Eden Mill St. Andrews has two interesting things to note about their location.
Secondly, Eden St. Mill is located at a historical distillery site dating back to the 19th century. They then opened a brewery there in 2012. Later they opened a distillery. So Love Gin may be the first gin from a distillery turned brewery turned distillery.
Eden Mill Love Gin was originally launched for Valentine’s day, and even has a gimmick listed on the back of the bottle. “An outstanding blend of exotic fruits and Scottish flowers. Turns pink with a splash of tonic.” Among those fruits and flowers: Hibiscus and Rose marry with goji and elderberries. Love Gin is distilled from a base of grain based neutral spirits.
The nose has a pleasant, punchy, juniper note. Juniper, slight hint of raspberry jam and rose. But that’s just it— the floral notes are slight, along with a slight hint or sweet orange/lemon citrus. Pleasant, and nicely balanced nose.
The palate of Eden Mill Love Gin is creamy, fruit-laden and slightly citrusy. As my buddy David T. Smith would say (“jammy” and “sherbet”-like*).
If you break it apart, there’s hints of vanilla, raspberry and hibiscus early on the palate. Rose comes on strongly mid-palate, intensely perfumed. Juniper and some of the rooty/earthy notes begin to add depth. Vanilla and mallow root come on here, but there’s a slight hint of medicinal/ethanol bitterness. That bitterness helps clear the palate on the finish. Love Gin has a moderately astringent and quite dry finish.
On its own, Love shows some of its tougher sides. On the rocks or in a Martini, some of that astringency can be overpowering. Dialed down and paired with Vermouth, even in what I’ve heard called a “Reverse Martini” or “Martha Stewart Martini“** — In reality I prefer to call it a More Historically Accurate Martini.
In an 1888 recipe featured in Harry Johnson’s New And Improved Bartenders’ Manual the Martini was a 1:1 ratio of Old Tom Gin to Sweet(!) Vermouth, and included bitters, simple syrup and a dash of orange liqueur.
In a 1:1 Martini, paired with a good Dry Vermouth, Love Gin is a delightful is very wet Martini. And it has the added bonus of keeping you a touch less drunk, which is good, you know, if it’s Valentine’s day or the like.
Love Gin is delicious in a wide variety of cocktails, and pairs especially well with fizz. Try it in a French 75, Gin Fizz, or perhaps simplest and best yet, a Gin and Tonic. Don’t go crazy— it doesn’t need citrus, sweetening, or a flavored Elderflower Tonic— just simply prepared with a tonic like Fever Tree’s Light Tonic— I love Love gin.
As for the color-changing gimmick: While not as over-the-top as the gimmick in Sharish’s Blue Magic Gin, it’s not quite a bold, highly visible pink. At least not that I saw. It’s extremely subtle, to the point of wondering if it’s me wanting to see the pink. If the lights are turned down love, you won’t be able to see the color anyway.
Overal, Love Gin is a great floral mixing gin. Ideally suited for cocktails, it’s sure to appeal to contemporary gin fans— and it might even win over some of those who aren’t fans of gin yet. Love Gin is very accessible.
*These aren’t his tasting notes, but these are two descriptors in particular that I picked up from working with him on gin tasting projects.
** This might not be entirely fair to Mrs. Stewart, because if you google Martha Stewart Martini you can see that right on her website she advocates for an absolutely bone dry 16:1 Martini