Bimber Collection Antipodes

Bimber Collection Antipodes Unpeated & Peated.

I was hoping to try the brand new Bimber bottlings for La Maison Du Whisky at Whisky Live Paris back in October, especially since the Bimber booth was really close to Dingle’s, where I was working once again. Regrettably, LMDW had reserved them for their exclusive stand in the VIP section, and my schedule didn’t allow me to visit. Therefore, from the coziness of my whisky room, let’s explore a couple of Bimber single casks bottled last year specifically for LMDW’s Antipodes collection.

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Armorik 2002 21-year-old

Armorik 21-Year-Old Single Bottle

Indeed, just a solitary bottle, or one might even liken it to a (small) demijohn, as described by Warenghem Distillery. Finespirits Auction and LMDW have launched a special spirits auction in support of Fondation GoodPlanet. This remarkable auction kicked off during Whisky Live Paris and is set to run until November 3, 2023. An exceptional item up for bidding is a distinctive bottle or demijohn from the Warenghem Distillery, boasting their most extended age statement to date: a single 2-litre bottle of Armorik 21-Year-Old.

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Celtic Whisky Distillerie

A Visit of Celtic Whisky Distillerie

In the heart of the rolling emerald hills, on the Goëlo Coast and nestled among the whispers of ancient legends, lies a well-guarded secret waiting to be unveiled: the Celtic Whisky Distillerie. This elusive gem has long been off-limits to the curious gazes of enthusiasts and aficionados. Yet, on a fortunate day, thanks to our local SMWS Ambassador Clément, a select few were granted the extraordinary opportunity to step behind the closed doors of this establishment known for its Glann Ar Mor and Kornog whiskies, embarking on a rare odyssey into the world of craftsmanship and unparalleled spirits. So join us as we recount this exclusive escapade, delving into the history and the intricate processes that define Celtic Whisky Distillerie.

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Armorik Maitre de Chai 2023

Armorik Maître de Chai (2023)

In 2014, Warenghem Distillery introduced the inaugural edition of Armorik Maître de Chai. Typically, this expression involved blending two oloroso sherry butts, resulting in a limited production of approximately 1800 to 2000 bottles, all bottled at 46% ABV. I have a distinct memory of tasting one of these editions a few years ago, although the precise bottling year eludes me. It happened during a vertical tasting of Armorik whiskies at a whisky store in Rennes, a place that, sadly, no longer exists. This Maître de Chai expression continued its run until 2017. Following that, there was a notable absence of any new Maître de Chai releases. Fast forward to 2023, and Warenghem has unveiled a fresh iteration of Armorik Maître de Chai. However, the only thing this new version shares with its predecessors is the name; the recipe has undergone a significant transformation, as we’re going to see…

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Bimber The 1st Peated

Bimber The 1st Peated

Having high expectations for a product can be both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, high expectations can create excitement and anticipation, making the experience of obtaining the product more enjoyable. However, there is also a risk of being disappointed or not satisfied when the product does not meet those expectations. I have been anticipating this first peated Bimber release since I’ve tried their stunning peated new make, back in 2019. For one of the firsts ever articles on this blog. So when Matt McKay reached out to offer to send me a sample, I obviously said yes in less time than needed to say well, er… yes. Okay, I guess this doesn’t work as I hoped. Anyway, let’s review this Bimber The 1st Peated!

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Domaine des Hautes Glaces DHG Obscurus Single Rye

DHG Obscurus Single Rye

As a whisky enthusiast, I’m drawn to the unique flavours and characteristics that come from different regions and production methods. Depending on the place, the whiskies are known to have some specific characteristics, even though the casks used and the blending of those casks might hide some of those characteristics. A few distilleries want to go further, and pay more attention to the raw materials and how they are produced and harvested. Domaine des Hautes Glaces was one of, if not the first, believing in terroir in whisky, without shouting about it to who wants to listen… or doesn’t. For DHG, agro-ecology is at the heart of the production of their organic whisky. Let’s talk a bit about that then we’ll review the DHG Obscurus, a six-year-old organic single rye whisky.

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Chouchen cask

Two Chouchen-Finished Armorik (Official & Boutique-y)

Chouchen (or in Breton, Chouchenn) is a kind of mead (‘hydromel’ in French). It is made using honey and water, with either apple juice, apple must or cider added (for the latter, it is then called chufere). What distinguishes chouchen from hydromel is that yeast from apples is used to speed fermentation, whilst for hydromel it’s only honey, wine or beer yeast that do the fermentation. Chouchen is aged in wood casks for several months, before being filtered then bottled, with an ABV between 12 and 15%. Depending on the residual amount of sugar in it, it can be called from dry to sweet, dry being for the one having the less sugar remaining. As chouchenn is a traditional alcohol from Brittany, it is not unexpected that its casks would be used to finish whisky coming from Brittany as well, and that’s what Warenghem distillery has done for some of its Armorik single malt. So let’s try two chouchen-finished Armorik whiskies, an official single cask and one bottled by That Boutique-y Whisky Company for its 10th birthday range.

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St Kilian Distillery

St. Kilian Signature Edition Three and Four

And that’s another country I can now cross off my ‘have I tasted a whisky from this country?’ list. St. Killian is a pretty young distillery, as its foundation just goes back to 2015. Unlike many young distilleries, they produce only whisky. No gin, no vodka, no rum, just whisky. They do produce whisky liqueur, however, but using their own whisky. With a 200.000 litres per year capacity, St. Kilian is one of the biggest whisky distilleries in Germany. By the way, I recently learnt that Germany is second to Scotland only regarding the number of whisky distilleries, with more than 250 grain distilleries producing whisky, and 130 out of those declaring themselves specifically as whisky distilleries. However, when I look at the German distilleries mentioned in the Malt Whisky Yearbook from Ingvar Ronde (a must-read!), I have to admit I’ve ever heard of only two of them. Two possible reasons: either they’re not exported much, or I’m an ignorant. Meh, probably a bit of both. Anyway, time to review two of their oldest expressions (in terms of date of release, not age): the St. Kilian Signature Edition Three and Four.

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Mackmyra Whisky Circus, some seasonals and a Moment

Mackmyra Whisky Circus and a few others

We’ve already tried a couple of season releases from Mackmyra, with Gront Te and Jaktlycka. But these were not the first of their seasonal and bi-annual expressions, as Mackmyra started these seasonal releases quite some time ago. I had for some time now miniatures of some of them in my samples boxes, so I guess we should take a look at these, right? And when I say look, I’ll look with my eyes, nose and palate. Yeah, so much ways to take a look at whisky, it’s crazy. Then, why won’t we review a very special one, bottled for the Whisky Circus? So, låt oss börja.

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Braeckman Distillery

Braeckman Distillery 10-year-old

Some time ago (almost two years ago), a friend sent me a sample of a Braeckman Distillery 10-year-old single grain single cask. As I do usually, I entered the details of the sample (what whisky it is, age, ABV, Whiskybase link, who sent it to me and when…) in my whisky sheet. Then, I probably let the sample stay on my desk for a few weeks before deciding to put it in the samples box until I’d decide to review it. The only problem was I didn’t pay attention the sample was in a plastic bottle. Well, make it two problems, as the second one is that I waited more than 18 months before getting that sample out in order to review it.

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