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Bimber Single Cask Santa’s Edition 2023

Merry Christmas. All the team at Malt wish you a very fantastic day. If you do not celebrate Christmas, I hope you are having a joyous and relaxing holiday period.

Whisky is an acquired taste. Something which takes time – and often encouragement – to enjoy. If you think back to how and why you got into whisky, our collective experiences follow a few similar iterations, but usually start with not enjoying what you believed to be whisky until a particular expression or distillery was discovered. We often mature into whisky as we grow out of the sweet one-dimensional spirits and party drinks of our youth.

Have you become accustomed, or does this actually taste good? Is there an element of peer-pressure-related brainwashing going on? After all, beer is an acquired taste too; plenty of other foods and drinks fall into that category. Cigarettes taste absolutely disgusting to all initially, cigars perhaps the same.

Now imagine an alternative universe where you grow up on the sweet smell of flowers. Sweet perfume, rose petals and the like. Everywhere is beautiful during your youth, and then somebody introduces you to farts.

You don’t enjoy smelling your first fart, but everyone around you seems to be enthusiastic fart smellers. Later you get taken to a specialist fart bar which has beautiful leather seats, classy interior design, and feels luxuriously cool. Surely you want to enjoy farts now. You feel a little dumb being the only one not to enjoy farts. It’s worth the effort to try a few more, eventually you will find a fart you like.

Fast forward a few years and you are telling your friends you are a fart enthusiast. You source only the finest single-origin farts, having had your olfactory experiences elevated beyond the standard supermarket blended farts. You queue up in the cold for the latest fart releases from the most popular producers and go to Fart Festivals around the country to see what is new in the world of farts. You can describe the style of fart from each individual producer and – though you have a favourite – you enjoy the wide range of bouquets across all fart styles. You search out auctions for vintage versions of your favorite farts, to compare how they have changed over the years. You are fascinated with the differences in the fart production process and how individual producers use fermentation to adjust the aroma profile. You are in at least five WhatsApp groups with other fart enthusiasts. You have favorite jars from which to enjoy farts. You follow a fart-enthusiast specific meme page on Instagram.

Now it’s Christmas, and your family know how much you enjoy farts, but they are struggling to find you a perfect gift related to farts. Farts themselves, such is their popularity, are too expensive, and after all you would buy your own favorite farts if you wanted them anyway. So, you receive books about modern farts, an encyclopedia of farts, the history of farts book, how to brew up the perfect fart, books by Charles McUnClean about farts, books by Dave Bum-Boom about how important “Place” is to the aroma of farts. You are gifted Fart-Stones to “enhance” your fart smelling experience indicating that your benefactor understands nothing of your fart obsession. And, a cheap jar-of-farts from your Great Aunt that will be regifted at the earliest possible moment.
Next time you see somebody taking all this whisky malarky a bit too seriously as they plunge their nose into the tasting glass, imagine it’s just a sample of fine single vintage fart. It’s impossible to appropriately segue into a matter-of-fact whisky review, but here we go with an entirely pleasant distillery.

Bimber distillery is anything but a jar of farts, however much of the hype around their original young releases felt bloated at the time. The first London whisky distillery created a bow wave of local support that rippled out far beyond the Capital. Collectors went wild for particularly rare releases. But this was not just marketing hype; the team had created a new standard for young whisky based on old recipes for homemade spirits in Poland. The style, not necessarily suitable for long aging like the large scotch producers, was delicious straight off the still. Many young expressions really sung. More recent tweaks to the spirit style will allow older expressions in due course.

Bimber has settled into its stride. Some argue that the continued focus on small batch and premium single cask releases – instead of developing a core range – is putting off drinkers. My message to any collectors trying to find all the 272 single cask expressions inspired by the London Underground Stations that have been – and continue to be – released: please also consider my unique Single Origin Farts; they are very investable. The success of Bimber has enabled a new distillery in Scotland which I am very excited about too.

You may still be wondering what Bimber had done to be included in a snarky article like this? Absolutely nothing more that generously sharing a sample of their Santa Claus whisky with me a week before Christmas, when I was feeling a little silly and a bit de-mob happy. It would be foolish to review Santa Claus whisky on any other day! Apologies, thank you, and Merry Christmas to CEO and Master Distillery Dariusz Plazewski and the team. This edition has been fully matured in ex-cognac casks and is one of the oldest releases from the distillery. How does it perform?

Bimber Single Cask Santa’s Edition 2023 – Review

Cognac Cask Edition. 52.1% ABV. £85.
Colour: Five gold rings.

On the nose: Sweet ripe orchard fruit and malt, vinous, and juicy fermented grapes, toffee apple and tart tatin. Fresh sweet green grapes, butter toast, more perfumed fruit and a little floral eau de vie.

In the mouth: Thick sweet malty and juicy. Fresh fruit salad developing into roasted peach and poached pear with frangipane. Custard apple, buttery crumble topping with a nice spicy finish from both spirit and cask.

Conclusions:

This is cask forward, but it works well with the Bimber spirit. The body is fantastic; a Christmas triumph:

Score: 8 Lords-a-Leaping/10

Many thanks for the sample from the team at Bimber, a nice surprise Christmas Gift. As always, our weird views are entirely our own.

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Graham

Graham is at the consumer end of the whisky world; constantly seeking out a bargains and generally very cautious with his limited budget. An occasional visitor to distilleries and a member of the odd whisky club. He does not collect whiskies but has a few nice ones put away for some future special occasion. He enjoys discussions with the wider whisky community and may resemble the ‘average’ Malt reader.

  1. Graham says:

    One of the unexpected outcomes of this article is all the people who have contacted me (you know who you are) to tell me of the extensive underground world of Fart Enthusiasts. I’m sorry to interrupt your fun with a whisky metaphor.

    Which do you prefer: whisky or farts? Level your answer in the comments along with your real name.

  2. Bruce says:

    We are loving this release. To me, strangely enough, it taste much more like a Scotch whisky than a traditional Bimber. Perhaps the finish has taken the spirit farther from the almost rum-like ‘standard’ Bimber taste. In any case, we love it. Sorry that I didn’t buy two when I had the chance. At least I have my 2024 Legacy bottle to look forward to. The include sample bottle was wonderful.

    Happy New Year.

    1. Graham says:

      Happy New Year Bruce,

      This is indeed a great dram and I am sorry not to have picked up a bottle or two on release myself. It’s a great observation that this is more Scotch like, but it’s still got a lot of the Bimber character and loads of complex cognac type notes. A lot to enjoy into 2024.

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