A somewhat offbeat but great bitter to play with.
Notes: 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, Cherry Bark Vanilla Bitters, Jamaican #2 Bitters, and Orange Bitters.
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: Dark, lovely and succulent fruit cake smells.
Appearance: Dark gold brown – think a dark maple syrup color, free flowing and clear.
Taste: Nicely aromatic and balanced aromatic. Primary tastes are cassia, chamomile and lots of dried fruit. Drying finish is medium to long and very pleasant. Very similar in some ways to a real angostura type bitter – not the name brand stuff (which actually contains no angustura bark and a lot of clove) A very lovely bitter that is complex but well balanced. The black pepper at the end boosts the bitter but also gives a savory drying, peppery and slightly woody finish that is pleasant and primes the palate for more.
Drinks: A great bitters for brown or dark drinks, add a great deal of depth and complexity. Was absolutely lovely in a Manhattan we made (Sazerac Rye, Carpano Antica and works well with gin too.
Bottle: 1 oz with dropper dark brown glass bottle with attractive paper label design. The Jamaican#1 has a light green field on the label to distinguish it from the others at a quick glance.
Final Thoughts: Another excellent new bitter very worthy of inclusion to a cocktailians bitters cupboard from Bittercube. Dark fruity floral and bitter- just the way we like them !