Bimber is an ambitious craft distillery that’s fairly new to the UK whisky scene. Their founder, Dariusz Plazewski, established the distillery in an industrial corner of West London in 2015 and named it for the Polish word for moonshine. Bimber’s single malts are true grain-to-glass offerings, relying on traditional floor-malted, hand-mashed barley sourced from a single local farm and distilled on small copper pot stills. They even cooper their own barrels. While Bimber is currently a small-scale operation, Plazewski has plans to double their London-based production in the near future and perhaps even add an entirely separate distillery site in Scotland.
At present, the distillery doesn’t offer a core range of products despite being distributed in almost 30 countries. Their first small release in 2019 has been followed by a steady stream of single casks and a few small batch releases. In late 2021, the distillery launched Apogee XII Pure Malt Whisky, a sourced blended malt finished in ex-Bimber casks. It’s the only year-round offering to date from Bimber, which has plans to eventually bring production entirely in-house once they scale up. We received a nice sampling of three different expressions from the current portfolio for review. Thoughts follow.
Bimber Distilery Apogee XII Pure Malt Whisky – A blend of select malt whiskies aged at least 12 years and sourced from the Speyside and Highlands region of Scotland before being enhanced through additional maturation in ex-Bimber single malt casks. The nose is rich and toasty with malt sugars, sweet biscuits, orange blossom honey, and a bit of green orchard fruit. The palate is viscous and sweet with notes of stewed apple, pear cake, and gentle baking spice. A bit of white pepper and barrel char arrive on the finish, offering contrast to all that sugary fruit and resolving into a lingering, mildly spiced finish of mint and peach candies. 92.6 proof. A- / $90
Bimber Distillery Ex-Bourbon Oak Cask Batch No. 3 – A blend of house-distilled Bimber single malts aged in ex-bourbon casks and bottled at cask strength. The nose is elegant and fruity with notes of ripe peach, apple juice, and Christmas cake. The malts are honeyed and gentle with a slightly buttery edge. On the palate, this whisky is lush and packed with flavor. Bright, sweet notes of peach tart and apple pie are a bit outsized at first but turn to subtler, pulpy citrus and dried apricot on the mid-palate. Cinnamon toast, nutmeg, and green tea arrive on the generous finish and linger. A sweeter single malt to be sure, but still very nicely done. 103.2 proof. A / $120 [BUY IT NOW FROM DRIZLY]
Bimber Distillery USA Edition Oloroso Finish Single Cask – Selected for the U.S. market by Glass Revolution Imports and finished for an unspecified amount of time in what the back label refers to as an “outstanding single oloroso sherry cask.” The aroma is rich with fruit cobbler and almond paste. Despite the finishing, the orchard and stone fruit notes in the underlying single malt manage to show off, becoming mostly peach candies and black cherry as things open up. The palate is honeyed and a touch spicy at cask strength with notes of dried berries, candied orange peel, and sugared almonds. The mid-palate sees that mild initial spice build into a warming finish of candied ginger, orange marmalade, and cherry cola. 116.4 proof. A- / $140 [BUY IT NOW FROM DRIZLY]