Edin Mill SMWS 136.2 'Paradise in a Paradis' 2015 / 3 years old 60.4% Review.
“Och, there’s been a murder Jean”, Mark McManus’s red rimmed eyes filled the screen.
Dad exhaled a long slow sigh of contentment, as the stress of a day in the BNZ Bank lifted from his weary shoulders. His eyes eerily similar to Marks.
The corner of my young nose surreptitiously sniffed out the tendrils of tobacco from his smouldering panatela, as I sat alongside in our matching Stanley Parker chairs.
The lights were dim, but the honeyed glow of a 40w sidelight shone down on a cut crystal decanter on the sideboard, half filled with Walnut Brown Sherry. Another delight with which I was secretly intimately familiar. Dark-mahogany-coloured sweet oloroso sherry, made from a blend of Palomino, Pedro Ximénez and Moscatel, aged in a solera system for four years minimum promised the bottle label.
But no sherry, or women for that matter, in the room tonight! Tonight, is the best night of the week, its Taggart night! And there is only one drink for the gritty black and white streets of Glasgow. Scotch! And even better, I’m allowed one.
I make sure it lasts the entire show, sniffing it more often than sipping it. Holding each tiny sip until it dissolves. Then slowly, reluctantly, released.
Generally Grants, sometimes Dimple, or if Aunty Jan had been to visit Chivas Regal, which Dad said was the best, because it had the Royal Warrant. On the very rare occasion it the rather challenging Glenfiddich 12, ‘the only Single Malt’, like sipping black flag fly spray – but we were men!
Fast forward 40 years, Dads 97 now, in a home. We still enjoy a malt together. The Stanley Parkers are in the garage, worth quite a bit these days I’m told.
Detective Series and Scotch are ingrained, intertwined. Sniffing the tobacco and sherry of Edin Mill’s SMWS 136.2 'Paradise in a Paradis' 2015 / 3 years old 60.4% takes me right back to those heady nights.
There have been many series over the years. More recently: Happy Valley, Broadchurch, The Killing, but none can take the place of Taggart.
The Scotch is so much better these days. Dad proclaimed the Gordon & Macphail Glentauchers 1994/2014 as “this is the drink I’ve been looking for my entire life, absolutely perfect”. That one comment got him 3 bottles of it, which we treasured for several years’ special occasions.
This Edin Mill is something special too. I was convinced it would not be possible for a small craft distiller to produce something this good so quickly. I thought you would need many decades, trial and error, maturation and refinement of people and process, no matter how good your still or your casks.
But Edin Mill as beer brewing experts are choosing malts inherent to beer in its mash: pale malt, chocolate malt and crystal malt. Bringing better Worts, and clearly very skilled operation of their artisan Alembic still to the table. By filling only 8 barrels a week, they can ensure each barrel is of the highest quality.
Remarkably complex for a 3yo, no doubt due to the first fill ex-oloroso hogshead of spicy Spanish oak. Glorious oloroso sherry, warm tobacco leaves, Christmas almond paste. Spices, clove and nutmeg. Golden wildflower honey, hazelnuts, and a slight lemon zest.
Flavours of raisins, dates, figs, sun warmed hessian wool bags, dust motes on the wooden floor of a disused shearing shed. Old leather horse saddles, polished to a sheen. Dark raw demerara sugar on a green granny smith apple.
298 bottles that herald Craft Distillers are coming.
The future has never looked better.