Review Detail

 
All Product Reviews » Traditional Absinthe
Appearance
A nice medium peridot with a little moss influence, not a lot of nuance. Certainly the right tonal range with about all the depth I would want to see. Crystal clear and reasonably bright. One of the more natural looking Matter colorations I've seen.

Louche
Louche is a medium weight jade green with impressive gradients from amber at the bottom to blue at the edges and meniscus. Translucence is just right. Really beautiful opalescence in good light, the only thing that may improve this might be a little less original color, but only just a little. This is right up there with the top verte louches I've seen.

Aroma
Unlouched, wormwoods, especially the pontica, against a background of anise and fennel. Louched, really nice balance... the kind where one must look hard and critically to define the elements. Clean and herbal with good anise, fennel, and spicy support. The hyssop really begins to show as it comes up in temperature.

Flavor And Mouthfeel
A medium weight and smooth entry with wormwoods apparent immediately, however anise and fennel are right there in excellent balance. A background bitterness with a little bite. Focus is provided by a bit of pepper and other spice. Overall the palate is not as fresh and snappy as the very, very best, but it is very good.

Finish
A nice fade of the palate impressions with a blooming spice and coriander push and a tingliness that's really attractive, all wrapped in a very smooth package. The anise and fennel show once the tingliness subsides, followed by a nice wormwood linger that goes on for some time. It all leaves the palate slightly tingly and powdery, but not dry.

Overall Impression
This is very, very pleasant. Like its name, balanced, clean, traditional, and well executed. It's a really good example of what absinthe should look like with no twists or quirks. My favorite dilutions with this are from about 3.8:1 to 4.2:1 depending on my mood. Really the only thing keeping this from 5s in the categories of “Aroma” through “Overall” is the lack of that ethereal immediacy and freshness that are the hallmark of the very best.

Like its Duplais siblings by Matter (the Verte and the Blanche), Balance is just very solid and well done. This is one of those reviews where I'm not sure the scoring tells the whole story. Is Balance the world's best absinthe? Well, certainly not. However, it is IMO at the top of the range we define as “Very Good” before we move into the offerings categorized as “Outstanding”, and “Exemplary”. And I'll tell you, the world wouldn't be a bad place if this were all that was available. On balance, it only occasionally gets better.

Done with a 1 ounce dose, diluted 3.5:1, 3.8:1, 4:1, 4.2:1 and no sugar.

Duplais Balance 8/16/12, 8/18/12, 9/23/12.
All evaluations had consistent notes.
Overall rating 
 
4.2
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
5.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0
Reviewed by Michael Meyers September 24, 2012
Last updated: September 24, 2012
Top 50 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (53)

On Balance

Appearance
A nice medium peridot with a little moss influence, not a lot of nuance. Certainly the right tonal range with about all the depth I would want to see. Crystal clear and reasonably bright. One of the more natural looking Matter colorations I've seen.

Louche
Louche is a medium weight jade green with impressive gradients from amber at the bottom to blue at the edges and meniscus. Translucence is just right. Really beautiful opalescence in good light, the only thing that may improve this might be a little less original color, but only just a little. This is right up there with the top verte louches I've seen.

Aroma
Unlouched, wormwoods, especially the pontica, against a background of anise and fennel. Louched, really nice balance... the kind where one must look hard and critically to define the elements. Clean and herbal with good anise, fennel, and spicy support. The hyssop really begins to show as it comes up in temperature.

Flavor And Mouthfeel
A medium weight and smooth entry with wormwoods apparent immediately, however anise and fennel are right there in excellent balance. A background bitterness with a little bite. Focus is provided by a bit of pepper and other spice. Overall the palate is not as fresh and snappy as the very, very best, but it is very good.

Finish
A nice fade of the palate impressions with a blooming spice and coriander push and a tingliness that's really attractive, all wrapped in a very smooth package. The anise and fennel show once the tingliness subsides, followed by a nice wormwood linger that goes on for some time. It all leaves the palate slightly tingly and powdery, but not dry.

Overall Impression
This is very, very pleasant. Like its name, balanced, clean, traditional, and well executed. It's a really good example of what absinthe should look like with no twists or quirks. My favorite dilutions with this are from about 3.8:1 to 4.2:1 depending on my mood. Really the only thing keeping this from 5s in the categories of “Aroma” through “Overall” is the lack of that ethereal immediacy and freshness that are the hallmark of the very best.

Like its Duplais siblings by Matter (the Verte and the Blanche), Balance is just very solid and well done. This is one of those reviews where I'm not sure the scoring tells the whole story. Is Balance the world's best absinthe? Well, certainly not. However, it is IMO at the top of the range we define as “Very Good” before we move into the offerings categorized as “Outstanding”, and “Exemplary”. And I'll tell you, the world wouldn't be a bad place if this were all that was available. On balance, it only occasionally gets better.

Done with a 1 ounce dose, diluted 3.5:1, 3.8:1, 4:1, 4.2:1 and no sugar.

Duplais Balance 8/16/12, 8/18/12, 9/23/12.
All evaluations had consistent notes.

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