Hella Bitters has a very inspirational story behind the brand, a new aged story actually; a small batch hobby turned professional almost overnight when the founders attempt to raise money on Kickstarter to invest in launching an initial 50-bottle citrus bitter batch (woah, that's a crazy alteration!) The folks at Hella Bitter managed to double their initial investment thanks to great interest in the product and not only did a citrus bitter launch, but an Aromatic bitter was born.
The ingredients on the bottle read: water, alcohol, caramel, gentian, wormwood, roots and spices. While we're not sure all the roots and spices, it's pretty easy to pickup a few in the aroma and tasting.
Aroma: cinnamon, "holiday spices" and a warm clove.
Tasting Notes: ginger root notes, brown sugars with a very defined clove-forward profile. The finish is definitely clove-centric and lingers for twenty seconds or more; almost like I just smoked a clove cigarette (college flashback!) Almost no bitter astringent bite when added to liquids.
The overall quality of Hella Bitters aromatic is clove-centric and mild on the actual bitter finish, which is super exciting to my palate. Within a cocktail, the bitters bring the flavors together and the clove profile is much more subdued compared to tasting straight or in water. Overall, I stick to Hella Aromatic Bitters desire to go with the clove aroma and flavor as their primary profile, which is a bit different than aromatics like angostura whom tend to have much more of a compari-like "bite" in the finish. Quite honestly, I'd go Hella Bitter Aromatic over Angostura pretty much any day of the week (and we sell both.)
If you're looking to select a bitter company and want to support small time business in america--Hella Bitters. This company, like many of us, is obviously striving for the American Dream of building a brand and becoming an industry standard.
This small batch company builds a great product which is why we've decided to carry Hella Bitters in our bitter selection.