Drop of Whisky

I like whisky, you like whisky, we all like whisky

Month: February 2019

Eden Mill Distillery

Eden Mill make Premium Scottish Gin in Scotland for the world of gin lovers to enjoy. Traditionally made by hand using copper pot stills, our gin is proudly crafted by our distillers who have a cultural desire to innovate and tingle the taste buds. Perfect as all-year round gin gifts or simply to enjoy yourself or with friends. We’re immersed in our processes. No vast, computerised gin production tanks at Eden Mill. Because of this, every day we create and tinker – we can touch, smell, and taste. We source ethically and locally from the verdant fields and wild coasts of Scotland. Our gin recipes are punchy and exciting. The moment you taste our gin; you know you’ve never tasted anything like it before.

We are the essence of craft.

Craft is becoming ever more popular as a term. It is a word that can be all too easy to dismiss or glaze over. It has no legal definition in our industry. But make no mistake… we are thoroughbred craft distillers – undoubtedly

– We are experts in our field and because we are hands on with our gin distillation from conception to consumption
– One minute we are sommeliers tasting everything in our midst and the next we are mad scientists creating timesaving crazy contraptions and
– Because sometimes it’s about exact measurements and sometimes it’s about intuition and a good feeling

Our gins are craft

– Because we do not cut corners when it comes to flavor
– They are made with care, passion and laughter
– We love what we do

So much goes into what we do, with every sip of Eden Mill gin you taste and smell something new; another layer of complexity – because we take a craft approach, what we do is complex.

Gin lovers and their tastes

Craft distilleries are not new. There is a high demand for great quality gin in the UK and in producing tastes and flavours our fans love, drop of whisky we stay current and in tune with what gin lovers across the UK and Europe are looking for. This is particularly true when we look at cocktail bars and the creative way gin cocktails can be made, garnished and presented. Many of these are true works of art and focus on craft gin. The traditional gin & tonic is still a staple drink but creative bartenders have strayed way beyond tradition to offer the best of available gins and we’re delighted that Eden Mill gin is highly respected in these circles.

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Ardbeg Whisky Distillery

Tours through Ardbeg Distillery are available Monday to Friday all year round plus weekends during summer. Tours are free but pre-booking is advisable.

Ardbeg’s story
Some of the smokiest whiskies in the world are produced at Ardbeg. These are internationally reknowned as some of the best examples of the smoky style. The distillery is situated on the small but productive island of Islay which is the home of smoky whisky in Scotland. Although Ardbeg produce only 1 million litres of whisky a year, they have numerous distillery and independently bottled releases available. Ardbeg is now considered one of the world’s most innovative distilleries for not only their whisky, but also for their unique marketing and advertising style. Their website is one of the best distillery sites around and is worth a visit.

Ardbeg’s history
Built in 1815, Ardbeg has been closed down on a number of occasions only to be reopened by new owners each time. On the first occasion the distillery was mothballed in 1981. Mothballing is the process whereby a distillery ceases production but everything remains intact, ready to start up again. Small scale production began again in 1989 and stock from the following year can still be found in some of the current release whiskies.

The distillery closed again in July 1996 for a thankfully short time and was re-opened in June 1997 by Glenmorangie PLC, whisky tasting who then proceeded to spend over £1.4 million renovating the distillery back to pristine condition. Glenmorangie PLC was in turn taken over by drinks giant Moet Hennessy shortly thereafter. The distillery continues to grow and will shortly have a new warehouse facility on the island allowing all whisky produced to be stored on the island for the first time in its history. Up to this time some whisky has been matured on mainland Scotland due to lack of space.

– Ardbeg 10 years old
– Golden brown whisky with lots of barbeque smoke and peat aromas rounded off by sweet sugar and vanilla.
– click for tasting notes

– Ardbeg Corryvreckan
– Ardbeg’s characteristic peatiness is matched by hot fiery chilli spice. Cask strength.
– click for tasting notes

– Ardbeg Airigh Nam Beist
– Named after a beast that used to terrorise local villagers, this is a 16 years old whisky that is powerfully smoky with meaty, citrus and toasted nutty notes.
– click for tasting notes

– Ardbeg Blasda
– ‘Blasda’ means ‘delicious and tasty’ in Gaelic. Smoky and peaty but lighter and fresher than normally expected from an Islay malt. Limited release.
– click for tasting notes

– Ardbeg Renaissance
– Full bodied, creamy, warming and intense. Peat and smoke and underneath this is a malty sweetness, some vanilla and a hint of toffee or caramel. Cask strength.
– click for tasting notes

– Ardbeg Still Young
– A cask strength whisky from Ardbeg’s ‘Young’ series. This is seven years of age with youthful mossy smokiness, tangy sweetness and grassy notes.
– click for tasting notes

– Ardbeg Supernova
– The smokiest and most heavily peated whisky ever released. Powerful bonfire smoke that is peppery and spicy with vanilla and grassy sweetness underneath. A limited release.

Kingsbarns new Spirit

Kingsbarns started distilling earlier this year and thus the clock started ticking on the countdown for their first official whisky. A milestone for any distillery, the release of their small batch handcrafted new make spirit provides some clues as to the intended characteristics of the whisky that awaits.

I’ve been fortunate to visit the distillery on a couple of occasions as I live in Fife and its a fine drive on the right day along the coastline to the sleepy village of Kingsbarns. Therefore when this new make was announced I was eager to purchase a couple of bottles, noting the alcohol strength of 63.5%, which is what goes exactly into the casks. Highland Park for whatever reason water down their new make to 50% before selling this at the distillery.

It’s been a whirlwind 12 months for the Fife distilling community as Eden Mill located on the opposite side of St Andrews released a trio of limited edition new make spirits. These were part of that important experimentation when the distillery team decide on their new make characteristics and get to grips with the newly installed stills. Their Robert Burns Night new make was particularly enjoyable and I’ll watch all these Fife distilleries with interest including the old fella of the bunch i.e. Daftmill.

The French use the word ‘terroir’ to encapsulate the environment in which a wine is produced, its characteristics derived from the climate and ingredients. This is what the Kingsbarns new make symbolises consisting of malted Fife barley and water from an aquifer 100m below the distillery.

Distillery: Kingsbarns
Distilled: 2015
Age: this is ground zero in whisky terms i.e. zero
Strength: 63.5% alc
Price: £14.95 (200ml) from the distillery

Colour: gelatin sheet

On the nose: a mineral quality to this with limestone chalk and what reminds me of banana chips. A sugary sweetness that takes me back to making tablet over the stove, which I must do again soon. Juicy pears and polo mints combine well for a clean linen fresh presentation.

In the mouth: at 63.5% its the alcohol that dominates with pears, white grapes and apples fighting to come through. With water the palate opens up and vanilla arrives, the malt is noticeable and there’s a real clean freshness with a little lime.

This is a tasty new make and one that suggests Kingsbarns is going for a juicy, light and approachable whisky. We’ll hopefully find out sometime in 2018 how the final product turns out.

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