fbpx
Bimber Distillery England

Bimber vertical

Tasting of 6 expressions of the London distillery Bimber, starting with the New Make.

Origin: England
Type: London Single Malt Whisky
Owner: The Bimber Distillery Company Limited
Average price: € 40.00
Official website: www.bimberdistillery.co.uk

On the occasion of my 100th article for this blog (yeeeh, happy birthday to me, yeeeh!), I thought I’d put together a slightly different one.
On a recent trip to London, I narrowly missed the opportunity to visit the Bimber distillery, and to console myself I got hold of their tasting set: an elegant cardboard box containing six 0.5cl. bottles, each with a different cask (or none at all) of this rising star of English whisky.
This is a great opportunity to get to know the style and spirit of this distillery, starting with freshly distilled new make.
Note: the tasting set changes all the time, so it may not contain all the bottles under review here.

BIMBER NEW MAKE SPIRIT
Gradation: 63.5%ABV
Ageing barrels: None
Chillfiltered: No
Added coloring: No
Vote: 80/100

Here we have a real gem, the liquid that comes fresh from the stills at the end of the double distillation, at a very full and transparent degree, ready to be poured into the casks chosen for ageing.
A whisky in essence.

The colour… well, of course there isn’t any, the liquid is as clear as the nose.
And the nose is powerfully cereal, it almost seems like diving into freshly leavened dough, with a very intense sweetness, like breadfruit. And indeed, it’s the fruity notes that emerge noticeably, of mango, red fruits and candied peach, with a hint of lavender. I admit that this is my first new make, so I have nothing to compare it to, and I just enjoy these unusual aromas.
The alcohol isn’t as pungent on the palate as I expected, on the contrary, it’s rather warm and welcoming. The fruity component is diluted with balsamic vinegar, along with the addition of citrus notes and lots of cereal, candyfloss, more lavender and a slight herbaceous component. Very full and round, sweet without being cloying.
The finish is rather short, cereal, dry and with a metallic note in the background.

A truly different experience, difficult to pin down: I don’t know if I would drink a whole bottle, but it remains a pleasant and unusual dram, worth trying.

BIMBER PEATED FINISH
Gradation: 54.2%
Ageing barrels: Ex-Bourbon, ex-quarter cask from Islay
Chillfiltered: No
Added coloring: No
Vote: 85/100

Dark amber in the glass.
The olfactory profile is very sweet and peaceful, of caramel, ripe peach, cantaloupe melon, fresh hazelnuts, candyfloss. The peat is just a hint, more of tobacco and wood than smoke, like opening a Caribbean humidor.
On the palate, the peat is noticeable but not aggressive, with an ashy, medicinal and marine note, well grafted onto the fruity aromas which remain pre-eminent. Slight balsamic and woody nuances, perfectly integrated alcohol that gives the right warmth.
The finish is medium-long, of ashtray, caramel, hazelnuts and fruit.

Probably very young but already very balanced, showing well the character of the distillery in a successful marriage with Islay peat.

BIMBER RE-CHARRED OAK CASKS
I have already talked about this here.

BIMBER EX-SHERRY CASK
Gradation: 54.2%
Ageing barrels: Ex-Sherry
Chillfiltered: No
Added coloring: No
Vote: 71/100

Copper in the glass.
The nose is almost like a grappa, with a distinct component of sultanas in alcohol, almonds, milk chocolate, liquorice and cinnamon. Initially a little dishevelled, if you let it breathe you amplify the warm and vinous aspect of the whisky, with an underlying acidulous note.
In the mouth, the sherry is really explosive, it almost seems as if you are drinking it straight from the glass, and it is hard to detect anything other than the heavy Spanish influence. Cinnamon, candyfloss, honey… the scents are there, but they are drowned out by the acidity and the wine.
The finish is all in all brief, with nutmeg, liquorice and a certain underlying acidity.

The example of how not to make a sherried whisky, where the cask eats the distillate and distorts its essence. Balance lies elsewhere.

BIMBER EX-BOURBON CASK
Gradation: 51.2%
Ageing barrels: Ex-Bourbon
Chillfiltered: No
Added coloring: No
Vote: 84/100

Gold in the glass.
Vanilla, malt and marzipan flood the nose, the evident youth of the whisky is well present in a marked hint of warm bread. Apple, ripe banana, dried fruit and a floral touch complete a caressing bouquet, with an elegant waxy background of wood.
The mouthfeel is very warm and enveloping, like a freshly baked apple pie, with a generous spoonful of custard. Pinch of pepper, nutmeg, banana. Butter biscuits, salt. A compact and at the same time meltingly soft mixture.
Not very long finish of bread, vanilla, hazelnut.

Excellent marriage, with a young, smooth whisky that is warm and comforting.

BIMBER VIRGIN AMERICAN OAK CASK
Gradation: 53.1%
Ageing barrels: American Virgin Oak
Chillfiltered: No
Added coloring: No
Vote: 79/100

Dark amber in the glass.
Boy, can you smell that oak! Warm cereal full of vanilla, caramel and honey, hazelnuts, ripe banana and freshly cut wood, the latter very persistent. At times reminiscent of crunchy muesli served with wood chips, appetising (in its own way).
When the muesli hits the palate, they sprinkled plenty of pepper on top, with some milk chocolate praline and a slice of melon. Wood less present than on the nose but well grafted to the background. Very full and rounded.
Quite long finish of wood, caramel, pepper and hazelnuts.

Virgin casks are always a risk, their influence is very strong and tends to overpower the malt. We are certainly not dealing here with perfection or complexity, but with a straightforward whisky, simple without being banal and very welcoming.

Other bottlings in the blog:
Bimber Ex-Bourbon Oak Cask Batch No. 1
Bimber Ex-Bourbon Single Cask #12
Bimber Re-Charred Oak Casks 2019

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: