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London Whisky Club Bimber Tasting

The whisky industry has adapted surprisingly quickly to lockdown conditions. After playing a bit of technological catch up, distilleries and bottlers have been launching online tastings through various social media and video conferencing applications. Tasting packs are sent out in the mail, and we are then transported from our living rooms to the heart of the operation to hear from the people who are most knowledgeable and passionate about their product. It seems to me that this is a far more interesting, efficient and cost-effective way to spread brand awareness. I wonder if it will have any effect on the role of brand ambassadors and marketing departments going forward. Regardless, I think they will be kicking themselves for not having done something similar earlier, and I suspect we may see this continue even when the lockdown ends.

The London Whisky Club always has its finger on the pulse and has been quick to seize this new opportunity to arrange several different virtual tastings, and not just for its membership either. It is no secret that TLWC and Bimber have a close working relationship, which even resulted in a club bottling, a first for both sides, so it came as no surprise that a live virtual Bimber tasting was on the cards. Unfortunately, I am in the minority of those who have yet to fall under the spell of this hometown distillery. This has been for a few reasons; water, target market, and value.

It is clear that Bimber puts huge stock in their production process, undertaking some quite unique practices in fermentation alone, as has been outlined in articles here before. The ‘craft’ message is also integral to their brand image and marketing; ‘craft’ appears nine times on the homepage alone. I see this appealing to a very niche target market only, to those who know of and are interested in the nitty gritty details, things like fermentation times, yeast strains, and barley types, and seeing what effect these have on the final product in its purest form. I cannot understand, therefore, why the releases so far have all been watered down, as if intended for a different audience altogether. It makes no sense to go to all that trouble innovating to impart maximum flavour, giving us insight into that process, only to then water down the end product and wash away all the hard work. After all the buildup it is the ultimate tease, and the results have been reflected in the whisky. The recharred small batch release has so much promise on the nose, followed by a watery palate and a bitter aftertaste, literally and figuratively, where a finish should have been. If only it had been cask strength, or maybe even a single cask release, the category it somehow managed to win at the world whiskies awards. Ultimately, if these releases are designed with a niche market in mind, then let us have the natural product and we will enjoy playing with water addition ourselves. If instead they are intended for a wider mass market, then why bother telling us about the innovative craft processes, or even employing them at all. I have been left frustrated and confused as to who these whiskies are really for, especially when we consider the prices, which, being frank, have been outlandish. No three-year-old whisky should ever cost £120, regardless of whether it comes presented in half an oak tree. Even if we are to make allowances for that as an inaugural bottling filled with pomp and ceremony, I have failed to find value in any of the subsequent releases. I do not think myself alone in this either, as many people have told me in private, however most seem unwilling to speak their minds publicly and go against the steady stream of positive press.

You may think me harsh, and that I am coming into this tasting with a heavy negative bias, however this could not be further from the truth. I am rooting for Bimber. I desperately want to love their whisky, to feel a hometown pride and proclaim that a London distillery can rival the very best in Scotland. I admit, I am unafraid to speak my mind and give criticism where I think it due, however it stems from the frustration of what I feel is untapped potential. It should also speak volumes that, after over a month without a single whisky purchase, this was the first thing I have wanted to spend my new whisky budget on. This was an easy decision with the promise of four new drams for just £15, the first Bimber bargain in my mind; one of the selling points to the group was that even I would drink Bimber for that price. Upon delivery, it is also clear that Bimber have easily won the virtual tasting pack game. As you can see, there are two new makes, peated and unpeated, four drams, a tasting glass, and some samples of barley and yeast. In addition, but out of picture, we have a lump of peat and a chunk of cask. They have really gone out of their way to mimic the complete sensory experience of a distillery visit as closely as possible. A quick note also, that the ex-sherry and the ex-port labels were mixed up by mistake, which rather adds to the local ‘craft distillery’ charm.

Bimber New make spirit 63.5% – review

Colour: Clear coat.

On the nose: Intensely fruity. I get bags of blackcurrants first, almost like Ribena. Then mango, pear and papaya. Malt loaf. Date paste and a hint of caramel, a sticky toffee pudding vibe. Water brings some chalk and wet grass, but not much else.

In the mouth: A lovely mix of fruit and malt. Plump raisins, malt extract and barley. A gentle pepper and cinnamon spice builds. Then a never-ending finish of the most intense fresh apple and pear I have ever tasted in whisky. Water does not help, the flavours remain the same but become very muted.

Score: 5/10

Bimber Peated new make spirit. 50+ppm 63.5% – review

Colour: Clear coat.

On the nose: All the fruity aromas of the regular new make with added sooty coal dust. Old musty leather-bound books. The fruit and peat come in alternating waves. Water brings chalk, lemon oil and shoe polish.

In the mouth: Oily, sooty and a light funk. Bruised overripe orchard fruits, sweet blackcurrant jam and a thick layer of soot and shoe polish over the top. A very gentle pepper spice and a hint of sea salt. Shoe polish, lime zest and bitumen lead into the finish. Water brings nothing new.

Score: 6/10

Bimber Ex-bourbon vatting 46.2% – review

Color: Softsun.

On the nose: Noses initially like a bourbon, strong notes of vanilla, caramel and cinnamon. Then some marzipan comes through, followed by ripe pear and a hint of mango. A whiff of menthol in the background. With time in the glass, malt, barley sugar and heather honey. Water gets you no further.

In the mouth: Very thin mouthfeel, vanilla and caramel emerge again first, but less intense than the nose would suggest. Apples, malt and barley sugar follow. Quite a spicy kick builds with pepper heat and cinnamon. A very short finish with faint toasted oak and a hint of apple. Water highlights the malt and barley, and brings out a light grassiness. Bitterness in the finish.

Score: 4/10

Bimber Oloroso sherry finish – review

Roughly three and a half years in bourbon before a three-month finish in oloroso. 51.5%.

Colour: Golden koi.

On the nose: Sharp and tannic. Hints of sultanas and sweet white wine. Clove oil, bitter walnut and a hint of prune juice. A little leather and milk chocolate. Not much going on. Water improves this surprisingly, even with a whiff of struck matches, with grassy and malty notes coming through.

In the mouth: Very thin and watery. Some hints of sultanas, cinnamon, pepper and clove. Very bitter walnut skins. A finish of wet cardboard. Again, surprisingly, adding water improves this. The notes of cardboard and bitterness are toned down while allowing some of those malty barley notes to come forward.

Score: 3/10

Bimber Ex-sherry (labelled ex-port) – review

Full term oloroso maturation 58.9%

Colour: Symphony red.

On the nose: Rich and decadent! Pan de higo (a Mediterranean compressed fig cake). Buttery chocolate fudge. A hint of oak. Sweet and sticky toffee sauce. Cinder toffee. Vanilla and cinnamon coming through in the background. With time, red apple skins. I prefer this without water, as you lose the wonderful cinder toffee and caramel, but it does bring some milk chocolate and orchard fruits.

In the mouth: Sweet and oily. Black cherry syrup, roasted prunes and a little salty meat broth. Blood orange juice. A building spice kick with pepper, clove and star anise. You think the finish is all crunchie chocolate bar, but then chocolate covered cranberries and toasted almond flakes come through. Again, I prefer this without water, as the cinder toffee in the crunchie turns bitter. You do get some nice underlying notes of malt extract and dark rye bread.

Score: 7/10

Bimber Ex-port (labelled ex-sherry) – review

Full maturation in ruby port 59.7%.

Colour: Bright delight.

On the nose: Dark chocolate, raisins and heaps of sandalwood. Strawberries in balsamic vinegar. Tangy cranberries. Cracked black pepper and clove. After time blackcurrant juice and malt extract come through. With water a little cardamom and clarified butter. Dried apricots.

In the mouth: Sandalwood, cinnamon and cayenne spice kick from the get go. Macerated raisins. Quite hot and spirity in the finish. With water ripe apples and pears. Malt comes through in the finish but it remains spirity.

Score: 5/10

Conclusions

I would like to thank The London Whisky Club and Bimber for organising such a fantastic virtual tasting for us. Special thanks also go to Matt, our excellent tasting host, who delivered a seamless virtual experience, giving us further insight into Bimber production and fielding a barrage of questions. Given my concerns around dilution, I was relieved to hear his thoughts about wanting to move more towards cask strength releases, so I am hopeful that we will finally get some Bimber in its natural state. After all, I think we are all capable of adding our own droplets of water should we want to, and I think Matt agrees. The question remains of what the price of entry will be, as none of these have been released, bar the unpeated new make. Only time will tell. We could argue about hypothetical prices until the cows come home, however as a rough guide I have scored these with prices in mind that I think would be more in keeping with the contents.

Starting with the new makes, a very pleasant surprise! Rough around the edges, as you would expect, however very good all the same. The unpeated spirit is an absolute fruit bomb with the most incredible notes of fresh apple and pear I have ever tasted in spirit, completely different to the more estery fruit notes one usually finds. Tropical fruit notes are also there as well as sweet and sticky malt to give it some extra layers. I have to give the edge to the peated, however, which is even more layered and complex with a lovely highland style of peat that I am enjoying more than Islay these days, sooty and dirty. While a dram of the unpeated would be sufficient for an evening, the peated is very drinkable and moreish, and I find myself wanting another. Adding water did not add a huge amount to either one, but neither did it detract much. In terms of price, the distillery recently sold bottles of unpeated new make for £38, and I assume the peated will be similarly priced. This feels a little high, even with the novelty aspect, though I may still be tempted by the peated. What I cannot get my head around is how or why the new make offers the best flavour to value ratio of any of the releases so far. As an afterthought, I blended together what I had left of each new make and added a drop of PX sherry. I think we are going to be in for a serious treat in three years when the peated releases start to emerge.

Moving onto the bourbon vatting, the curse of the water strikes again. I would not have guessed that this was 46%, the palate feels like a 40% whisky that you sloppily add too much water to during experimentation. Is it perhaps the way in which water is added? There are many examples of whiskies on the market that still retain incredible mouthfeel and flavour at 46%; the whole ranges of Springbank and Distell to name just two. It is a real shame, because the nose is quite lovely, and I feel the flavours would still be light and crisp even at a higher abv. The fruitiness of the Bimber spirit shines through, with plenty of fresh malt and barley. There is so much potential, however the mouthfeel and delivery are missing. If only this were cask strength! In terms of price, should it make it to retail, if I had paid £40, I would already be disappointed, and I have scored it as such.

The Oloroso finish has not come together at all; the nose and palate are both very disjointed, muted and wet. In this case I think the problems run deeper than just over dilution, however the lasting impression is of very bitter walnut skins and soggy cardboard. Though too wet already, adding substantial amounts of water helped to dial down the unpleasant notes, while bringing forward some malt and barley. Should it retail, I have scored it as if it were under £55, though regardless of price you would be far better off purchasing the new make.

The ex-sherry is the best of the bunch, a big, luxurious sherry bomb. For the first time I am seeing what is possible from this distillery at cask strength, and it is wonderful, full of mouth coating oils and lingering layered flavours. Granted, there is not a lot of the Bimber character left, but with a little patience and a drop of water some of the malt and fruit start to emerge. In any case, of this style of whisky it is a very good example, almost reminiscent of some Adelphi sherry cask picks. There is always a very fine line with these before they become high strength sherry, and my fear is that this is already very slightly past its peak at the time of tasting, so I just hope that this cask is bottled at once if not before. Regarding hypothetical price, I have scored this as if it were retailing under £65, which I think is more than reasonable for a 3yr cask strength whisky.

Finally, the ex-port. This one is not ready for bottling, so it is slightly meaningless to score this. Even so, the nose is fantastic, joint favourite for me alongside the ex-sherry, and gives us insight into where this is headed. Though spirity, the palate also shows promise, retaining definite notes of the fruity new make while also starting to assimilate some of the port cask flavours. In the meantime, it will continue accumulating age and flavour, and I look forward to finding out what this is evolves into. Once again, it showcases what cask strength Bimber is capable of, and this sample was actually one of the favourites for the whole tasting group.

My curiosity for Bimber has only increased with this tasting. The base spirits are wonderful, so what they are doing in production is clearly working. I still need convincing over cask management, as the end products have been more miss than hit so far. I remain certain that water addition, or the method used to do so, is detracting hugely from the final products, and these cask strength samples alongside the new makes prove that to me. Price remains the biggest sticking point. At the current price structure, I cannot justify the outlay. I am sure that London rents coupled with a long and loving production process result in higher than average distillery costs, however the liquid in the bottle ultimately has to live up to the price tag. I worry that as time goes on and the novelty wears off, people who have been emotionally invested and making allowances for teething issues will start to question the discrepancy between price and quality. I remain optimistic though, these cask strength samples, if bottled at full strength, will go some way to closing that divide.

CategoriesEnglish
  1. Adam Wells
    Adam Wells says:

    Hi Sleuth

    Firstly, nice piece! I’ve not had the Bimbers you tasted, new-makes excepted, but it looks like Mark and I have had more positive experiences than you so far. Nice to see another perspective on Malt.

    That said, I wonder whether you’d consider penning your pieces under your own name? The beauty of Malt is that it bristles with (educated, I hope) opinions. We call out greed and malpractice when we believe we have seen it; we critique, occasionally we lambast. (As well as shining deserved light on the drinks industry’s better angels).

    Given that approach it is wholly natural that many of our readers will disagree, and will want to exercise their right of response. Quite appropriate and par for the course, as I say. Writing under our own names allows readers to respond, critically or positively, under more or less equal terms. It affords, I think, a degree of respect. Granted, respect isn’t always shown on either side – I’ve been pretty excoriating on this site before and it is therefore perfectly understandable that others have excoriated back. It’s part of the job. But it’s a courtesy, I think, to let them know who they’re yelling at.

    Perhaps more significantly, the whole point of Malt – indeed the whole point of criticism full stop – is to put our tastes into a public forum, to allow people to gradually become familiar with our predilections, styles and (yes) foibles and to weigh them against their own in order to use the critic’s writing as a more effective relative gauge. Again, this is only possible if you know who the critic is. “Whisky sleuth” could be anyone – or could be an existing Malt writer – or could be a whole bunch of people. There’s a quote from AA Gill somewhere suggesting that one should only take advice from critics whose name and face you can see, and I do think there’s something in that.

    Finally, this site, as we have seen, exists to call out what we see as bullshit; to use our experience to educate and to reveal things that might be hidden from an ordinary punter so that they don’t find themselves hornswoggled. In brief: to offer transparency. And I don’t think we can credibly call for transparency and full disclosure if we aren’t providing it ourselves by nailing our own colours to the mast. Exposing ourselves a bit. Openly speaking our mind so that anyone who reads our opinions knows whose mind is being spoken. It’s public, it comes with repercussions, and it still gives me nerves even today. But I think it’s the only way to be completely fair to our readers and to the brands we put under our microscope.

    Obviously I’m not going to tell you what to do, and couldn’t if I wanted to. But as a long-serving and regular Malt contributor I do feel something of a stake in how the site is perceived. I couldn’t care less if people disagree with or don’t like us/me. And there will always be a bit of maliciousness and slander from the people who *really* don’t like us. But generally I think this site has a reputation for complete openness, honesty and willingness to speak our minds in a very public forum. It’s one that attracted me to Malt in the days before I was even a contributor, one that influenced my decision to contribute when Mark and JJ first approached me, and one that I’m still proud of and keen to defend today.

    Again, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed your writing today and previously. Just thought I’d offer my tuppenceworth as a colleague on Malt.

    Best wishes – and please keep the articles up!

    Adam W.

    1. TheWhiskySleuth
      TheWhiskySleuth says:

      Adam reply

      Hi Adam,

      Thanks for reading and taking the time to respond. I too enjoy reading your pieces very much, the whisky ones I should add, as I am not quite ready to fall down another rabbit hole…yet.

      The short answer to your question/suggestion is that I considered it, but decided against it for professional reasons. With that said, expression and identity are not dependent on one another. People have been writing, drawing, creating content, with or without revealing identities since the beginning. What we each offer is an expression of self, not of identity. To say we offer transparency, or truth, is a misnomer. We can only ever offer our own subjective truth. People are then free to take in the content they choose, and align themselves as close to, or as far away from it as they like. You are right, as we take in a body of work, regardless of the medium, we can begin to glimpse at the personality behind it, but a glimpse is all it will be. Does the identity have any bearing on this? No, it serves only as a heading under which we can file that grouping of content. If Monet were Manet, and Manet were Monet, would it really matter how we view the qualities in each body of work? If my piece had been published under the name John Smith, would the opinion expressed be any more or less valid?

      This brings me to the respect you mention. I think we often give too much respect to mere identities. Revelling in one’s own persona can be a dangerous thing. We all now know that there is not much stock in the opinions of the biblical prophet with the Indiana Jones hat. You get more transparency and truth in an Ikea manual. Is your opinion, or mine, or Serge’s most true or honest? They are all just personal opinions, versions of the truth, nothing more, however it is natural after all to want to place our trust and respect in some of these identities. People forget that we all have our own versions of the truth to discover. Perhaps detaching from a meaningless identity will actually foster more critical thinking on the nature of the actual content. Much like a blind whisky tasting actually.

      Regardless, if/when we cross paths, I shall introduce myself without hesitation in the hope that we can enjoy more spirited discussion over a dram, or a cider. Perhaps that will be the time to venture down that particular rabbit hole.

      1. Mrs. Will Ferrell
        Mrs. Will Ferrell says:

        Adam, while transparency is a tenant all of us Malt contributors value, I think it’s a tad inappropriate to ask Sleuth to “reveal himself”. In fact it seems to be the complete antithesis of a Sleuth to put all his cards on the table, so to speak. Furthermore, it’s pretty pervy to ask a person to expose himself on here! This isn’t a nudist colony! Have some decency you perv!

        1. TheWhiskySleuth
          TheWhiskySleuth says:

          ‘We’re going streaking through the quad and into the gymnasium! Come on everybody!’ I’ll go of Adam goes…

  2. Avatar
    Nikkhil says:

    Hi WS. A nicely balanced piece on Bimber. Matt is a very dear friend but we’ve never really discussed Bimber as such. The general feedback, here on Malt as well as on whisky verse has been nothing short of Bimber being “the” distillery amongst the clutch of English distilleries. I’m surprised to learn that the whisky seems watered down @46.2%. Given such meticulous attention to production I would have expected quite the opposite.

    1. TheWhiskySleuth
      TheWhiskySleuth says:

      Hi Nik, the potential for greatness is certainly there, and I really hope it all comes together over the coming years. I am actively trying to branch out more into English whisky, but even after only tasting one expression from Cotswolds, Bimber is very far from being THE English whisky currently, for me anyway. In the immediate future cask strength releases and a pricing adjustment would go a long way to fixing some of my issues.

      1. Avatar
        Nik says:

        I agree WS. I’ve tried Costwold and Lakes and the former won hands down for me. Pricing will always be a variable which we will simply have to live with as we are doing now. My concerns were more to do with the juice itself. But I’m sure they are good chaps and will pay heed to constructive feedback and with Matt being there I have absolutely no doubt about it.

        I loved your response to Adam. And I agree there with you as well. I too was tempted to write as Whiskyflu but the missus vetoed it. Cannot not abide by her. Especially in a lockdown.

        1. TheWhiskySleuth
          TheWhiskySleuth says:

          Cotswolds is definitely something I’d like to explore more of, and I’m hearing good things about the recent Sauternes release, here on malt as well as from friends. Nik, marital bliss is far and beyond more important than any of our waffling here, so I am very pleased to hear that you made the correct decision in that department!

  3. Avatar
    Mark says:

    Nice to see a Bimber review that dispels the hype a little bit. Michael at Diving for Pearls made a good analysis a few weeks ago, and it was welcome to have someone burst that bubble a bit and point out that it’s still young whisky. I know Kilchoman got a lot of hype early in its career and I don’t think that has helped it develop into maturity now that it should be releasing more mature spirit.
    https://www.divingforpearlsblog.com/2020/04/bimber-distillery-six-test-batches-and.html

    1. TheWhiskySleuth
      TheWhiskySleuth says:

      Hi Mark. I definitely was not trying to actively dispel any hype, but I certainly have not been bowled over by my experiences so far, and can only say as much. As I was saying to Adam above, the opinions we give here can only ever be our individual versions of the truth. The more versions of the truth the better I think, only then can we start to form a better picture of what’s going on. It has definitely felt as though many people have not wanted to go against the steady stream of praise, but maybe that is now starting to change. Thanks for the link, it sounds as though we agree on some core issues, a feeling of the whisky being incomplete, and the pricing structure. I also agree on the potential being there, so my fingers are crossed that some changes are made to correct course and we have some excellent releases in the coming years.

      1. Avatar
        Mark says:

        I didn’t quite mean that I felt there was a need to go on anti-hype crusade as such! I haven’t personally tried Bimber but I wondered if it had become one of Malt’s ‘favoured distilleries’ more because of the way they operate than the product they produce, and reading the link I mentioned made me more suspicious. I don’t want to sound like I have a downer on Malt as I’m an avid reader (except of the non whisky reviews, lol) but I often feel like there’s stronger praise or criticism of certain distilleries than other bloggers. I’m glad that Malt have called out some of the dubious practices of certain producers but they do tend to divide distilleries into Jedi and Sith if you know what I mean. As to you being an anonymous writer, if I end up starting a blog I certainly would be anonymous as well as I work with children and don’t really need a google search for my name coming up with booze reviews!

        1. TheWhiskySleuth
          TheWhiskySleuth says:

          I think it’s natural for people to want to write about things that speak to them in some way, whether that’s positive or negative, so I think that probably has some part to play in these two extremes where people are either singing a distilleries praises or lambasting them for something. The way around that is to have multiple voices, which is one of the great things about MALT. As such there has been vocal praise of Bimber, and some more tempered responses from myself, John and some tasting notes from Jason on their first release. Even so I think we’ve all agreed on that potential within the spirit.

