The home side were undone by a Gary Warren double which came either side of Billy McKay's 22nd strike of the season.
Yet Hearts had twice equalised through Jason Holt and a deflected Andy Webster strike - but both times handed the initiative back to their Highland visitors within minutes.
Butcher said: "It was a real battle and a real scrap. Heads could have gone down when we took the lead twice and were pegged back twice.
"There was a lot of character shown by the boys. We have gone back to second in the table, which is lovely. We are having a real slump but we're second in the table. It's wonderful."
Butcher was not so happy, however, to discuss rumours suggesting he may be poised to replace former Celtic playmaker Paolo Di Canio as boss of npower League One side Swindon.
The former England captain, who has already knocked back Barnsley this year, replied when asked of the possibility of a move: "Oh yeah? Whatever. Dundee United on Wednesday, that's what we are looking at."
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