Longtime clients Eden Mill have just released their 2023 Art of St Andrews Single Malt.
“I pulled my inspiration and influence from location, from the flavours in the whisky. Every single word about that grassiness and vibrancy and smoky sweetness. Every one of those made me think, OK, colour or texture or, you know, combination of things. How can I play with that?”
Every year, St Andrews based distillery Eden Mill releases a new single malt whisky in collaboration with a local artist who creates a bespoke piece of art to complement the liquid. This year, they engaged Jill Calder, an award winning St Andrews based illustrator and calligrapher who was inspired by local flora and fauna when she designed the piece that wraps around the box and graces the bottle this year. Says Jill:
“I kind of pulled my inspiration and influence from location, from the flavours in the whisky and what Eden Mill wanted to kind of achieve with that. You know, every single word about that grassiness and vibrancy and smoky sweetness, you know, there was a whole list of things. Every one of those made me think, OK, colour or texture or, you know, combination of things. How can I play with that?”
Head distiller Scott Ferguson developed this year’s single malt with a fresh perspective, as Eden Mill’s new distillery begins to take shape on their historic site on the Eden Estuary. With each new release in the series they begin with whisky they set down years ago, experimenting with flavour interaction and developing the palate of each one. Each new release showcases a different combination of flavours, layering new finishes and completing a process which takes years to perfect.
Like the whisky, Jill’s art style is complex and multi-layered. Making her own textures by hand, she incorporated elements that represented the smoky notes of the whisky and the earthiness of it, and layered them with illustrated local animals, people, places and the brand new distillery itself.
“We’re returning our distillation to the town of St Andrews, working closely with the University as part of the Eden campus to be as sustainable as we can and set up our distillery and visitor centre experience that can do the town proud.”
Scott says: “We’re returning our distillation to the town of St Andrews, working closely with the University as part of the Eden campus to be as sustainable as we can and set up our distillery and visitor centre experience that can do the town proud.”
We’ve worked on Art of St Andrews since 2019, collaborating on three single malt releases in this range with Eden Mill. This year Tangent engaged with Jill as she developed her piece and how it would wrap around the box and label. We dropped some of the print embellishments we’ve used in previous editions of this range to make the box and bottle easier to recycle, in line with Eden Mill’s sustainability philosophy, and Jill redrew the Eden Mill logo in her own unique style as another extra little lovely touch.
We worked with director Nick Afchain and videographer Gavin White to create a promotional video for the release which captured the stunning setting of St Andrews and the new distillery, and a conversation between artist and distiller on their inspiration and process.
The 2023 release is lightly sweet on the nose, thanks to being finished in cognac casks. Scott says:
“What I've aimed for is to really balance the peatiness out with sweeter, fruity notes via cask finishing. Kind of reining the smokey influence; smooth it out around the edges. It’s a sweet, smokey, shortbread kind of profile. Something that's accessible to everyone.” Eden Mill’s Art of St Andrews 2023 is available in stores and online now.