Acquiring ready-peated barley like other distilleries would have been easy….
…we don’t do easy. Since our establishment, we have firmly adhered to traditional methods to produce our whisky. And so whilst the thick, aromatic vapours start to rise from the upcoming release of our inaugural peated single malt – is it any wonder that this new beginning for Bimber also has its roots firmly planted in past?
There are only a handful of distilleries in the UK who peat their barley onsite. At present, all of these are located in Scotland. However, historically this was not always the case – peat was the most readily available fuel source and was utilised not only to fire hearths, but also to fire distillery kilns.
Nowadays, most distilleries who handle peated malt either source 100% or a high proportion of their grain requirements from commercial malting facilities. Indeed, in England there is currently only one maltster who is kitted out to produce peated barley. If you want to produce a peated whisky in England you’ll need to purchase that barley from somewhere on spec.
Unless you are Bimber. Acquiring ready-peated barley like other English distilleries would have been the easy answer. But we don’t do easy – it isn’t in our nature.
Alongside the maturation of our first small batch release – Bimber Re-charred Oak Casks - we started to wonder what our fruit-forward spirit would taste like when combined with the intensity of aromatic peat. We already knew that the amalgamation of bright fruitiness and intense barrel char was a match made in heaven – so would this merger work equally as well with the pungent earthiness of peat?
All Bimber whisky is the product of learning and experimentation. We are at our happiest when we’re in control of every variable of the whisky-making process – understanding it, manipulating it and shaping it directly. And so, in early 2019 we set to work – floor malting and kilning *all* of the barley with Aberdeenshire peat that would go on to become our first peated single malt whiskies.
Whilst we have already shared our peated new make spirit with many of you – it has been another patient three-year wait for this new style Bimber spirit to come of age. And with the passing of that landmark in May of this year, we’re absolutely thrilled to be able to launch our inaugural peated single malt whisky later this month.
Stay tuned for more information about the upcoming release – and another blog post where we’ll dig deeper into our peating process and the use of PPM numbers to indicate the character of what’s inside a bottle of peated single malt whisky.