Bitters - Urban Moonshine Maple
Urban Moonshine Handcrafted Digestif Maple Bitters
Urban Moonshine, Burlington, Vermont
PROOF: 60 (30%)
PRICE: $10.99 2 oz. (60 ml)
Some noteworthy aspects about these bitters; first and foremost they taste great, but also 100% organic, organic grape based alcohol, organic gum arabic (a higher quality and more traditional bitters ingredient rather than the much more common glycerin).
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: Fennel, gentian, burdock, calamus, some floral maple notes.
Appearance: Hazy gold yellow with some sedimentation (expected with natural organic product).
Taste: Quite aromatic. Primary tastes are fennel, gentian, burdock, calamus, angelica root, orange/maple with quinine/alkali notes buffered by gum arabic. Ginger bite combines with the maple to give it a unique flavor spin that could be described as a dry sweetness - a mix of bitter dry with a slight lingering almost woody type of sweet. Finish is medium-to-long and very pleasant. Rather similar to Bokers in many respects with the added depth of maple.
Drinks: As with the rest of their line, the maple bitters provides a nice depth and blending of flavors but stays nicely in the background. The maple combined with the many other organic herbs give a lovely deeper note of sweetness than a orange bitter and is lovely in a Manhattan, Old Fashioned or even a Gin Martini. Adds layers of unexpected flavor.
Bottle: Various formats: 10 ml mister (think breath sprayer size) great for spritzing or spraying directly in mouth (try that with your average bitter), also 2 oz with dropper or 8.4 oz with dasher both dark brown glass bottle with attractive paper label design.
Other: Nicely done and entirely organic (no one else can make that claim commercially). Organic gum arabic rather than glycerin, makes for a much better base with less dumbing down of flavor. Also more of an authentic flavor (glycerin was not normally used in early bitters).
Final Thoughts: Looking forward to playing with this one a lot and exploring the possibilities. The combination of bitters and maple adds a lot of possibilities. Not your average bitter by a long shot.
Quick-loading website- lots of information and company history, easy-to-navigate.