Bimber Distillery

In 2015 Dariusz Plazewski founded Bimber Distillery with a desire to make single malt whisky in London from English barley. Bimber, meaning “moonshine” in Polish, is the result of Dariusz’s family tradition of moonshining and distilling – one he credits his father and grandfather as passing on to him. Distillation at Bimber began in 2016, utilising English barley to first create a whisky, then develop a range of white spirits that express the specific character of the Barley and traditional Polish distillation techniques. As of 2020, the distillery is fully geared towards malt whisky production–and boy is it impressive.

Bimber is all about attention to detail. Two-row spring barley, Concerto and Laureate, is sourced from Fordham & Allen farm in Hampshire, where the maritime climate and soils allow the barley to mature gradually and fully. This barley is taken to Britain’s oldest maltster, Warminster Maltings, who have a dedicated floor on which to malt barley for Bimber. Fermentation takes place in custom, charred American oak washbacks, produced at Bimber’s in-store cooperage. Using a custom strain, fermentation takes around seven days – nearly twice as long as the industry standard. The result is a light, fruity wash around 8-10% ABV. Distillation takes place across two copper pot stills: Doris, a 1,000 litre wash still, and Astraeus, another 1,000 litre copper still, where the hearts end up at around 72% ABV. The stills are designed to maximise contact between the spirit and stills, so that the heavier flavours are retained, giving a lighter spirit. Both are direct-fired, instead of steam heated, as Bimber feel this gives a greater depth of flavour to the spirit. Casks are checked, repaired and re-chared when necessary by the onsite cooper, before maturation in their London warehousing, again onsite. The result is a whisky that is fundamentally London: the spirit maturing in lockstep with the London climate. High craft, high quality.