Review Detail

 
All Product Reviews » Traditional Absinthe
Color
Unlouched, it's really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really green. You know, green like the Crayola that says "Green". Green like equal parts primary blue and primary yellow mixed together, or FD&C Blue #1 and FD&C Yellow #5 mixed together. Yep, it's THAT green. Louched, it is... Green! Opaque medium green until viewed against a VERY brightly lit background, where it then exhibits the slightest glints of FD&C Yellow #5 at the edges and a little whitish FD&C Blue #1 at the meniscus.

Louche
It louches all right! Unfortunately the end result is a very synthetic looking medium green. Very monochromatic, no real nuance to the color. If Marge and Homer were ever to louche one up, I suspect this is what it would look like.

Aroma
Well, you can't have everything, can you? Unlouched, anise and a teeny, teeny bit of herbs and a ton of alcohol. Louched, not much improvement, although the wormwood shows itself ever so slightly. It's still mostly anise... star anise. There's just nothing that comes close to complexity or an indication of quality.

Flavor
Mom used to tell me "if you don't have anything nice to say..." Well Mom, I can't leave this blank. Flavors here mirror what the nose portends. Lots of anise, a little wormwood, maybe some other herbals. Hard to tell when your tongue is under attack from so much star anise. I'm typing this as I taste, and my tongue is beginning to feel like my driveway does, right after being sealed. I did take the dilution to 5:1 while tasting and it did show more appropriately, although the problems with all the star anise aren't going away. Basically, a jelly bean bomb.

Finish
Well, if you're going to do something, you may as well do it completely. According to our improved scoring tips (a/o early 2012), a score of 2 for finish indicates “Recedes quickly, or lingers unpleasantly”. La Fee succeeds on both counts. It recedes quickly, but before and after that happens it is most unpleasant. Before, a quick spike of prickly aggressiveness, and after, the palate is left with a drying, high-traction coating. Both are indicative of injudicious amounts of star anise.

Overall
If this absinthe sold in the market for say $35.00, I might be able to find some merit in its existence. But it doesn't sell for that. It's at the lower end of the mainstream pack. Hell, at the price you can try any number of authentically crafted absinthes, all of which mop the floor with this. Or throw down another week of paper route money, and you'll have all kinds of desirable alternatives. I took one for the team. You don't have to put yourself through this.

5/07/13 Revisit – Yesterday, I had a conversation with someone who has bought into the supplier hype on this product hook, line, and sinker. He became quite upset when I told him that just about all of what he thinks he knows about this is misinformation, whether intentional or not. It probably didn't help that I encapsulated my opinion by summing up both this and NV Absinthe Verte as “they're both garbage”. I've been meaning to give this a revisit since it is one of the earlier reviews I wrote, and because our scoring guidelines changed a bit in early 2012, which may have rendered some of my original scoring on this somewhat inaccurate. And also, if I'm wrong I'm willing to admit it.

Changes to my initial scoring are:
Louche – Changed from 4 to 3.
Yep, I was wrong. Chalk that up to my then newbiness.
Finish – Changed from 3 to 2.
According to the old guidelines, a score of 2 here was “Absent or recedes quickly” and 3 was “Lingers, but unremarkable”. Today, a 3 is “Lingers pleasantly, no outstanding characteristics”, and a 2 is as stated above. And it fits this like a glove.
Overall – Changes from 2.4 to 2.2.

Done with a 1 ounce dose, diluted 3:1, 3.5:1, and 5:1 and no sugar.

La Fee Parisienne 04/19/09, 05/07/13
All evaluations had consistent notes.
Overall rating 
 
2.2
Appearance 
 
2.0
Louche 
 
3.0
Aroma 
 
2.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
2.0
Finish 
 
2.0
Overall 
 
2.0
Reviewed by Michael Meyers April 19, 2009
Last updated: June 08, 2013
Top 10 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (53)

It Doesn't Need To Be This Way

Color
Unlouched, it's really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really green. You know, green like the Crayola that says "Green". Green like equal parts primary blue and primary yellow mixed together, or FD&C Blue #1 and FD&C Yellow #5 mixed together. Yep, it's THAT green. Louched, it is... Green! Opaque medium green until viewed against a VERY brightly lit background, where it then exhibits the slightest glints of FD&C Yellow #5 at the edges and a little whitish FD&C Blue #1 at the meniscus.

Louche
It louches all right! Unfortunately the end result is a very synthetic looking medium green. Very monochromatic, no real nuance to the color. If Marge and Homer were ever to louche one up, I suspect this is what it would look like.

Aroma
Well, you can't have everything, can you? Unlouched, anise and a teeny, teeny bit of herbs and a ton of alcohol. Louched, not much improvement, although the wormwood shows itself ever so slightly. It's still mostly anise... star anise. There's just nothing that comes close to complexity or an indication of quality.

Flavor
Mom used to tell me "if you don't have anything nice to say..." Well Mom, I can't leave this blank. Flavors here mirror what the nose portends. Lots of anise, a little wormwood, maybe some other herbals. Hard to tell when your tongue is under attack from so much star anise. I'm typing this as I taste, and my tongue is beginning to feel like my driveway does, right after being sealed. I did take the dilution to 5:1 while tasting and it did show more appropriately, although the problems with all the star anise aren't going away. Basically, a jelly bean bomb.

Finish
Well, if you're going to do something, you may as well do it completely. According to our improved scoring tips (a/o early 2012), a score of 2 for finish indicates “Recedes quickly, or lingers unpleasantly”. La Fee succeeds on both counts. It recedes quickly, but before and after that happens it is most unpleasant. Before, a quick spike of prickly aggressiveness, and after, the palate is left with a drying, high-traction coating. Both are indicative of injudicious amounts of star anise.

Overall
If this absinthe sold in the market for say $35.00, I might be able to find some merit in its existence. But it doesn't sell for that. It's at the lower end of the mainstream pack. Hell, at the price you can try any number of authentically crafted absinthes, all of which mop the floor with this. Or throw down another week of paper route money, and you'll have all kinds of desirable alternatives. I took one for the team. You don't have to put yourself through this.

5/07/13 Revisit – Yesterday, I had a conversation with someone who has bought into the supplier hype on this product hook, line, and sinker. He became quite upset when I told him that just about all of what he thinks he knows about this is misinformation, whether intentional or not. It probably didn't help that I encapsulated my opinion by summing up both this and NV Absinthe Verte as “they're both garbage”. I've been meaning to give this a revisit since it is one of the earlier reviews I wrote, and because our scoring guidelines changed a bit in early 2012, which may have rendered some of my original scoring on this somewhat inaccurate. And also, if I'm wrong I'm willing to admit it.

Changes to my initial scoring are:
Louche – Changed from 4 to 3.
Yep, I was wrong. Chalk that up to my then newbiness.
Finish – Changed from 3 to 2.
According to the old guidelines, a score of 2 here was “Absent or recedes quickly” and 3 was “Lingers, but unremarkable”. Today, a 3 is “Lingers pleasantly, no outstanding characteristics”, and a 2 is as stated above. And it fits this like a glove.
Overall – Changes from 2.4 to 2.2.

Done with a 1 ounce dose, diluted 3:1, 3.5:1, and 5:1 and no sugar.

La Fee Parisienne 04/19/09, 05/07/13
All evaluations had consistent notes.

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