is paramount to our Family Distillery. Part of our unique story is that our mail, which is all packaged by hand by our amazing team, actually utilises public transport routes. This means that before landing on the mainland in Inverness, our mail and your orders pass through six separate Islands, one ferry journey & two plane trips. Doing this massively reduces the carbon footprint that our route would do if we didn't utilise the already in-place public services.
THE SPIRIT OF BARRA, CAPTURED & BOTTLED
This is our passion for our Island home, our Family Distillery & our Barra Atlantic Gin. Created with the essence of Barra at its core, our Barra Atlantic Gin is distilled using locally hand-harvested Carrageen Seaweed that is sourced sustainably from the shores that surround our Island home. The idea for using the Carrageen seaweed came from the abundance around the Island, as well as from Michael's childhood. Carrageen grows out of the ancient rocks that make up the Island's coastline, which can only be sourced when the tide is at its lowest point, which is only a few times a year
MORE THAN JUST A BOTTLE
The new vessel and the term vessel is an appropriate word as the connection from the Isle of Barra to the sea is endless, as is our relationship with the sea to our award-winning Gin. We have moved away from using a stock bottle made from 100% flint glass to creating our very own custom-designed bottle but instead, our new bottles are produced from 78% recycled glass. With the move to such a high percentage of recycled glass, each bottle varies & can't be the same, and we feel this is part of the character. It feels like each bottle represents all the different characters from our Island home, all different, all with their story to tell
From our first batch of gin back in August 2017 to today, Isle of Barra Distillers Co. continues to operate as a family-run company, with family & Barra to the fore. The story began with husband and wife Michael and Katie, now the team has grown to six. Our commitment is to create a lasting legacy for not just our generation but for the people & families that follow us. The Isle of Barra Distillers is and always will be a focal point for good & will champion what the island of barra has to offer. A company so close to our hearts and our Island home is the primary drive behind the Isle of Barra Distillers continuous success.
We’ve created a premium gin with a distinctive taste so it has been important to us for this to be reflected in the packaging too, and make the finished product as unique on shelf and online as it is in the mouth.
Jemma Lewis, a hand-marbling artist based in Wiltshire, England was commissioned by the creative team behind Barra Atlantic Gin to create a bespoke, hand-marbled pattern to be used throughout our packaging.
Taking a colour palette inspired by Barra’s landscape and shores, Jemma used our signature botanical, carrageen, to create the unique marbling patterns which forms a physical link between our gin and packaging.
Barra Atlantic Gin
The adventurous spirit of Barra people inspires our unique gin. Our main botanical, carrageen seaweed, is collected wild on the shores of the Isle of Barra. We want to create something that not only we can be proud of but that the wider Barra community can be proud of, giving back to our thriving island home.
Our award-winning Barra Atlantic Gin is now available in Waitrose & Partners branches across the UK. Our Island Spirit from the Outer Hebrides has been chosen for distribution by a UK-wide supermarket. Check our stockist map for your local Waitrose & share the taste of Barra.