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All Product Reviews » Absinthe Substitutes
I should note that I have limited experience in reviewing absinthes, but it is something I'd like to get into. What better place to start than with the cheap stuff?

BOTTLE DESIGN: Nice overall shape, with an olive tone. Raised emblem on front is obtrusive; too bulky. Slight taper to bottle is pleasantly subtle. The filigree and central design on the label are solid, but the fake stamps and stickers muck it up.

AROMA: Incredibly subtle out of the bottle. Even once it begins to louche, the aroma doesn't increase greatly.

COLOR: Very bright peridot. A little too bright in the shot glass, but once it was in the drinking glass, it seemed much less toxic-looking. The intense color made the clarity of the drink less obvious.

LOUCHE: Having little experience with louches, I have little to compare it to. That said, the louche didn’t blossom in a particularly pleasing or notable way. It seemed less puffy/cloudy and more foggy as it formed. Once it was fully developed, it had a fairly nice green "milk glass" appearance. Very even and with a tint of jade. Very little noticeable opalescence. The final color seemed closer to yellow than blue in the green spectrum.

TASTE: The first mouthful comes on light, with a gentle anise flavor. The fennel taste is even milder. If you’re looking for a strongly-herbed absinthe, this is not the drink for you. Much like its aroma, the flavor is incredibly subdued. After it sits in the mouth for a moment, I’m hit strongly with the alcohol flavor and it builds until swallowed, radiating up into the nose.

FINISH: The flavor left behind is actually quite pleasant in my opinion. While this is by no means a refreshing drink, the anise flavor sits nicely on the tongue afterwards. I should also note that it’s true what others have said about this absinthe: it does have a fairly profound numbing effect on the tongue. I didn't find it unpleasant, but can understand where this could be considered an undesirable trait.

PRICE: ABSENTE is the cheapest brand of absinthe in my location, and one of only three in our town (the others being Lucid and Leopold Bros, both of which sell for $60). I bought the 750ml bottle for $40, which is the most I have spent on a single bottle of alcohol so far. That really isn’t saying much as a poor college student, but I would place it at a medium to medium-high position on a pricey alcohol continuum.

OTHER NOTES: ABSENTE, though now containing the wormwood that previously caused it to be labeled as a substitute, is still not a true absinthe. It is a liqueur, containing added sugar. While this doesn’t cause it to be overly sweet, it does mar the overall experience. ABSENTE is 55% ABV.

OVERALL: A decent drink to get you started into the world of absinthe, but certainly not up to snuff for those that have experienced nicer drinks. If the price difference between other cheap absinthes and ABSENTE was greater, I would certainly consider picking up another bottle. That said, it is still pricey for its quality and I'll be shelling out the extra $20 for other products in the future.
Overall rating 
 
2.9
Appearance 
 
2.5
Louche 
 
3.5
Aroma 
 
3.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
2.5
Finish 
 
3.0
Overall 
 
3.0
Reviewed by StJost November 25, 2013
Last updated: November 25, 2013
Top 500 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (1)

Acceptable; Good for First-Timers

I should note that I have limited experience in reviewing absinthes, but it is something I'd like to get into. What better place to start than with the cheap stuff?

BOTTLE DESIGN: Nice overall shape, with an olive tone. Raised emblem on front is obtrusive; too bulky. Slight taper to bottle is pleasantly subtle. The filigree and central design on the label are solid, but the fake stamps and stickers muck it up.

AROMA: Incredibly subtle out of the bottle. Even once it begins to louche, the aroma doesn't increase greatly.

COLOR: Very bright peridot. A little too bright in the shot glass, but once it was in the drinking glass, it seemed much less toxic-looking. The intense color made the clarity of the drink less obvious.

LOUCHE: Having little experience with louches, I have little to compare it to. That said, the louche didn’t blossom in a particularly pleasing or notable way. It seemed less puffy/cloudy and more foggy as it formed. Once it was fully developed, it had a fairly nice green "milk glass" appearance. Very even and with a tint of jade. Very little noticeable opalescence. The final color seemed closer to yellow than blue in the green spectrum.

TASTE: The first mouthful comes on light, with a gentle anise flavor. The fennel taste is even milder. If you’re looking for a strongly-herbed absinthe, this is not the drink for you. Much like its aroma, the flavor is incredibly subdued. After it sits in the mouth for a moment, I’m hit strongly with the alcohol flavor and it builds until swallowed, radiating up into the nose.

FINISH: The flavor left behind is actually quite pleasant in my opinion. While this is by no means a refreshing drink, the anise flavor sits nicely on the tongue afterwards. I should also note that it’s true what others have said about this absinthe: it does have a fairly profound numbing effect on the tongue. I didn't find it unpleasant, but can understand where this could be considered an undesirable trait.

PRICE: ABSENTE is the cheapest brand of absinthe in my location, and one of only three in our town (the others being Lucid and Leopold Bros, both of which sell for $60). I bought the 750ml bottle for $40, which is the most I have spent on a single bottle of alcohol so far. That really isn’t saying much as a poor college student, but I would place it at a medium to medium-high position on a pricey alcohol continuum.

OTHER NOTES: ABSENTE, though now containing the wormwood that previously caused it to be labeled as a substitute, is still not a true absinthe. It is a liqueur, containing added sugar. While this doesn’t cause it to be overly sweet, it does mar the overall experience. ABSENTE is 55% ABV.

OVERALL: A decent drink to get you started into the world of absinthe, but certainly not up to snuff for those that have experienced nicer drinks. If the price difference between other cheap absinthes and ABSENTE was greater, I would certainly consider picking up another bottle. That said, it is still pricey for its quality and I'll be shelling out the extra $20 for other products in the future.

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Written by gherrin
March 26, 2014
This is a deceptive attempt to convince well meaning potential lovers of absinthe to try it. It was given to me by a student who was deceived. It is barely drinkable. Stay away from it and try a real absinthe and then be ready to really enjoy a wonderfully subtle and magical drink.
Gherrin
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