He hand crafts his gin with passion and a focus on naturval provenance, here’s our (G)interview with Oscar Dodd from Bimber.
This month we’ve had the pleasure of talking to Oscar Dodd, Brand Manager at Bimber. Bimber have been the sponsors of the Gin Explorer stand at the Gin Festivals this summer. If you were lucky enough to get a ticket to a Gin Festival, you’ve probably tried Bimber as it was our tasting gin. Bimber also featured in the August subscription box.
How did you get involved with Gin Explorer to become their sponsors?
Bimber is a relatively new company which started in out in February of this year but only became commercially active in April. We wanted to become involved in the Gin Festival programme and after speaking to Hayley, we were offered the sponsorship slot of the Gin Explorer stand during July and August. Activating this partnership has been a great vehicle for us to get the Bimber brand out there.
What’s the history behind Bimber and where does the name come from?
Our founders are Polish so the term Bimber loosely translated from Polish to English means moonshine. When you think of moonshine you may automatically think of prohibition America where making alcohol was an illegal activity and carried out in the dead of night in the hope not to be caught. However, this isn’t what we’re about! We’re all about that small batch of alcohol being made in a home environment using local produce from the garden – so if you have a great crop of cherries that particular year, that’s what’s used in the drink.
I believe that Bimber sets itself apart from the other UK producers. We’re unique, natural and our spirits are bespoke and made with passion. We currently sell 6 different spirits – not only gin but oak-aged and fruit infused vodka. We’ve taken a very old recipe using wheat vodka plus botanicals and tweaked it to give it a new take.
Tell us about the gin in your own words
Bimber is a totally honest product – we’re very open about what we do, where we source products from and are keen to show people around the distillery. We have nothing to hide!
As we use a very old traditional recipe, we haven’t been led by what’s “fashionable” in the drinks world. We use the single shot method whereby we use single pot distillation and we use 10 botanicals which are all considered classic. These include the “holy trinity” – juniper, angelica root and coriander seed plus citrus from Seville oranges & lemons, nutmeg, cinnamon, cassia, liquorice root and orris root.
Bimber is a traditional gin in the style of “years gone by” – you could say similar to a Beefeater or Tanqueray. A good bartender will use something more classic when mixing a cocktail as this would have been what was used when the cocktail recipe was invented years ago (such as a Negroni or dry martini).
We try not to be too clever by producing loads at any one time to ensure that the recipe is adhered to and remains how it should be.
If you’re looking for a classic London Dry Gin, then Bimber is your answer.
What does the future hold?
It’s a very exciting time for us at Bimber – we’ve been working on one of the first single malt whiskies to be made in London. We age our new-make spirit in four different cask types: ex-Bourbon, ex-Pedro Ximenez, ex-Port & virgin American oak. The first batches will reach maturity from June 2019.
We’ll never stop making our gin or vodkas as these are exciting products that can be used at home for simple drinks plus can be used for industry for those more complex cocktails.
What’s the best thing about what you do?
It’s so hard to define a single factor. I think it’s being involved right from the beginning of the project. (Oscar has worked with Bimber since May). I have the opportunities to build the brand and get stuck in with jobs at the distillery. I was fortunate enough to fill the first sherry cask of our Single Malt.
As we’re an independent company, we have complete control over what we do and can define our own future.
G&T, cocktail or on the rocks?
It’s SO difficult to define how I prefer my gin! It really does depend on the mood, time of day, what you’re eating, where you are, what the weather is like etc. If I had to choose it would be a classic Negroni – equal parts sweet Vermouth, Gin and Campari with a wedge of orange or grapefruit.
Favourite Gin…other than your own?!
Obviously it’s Bimber!!! Of course, I like to try different brands and see where the industry is going. I’ve recently discovered Ferdinand’s from Germany and Bobby’s. Both are quite expensive but once you’ve tasted them you can see why.I also really like Tanqueray Export Strength too.