          As for anonymity that’s exactly it, professional reasons as I said to Adam. It doesn’t matter a bit to me whether someone has an alias, and it makes your opinion or anyone else’s no less valid. For all we know half the names on here could be aliases. It’s the content and discussion that counts.

  4. Avatar
    Graham Ward says:

    Hi Whisky Sleuth, I find myself agreeing with much of what you say. I seem to be a lone voice in the wilderness for my heresy of daring to question the quality of the Whiskies. Underlying this I will say that I enjoyed the ex-sherry to a degree and I think the Port finish, after having more than just a couple of months in the Port cask will produce an interesting full-bodied whisky. I am not a real fan of the new make, and when I compare to something like Kilchoman or even Cotswold, I find them much sweeter and more rounded. The bourbon cask I found to be very bitter and the Oloroso just mixed up.

    I agree that quality of casks and cask management are going to be absolutely vital if they are to produce Whiskies of any quality. I am sure that I will be told to go and stand in the corner, but a balance in all things is vital, and if we all like the same whisky it would be a limited world. I will continue to try the Whiskies as they age and hope for a little more than those that I have tried to date.

    1. TheWhiskySleuth
      TheWhiskySleuth says:

      Hi Graham, thanks for stopping in. It recently became clear to me that, while we might still be in a minority, there are actually many people who feel the same. Hopefully more people will make their opinions heard, only that way can we hope for the distillery to listen and take note of what changes could be implemented. The ex sherry was certainly best of the bunch, however it runs the risk of spoiling if it is left any longer in the cask. I haven’t tried the kilchoman or Cotswolds new makes yet, or the holy grail that is Dornoch, or so I hear. All to add to the to-try list, though I think the Bimber offerings are solid, especially the peated, and have all the potential needed to produce wonderful whisky if properly managed. I hope we’ll share a virtual dram on some more of the upcoming tastings.

      1. Graham
        Graham says:

        Hi Whisky Sleuth,

        What you describe sounds like a fantastic evening and it’s really interesting to see TLWC running more of these emerging distillery tastings.

        I’m really interested in the interface between sherry enhanced whiskies and sherry flavoured whisky that you touched upon. Some sherry bomb hunters would be best with a 60/40 mix of fine sherry and a good 10 year old for both value for money and colour! Where as others prefer more of the whisky character. Quite a few young distilleries are pumping out sherry flavoured whisky at 3 years old at the moment.

        1. TheWhiskySleuth
          TheWhiskySleuth says:

          That’s a topic close to my heart Graham, and something that I’ll be touching on in passing in another write up. I’m in the camp that wants to taste some distillery character alongside my sherry. Especially given the prices being charged for these Coca Cola coloured sherry bombs. I quite agree that if sherry flavours are your only goal then it would be far more economical to pick up a quality sherry in the supermarket and add it to any whisky of your choice. In fact I do enjoy experimenting with some whiskies I find a bit dull. Try adding a few drops of PX, or port, or any kind of fortified wine, and you can suddenly transform an average dram into something experimental and fun.

  5. John
    John says:

    Hi WS,

    “I cannot understand, therefore, why the releases so far have all been watered down, as if intended for a different audience altogether. It makes no sense to go to all that trouble innovating to impart maximum flavour, giving us insight into that process, only to then water down the end product and wash away all the hard work.”

    Any idea what the tax system there is like for locally distilled spirits? Maybe there’s an economic reason for the watering down.

    The tasting notes for the unaged distillates sound delicious. I’ll be very eager to get my hands on those some day.

    1. TheWhiskySleuth
      TheWhiskySleuth says:

      Hi John, im not sure the cost is the issue, and I think they did release a cask strength bourbon as their first founders club bottle. Matt also suggested that he’d like to move more towards cask strength releases. I can only guess but I would imagine it has been done to try and cater more to average drinkers, but as I put it to everyone in the piece, most of those interested in Bimber aren’t your average drinker. Of course you can increase bottle numbers also. The water issue has got me even more interested since your little addition experiment, and it’s made me wonder if the problem stems from the way in which they add water, or the time frame over which it’s done.

      1. John
        John says:

        Heh. Maybe you can mention the water experiment to them. It’s a French brandy tradition so there should be some legitimacy to it.

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