The Harris Gin Bottle

CAPTURING THE SPIRIT OF THE ISLAND

AN AWARD-WINNING DESIGN


HOW IT ALL BEGAN

We wanted our first spirit release to be something very special, not just the Isle of Harris Gin itself, but the way we shared it with the world.

We greatly admired the work of the talented design team at Stranger & Stranger and we loved their use of storytelling and imagination, combined with a deep understanding of visual language.

Despite being  a new venture with no track record and not particularly deep pockets, we were still moved to ask them if they would be interested in being part of our fledgling project.

We explained the Social Distillery ethos of the venture and the distillery’s ambitions for the island to their managing director Ivan Bell and lead designer Guy Pratt, and, thankfully, they found the whole concept compelling enough to agree to join us on our journey.

After spending time with us here in Harris, exploring the place and meeting people, they set to work drawing on these formative impressions of the island, its elements and people.

The result of their efforts can be seen in the iconic bottle we know and love today.

BETTER BY DESIGN


DETAILS DIE HET VERSCHIL MAKEN

The Isle of Harris Gin bottle exhibits carefully considered design from the moment it is opened.

A simple paper seal, applied by hand here in Harris, bears the coordinates of our island distillery as a promise of provenance.

The Portuguese wooden stopper and cork is branded with our distillery logo and fits perfectly into the glass pourer.

The mouth of the bottle has been extensively computer modelled to ensure a perfect pour without drips or spills.

The rippled glass evokes the maritime elements of our island, from the wind-blown seas of Luskentyre to the sweeping sands of Seilebost.

There are subtle irregularities in form, curves and dimples which seem to effortlessly fit into the hand.

The tactile lines become smooth in places, as if worn by tides like a piece of flotsam or jetsam.

The paper label holds flecks of Sugar Kelp and copper, each one different with over 20 unique iterations.

The reassuring weight of the bottle is held within a crafted  solid base, from which rises the colour of summer Harris seas.

Underneath hides a Latin motto to live by, Esse Quam Videri.

This is our founder Burr’s family motto, in recognition of all his efforts in creating the distillery.

It means “To Be, Rather Than Seem To Be”,  a reminder to remain authentic in everything we do.

” We used a subtle and harmonious interweaving of natural tones, flavours, ingredients in the final design. The ripple of the waves, the rugged landscape, the pattern of Harris tweed, the natural use of material, glass, wood and paper, emphasising the craft and dedication that goes into making both their gin and whisky.”

Ivan Bell, managing director of Stranger & Stranger.

This post is also available in: Dutch