Type: London Single Malt Whisky
Ageing barrels: Ex-Bourbon re-charred
Added coloring: No
Owner: The Bimber Distillery Company Limited
Average price: € 76.00
Official website: www.bimberdistillery.co.uk
Let’s move away, but only slightly, from Scotland and into England to try the latest bottling from one of the youngest and most interesting British distilleries, Bimber.
It’s in fact a start-up founded by enthusiasts of Polish origin, whose link with whisky goes back three generations when the grandfather of the Master Distiller produced his own distillate, called Moonshine (in Polish, Bimber).
The passion was then passed on to Darius Plazewski from a young age, and blossomed in 2015 when he and Ewelina established the distillery in London after immigrating there in 2003.
And the family’s artisan origins have been fully respected even in modern times, with a production process that pays almost maniacal attention to every step.
For example, barley is sourced from a single farm in Hampshire, chosen from many applicants, which is visited regularly to check the crop.
The barley is malted on a single floor at Warminster Maltings, and set aside for Bimber to avoid contamination between farms, while the peating is done in-house, using an oven designed by Darius himself. It’s then not ground but crushed, preserving the skins as Darius doesn’t want them to interfere with the sweetness and clarity of the wort.
Not to mention the very long fermentation of 7 days, using two types of yeast they themselves created…
For this bottling, the re-toasting of the casks was, again, carried out in the distillery.
In the glass it’s a deep caramel colour with intense coppery tones.
The high alcohol content isn’t intrusive at all on the nose, which is enveloped in an embrace of ripe fruit, sultanas, prunes, vanilla and a slight hint of wood. There’s also a hint of spice and almond. Persuasive.
Oily and soft on the palate, the first sip is coating and warm, with a sweet profile on a cinnamon undertone that makes it almost Christmas-like: dried apricots and peaches, vanilla, a little pepper, almonds. All well blended and balanced, some would say drinkable but in a good way: for a young whisky (4 years, I suppose) it has much more structure than other more aged whiskies.
The finish is not very long, of ripe fruit, cinnamon and vanilla.
A truly incredible achievement for such a young whisky, which can only create hype for the more aged bottlings to come: keep an eye on them, because they work very well.