Review: The Eden Mill First Release

The Eden Mill distillery sits in a former paper mill in the town of Guardbridge in Fife, not far from St Andrews. Previously the paper mill was the site of the Seggie Distillery, owned and operated by the Haig family, which ran from 1810 until 1860 until it was closed and the building was re-purposed.

Eden Mill was initially a brewery (which is still a big part of its ethos in developing its whisky – more on this later) and has been in operation since 2012, firstly as Eden Brewery and laterally rebranded as Eden Mill. Also famous for its gin and beer it has certainly been one of Fifes top tourist attractions over the last few years.

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I’ve previously reviewed their outrun of Two Year Old ‘Spirit Drinks’ which were a fun mix of different malts and cask types. Former Distiller and now Head of New Product Development Marc Watson was gracious enough to talk me through the range and was even more gracious to invite me over for a mysterious tasting a few months ago which turned out to involve several variants under consideration for their first release before finally allowing me a tasting of the final product a little over a month ago.

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Fast forward to today, the whisky is now unveiled and I can (finally) talk about it.

The whisky is a marriage of spirit matured in American and French Virgin Oak quarter casks and an ex Pedro Ximinex Sherry hogshead.

It will be strictly limited to 300 individually numbered bottles.

This release will only be available to Eden Mill cask owners and cask club members with a limit of 1 per person applying.

Eden Mill, OB, 47%abv, pre release press sample (soon to be available here)

Appearance

A light copper hue with a twist of orange. Leaves quick and thin teardrop legs in the glass.

Nose

Softly spiced with some light cloves, hints of soft pinewood (and a little resin too) and orange oil. There is a hint of hardwood too but given time there is a slow emergence of sweetness with some distant vanilla and a note reminiscent of maple pecan pastries.

Palate

The palate is remarkably chocolatey with the lightest touch of ginger. Vanilla again takes a moment to arrive but is definitely there with some soft coffee notes and some drying wood. Elements of red fruits are here and a definite presence of Caramac bars.

Finish

Lingering and much longer than you think it is. It tails off but seems to come back. Theres a notable mention here for some soft sherry notes, a faint touch of oak and some tangy tannins.

A splash of water does bring the sweeter notes into focus a little quicker and allows the sherry notes to pop out. There is definitely more caramel and an enhancement to the chocolate notes. I can’t help thinking of Mocha.

Thoughts

It is a little over three years old so yes, it is youthful, but is much more rounded, balanced and has more depth than several other inaugural releases I have tried (most recently Wolfburn)

It seems significantly smoother than its years which is down to working with the age and not against it by clever use of casks, mash bills and picking an abv that retains its punch, rather than trying to tame it too much.

Thanks to Marc and the staff at Eden Mill for his hospitality and allowing me behind the scenes.

Bottle numbers 1 to 10 only will be auctioned from 1pm on 27th April via Whisky Auctioneer.

For further details on Eden Mill Single Malt please contact the distillery directly.

No word as yet on price.

Find many more tasting notes and whisky news in the Amateur Drammers Archives.

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