Bitters - BITTERS, OLD MEN -
Gangster Lee'n Bitters
BITTERS, OLD MEN - Gangsta Lee'n Bitters
Old Man Bitters, Inc., New York, New York
INGREDIENTS : alcohol, gentian, bacon, orange peel, smoked almonds
PROOF: 88 (44 %)
TYPE: Bitters Type 1, New World *
PRICE: $10.00 1 oz.
Notes: One of a series of bitters from a relatively new company in New York City (although truth be told anyone other than Fee, Angostura, Underberg and Peychauds - all in business for over 100 years - is a relative newcomer). The company was started by by Zach Feldman a couple years ago after making homemade bitters as a project for a magazine article: he got bitten by the bitters bug. He went commercial almost one year ago - and hasn't looked back since.
The other bitters in the series are: Bitters,Old Men Great in '28 Bitters, Bitters, Old Men Isaan Another Level Bitters, Bitters, Old Men Krangostura Bitters, Bitters, Old Men Papaya Bitters, Bitters, Old Men Prickled Pink Bitters, Bitters, Old Men, Roasted Macadamia Bitters , Bitters, Old Men Peach Basil Bitters, Bitters, Old Men , Smoke Gets In Your Bitters Bitters and a Bitters, Old Men Restorative Tonic
*As a sidebar we are going to coin a new phrase (as of Sept 7, 2011) and use the term New World Bitters to describe bitters that are not a traditional company, style of flavor such as Angostura (the brand named after a town) , Angustura (the actual ingredient in some bitters), Abbots, Bokers, Peychauds, Bitter Orange, Mint, Grapefruit etc., and are usually a new blend or hybrid of ingredients to distinguish them from the more traditional ones.
Appearance: Clear amber gold, slightly oily body to it. Does not have the dyes others use to color to darken their bitters.
First Impression: Reminds me heavily of a German butcher shop where they have a lot of smoked sausages. Other aromas are suggestive of smoke, smoked meat, almonds and spices.
Taste: Very smoky and meaty with a nice gentian bitter finish to it, kind of like a dry smoked bbq or sausage taste with a slightly buttery tamari smoked almond flavor.
Drinks: Adds a some very nice depth of flavor and a celery seed like taste without a lot of other distracting flavors that some bitters like to add. For a non-alcoholic use it is a lovely addition to your mineral water also.
Bottle: Clear glass old-style bottle with built in glass eyedropper with attractive graphics on paper labels (which are rather difficult to read - tiny fonts).
Other: They use local ingredients whenever possible. . .
Final Thoughts: Down side for bean counting bar managers is cost. Yes, it costs four times as much as the cheap stuff - but take a look at our Bitter Math page to see how meaningless that is. While frankly the utility of this bitter may not be as much as some it and its' brethren are a very unique blend of flavors that should challenge and delight any bartender or mixologist who chooses to use them. I see a lot of potential and new cocktails that you could make with these that would be impossible without them.
Quick loading website - More of a placeholder than a proper site as such so far but does have some information and where to buy or order (always important). Seriously funny for those who have a at least slightly dark sense of humor.