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  • Writer's picture@whiskytip - Duncan

Bimber Love-in: The Spirit of the Underground Release No.6 and Shoulders of Giants - Reviewed

Updated: Jun 19

Bimber distillery kindly provided samples of the latest The Spirit of the Underground Release No.6 and Shoulders of Giants. This compelled me to host an impromptu Honest to a Malt pre-summer party, inviting Mike over to share all ten samples. Generous... I know!


A bit of housekeeping: we are Bimber fans, so we have tried to be as objective as we can, sharing our tasting notes and picking out our favourite bottles. Mike is a founding member of Bimber, and we are both Bimber Klub members. The club is worth joining if you live in, or are close to London, or visit the capital on occasion and don't have the burden of driving. Klub members get goodies, a free distillery visit once per year, which includes a tasting flight.

What I always find fascinating when tasting a sizable flight of whiskies from one distillery, is discovering the similarities; being able to put your finger on a distilleries DNA. Bimber is a fruit forwards whisky, always smooth (due to careful process) which according to Mike often has a New York cheesecake style note in it, and Duncan often gets a Jaffa cake note. In tasting these drams in one sitting, we get the chance to chew over the differences in cask impact, remind ourselves of the Bimber way and identify bottles that we truly love, and perhaps some that we may look at wistfully. Let's find out!


Bimber The Spirits of the Underground Release No.6 and Shoulders of Giants
Bimber The Spirits of the Underground Release No.6 and Shoulders of Giants

The Spirit of the Underground Release No. 6 Fanzone Reviewed


This Spirit of the Underground collection has grown to 24 bottles, and so 24 stations. There are 272 tube stations in London, that's just under 10% have been created as as expressions by Bimber in collaboration with licensing rights from Transport for London. There are 20 more to go, as the series will be 44 in total.


Matt McKay, Director of Marketing and Communications at Bimber said:

"I pick the stations on a combination of footfall, fame (have people outside of London heard of it?) and interesting architectural and cultural sights, both inside and outside the station."


Some of Bimbers finest casks are selected for these premium priced bottles, and this particular release, No.6, the whisky has all been through double maturation, with each expression spending time in both American and European oak, with over 3 years in the second cask.



Bimber The Spirit of the Underground Release map
Bimber The Spirit of the Underground Release map

You can see all the releases so far on the official The Spirit of the Underground website.


Oval

Moscatel sherry cask double maturation. Ref 282/22

307 bottles at 57.6%


Duncan: On the nose, very Bimber. Toffee popcorn, burnt butter, winegums, cherry cola and sweet peas. The palate brings more wine gums. Plenty of fruitiness, slightly astringent, some spice, caramel, a dose of vanilla semolina, along with Love Hearts sweet ginger and oak. An excellent dram.


Mike: On the nose Bimber DNA, check! Rich toffee, eton mess, wine gums, cherry cola. More wine gums on the palate, with strawberry laces, oak spice, ginger. Love Hearts and Vanilla extract. Top dram.



Whiskytip tried Bimber Spirit of the Underground release no.6 samples


Stratford

Fino sherry cask double maturation. Ref 267/16

325 bottles at 58.5%

Duncan: A dose of perfumed wrist initially on the nose, then Jelly Tots sweets, chocolate mousse, bulgar wheat and cheesy twists. This is the balance of sweet, savoury and floral one hoped for, before opening these samples. The palate is juicy, dry and sweet, in quick succession. That fino is working hard. Cranberry juice, orange juice - Capri Sun pouches with the ultra thin straws. A hint of white pepper and spice. Outstanding.


Mike: Those Jelly tots, chocolate mousse certainly on the nose. White rice and Parmesan cheese. The palate is luscious, and between sweet and dry, with some umami. Aniseed, cranberries and raisins. Love it.


Wembley Park

Marsala cask double maturation. Ref 300/10

305 bottles at 58.3%


Duncan: Very sweet nose with vanilla milkshake, white chocolate, jaffa cakes, oak, cinnamon sticks and a herb, perhaps oregano, or tarragon. The palate is spicy and sweet, then savoury with a heavy dose of oak. Jaffa cakes (bingo) and cherries. Then drying, with nutmeg and more dried herbiness on the finish.


Mike: Mini milk lollies on the nose, cream cheese, sugar, raspberry jam and scones. The palate is a hit of raspberry ripple ice cream with cherries, but with some astringency, oak and oregano. Decent.



