A very unique and idiosyncratic bitter that is fun to play with.
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 Gangster Lee’n Bitters,Bitters,Old Men Great in ’28 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: Citrus, kaffir lime,spices, All the aromas are suggestive of Northern Thai cooking (of which I am a unabashed fan).
Taste: First real hot and spicy bitter we have come across. The primary first tastes are citrus, lime and sweetness backstopped by heat and savory with a slightly oily component
Drinks: Pairs well with lighter brown spirits (i.e. not Islay Scotch),gin, vodka, and possibly beer in some cases . Also a interesting bitter to add to your tequila. We are going to spend some time with this family of bitters and try to tease out some new creations.
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: This is a a very unique blend of flavors that should challenge and delight any bartender or mixologist who chooses to use them to create a new family of cocktails. Rather idiosyncratic but overall harmonious blend of disparate elements that creates a bitter that is greater than the sum of its parts – just like a good cocktail.