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Single malt whisky revived in St Andrews for first in time in 160 years

It’s taken a long time, but Scotch whisky has made a long-awaited return to the historic town of St Andrews after a local craft distillery unveiled the first single malt produced in the area for over 150 years.

Published: April 24, 2018
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The release by Eden Mill, which is currently based in Guardbridge, marks the first time whisky has been distilled in the region for nearly 160 years, with the last distillery to operate in the area being the Haig family owned the Seggie Distillery, which closed in 1860.

Paul Miller, co-founder of Eden Mill, said: “St Andrews has a rich history when it comes to whisky, and now we’re picking it up where it left off – on the site of the old Seggie Distillery that Eden Mill now stands on.

“From the day we launched Eden Mill in 2012, distilling single malt has been our dream. It’s been nearly 160 years since whisky was last distilled in this area - and this day is the culmination of years of dedication, ambition and experimentation.

"We have a hugely talented team at Eden Mill who should be incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved. No-one is more proud of the whisky and the team today than I am.”

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The distillery and brewery is toasting its milestone malt by giving whisky fans a chance to own a piece of this historical moment with the release of a limited edition range of 20cl bottles dubbed the Hip Flask series.

Priced at just £25, only 3,800 of the exciting new bottles have been released; made up of seven single malt whisky expressions, the range is the result of experimental small-batch distilling.

Mr Miller added: “We set out to show the diverse variety of flavours that can be created while staying true to the heritage and tradition of Scotch whisky distilling. We’ve used different malt bills, techniques and woods to highlight how creative we can be.

“The Hip Flask Series is about applying the pioneering and experimental nature synonymous with Eden Mill to single malt whisky, showing the power of trying different grains, processes, maturation techniques and woods.

“Each expression in the series contains liquid matured in what we call ‘honey casks’ – first-fill and virgin oak casks that we’ve hand-selected from all around the world, from Speyside to Spain.

Eden Mill

Eden Mill co-founder Paul Miller with the new range. Picture: Eden Mill

“As each cask only holds a small amount of liquid, releasing smaller bottles of each is a way for as many whisky fans as possible to discover a taste of what’s to come.”
The launch of the whisky follows the announcement of Eden Mill’s expansion to a new £4m distillery and brewery just metres from its current headquarters in Guardbridge.

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This expansion will see capacity increase tenfold to 200,000 litres per year as well as opening the door for what the team describe as “new product development”.

Paul added: “What people are tasting now is the start of a journey that will see the Eden Mill single malt evolve over ten, twenty, thirty years. The passion of our small team of distillers is evident in every drop of liquid we have released, and we can’t wait to share it with the world.”

A 70cl bottling of Eden Mill single malt whisky is due to be released this summer, with those purchasing a bottle from the Hip Flask Series given the opportunity to be among the first to sign up to the exclusive waiting list.

The Eden Mill founder said that they will be auctioning off ten of the First Bottling Limited Release 70cl bottles via Whisky Auctioneer this Friday, and that they have “exciting plans” for future releases, with ambitions to “regularly expand” their milestone series.

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He said: “It’s a hugely exciting time to be releasing our first single malt – the industry is thriving and I’m thrilled that more people are discovering that single malt Scotch whisky is the ultimate craft spirit.

“We know the quality of what we’ve produced can stand shoulder to shoulder with our competitors and this is only the beginning of Eden Mill’s malt whisky story.”

Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.

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