I was never much of a Gin drinker. Sure, I would have the occasional Gin & Tonic with LOTS of lime, but other than that, I pretty much stayed away from the stuff. Like most people, my Gin experiences when I was a much younger man usually involved the bottom shelf stuff, i.e. the kind of hooch that’s only palatable with a massive quantity of tonic water and a plethora of lime.

My attitude towards Gin changed several years ago when I had a sip of Philadelphia Distilling Company’s Bluecoat Gin. Unlike the bottom shelf hooch from my younger days, there was no harshness whatsoever when I tried it straight. Just loads of fresh smelling juniper and whatever other herbs and botanicals that they use to make the stuff. To call it my Gin drinking “Aha!” moment would be an understatement (Clay Risen over at The Atlantic had a similar experience, though I think his happened a little after mine). The Bluecoat experience has of course led me to trying Hendrick’s, The Botanist, Anchor’s Junipero, Mahon, several different Gin expressions from Few, and many many more. Who knew that there was such variety? And who says that blogging isn’t educational?

Given my newfound fondness for Gin, when the following email from Impex Beverages landed in our inbox announcing the arrival of Scotland’s Eden Mill Gin to the United States, I couldn’t resist the urge to ask for samples. Here’s what Impex has to say about Eden Mill Gin:

From Scotland’s original combined Brewery and Distillery to your palate, Eden Mill Gin makes its grand entrance into the USA. History comes alive alongside the churning of the copper stills in St. Andrews- one of the oldest University cities in Scotland. Captivating us with its magical return to a lost heritage, this small-batch “craft ethos” brewery is reigniting its passion for distilling nature-inspired gins. Its self-grown harvests and natural botanicals contribute to this wild embrace of the elements in your glass.

We at the Boozedancing Institute feel that any booze worth drinking had better be able to stand on its own two feet, so all four Eden Mill Gins will first be evaluated without the addition of water or ice (I tried .5 ounce pours of each). And since most people rarely drink their Gin neat, I will also try them in a Gin & Tonic. For the sake of consistency, I used 1 ounce of Gin, 3 ounces of Fever-Tree Tonic, a small wedge of lime, and four ice cubes for each drink.

Here are my impressions of each Gin and how they held up in a Gin & Tonic…

Eden Mill Original Gin, 42% ABV

On its own…

  • Aroma: Lots of juniper notes which is as it should be when you’re talking about Gin. Also getting some lemon peel and maybe even some lavender.
  • Taste: Very light and easy drinking with oodles (not to be confused with Boodles) of juniper and lemon peel flavors from start to finish.

In a Gin & Tonic…

  • Tough to evaluate the actual Gin once you add the tonic water and lime. All I can say is that it tasted like a Gin and Tonic should taste, i.e. very crisp and very refreshing. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that!

Eden Mill Love Gin, 42% ABV

On its own…

  • Aroma: Juniper is ever present, but there are a good bit of herbal notes too. I’m getting hints of licorice, rosemary, and a wee bit of mint.
  • Taste: A bit more intense that the Original Gin thanks to the herbality of it all. Quite soothing! Almost made me feel like I was drinking a digestif.

In a Gin & Tonic…

  • There’s a slight difference with the Love Gin, i.e. less juniper yet slightly more herbally. This made for a mellower Gin & Tonic. For use as a mixer, I preferred the Original Gin.

Eden Mill Oak Gin, 42% ABV

On its own…

  • Aroma: A much more toned down Gin. The usual ginny notes are there, but the volume has been turned down a bit. This one is more herbal and much less juniper. There’s a bit of orange zest in there too.
  • Taste: Not sure how long this was aged, but time in the barrel definitely mellowed this spirit. Very soft and subtle (for a Gin). I can totally see having this on its own with a lemon or orange peel over ice.

In a Gin & Tonic…

  • The tonic and lime totally obliterates the Gin. It’s easy to drink for sure, but it’s more Boozy Tonic than Gin & Tonic.

Eden Mill Hop Gin, 46% ABV

On its own…

  • Aroma: Ohhhhh! Soooo different from the other three. Very citrusy hop forward (the Sculpin of Gin perhaps?). Not very ginny at all. Also not very vapory considering its slightly higher octane.
  • Taste: Slightly oily mouthfeel. You can definitely feel the higher ABV, i.e. there’s a light alcohol burn at the start. Definitely has lots of citrus on the palate.

In a Gin & Tonic…

  • The orange notes are really coming through here along with some piney hop flavors. This is probably my second favorite Gin & Tonic combination after the Original Gin because it has enough oomph to stand up to the tonic and lime.

Final Thoughts

There’s no doubt that I enjoyed all four of these Eden Mill Gins. That being said, I did have preferences.

For drinking on their own, the Love Gin and Oak Gin were the definite winners thanks to their slightly more mellow and neat sipping friendly dispositions.

If you’re mixing, the Original Gin and the Hop Gin were the clear winners thanks to their bigger personalities. While neither was harsh for drinking neat, the addition of the tonic and lime smoothed out any rough spots and made for two highly drinkable Gin & Tonic variations.

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Many thanks to the good people at Impex Beverages for hooking us up with the samples!


Filed under: Booze Review, Eden Mill Tagged: Bartending, booze, Cocktails, Drinkwire, Eden Mill Gin, Education, Gin, Impex Beverages, Liquor, Review, Reviews