Aged: No age statement
Product of: Trinidad and Tobago
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Siegert's fellow settlers suffered chronic stomach complaints, partly due to the forced change in diet. So in 1820 the good doctor began experimenting with gentian root and other aromatic herbs. In 1824 he created the now famous bitters, which he originally called Amargo Aromatico and used to treat stomach disorders and indigestion.
Siegert soon changed the name of his creation to Angostura, after the town where he was working (not, as is often presumed, after Angostura bark, which is not an ingredient). The town (now called Ciudad Bolivar) was in turn named after the native word for narrow, a reference to the nearby Orinoco River, which was reduced to a trickle in summer months. When the doctor died in 1870, production of the bitters was taken over by his sons who, in 1875, due to unrest in Venezuela, moved to Trinidad.
The truth behind Angostura's quirky packaging stems from the laid-back Caribbean attitude. One day a new batch of labels was ordered and a simple mistake led to them being too big for the bottles. The error was spotted in time but everyone thought somebody else would deal with the problem. No one did, so when the crunch came they simply stuck the labels on the bottles intending to fix the next batch. No one quite got round to it and the oversized label became a trademark of the brand.
Review and Tasting
Sampled on 04/06/2012
Clear, reddy-brown with brick red tones. (Turns brick-red and cloudy with water.)
Pungent, spiced and herbal aromas with orange zest, cardamom, clove and cinnamon most obvious.
Full-bodied flavour explosion with cardamom flavoured Lebanese coffee, dried fruit particularly orange zest, clove, cinnamon, jasmine and mint. Even diluted there is a cracked black pepper spice but Angostura is not at all 'hot'.
Long cardamom, clove, cinnamon and bitter orange zest finish.