First release in new range from Eden Mill

EDEN Mill, the Scottish distiller, has introduced the first in a new series of limited edition gins with the launch of its new Oak Old Tom Gin.

The 49% ABV Old Tom-style gin, the first in the company’s new Distiller’s Choice range, is described as a “lightly spiced, creamy” gin with a light, peppery finish. It is matured using the same American oak chips used in the production of the company’s Oak Gin.

Eden Mill co-founder, Tony Kelly, said the aim of the Distiller’s Choice range is to “take our audience back to our roots, when our distilling team would create various small-batch gin expressions and experiment with techniques and flavours”.

Head distiller Scott Ferguson said the release is also a nod to the history of the gin category itself.

“One of the lightly sweetened gins that was popular in 18th century, Old Tom gin has been rumoured to have got its name from what was essentially the first ever vending machine for drinks,” said Ferguson.

“During the gin craze in the 1700s, the government tried to stem the flow of gin, which they blamed for ‘extreme drunkenness’ and crime by introducing prohibitive taxes. So to get round the licensing, some pubs would have a wooden plaque shaped like a black cat, ‘Old Tom’ on their outside wall.

“Thirsty bypassers would place a penny in the cat’s mouth and place their lips around a small tube between the cat’s paws.

“The bartender inside would then pour a shot of gin through the tube and into the customer’s waiting mouth.”

Eden Mill Oak Old Tom Gin is available now from the distiller’s website.