Despite being a fan of various alcoholic drinks, I had only ever visited one producer in my lifetime – Cairn O’Mohr in Errol, Perthshire, who make a wide selection of delicious fruit wines and ciders. When I spotted an offer for 2 for 1 Gin tours at Eden Mill Brewery and Distillery, I had to pounce and bought vouchers for four of us to visit. Eden Mill are located in Guardbridge, just a few minutes drive from St Andrews, and make beer and whisky, as well as the gins that we were there to sample.
On arrival, we were treated to a glass of their Original Gin with pink grapefruit tonic and a wedge of grapefruit, which we enjoyed as our effervescent guide Maddie talked us through a presentation of the company and location’s history, bout the range of drinks they produce, and how they are made. She then passed around jars of the aromatics used in their gin for us to smell; juniper berries, angelica root, coriander seeds, hops, marshmallow root, goji berries,…
Despite not being a large business, the building houses rooms with large metal tanks, a warehouse where they also do bottling and labeling, and distilling room with three copper stills, where we sampled some whisky straight from the still, as it trickled into a container.
The tour ended at the bar, where glasses of three gins were waiting for us. First up was Love Gin, which was paired with Fever Tree elderflower tonic and garnished with a raspberry. It’s a very pale pink, with red fruit and floral notes. The Oak Gin reminded me of whisky because of the oak influence, and went very well with Fentiman’s Ginger Ale, and a wedge of orange. We ended with the pale green Hop Gin, with Fever Tree’s original Tonic, and surprisingly, red and green chili! It was recommended that we only keep them in the for 30-60 seconds before removing, but it was still long enough to give the drink a hot kick at the end. One gin we didn’t try, but is worth mentioning is their Golf Gin (St Andrews is known as The Home of Golf!) which is infused with shavings of hickory, the material used to make the shafts of historic golf clubs!
Despite being a Gin tour, we also managed to sneak a few small samples of some beers including their light ‘Summer Lager’ and the deliciously smooth ‘Imperfect Storm’ milk stout. We bought a selection of their beers at the shop before we left, which I’ll write about another time. The tour was well worth the money, and I’d highly recommend it if you’re in the area. The experience has made me want to visit more producers; I’ll get to a vineyard one of these days!
*Also keep an eye out for a range of gins they have collaborated with Aldi to produce, with interesting flavours like Vanilla & Blueberry, and Chili & Ginger.