Letherbee R Franklin's Original Receipe Besk .750L Illinois
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Letherbee unites with R. Franklin for a refined rendition of BËSK ("bitter" in Swedish) a relatively obscure Swedish liqueur dominated by wormwood which has taken on a cult status in Chicago (most notably from Jeppson's Malört). The violently bitter shot initially hits with flavors of grapefruit before an onslaught of wormwood alongside earthy gentian root an effect that lingers on the palate for quite a surprising while. Beneath the initial bitterness rests more gentle traces of juniper, star anise, and elderflower musk. Bottled at 100 proof.
Letherbee’s BËSK remains an esoteric shot for adventurous drinkers, but the bitter liqueur can be gracefully incorporated into sophisticated cocktails.
The goal was just to make some good booze. Bartender Brenton Engel was cooking up his own moonshine and it gained such a level of cult popularity that he was inspired to start Letherbee — an independent artisan distillery. The signature concoction would be a distinctive yet versatile gin, made from a recipe developed by Brent and fine tuned based on feedback from colleagues through the Chicago bar scene.
With absolutely no influence from outside investors or marketers, the team of bartenders at Letherbee now distills and produces a range of craft botanical spirits including the aforementioned flagship gin, seasonal variants released semi-annually, barrel-aged absinthe, fernet, and bësk – based on a recipe developed by cohort Robert Haynes. Across the board, Letherbee spirits are made for “wellness” — not only to enliven the discerning drinker but to stock the arsenal of the professional bartender.
On top of their regular offerings, Letherbee Distillers produces two seasonal gins that are one time limited runs, different every year: the Autumnal Gin and the Vernal Gin.
Letherbee's total production is now around 1500 cases.