GSN Review: The Bitter Truth Bitters

The Bitter Truth is celebrating their 5th Anniversary this year and they have recently released a few notable products that no bar should be without.  First up is a top notch variety pack of bitters.  These come in 20ml size bottles with built in dasher tops.  Perfect for taking with you to a party, cocktail event or your local bar to add that finishing touch to your cocktail.  Here are some tasting notes on what comes in the set.

Celery Bitters – Beautiful, subtle, with a taste of fresh crisp celery.  Other notes are barely detectable, but there are a hint of dried herbs.  The flavor has a little bit of spice bite with a lingering bitterness.  A fantastic bitters for vodka, gin or try it with a dry vermouth on the rocks.  Extremely balanced, light and versatile.  GSN Rating: A+

Orange Bitters – Notes of very dry, bitter orange with cardamom, nutmeg and caraway.  The orange flavor is natural and not in any way candy-like.  More elegant and understated than Regan’s or Angostura Orange, and certainly much less sweet than Fee’s Orange.  I use these regularly in martinis, but they also work well in an Old Fashioned.  GSN Rating: A-

Creole Bitters – Notes of anise, caraway, dried strawberry, chalk and grape seeds.  Very interesting. Like all Bitter Truth products, this is very understated and not at all in your face like Peychaud’s.  If you’re going to use this in a Sazerac, you might want to add a few more drops to bring out the flavor.  As well, this will work well in a gin, rye or even an aged rum cocktail.  GSN Rating: A

Old Time Aromatic Bitters – Lighter and more herbally compact than Angostura.  Notes of oak wood, dried fruit peel, cinnamon, sandalwood and clove with a sour vegetal quality that works well to bind juice and spirit together.  Nice in just about anything, but works especially well in combination with cherry, orange or Benedictine liqueurs.  GSN Rating: A

Jerry Thomas’ Own Decanter Bitters – A load of nutmeg on the nose.  Light and sweet on the tongue with less bitterness than I expected.  There is a bright stonefruit flavor mingled with a hint of clove, cinnamon and tree bark. This is really different compared to any other bitters I’ve tried.  The sweetness works well with bourbon, or any cocktail calling for simple syrup.  GSN Rating: A-

The other products making their recent debut are a Sloe Gin and an Amaro. Put away your preconceptions of what a typical Sloe Gin tastes like, because this is something entirely transcendental.  The Amaro is a nice addition to the ever increasing arsenal of bitter herb infused products on the market, and stands a good chance of giving the big boys a run for their money in terms of eventual brand loyalty.  Here are my thoughts:

Sloeberry Blue Gin (56 proof) – The color is a deep burgundy.  Nice fresh fruit nose, tangy, mouthwatering berry aroma with a hint of juniper.  The flavor is tart, but not overwhelmingly so.  The berry flavor is natural and balanced by the dryness of the gin.  The finish is long and intriguingly dry and sweet.  There is a slight hint of white pepper and rock candy.  GSN Rating: A

E**X**R Krauter Liqueur (60 proof) – Not much of a nose, just a pleasantly light herbal scent.  The flavor is quite sweet with molasses and slightly tannic herbs.  This makes for a nice alternative to sweet vermouth.  Add a slice of lemon on the rocks and you’ve got a great after work refresher.  Definitely in the Amaro camp, but not aggressively so.  I’d highly recommend this to fans of Jägermeister as a more refined alternative, and to be completely honest E**X**R has a much less medicinal taste.  This is a liqueur worthy of experimentation in dark cocktails.  I’ll be trying it in my next Manhattan.  GSN Rating: A

The Bitter Truth products are available online through Drink Up NY on the East Coast and Cask on the West Coast.

You may also order direct from Germany through their website.

2 thoughts on “GSN Review: The Bitter Truth Bitters

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