Isle of Harris Distillers picked up a major award at Scottish Food and Drink Excellence Awards on Thursday night (June 7th).

The Product of the Year Award went to Isle of Harris Gin with the company also having earlier won the Distilling Awards for what the judges described as their “iconic” product.

More food and drink businesses than ever entered this year's Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards which took place at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre.

The Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards recognise those businesses and individuals in Scotland who are leading the way with innovation, enterprise and quality. 

Support for the awards comes from a range of organisations and reflects the breadth of the industry. The awards are run by Scotland Food & Drink in partnership with the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland.  The headline sponsor is Asda.

Simon Erlanger, Managing Director at Isle of Harris Distillers, said: “Wow!  Less than three years on, our gin is Scotland Food & Drink's Product of the Year!  Made by five Harris men with no previous distilling experience but a huge desire to make Harris proud of what they do.  Now supporting 30 local jobs thanks to the gin's success.”

Border Biscuits, the Lanark-based family firm, was named Business of the Year in the Scottish Food and Drink Excellence Awards.

The Outstanding Contribution Award went to Jim McLaren, the chairman of Quality Meat Scotland marking his “tenacious drive” to champion the Scottish meat industry and farming.

The Food Pioneer of the Year Award went to Calum Richardson, of the Bay Fish and Chips of Stonehaven.

Around 740 people attended the event at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre, which was hosted by Simon Rimmer, the chef and presenter of Channel Four’s Sunday Brunch programme.  There were 26 awards selected from 275 entries.

In the course of their assessment of the entries, the judges sampled 197 Scottish products ranging from cheese and chocolate, to ginger beer and gin.