Bimber Distillery Tastings- Part 1 London Dry Gin, Oak Aged and Summer Fruit Vodka

The tastings this week are split into two. Firstly we have a great selection of award winning gin and vodka.

Then in part 2,  and on the back of my visit, I have some notes of some of the in process new make spirit samples that Dariusz shared. Hopefully this will give a really good idea of what Bimber is doing. I’ll also focus on the commercially available new make spirit.

 

Bimber London Dry Gin 42%abv

In appearance absolutely crystal clear.

On the Nose:

I found this to be quite a piney juniper led gin. Notes of citrus and lemon in the background.

Palate:

The piney juniper comes through on alongside some lovely candied fruit and spice notes. Pepper and coriander with a hint of ginger are all there but not overpowering in any way. What is fantastic is the glorious mouthfeel which is full and warm.

Finish:

Moderate with with lovely juniper and pepper notes.

Overall:

Great classic gin with good full flavour.

Bimber Oak Aged Vodka 42%

The quadruple distilled grain spirit has been aged in bourbon barrels and has taken on a light golden straw colour that’s inviting.

On the Nose:

Quite gentle and mellow on the nose- some oak, caramel and  vanilla notes.

Palate:

Like the gin it gives a fantastic full mouthfeel. There are notes of cinnamon, ripe banana, oak and toasted vanilla. For such a short time in cask it has really picked up a lot of character.

Finish:

Smooth and lovely lingering caramel sweetness with the cinnamon hint still there too.

Overall:

Great drink straight up on ice, or maybe while the leave piles are burning outside.

Bimber Summer Fruits Vodka

In the last days of summer I thought I’d try to sneak in this award winner. The summer fruits vodka looks the part with a deep raspberry and red cherry bold colour to it.

On the Nose:

Lots of red fruit on the nose- cheery, strawberry and raspberry. Touch of mint in the background.

Palate:

There are now deeper red fruits with blackcurrant and blackberry coming through on top of the first red fruits. The mint is slightly stronger and accompanied by some pepper.

Finish:

Slightly tannic note on a shortish refreshing finish.

Overall:

Multi layered, great depth to it and again really interesting.

 

All available from :

www.bimberdistillery.co.uk

www.masterofmalt.com

 

Bimber Distillery- Carving out a great niche in London

There is always a sense of excitement walking up to a new distillery. As I got off the tube at North Acton it’s not necessarily the first place you’d expect to find one. However with awards behind them and an exciting view on the future, it was a delight to meet Dariusz Plaewski and his team. Bimber Distillery gets it’s name from the Polish word for moonshine – popular in the communist era in Poland and it’s from a moonshining family that Dariusz gained some great knowledge in spirit production.

The production area itself is quite compact but full of ideas and innovation.

Grain is sourced about as locally as it can be in central London – a few miles down the A4 and floor malted at Warminster. There is a lovely sweetness in the malted barley and this sweet graininess is a feature through the range that Dariusz is creating.

Column and Spirit Stills

There is a small mash tun which takes on 250kg of grain per mash. After sparging, around 1000l of clear wort is transferred to either one of three stainless steel fermentors or into the glorious looking new wooden wash back. It’s a genuinely beautiful looking vessel and made by Dariusz through his skills in a previous working life. There are further nice touches of innovation in the equipment around the distillery with the recirculating of heat to a hot liquor tank or the temperature control arrangement on the fermenters – not necessarily so common in a craft distillery. By keeping the temperature in check the single yeast strain is allowed a bit more time to work on the wort with the wash fermenting for around 5 to 6 days and an impressive 10-12% abv liquid being created.

The stunningly crafted wooden wash back

On to the Portuguese wash still of around 1000l capacity, then the spirits still coming in at 600l or so with an abv off this of around 70%. The aroma of oak which meets you on entering the site is fantastic  and currently Bimber are filling into a mixture of virgin US Oak, first fill Bourbon, sherry and port barrels. Typically these are around 250l or so in size but there are some experimental smaller casks being filled also.

As Dariusz explains:

“While I love the distinction each of the oaks is already bringing to the spirit I want to have a style that is definitely Bimber – that is our own –  and then we can maybe have variations from that.”

Spirit undergoing maturation

When I asked about possibilities of peated production he smiles and indicates it’s not currently on the cards but maybe something that could be used for specials in the future.

While Dariousz is madly passionate about whisky Bimber has been winning awards for some of it’s other spirits. For gin the same spirit stills are used and in addition there is a column rectifier for his vodka production. There are various products available in both gin and vodka with beautifully designed packaging which Ewelina looks after.

With the Bimber Eagle looking forward I’m sure there’s a very positive and imaginative future lying ahead.

 

 

 

Our tastings from Bimber next week will feature distillery samples as well as finished product! Look out for this.

 

 

Going International Amrut – Intermediate Sherry Cask Whisky

To paraphrase from Star Trek- It’s Whisky Jim but not as we know it. I was really looking forward to trying the Amrut having managed to get a few Euros off it coming through Schipol in Amsterdam. From the moment it was opened- wow- just wow. The higher temperatures for maturing whisky in India can make young spirit mature that much faster and combined with some really great wood this has produced a real cracker. Deep, intense, lively interesting what a great way to set up the weekend.

 

Amrit- Intermediate Sherry Cask Whisky 57.1%

In appearance we have something that is rich, dark golden caramel- I’m thinking serious builders tea (pre milk of course) and so enticing. The legs on the glass have depth and  are lasting. A really great looking dram.

On the Nose:

I think this is the equivalent of being tangoed by a whisky. The aroma is so intense and uplifting. There is spice with mainly pepper, cardamon and cinnamon, inviting oak, red fruit  and a fantastic baked character. They mix superbly and are led really well by the wood combination.

Palate:

A lovely sugary treacle-ness on the palate. There’s raisin notes and the spices hold up well all again working in concert with the wood. There is a lovely hard nut character and the red fruits are still there too all combining in a gorgeous mouthfeel.

Finish:

Caramel and spice giving a long succulent finish.

 

The beautiful dark depth of colour in the Amrut

 

Stunning- simply stunning. If there is one slight criticism it’s the bottle which is very lightweight but feels a little cheap- however the box it comes in is beautiful.

 

Available from:

www.houseofmalt.co.uk

www.drinksupermarket.com

www.masterofmalt.com

 

At around the £85 mark