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I finally received my shipment from The Bitter Truth of Germany. I ordered their Jerry Thomas Decanter Bitters, Orange & Celery Bitters. I've been impressed with their Orange Bitters (they are a very different style than Gary Regan's Orange Bitters), and their Celery Bitters were excellent in the Red Snapper that I made yesterday.

However, I have to admit to being a bit disappointed with their Jerry Thomas Decanter Bitters. I found them to be rather wanting in complexity, thin, nearly colourless and generally lacking in aromatic character. They tend to get lost in a cocktail, especially when compared to Angostura or Fee's Aromatic or Whiskey Aged Bitters. So far I have used the JTDB in a Manhattan, the Improved Whiskey Cocktail, an Old Fashioned (ala Imbibe and sans fruit cocktail), a Rob Roy and a Pisco Sour, and the results have been less than impressive, IMHO. I almost feel that the bitters need to undergo a serious reduction in volume and concentration, rather in the manner that a stock is reduced in volume to make a concentrated demi-glace.

I'm curious if anyone has tried TBT's line of Bitters, and what some of your opinions are about their line of products?

Cheers,

Craig

During lunch with the Arab leader Ibn Saud, when he heard that the king’s religion forbade smoking and alcohol, Winston Churchill said: "I must point out that my rule of life prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite the smoking of cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after, and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them." Ibn Saud relented and the lunch went on with both alcohol & cigars.

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I've not had the JT Decanter Bitters you speak of, but the shortcomings sound like my own complaints about their Aromatic Bitters I ordered some years ago. Nice profile, but lacking in concentration (only 20% abv, which may be part of the problem). Some folks thought they were the bees knees, but I found that their flavor had trouble standing up to robustly flavored dark spirits like American Whiskeys. Never did try them much with gin though, maybe thats the ticket.

Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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I generally use the JT bitter truth as an accent in something like an Improved cocktail -- that is, using angostura as a base bitter, and then a couple small dashes of JT to add that certain bitter truth complexity.

The bitter truth aromatic bitters are one of my favorites, and i've used them for cocktails on a couple of lists. That being said, I would caution everyone against getting too attached when it comes to a bar or restaurant's list: the flavor profile is so specific that when you run out and can't source more (and you probably will), finding a suitable replacement is almost impossible. Still love 'em, though, and they sure as hell ain't going off my A&D list.

Edited by notahumanissue (log)
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Hi,

i´m from germany and i use every bitter of TBT. The orangen bitters is the best i know also the lemon bitters. the other ones are very special and you have to try the bitters in differnt drinks.

Mix a dry martini and add celery bitters! this is amazing!

@thirtyoneknots: The new aromatic: 39% alc :biggrin:

Drink less, but better!

http://cocktailwelt.blogspot.com/

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  • 2 months later...

I've had good luck ordering books and bar equipment from Cocktail Kingdom.

Plus, Greg's a good guy.

To be honest, I have no idea how he is even making any money on this, with the prices as low as they are.

At the moment the exchange rate is: 1 Euro = 1.3996 U.S. dollars

To order these bitters direct from The Bitter Truth, you'd pay about $15.25 plus (very expensive!) shipping.

---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Boston Shaker's Adam Lantheaume and I were corresponding about just this thing today:

To deal with the incredible demand (Yay Bittermens!), I set up this pre-order page which you can use to place a pre-order for in store pickup.  That way you know you have a bottle reserved should the demand run out.

I spoke with the folks at The Bitter Truth, and Bittermens, and it looks like we should start seeing them get bottled right before or after Tales of the Cocktail.  I'm hoping to have them in store end of July or early August.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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  • 1 month later...

So, what's the verdict on TBT? My niece is working in Germany this summer and might be able to bring some back for me. Now that you all have had some time to play with them, which ones would you recommend?

KathyM

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The Celery Bitters and the Jerry Thomas bitters are the most unique. I think they're all good products, but I find them a little low in intensity for my taste.

Considering that they are available in the States now, I'm not sure why you'd go to the trouble of hand-schlepping some back.

--

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The Celery Bitters and the Jerry Thomas bitters are the most unique.  I think they're all good products, but I find them a little low in intensity for my taste.

Considering that they are available in the States now, I'm not sure why you'd go to the trouble of hand-schlepping some back.

Thanks! Somehow I never bothered to look at CocktailKingdom's site, thinking it was overseas.

KathyM

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I kind of like their Jerry Thomas bitters. Perhaps they are not as complex or as intense as Angostura, but they serve as an interesting alternative aromatic bitters. Actually, to me, they seem more like a standard aromatic bitter than TBT's "aromatic bitters" which seem to be very clove-y in an Allspice dram sort of way. Of course, that only means that we have another bitter to choose from that's not the same as any other. As for their orange bitters, I got the opposite reaction from the OP who said they are in a different style than Regan's. To me they are closer to the style of Regan's in comparison to Angostura or Fee's (not to suggest that those last two are anything alike). The upshot of all of this is that it demands much more experimentation!

Mike

"The mixing of whiskey, bitters, and sugar represents a turning point, as decisive for American drinking habits as the discovery of three-point perspective was for Renaissance painting." -- William Grimes

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  • 2 weeks later...

Chris and plattetude (or anyone else who's tried it), can you give us an assessment of TBT's Lemon Bitters? I only know Fee's Lemon Bitters, which are rather one-dimensional (though they have their uses).

I'm not even sure who else makes lemon bitters.

Mike

"The mixing of whiskey, bitters, and sugar represents a turning point, as decisive for American drinking habits as the discovery of three-point perspective was for Renaissance painting." -- William Grimes

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