Decided to browse a bit through the forum and noticed there hasn't been a general bitters thread for at least a few years, and maybe ever.
That, combined with the spring/summer cocktail season here seems like as good a reason as any to start a new thread.
Me, I'm pretty conservative and only have a few on hand, but with the explosion of brands popping up (seriously, they're like vodka distillers were a few years ago) all the more reason to have a discussion about the quality ones.
I'm a traditionalist, always having a bottle of Angustura armomatic on hand, along with Peychauds. I've got a bottle of both Angustura and Fee Brothers orange bitters too but both go mostly unused, a little too much of an overly artificial one note flavor with both of them. Both were disappointing purchases when trying to find something to duplicate the flavor of Stirrings Blood Orange "bitters" without all the added sugar.
In general I've found the Fee Brothers stuff that I've tasted don't do much for me, and come across as a bit "chemically" across the board, but maybe thats just me.
Just recently I grabbed a bottle of Bitter Truth aromatic to try alongside Angustura, and having had a few old fashioneds with it I'm impressed. I like the way the anise notes really come out with a lot of brightness and not as muddied as the Angustura.
Either way, whats your favorite bitters to keep on hand and what do you use them for? Anything out of the ordinary, like the celery bitters I keep seeing pop up in cocktails conversations?