Bimber – Santa’s Edition 2023

Ho, ho, ho, it’s Christmas Time! And this year father Christmas stopped by London on his way to deliver the presents underneath my tree, where he added some of his very own whisky to the pile! It is the Santa’s Edition 2023 from Bimber Distillery!

This year Bimber gave it’s Christmas whisky a full maturation on ex-cognac casks. It has been bottled at a cask strength of 52,1% and only 570 bottles in total have been produced. So, when Bimber reached out to me and asked if I’d like to receive a sample, I was ofcourse eager to try this dram for myself. Cognac-maturations are still a bit of an oddity and I personally love trying cask-finishes other than the usual subjects (read ex-Bourbon/ex-Sherry casks). When the spirit itself comes from Bimber though… well, then I get a little bit extra excited! As everything I’ve tried from the London distillery has thus far been a bullseye for me.

Bimber’s Santa’s Edition will be the perfect start of my pré-christmas weekend and I’m more than grateful to receive this sample. It’s the perfect opportunity to wish you all a very merry Christmas, and to sample some amazing whisky ofcourse!

Tasting Notes: Bimber Santa’s Edition 2023 – Ex-Cognac Cask

ABV: 52.1% (104,2 proof)

Age: NAS

Distillery: Bimber Distillery

Category: Single Malt London Whisky

Chill-Filtered: No

Natural Colour: Yes

Sweet plums, marshmallows, and fresh pressed grape juice. The nose of this dram is a galore of sweet and ripe fruits, but without ever becoming overwhelming. It’s also highly approachable, despite it’s high ABV. If you’ve ever tasted Fria (Grape Flavour) from Curaçao, the nose of this dram reminds me of that drink a lot. Water brings forth notes of vanilla and caramel, reminding me of a very well-made crème brûlée.

The plums and grape juice are back with a punch on the palate. A punch as in an explosion of flavour, as once again the high ABV is highly integrated into this dram and I’m barely getting any burn at all. Aside from plums and grapes I’m also getting Jaffa Cakes, freshly roasted almonds, and home-made apple compote. Just a few drops of water is enough to give some new added depth to this dram. It reveals notes of liquorice root, cacao, and freshly ground coffee beans. It turns it from a highly enjoyable dram into an absolute stunner!

The finish sticks around for a very long time. Where the mouthfeel on the palate was already quite heavy, it feels almost syrupy on the finish (in the best possible way). The finish is full off molasses, apple-syrup, and dried sultanas. Thus far I’ve tried to keep the Christmas influences out of my notes (as it’s a dram that can be enjoyed year-round) but this finish would just be perfect to savour after a hearty Christmas meal. With water some of the darker notes from the palate carry through in the finish as well, and though it comes with a fair extra bit of intensity it does slightly shorten the finish.

Let me start by saying: what a stunner of a dram! This turned out to be the perfect dram to kick of the Holiday season for me, as it has everything I’m looking for in a Christmas dram. It has an abundance of complexity, it has plenty of sweetness without losing its balance, and it has beautifully pronounced stone fruits that always suit the season well. I think Santa made an excellent pick at Bimber Distillery this year and I’m more than grateful that he decided to deliver a sample underneath my tree.

Cheers everyone, happy holidays!

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