GSN Review: The Bitter Truth Bitters & Flower Waters

PrintGermany’s The Bitter Truth Company began with just two products; an Orange Bitters and an Old Time Aromatic Bitters.  At the time, very few bars carried anything other than Angostura Bitters, and even then there was only an aromatic version (they now also make orange bitters, due in part I believe to the success of entrepreneurs like The Bitter Truth).  But, that’s all in the not so distant past, as The Bitter Truth now carries a full range of bitters.  They may not cure all, but they certainly make a lovely and welcome addition to your bar’s cocktail arsenal.

Here are my reviews of some of their latest bitters, and two flower waters.  A previous GSN review of their other bitters is here.

111245-Bitters-The-Bitter-Truth-Peach-Bitters-20cl-800x1200Peach Bitters – Intensely peach forward with a sour tang that adds just the right amount of acidity and depth.  There seems to be an assortment of baking spices as well that linger in the back of the throat.  These make quite an interesting alternative to orange bitters, and work wonders with bourbon, rye and gin based cocktails.
GSN Rating: A


Grapefruit-Bitters-USAGrapefruit Bitters – Quite bitter with a lot of pith character more than grapefruit juice.  Very dry and intense.  Not much is needed to add a sharp and noticeable edge to a cocktail.  I wish there was more of a fruit flavor in here.  That being said, these work well with vodka, blanco tequila and even light rums to bring out a more intriguing character in each of these spirits when used in cocktails.
GSN Rating: B-


Tonic-BittersThomas Henry Tonic Bitters – The flavor of quinoa bark is pronounced along with several citrus botanicals.  The overall effect is quite intriguing, with a wide spectrum of flavors that percolate over the tongue.  I quite like these as a more apothecarian alternative to other citrus fruit based bitters.  An extra dash or two of these in a G&T will lessen the sweetness of the tonic, and in a martini, they shine.  Get a bottle while you can!
GSN Rating: A+

the-bitter-truth-orange-flower-waterOrange Flower Water – There aren’t too many orange flower waters available in my part of the world, but I have three to compare with.  The Bitter Truth’s version is amazingly floral and flavorful.  Really the best I’ve every had when tasted side by side with the others in my collection.  The gentle orange quality is remarkably floral and right on the mark in terms of intensity.  Well done!
GSN Rating: A

roseRose Water – Rose is one of those flavors that often gets overlooked in cocktails, and yet fits in with many of the aromatic herbal ingredients we don’t give a second thought to.  Gin, dry vermouth, Chartreuse, Benedictine, and so on.  Not only does the flavor of rise work well with these ingredients, but it also adds real interest to vodka, blanco tequila and champagne.  The version by The Bitter Truth is subtle and yet quite natural.  Just a few drops added to the top of a drink will give it a sultry nose.
GSN Rating: B

For more information go to: The Bitter Truth

GSN Review: The Bitter Truth Spirits & Liqueurs

PrintThe guys at The Bitter Truth are two of the busiest people in the spirits industry.  In just seven years, they have increased their product line to include not only several classic bitters styles, but also spirits, liqueurs and flower waters.  Every bottle feels just right, looks sharp and holds some amazing flavors.  GSN recently received a “care package” which contained samples of their latest offerings.  I in turn, offer my reviews to you dear reader.

gin-the-bitter-truth-pink-ginSpiced Navy Pink Gin (80 proof)
Visual: Delicate rose quartz.
Nose: Light juniper floral scent with subtle overtones of classic aromatic bitters.
Taste: Quite delicate and almost feminine in character.  The juniper is gentle and the bitters add a deeper and darker herbality which plays well with the gin base.  There is a slightly sweet and creamy mouthfeel not unlike Plymouth gin.
Finish: A lively and elegant finish which leaves you wanting more.
Overall: A lovely gin for classic martinis and G&T’s.  Very, very well done.
GSN Rating: A

ElderflowerElderflower Liqueur (44 proof)
Visual: Very light pale yellow.
Nose: Sweet, almost grape-like character.
Taste: Very sweet and fruity.  The elderflower dominates the spirit and sugar base.  The mouthfeel is light and not too thick and syrupy.
Finish: Lasting sweetness with slight spicy notes that add intrigue.
Overall: A great and versatile liqueur that will add wonderful fruity notes to any cocktail.  The essence of summer in a bottle.
GSN Rating: A

FalernumGolden Falernum (36 proof)
Visual: Warm sunny gold.
Nose: Intriguingly fruity like tropical punch with brief high notes of baking spices.
Taste: Quite sweet with a limeade overtone.  The spice plays a role in the background, but grows in strength as time goes on.  The ginger is particularly warming and yet doesn’t add too much heat.  I don’t pick up much in the way of almond.
Finish:  Medium long with a lasting presence of having just eaten key lime pie.
Overall: Definitely a more subtle and refined version of the few alcoholic falernums I’ve had.  Worthy of craft tiki cocktails.
GSN Rating: B+

imagesElixier Digestive Liqueur (60 proof)
Visual: Very dark chocolate-brown.
Nose: Herbal and vegetal, but not unpleasant.
Taste: Slightly bitter, but not to extremes.  There’s a nice balance of sweetness to offset any potential bitter intensity.
Finish: Fairly long with a flavor reminiscent of root beer barrel or horehound candies.
Overall: Very much in keeping with traditional digestives, and one that is infinitely more pleasant to taste than many other German herbal liquors.  No need to chill, unless you so desire.
GSN Rating: A-

For more information go to: The Bitter Truth