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Isle of Barra Distillers Launch First Island Dark Rum

The connection between Isle of Barra Distillers’ island home and the expansive ocean that surrounds, inspired the launch of the new Island Dark Rum. Strong, bold and rustic, much like the rocky east coastline, whilst the finish is as smooth as the fine golden sands found on the West side, together fully representing the roots and extraordinary surroundings of the Isle of Barra.

Isle of Barra Distillers ensure the Island Dark Rum is rich and full of island maritime notes and flavour
by utilising the key botanical, carrageen seaweed, which the brand is famed for, hand-harvested from the shores of Barra. The carrageen is infused alongside coconut, cardamon, cloves, lemon and orange peel. On the nose, coconut and clove are present first, shortly followed by a crisp maritime freshness. To taste, coconut and brown sugar flavour with a clean and dry mouth feel, while the finish provides the complex warmth of cardamom.

Michael and Katie Morrison, Founders of Isle of Barra, spoke with excitement as they announced the launch of their new range. “While our story progresses, our family distillery continually grows. Naturally, as does our product range of fine spirits. Filled with interest and ambition, we understand that perfection takes time. Releasing a Rum from the Isle of Barra has always been an interest and a goal of ours and now the time is right for us to explore this spirit”

About the Founders

Childhood sweethearts Michael and Katie Morrison grew up and met on the Isle of Barra. Michael was a born entrepreneur starting with 14 creels to catch shellfish off the coast of Barra.

At only 11 years old, he would sell his catch to local restaurants and build a successful business as a young teenager. This sparked the entrepreneur spirit in him: “I learned early that you needed to invest to push on and I did this and through the next few years my weekly wage was as high as £120 and that was pretty high for someone that was 13/14 years old,” stated Michael. “From then I knew I wanted to be my own boss and that is what the island taught me from an early age, use your initiative and be creative.”

Michael and Katie then moved to the bustling city of Glasgow as teenagers to study and started their
first business together. Although it was a success, they felt the call back to the island, where they got
married and started a family, as well as pursued their dream of creating great opportunities for employment on an island facing decline from generations moving to the mainland and beyond.

They felt there was an opportunity to move first into the world of gin, with the dream of ultimately
building a single malt whisky distillery on the island. So, in the summer of 2017, after many different
batches, forages, dives, experiments, and tastings, they felt they finally had created the perfect tasting gin and released Barra Atlantic Gin on the 14th of August.

The Isle of Barra Distillery website went live at 20.32 o’clock and their first website crashed. “We sold over 1k bottles within the first 24 hours. It was a great start”, said co-founder Katie Morrison.


The Isle of Barra Distillers’ story is entrenched in sustainability. Their commitment to reducing their carbon footprint is at the forefront of everything they do; from being mindful of the sustainable way they forage, to how they create, bottle, package and ship their spirits. The distillery’s definition of sustainability is meeting their own needs, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs.

Creating employment and making a difference is a key part of their vision. There are very limited
opportunities for employment on Barra and in many cases, locals need to have two or maybe three
jobs to make enough money as most jobs on the island are low paid.

Isle of Barra Distillers are bucking the trend as employers, paying each employee a fair and honest wage and that is the structure they have built and will continue to build the company on.

A Taste of Barra

Much like the Isles themselves, nothing says home more than the seductive taste of a classic Dark and Stormy cocktail.

Dark & Stormy
• Fill a low-ball glass with ice and 2/3
glass of ginger beer
• Shake 50ml measure of Island Dark
Rum with 25ml sugar syrup and 25ml
lime juice
• Double strain into the glass of ginger
• Garnish with a wedge of lime

Available, £35.
70cl, 38% ABV.

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