All of the Thompson Brothers‘ releases sell out quickly. As do all of the single malts from Bimber that hit the market. So what do you get when you combine the two? Mayhem. That’s why the brothers used a ballot for their independent bottling of Bimber, which actually is the first independent bottling of Bimber ever.
The ballot system Phil and Simon have come up with is highly regulated and a sign of the modern whisky market, but also a testament to their philosophy, which is drinking rather than collecting, let alone investing. It’s not your regular old ballot, instead it has eight tiers. The more they are able to verify their customers (and their intentions with the whisky they buy), the better your chances are of being allotted a bottle. If you sell your bottle and they find out about it, you are dropped from their ballot system entirely. Harsh, but fair.
Enough about that crazy (but necessary) ballot. What about Bimber? Well, you might’ve read some of my previousreviews. While not all are winners, I’ve been impressed with their operation since I first heard about them and especially after first tasting their spirit a few years ago. It generally has a viscosity and fruitiness that is rather splendid. And considering the excellent palate of the people that selected this cask, I’m confident Bimber 2017 from the Thompson Brothers will live up to expectations.
Bimber 2017 3 Years (57.9%, Thompson Brothers, C#167)
Nose: Somewhat floral and pretty fruity with some green beans as well. Apple sauce comes to mind, as well as apricots, passion fruit and some sweet, dark honey notes. Light perfume-y touches also. Not extremely expressive. Taste: An oily, thick mouthfeel. Fantastic fruity arrival with plenty of citrus, tinned pineapple and mangoes, but also chalk and white pepper. There’s some definite similarities with the cask that was bottled for the Netherlands by Bresser & Timmer. Water bring out some mustier notes, as well as melon. Finish: Lingering orchard fruits, cinnamon and some pepper as well. A touch of galia melon again.
Fruity, rich and full of flavour, Bimber again shows why it is leading the wave of new craft whisky distilleries. Sure, their whisky is expensive considering the age, but it offers value for money nonetheless.