GSN Review: Bittercube Small Batch, Hand-Crafted Bitters

Bittercube is a relative new-comer to the cocktail market, with their products only having been available to the public for about two years.  Yet, in that short span of time, they’ve garnered praise from everyone from Martha Stewart to Imbibe Magazine.  The business is the brainchild of Nicholas Kosevich and Ira Koplowitz of Milwaukee, WI.  Between them, they have almost fifteen years of successful bartending and restaurant experience.  The key to their craft has been a literal hands-on approach.  Each step of the bitter making process is overseen and measured by hand using only natural, unprocessed raw ingredients.  This care comes through in each of the six products.  Well done, gentlemen!

Blackstrap
Taste: Dry and full of exotic spices.  Just enough of a hint of sweetness from the molasses to balance the bitterness. Notes of cinnamon and sarsaparilla give it an old-fashioned root beer quality.
Overall: A great alternative to Angostura bitters.  Balanced and perfect for dark spirits like aged rum, whiskies and as an alternative to Amargo Chuncho bitters.
GSN Rating: A

Bolivar
Taste: Quite bitter with a lot of citrus and dried herbs taking the top notes.  A hint of fruitcake comes out as the initial bitterness fades.
Overall: A perfect addition to gin based cocktails, as well as tequilas.  For a very interesting experiment, try using these in lager and pilsner beer based cocktails.
GSN Rating: B+

Cherry Bark Vanilla
Taste: Light and sweet.  Almost nougat-like with a hint of cherry cordial candy.  There’s a bit of creaminess on the tongue and an impression of cherry Cavendish pipe tobacco.
Overall: Well balanced with a nice blend of cherry, vanilla and chocolate.  Perfect for bourbons, and tiki drinks.
GSN Rating: A-

Jamaican #1
Taste: A surprising minty quality that also contains bitter citrus and a small bit of prickly spice from the ginger and pepper.  Not as subtle as some of the other Bittercube products, this one will make your tastebuds take notice.
Overall: Very nice with dark rum, ginger beer, tea based drinks, and traditional punches.
GSN Rating: A-

Jamaican #2
Taste: A brighter profile with more fruity citrus evident.  Still slightly herbal with a lot of spice towards the back of the palate.  Think a very mild Jamaican jerk sauce.  Somewhat thin, but when used with lighter spirits, it won’t get buried.
Overall: Good for silver rums, vodka, and surprisingly, applejack.  It will bring a touch of character to simpler cocktails that call for two or three ingredients.
GSN Rating: B+

Orange
Taste: Quite a bitter profile of burnt orange peel.  There’s a hint of smokiness here which I’ve not had in an orange bitters before.  Certainly less sweet than most as well.  There’s an almost autumnal huskiness to these bitters which will add a touch of dark citrus to any spirit.  If using in a classic gin martini, you won’t need more than a few drops to achieve the desired effect.
Overall: Amidst the plethora of orange bitters available today, these are definitely the driest I’ve had, with virtually no noticeable sweetness.  Great for gin, rye, cola, or Earl Grey based cocktails.
GSN Rating: A-

For more information go to: Bittercube

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