Underberg (44%)

Underberg is a German bitter that has been produced since 1846. It is produced by the family company Underberg AG, in Rheinberg, Germany. Herbs are gathered from a total of 43 different countries around the world. The drink is packaged in 2 cl bottles, the design of which was developed by Emil Underberg, the grandson of the founder, in 1949. The glass bottle is still packed in brown paper, which ensures that the product being sold is what it should be. The bottle design, color, packaging method and the Underberg name are all product protected.

One 2 cl dose contains 1.3% of a strong herbal extract, which contains aromatic, digestion-accelerating, relaxing and calming effects substances. The mix is then aged for a few more months in oak barrels made in Slovenia. The product has been made with the same recipe since its development, with the exception of the years 1914-1918 and 1939-1946, when the availability of herbs from 43 different countries was too difficult. A package of 3 x 2cl bottles cost €2.99.

The smell is strongly herbal and spicy. Clove and licorice meet cardamom and other spices familiar from pastries. At the same time, the nose is very original, it differs quite a lot from traditional herbal liqueurs. Based on the smell, I expect a thick mouthfeel typical of herbal liqueurs, but Underberg is actually very dry digestive bitter. Sugar is hardly added to the drink. The taste follows quite well the same flow of aromas within the smell. The spicy, herbal and licorice flavor is strong and penetrating. The taste really has a thick mixture of herbs and spices. The 43 ingredients stated in the product description is not a number pulled out of a hat, the taste is truly versatile and rich. The spicy taste stays in the mouth for a long time. The aftertaste brings the familiar spiciness of gingerbread with a hint of ginger. A 2 cl bottle is a sufficient end of a solid dinner. Underberg is such a “stomach cure” that it makes the digestion work with double power. It’s best enjoyed neat as a digestif, although some have also developed different cocktails from it.


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