Bimber, 2020, Bourbon cask, 58.9% – OB for The Netherlands

Pay attention: this is a review to (and a rant about) the first Bimber for The Netherlands, not the second one released in summer 2021.

There’s a problem here. I like to address it in my own, rambling way. Or at least, I have a problem with something, and that something is the perceived value of whisky like Bimber.

Bimber is getting rave reviews all over the internet. And by rave reviews I mean reviews that all state something like ‘It’s ridiculously good for a three year old whisky’. And it is. It is ridiculously good for a three year old whisky. Let’s get that out of the way.

When this stuff gets released, it sells for € 125-ish.

One hundred and twenty-five Euros for a 3 year old whisky. Let that sink in.

I understand that if you want to make a high quality product you have to charge extra. In this case I expect they go for the best equipment and the best raw materials, both casks and ingredients, and therefore there’s some leeway when pricing a bottle of whisky.

I also understand that when a new distillery releases their first batch of products (or in this case, the first 130 different bottlings in 2 years…) there’s a certain amount of hype around it, and that also results in people wanting to pay a little bit more for a bottle.

What I don’t understand is why stuff that scores an average of 86-and-change on Whiskybase is able to charge 200% of what they’re supposed to charge, and people KEEP buying into that.

How is it that, while everyone keeps complaining about whisky prices, everyone also validates these prices by buying 3 year old whisky at € 125?

You can a much better bottle of whisky at that price. You can get two better bottles of whisky at that price. And it’ll have some age to it as well. I’m at a loss here.

The worst part of this is that I fell for it as well. I got the first bottle for The Netherlands, and I got the secone one too. Although I’m not opening it, after having tasted the first one.

Sniff:
Young and with a lot of sweetness from oak and alcohol. Apples, pears, french bread and vanilla and pastry cream.

Sip:
Pretty sharp, with lots of alcohol heat. Some oak based vanilla flavor, with some white pepper popping up later on.

Swallow:
The finish shows its youth, with more focus on green malts and alcohol sweetness. Some peppery spice, a bit of vanilla and strangely, something fish like.

Honestly, as I said before, it’s very good for just a three year old. Impressive good FOR A THREE YEAR OLD. It’s not very good compared to many similarly priced but older whiskies. It’s probably not even that impressive compard to many cheaper independent bottlings at cask strength.

But, apart from it being very well made, it’s not overly interesting. There’s nothing unique about this whisky, except that it punches a little bit above it’s weight (unless you take the price into account, because then it doesn’t).

Of course, people want to taste this, but I suggest getting a sample of it, and not a bottle.

85/100

Available at wildly varying prices.

About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm very interested in booze, with a focus on whisky. I like to listen to loads of music and play lots of Magic: the Gathering, and board games too. I'm married to Anneke, have two daughters Ot and Cato, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
This entry was posted in - English Whisky, Bimber and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Bimber, 2020, Bourbon cask, 58.9% – OB for The Netherlands

  1. cowfish says:

    The single casks go for ~€100 over here in the UK at launch, and we’ve got higher tax than you – I’d start looking at the importers and local shops, and their markups, as while Bimber isn’t cheap, it’s not generally taking the piss that much….unless they are being very silly with their margins.

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