Today, simultaneously with Compass Box, we are releasing ‘Duality’ – two collaboratively created blended malt whiskies which explore the symmetry and contrasts of sherry-matured whiskies and heavily peated malts.
Each Duality is composed of malt components sourced from both Bimber’s growing warehouse and Compass Box’s extensive Scotch archive - to create two unique interpretations of what the concept of duality within whisky can reflect in terms of character and flavour.
Our Duality release takes textural, vibrantly fruity peated Bimber drawn from an ex-boubon cask and combines it with 1st fill sherried malt from Glendullan Distillery. The Compass Box Duality takes a core of intensely smoke whisky from Ardbeg Distillery and combines it with rich and textured Pedro Ximénez-matured Bimber whisky. A duo of dualities!
Duality is the first time that our London single malt whisky has been combined with malts from other distilleries – and the origins of this exciting new collaboration go back quite some way!
In March of 2022 James from Compass Box visited Matt at Bimber. It was his first visit to a distillery since the outbreak of COVID-19. As well as learning more about our traditional production methods, James came with a hypothesis: that Bimber’s weighty, mouthcoating spirit would be the perfect partner to the intense smokiness that can be found in several archetypal Islay whiskies. Matt, being a long-time devotee of all things peated eagerly agreed.
Working together using a number of casks from Bimber’s inventory alongside a varied selection of Islay malts, a eureka moment occurred when the combination of full-maturation Bimber PX and whisky from Ardbeg Distillery was found to provide an atomic explosion of both aroma and taste.
A test sample was quickly shared across the Compass Box and Bimber teams and based on the overwhelming feedback, a decision was made by both companies to collaborate to explore the concept further – exchanging casks to create not one, but two new whiskies.
Working in tandem once more Matt then visited Compass Box in Chiswick. He too had a theory. If a combination of sherried Bimber with heavily peated Ardbeg could work so perfectly – could peated Bimber spirit flourish just as successfully alongside a sherried malt from another distillery?
Challenge accepted. More experimentation took place!
A selection of peated Bimber drawn from ex-bourbon casks were trailed with 1st and refill sherry butts from a number of Scotch distilleries. This was not an attempt to recreate the exact character of the first blend - but rather to explore the fusion of peat and sherry from the opposite direction.
A final selection of an older 1st fill sherry butt from Glendullan was chosen as offering the perfect opulent counter to the boisterous heart of peat. The resulting final blend possessing a penetratingly smoky, yet still fruit-forward Bimber core wrapped up a lavish blanket of well-aged, rounded sherry influences – the epitome of sweet converging with peat.
So, with two whiskies created from a shared, yet still individualistic outlook, Duality was born!
Throughout the creation process the Bimber team has loved working alongside Compass Box – and we’re all incredible proud of the results which have been made possible by combining the mindsets and approached of a London distillery with a London Whiskymaker.
Bimber Duality will be available today from our web shop
Compass Box Duality will be available today via www.compassboxwhisky.com