The road to Bimber’s London Single Malt Whisky. Ex-Bourbon Barrels.

As our whisky production is in full swing at the moment we want to share the experiences and the process with you. Firstly, let’s talk about oak.

The oak barrels are very important when making whisky, as they contribute so much to the final spirit.

We research to find the best quality barrels for our London Single Malt Whisky. As we have a vision on how we want our whisky to taste like when it’s bottled – it’s crucial to select the right casks.

American Oak

American Oak barrels are one of the most popular choices for maturing whisky around the world, as the trees grow fast and are the perfect shape for making barrels. It is also very porous, allowing quicker maturation and impartation of flavour.

From American Oak you impart flavours such as vanilla, honey, nuts, coconut, almonds, hazelnuts, butterscotch, fudge and spice such as ginger.

Another important factor is the size of the barrels. You want them to be fairly small to allow more contact with the wood and faster maturation. Ex-bourbon barrels are always from American Oak and smaller than most sherry casks (we use 190 litre barrels).

Woodford Reserve

Currently we are sourcing ex-Woodford Reserve barrels. Woodford Reserve is one of the most respected and oldest distilleries in Kentucky, active since 1812.

They use traditional distilling methods and produce in small batches: We take distilling very seriously; it is good to know others do the same.

At Woodford Reserve they use deeply toasted and slightly charred barrels. This means the carbon from the burnt layer not only act like a filter (removing certain nasty elements from the spirit), it also helps to transfer vanilla and woody notes to the bourbon.

Tasting notes

During maturation, the flavours of the spirit blend with natural compounds in the wood cask and this gives the whisky its own specific flavour and aroma. With ex-Woodford Reserve barrels we can create a perfect balance of aromas, a combination of sweetness, floral notes, spiciness and wood flavour. We can expect nuttiness, dried fruit, caramel and oak flavours from our London Single Malt Whisky.

Spicy notes – cinnamon, nutmeg, coffee, clove and black pepper
Fruity – apple, pear, cherry, cognac, orange and lemon
Floral – rose petal, honey suckle
Wood – oak, hazelnut, pecan, almond, walnut
Sweet -  chocolate, honey, marzipan, vanilla, maple syrup, butterscotch and brown sugar

So far we have 15 ex-bourbon barrels filled with our spirit. We closely monitor the maturation and look forward to our ready London Single Malt Whisky! First batch will be ready in two years and eight months.