Bitters - Bittercube Cherry Bark Vanilla Bitters
Bittercube Bitters Cherry Bark Vanilla Bitters
Bittercube Bitters at Yahara Bay Distillery, Madison, Wisconsin
PROOF: 60 (30%) Aged Whiskey Base
PRICE: $8 for a 1 oz /30ml bottle or $48 for a full 6 bottle variety pack (6 - 1oz/30 ml each) enough for 180 cocktails
Some noteworthy aspects about these bitters; first and foremost they taste great, sourcing their spirit from Yahara Bay Distillery , and hand preparing and crafting their "raw" ingredients - meaning they use actual herbs and spices they don't use shortcuts, oils, extracts and adjuncts to make compounded products (compounded is the polite term for the process that produces bathtub gin for example). Instead they hand prepare, infuse, macerate and blend all their products.
Another interesting point is they use aged Whiskey to macerate this product instead of just neutral spirit, unlike most of the industry, which adds quite a bit to their taste overall. Their other products include: Blackstrap Bitters, Bolivar Bitters, Jamaican #1 Bitters, Jamaican #2 Bitters, and Orange Bitters.
In this instance they use Syrian cherry pits to get a unique flavor profile, which is somewhat like the lovely cherries in dark chocolate you used to be able to get in Holland (and commemorated by the Hemel op Ard Liqueur by the van Wees distillery in Amsterdam). That coupled with cherry bark, vanilla beans and star anise give you a wizards cabinet of flavor.
Obligatory Bitters Rave: Part of the almost demise of bitters in general is the sloppy research and omission of bitters in many modern cocktail books - many people say "They don't use bitters in drinks anymore so why mention them in a recipe?" which of course just adds to the problem. If a book doesn't mention bitters for at least martinis and manhattans don't buy it! It means the person who wrote it has no idea what they are doing and are perpetuating mediocre books and ignorance. Bitters blend the other ingredients together, add many layers and depths of flavor, and may even help your digestion.
First Impression: Deep ripe red cherry smells, chocolate cocoa, anise, and vanilla smells
Appearance: Light gold brown - slightly hazy or translucent, free flowing and clear.
Taste: Nicely aromatic and balanced aromatic. Primary tastes are cherry, vanilla, cocoa, whispers of anise/licorice, with a dried fruit and spice component. Drying finish is medium to long and very pleasant. Nicely bitter but not an overly bitter formula which nicely compliments the other ingredients.
Drinks: A great bitters for brown or dark drinks, add a great deal of depth and complexity. Was absolutely lovely in a Old Fashioned we made (Bourbon, Fruit and the Cherry Bark Vanilla bitters).
Bottle: 1 oz with dropper dark brown glass bottle with attractive paper label design. The Cherry Bark Vanilla has a dark cherry red field on the label to distinguish it from the others.
Other: One of the best cherry bitters we have had - much more complex with more depth than anything else we have encountered.
Final Thoughts: Another excellent new bitter very worthy of inclusion to a cocktailians bitters cupboard from Bittercube. Dark, fruity, flora,l and bitter- just the way we like them !
Quick-loading website- lots of information and company history, easy-to-navigate.