A nicely spicy bitter tonic
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 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 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, and Bitters,Old Men Smoke Gets In Your Bitters Bitters
*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: Slightly oily body to it. Does not have the dyes others use to color to darken their bitters.
First Impression: A spicier version of Amaro.
Taste: Heavily spiced (with cinnamon, nutmeg, gentian, galangal, blood orange peel, star anise, cloves) to make a deliciously heavy spiced bitter tonic – think cider mulling spices or glog meets a amaro. Reminds me quite a bit of an alpine bitters with more punch yet somehow more complexity.
Drinks: Makes for a spicy Hanky Panky, interesting in Tiki rum drinks, bourbon, and a variation on a blood and sand (swap out the Cherry Heering).
Works with Pisco also – but haven’t finalized any recipes yet. . .
Bottle: Clear glass old-style bottle , rectangular shape with slightly oval body attractive graphics on paper labels (which are rather difficult to read – tiny fonts).
Other: They use local ingredients whenever possible. . .
Final Thoughts: Really lovely and refreshing bitter tonic.Instead of cheaping out by using a cheap (barely) food grade ethanol, Zach has used a rye whiskey base and some top shelf spices to make a stunner of a tonic.