Aromatic is the oldest and most traditional classification of bitters, as well as the most complex. Usually built from scores of ingredients, their individual components are difficult to impossible to parse. The success of a great aromatic bitters is its gestalt, how its overall impression is greater than the sum of its parts. Medicinal bitters are a subcategory of aromatic bitters, which is rooted in the origins of bitters as patent medicines. The formulas for medicinal bitters focus on the curative properties of the ingredients rather than their sensory qualities. Because of that, medicinal aromatic bitters can be unpalatably bitter, lacking the sweetness to balance their bitter components.