Once upon a time there was a proud prince who lived in a castle in Stanthorpe. He was a quizzical man, his mind richly textured like his desire to create spectrums of fantastical flavours in his emporium – Castle Glen.
If you have been to the brutalisticly angular and seismically over-engineered fort in Stanthorpe you will know what I’m talking about. While I admire the creativity in architectural expression, I also think a healthy restraint in the use of parapets on modern buildings is a must. But I grown bitter in my old(er) age.
With that, astringency is something I have grown to love. Long gone are the days of sweet ingratiating drinks. They present to be too simplistic, with little in the way of depth of flavour and certainly effortless to enjoy for me now. I have become enamored with the exertion to enjoy the bitter, the dry, and the sappy.
Castle Glen is a Queensland producer of a outstanding bitters. Tarry black in colour, the essence has sinewy burnt orange, black cardamon and star anise. Aside from these notes it’s quite difficult to pull apart the aromatic gravy from the bottle. Given what appears to be about 10 billion liqueurs made by Castle Glen, this is by far top of class (along with their pecan liqueur).
I’ve come to enjoy this astringent post-meal palatiser dashed into soda water. A pre-dinner style light refresher is the same mixture but can be amplified with elderflower cordial. The floral, passionfruity notes of elderflower match the sooty unknown alchemy from Castle Glen. Float it like a herbal sienna fire on any cocktail calling for bitters. I think it’s far denser and compact than than Angostura – trust me on this one.
Castle Glen Aromatic Bitters.
Castle Glen producers a dizzying array of kooky labeled products and I kid you not, there is not a beer, spirit, premixed, cider, liqueur not produced. They are now established in Mt Tamborine, and Montville and ground zero for the castle experience, Stanthorpe.