If you thought a Pimento Dram was a shot of vodka with a piece of roasted red pepper thrown in as a garnish, think again. The pimento in question is actually an allspice berry. Granted, Allspice Liqueur sounds more palatable, but really both nomenclatures are interchangeable. More importantly, if you’re exploring the expanding world of Tiki and faux tropical drinks, you’re eventually going to need to acquire some of this traditional rum-based mystery liquid.
- Bitter Truth: A bright and clear, rich reddish brown.
- St. Elizabeth: A crystal brown.
- Bitter Truth: Intense dried spice notes with an extremely forward allspice nose.
- St. Elizabeth: Allspice and clove blended with dark berry fruits.
- Bitter Truth: Overall a bit thin in body, but quite balanced with a sweetness keeping the strong allspice flavor from being too bitter. A slightly numbing mouthfeel reminiscent of eating too many Pfeffernüsse cookies.
- St. Elizabeth: More of a typical liqueur body than the Bitter Truth version. The allspice is very much assertive, but softened and more pleasant. Not that you want to nurse a glass of this all night long, but the St. Elizabeth is more cohesive in the blending elements, making it a decent solo affair.
Interestingly enough, even though Pimento/Allspice liqueurs are a traditional Jamaican creation, the Bitter Truth is a German company and St. Elizabeth is Austrian. Both of these products work well in many of the classic Donn Beach and Victor Bergeron classics, as well making for interesting substitutes in some modern drinks that typically use herbal liqueurs like Benedictine or Jägermeister. However, I give a few extra points to the St. Elizabeth for overall balance and a richer flavor profile.
The Bitter Truth Pimento Dram (44 Proof) GSN Rating: B+
St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram (45 Proof) GSN Rating: A