Two years already? It’s remarkable how time flies in the
whisky realm and destinations so far off the map suddenly appear within
touching distance. I can recall when Eden Mill was a renegade almost DIY
brewery trying to make sense of beer and achieving local and then more
widespread success. Since then the team moved into gin with remarkable timing,
as this was prior gin boom and also kept their sights focused on the ultimate
goal, which was whisky.
It was during the Edinburgh Christmas festival market a
couple of years ago now that I stumbled across their new make spirits. Each
wonderfully stating aged 0 years and giving the consumer the breakdown of the
barley used. None of this Bruichladdich terroir guff, rather just basic
information without the price tag or exuberant hey look at us antics. Time
conquers all and we’ve been able step by step to follow the progression of a
trio of specific Eden Mill mash bill for want of a better expression through their journey.
The fledgling 1-year-old range showed the dominance of wood
in at least one of the expressions that was not promising. The mere suggestion
of balance was sadly lacking, as were subtle flavours. The most appealing from
my experience was the Hogmanay release that in reality sat midway between the
other 2 new spirit projects. For the record this is a composite of Golden
Promise Pale malt and Chocolate malt and even as a new make spirit offered an
enjoyable texture and hint of what was to come. So a recent drive up to St
Andrews, or more specifically Guardbridge, offered the opportunity to collect
the next instalment of the Eden Mill journey.
The site is a former paper mill that can trace its origins
back to the time of the Haigs and another distillery. Last time I checked the
site was owned by the University of St. Andrews, who seem to just about own
everything in this neck of the woods. Parking the car up amidst the traffic for
the Women’s British Open, we walked around the site and stepped into the visitor centre area.
It’s a bustling environment, even on a Sunday morning. Gin,
beer and whisky tours in full swing with various groups tasting the wide range
of products. I’m a fan of the industrial environment they’ve tried to keep
alive in this room and the shelves are packed full of choice. Avoiding
temptation I picked up the Hogmanay release that retails for £25 and comes in a
nifty branded box (good for future samples) along with a tasting glass and lid.
I’d have rather had the option to purchase just the spirit as I have more
glasses than your local branch of John Lewis, but it’s a decent package and
will entice the gift seeking crowds that visit the distillery.
Now the pleasantries are over, we can move onto the
2-year-old spirit itself, bottled at 43% strength and I will eventually check out the remaining duo of
this age. However before all that, in the coming week, we’ll have the Kingbarns spirit of the same age
in an almost virtual Fife face off.
Colour: a gentle dried hay
Nose: a light juicy
arrival with apple and some pears, then there’s aniseed and liquorice with a
subtle vanilla undercurrent. Sultanas and a buttery marzipan linger.
Taste: poached pears with vanilla, some green apples and
more of the buttery marzipan. At the back we have the liquorice again followed
by all-spice with sweet cinnamon.
Overall: this shows promise and progression, whilst moving
towards your classic Lowland presentation style. Yes, its not hugely layered or
prolonged with its characteristics or finish, but we have to remember this is
just 2-years-old and is showing enough character to keep me engaged and looking
forward to the Eden Mill debut whisky.
Labels: 2 year old, eden mill, featured, fife whisky trail, Hogmanay, spirit