ISLE of Harris gin has been launched in the US market, where it is now being stocked in retail outlets in Texas and California.

Announcing the US launch, Isle of Harris Distillery said it was “excited” its award-winning gin was “finally making its way to US shores”.

The “social distillery”, as it is known, was founded to provide employment for future generations of islanders, in an effort to reverse decades of population decline. It noted it is “first and foremost" a whisky distillery, busy creating “The Hearach” single malt.

It was announced last October that Isle of Harris Distillers had secured funding from banking giant HSBC to support a planned expansion into Asia and the US as well as moves to boost its presence in European markets and Canada, having seen its cash flow impacted by lockdown.

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As well as pursuing growth of exports of Isle of Harris gin, the youthful distillery at Tarbert highlighted plans last autumn to invest in additional warehouses to mature its single malt Scotch whisky.

The funding came in the form of a £750,000 coronavirus business interruption loan.

The bank said then that, while Isle of Harris Distillers saw a 50 per cent surge in online orders during lockdown, the sudden closure of bars, restaurants and its visitor centre “adversely impacted its cash flow”.