The Spirit of the Underground Wimbledon
The Spirit of the Underground Wimbledon


Wimbledon

Vino de Naranja cask double maturation. Ref 310/5

298 bottles at 56.6%


Duncan: The sweetness of wine gums, white chocolate, caramel and a cocoa powder dusting are hunkered down by curry powder and damp earth. A strange nose. A full bodied spicy and sweet dram, the palate is boiled rhubard and custard sweets, dark chocolate and Jaffa Cakes.


Mike: Wine gums, ham, parma violets on the nose. The palate is leafy, sweet, spicy with licorice and Jaffa Cakes. Solid.



Shoulder of Giants Fanzone Reviewed


The new inspired Bimber collection, with some pretty awesome artwork, pays homage to the innovators, visionaries and philosophers, who have helped significantly shape the world we live in today. There are some huge names, from Dickens to Shakespeare, Chopin to Curie. We were very excited to try these and see how much personality had been packed into each release.


UK Exclusives


Dickens - The Novelist

Single American oak Ex-bourbon cask #398

298 bottles at 58.3%


Duncan: The nose is all spearmint chewing gum, Caramac bars, peanut brittle and perhaps, the faint whiff of a gents public toilet. It's warm and spicy on the palate, going from umami to sweet. Vanilla marshmallows, but it's too astringent despite that for me.


Mike: On the nose ammonia (a nod to many nappies changed), apple pie, cinnamon. The palate is a little off, but some icing sugar, oak and vanilla nudges through. Not sure on this one.


Newton - The Mathmatician

Lightly peated Single American oak ex-bourbon cask #467

257 bottles at 58.3%

We have yet to try this one! Here are the official notes: It is fruit-forward and classically Bimber, with notes of pineapple and papaya weaved with delicate threads of smoke and char.


Shakespeare - The Playwright

Single ex-beer cask finish #517/30

271 bottles at 57.7%


Duncan: Rich on the nose, lot's of barley, lemongrass, chocolate dusted cappuccino and creme caramel desert, which continues onto the palate, where it's spicy with a root ginger kick. Slightly dry and chalky. Pickled onion Monster Munch come on strong. A banger.


Mike: Leffe Belgian beer vibes on the nose, sugary and fruity. Plenty of lemon and barley, lemon grass, caramel, coffee and strudel. The palate is creamy, apple chewits, lemon lozanges, chalk. Overall slightly dry, more apple, this time crumble and cinnamon. Yes, pickled onion monster munch - it's a thing!


Poland Exclusives


Copernicus - The Polymath

Single Pedro Ximénez sherry cask finish #241/18

300 bottles at 56.8%


Duncan: Excited about a PX! The nose is thick treacle, eucalyptus, cranberries, blackberries and oak. Onto the palate red berries, creamy vanilla ice cream, blackberry compote, buttery crumble and envelope glue. The finish is distinct, like a bowl of muesli with red berries - it's dusty, sweet and sticky. Fabulous!


Mike: Treacle tart, raisins, some mintiness, blackberry and barley - a mixed nose. More blackberry on the palate, but the tartness, is balanced by soft vanilla. A bowl of muesli is a good summary, and there is a glue note. Decent.



Yes.. PX Bimber. Copernicus - The Polymath
Yes.. PX Bimber. Copernicus - The Polymath


Chopin - The Composer

Single fino sherry cask finish #513/28

328 bottles at 52%


Duncan: Malteasers, sulphur and a slight plastic note. Hmmmm.


Mike: Good sulphur and garlic bread. The sulphur on the palate, or what I perceive as sulphur anyway, overpowers it.


Curie - The Scientist

Single Oloroso sherry cask finish #250/15

300 bottles at 57%


Duncan: This one seems less Bimber-esque. An empty cheese packet, apple and cheddar cheese. Very umami on the nose. The palate is gherkins, cured meats, new potatos, more apple and some ginger.


Mike: A nose of Jacobs Crackers, prunes, extra mature cheddar cheese, pastrami and a pickled vinegar. The nose is Manchego cheese, the pickled vinegar, vanillam mescrite and rice pudding. Very interesting dram!


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Tasting notes are from myself Duncan, aka @whiskytip and Mike, aka @whiskywings - our handles on Twitter and Instagram.



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