Fee’s Aged Bitters

I’m a bitter guy. No, I’m not talking about my attitude (just don’t get me talking about the state of Canadian hockey) but rather I’m referring to my love of bitters. It is rare that I find a cocktail that isn’t improved with just a dash of bitters. Whether they are Angostura, Peychaud’s, Abbott’s, Herme’s, The Bitter Truth’s, orange, peach or cherry, a dash of bitters adds complexity to most beverages. As my love is insatiable I am always on the lookout for new flavors, and lo and behold, one finally made an appearance.

Fee Brother’s have been making bitters since 1864 and already have a range of flavors including orange, peach, lemon, mint and aromatic. Last week I discovered that they have added another flavor to their repertoire: Fee’s Whiskey Barrel-Aged bitters.

From what I’ve been able to ascertain, the good folks at Fee’s have taken their Aromatic bitters and barrel-aged them in used Jack Daniel’s barrels. Jack Daniels, IMHO, has never found a better use (ok, I know tons of great Scotch is aged with Jack, but I’m writing about bitters right now). The wood has tamed the aromatic bitters, making the flavours less harsh, better melding the spice, and subduing the citrus. This is a much superior response to Angostura than their un-aged batch.

This version is a little more expensive than their other products, but please don’t get ripped off like I did. Because they have a limited number of barrels, and because it cost money to store and age anything, they are limiting the number of bottles that you can buy from the factory to six, and raising the price by a couple of dollars. Just a couple of dollars. Don’t pay double the price, like I did, from an unscrupulous purveyor. (I still can’t believe I paid $16 for my first bottle! What was I thinking?)

Now I just have to wait for Angostura’s orange bitters to be available for purchase. I was lucky enough to try a sample Robert Hess (aka Drinkboy) had with him, and in a word….FANTASTIC!

Please enjoy a cocktail with a dubious name, but great flavor. If you can’t use the Whiskey Barrel-Aged bitters, use the un-aged Aromatic, or failing that, Angostura.

1 ½ oz Cognac
½ oz blackberry brandy
½ oz dry sherry
2 dashes of Fee’s Whiskey Barrel-Aged bitters
dash of Regan’s orange bitters

stir, strain into cocktail glass
(1930’s, Savoy hotel, London)



Picture taken by:
Jamie Boudreau

~ by Jamie Boudreau on June 15, 2007.

10 Responses to “Fee’s Aged Bitters”

  1. Jamie… Enjoy the blog! Do you take your own photos? They’re fantastic. Anyway, while I think the Poop Deck is a fine, fine cocktail, I’m looking forward with anticipation to a new creation featuring the Fee’s Barrel Aged. PS. Now I don’t feel so bad about the $12 I paid for my first bottle!

  2. At least I wasn’t the only one to shell out the $16.

    I’m using the barrel-aged bitters in the Pepe Llulla swizzle, for the dinner at the Delachaise during Tales of the Cocktail. We’ll see how it works.

  3. Erik,
    Thanks, I do indeed take my own pictures. I would probably post more often if I didn’t feel the need to add one of my pictures each time. Having said that, I’ll post a new cocktail utilizing the aged bitters in the near future.

    Looking forward to tasting it in N.O.

  4. I’m a bitter guy too, the other day I caught myself adding some to my plain glass of early morning orange juice. Hey really good pics, what kind of camera do you use?

  5. Thanks Ed. I use a Canon EOS, usually with 50mm f1.4 for cocktail shots.

  6. I would probably enjoy Fee Brother’s Barrel Aged Bitter’s if it actually had more complexity of flavor than a Red Hot candy. The taste of bitter cassia and lightly smoked cinnamon I found to be quite disagreeable. Goldschlager meet quassia.

  7. just got a bottle of fee’s whiskey aged bitters, can’t wait to try the POOP DECK – would ‘blackberry brandy’ and ‘creme de mure’ (blackberry liqueur) be approximately the same?

  8. Niels:

  9. […] bitters available aside from Angostura. The best that I’ve found are the Fees Brothers’ Whiskey Barrel Aged Old Fashioned Bitters. The Fees’ regular Old Fashioned bitters are pretty good, but I think they’re a little […]

  10. hi i’m brazilian bartender and if u don’t belive that u pay 12$ for a bitter bottle you all should came to brazil… i’ve payed 32$ for a regular bottle of angostura aromatic bitter !! can you belive it? and this is the regular cost!

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