St. George Absinthe

St. George Absinthe

 
3.2 (2)
 
3.4 (21)
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Available in USA?
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Degrees ABV (% alcohol)
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Editor reviews

Average editor rating from: 2 user(s)

Overall rating 
 
3.2
Appearance 
 
3.5  (2)
Louche 
 
3.0  (2)
Aroma 
 
3.5  (2)
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
3.0  (2)
Finish 
 
3.0  (2)
Overall 
 
3.0  (2)

The colour is bright golden green. Far more attractive than any pictures I'd seen of it. The louche action is ugly and fast. I started the drip and looked away from the glass for 5 seconds. When I looked back it was completely opaque and hadn't risen out of the reservoir of my Pontarlier glass. As I added water I could see more clouds swirling and thickening in the already-thick absinthe. The result is an extremely thick, mustard-yellow drink.

Aroma before louche is star anise dominant with a bit of heat. Sweet and candy-like. Notes of wildflower honey and something that resembles artificial cinnamon like in Big Red gum. After louche I think I can kind of smell a little bit of wormwood, but otherwise the other flavours are simply stronger than before. No floral wormwood.

Flavour is dominated by that Big Red flavour, which seems to be a result of the combination of distilled anise, basil, and tarragon. Mostly basil. As it lingers on the palate the flavours separate so that they're more individually distinct. Star anise gives it an acrid, absenta-like attack and it's very numbing. The flavour reminds me of the aroma in my parents' greenhouse in North Carolina when I was 6. I can detect a faint wormwood camphour but it's well-hidden. The sweetness of the aroma doesn't really carry over into the taste; it's dry and slightly bitter.

The finish is dominated by basil with hints of wormwood peeking through. It's not very complex or lasting. What does last is the tongue-numbing effect.

I'm very perplexed by this absinthe. It tastes very wrong to me but I am enjoying it for what it is. All the more unusual because I'm not generally a fan of star anise. It's unlike any other absinthe I've ever had. In fact, of any I've had it strays the farthest from a traditional absinthe flavour while still being absinthe. I think it needs some tweaking; pull back the basil some (I'm a fan of basil but it's a little out of balance), bring forward the wormwood, and substitute at least half of the star anise with green anise and I think it would be quite a good product. As it is I think it's nice and interesting enough but not worth half its price tag.

Edit: As I continue my glass it seems gradually sweeter. I wouldn't go so far as to remove my comment that it's more dry, but it definitely is changing as I slowly sip it. I suppose that's not a bad thing.
Overall rating 
 
3.2
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
3.0
Aroma 
 
3.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
3.0
Finish 
 
3.0
Overall 
 
3.0
Reviewed by Andrew Young April 24, 2008
Last updated: July 20, 2011
Top 10 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (60)

Greenhousesinthe

The colour is bright golden green. Far more attractive than any pictures I'd seen of it. The louche action is ugly and fast. I started the drip and looked away from the glass for 5 seconds. When I looked back it was completely opaque and hadn't risen out of the reservoir of my Pontarlier glass. As I added water I could see more clouds swirling and thickening in the already-thick absinthe. The result is an extremely thick, mustard-yellow drink.

Aroma before louche is star anise dominant with a bit of heat. Sweet and candy-like. Notes of wildflower honey and something that resembles artificial cinnamon like in Big Red gum. After louche I think I can kind of smell a little bit of wormwood, but otherwise the other flavours are simply stronger than before. No floral wormwood.

Flavour is dominated by that Big Red flavour, which seems to be a result of the combination of distilled anise, basil, and tarragon. Mostly basil. As it lingers on the palate the flavours separate so that they're more individually distinct. Star anise gives it an acrid, absenta-like attack and it's very numbing. The flavour reminds me of the aroma in my parents' greenhouse in North Carolina when I was 6. I can detect a faint wormwood camphour but it's well-hidden. The sweetness of the aroma doesn't really carry over into the taste; it's dry and slightly bitter.

The finish is dominated by basil with hints of wormwood peeking through. It's not very complex or lasting. What does last is the tongue-numbing effect.

I'm very perplexed by this absinthe. It tastes very wrong to me but I am enjoying it for what it is. All the more unusual because I'm not generally a fan of star anise. It's unlike any other absinthe I've ever had. In fact, of any I've had it strays the farthest from a traditional absinthe flavour while still being absinthe. I think it needs some tweaking; pull back the basil some (I'm a fan of basil but it's a little out of balance), bring forward the wormwood, and substitute at least half of the star anise with green anise and I think it would be quite a good product. As it is I think it's nice and interesting enough but not worth half its price tag.

Edit: As I continue my glass it seems gradually sweeter. I wouldn't go so far as to remove my comment that it's more dry, but it definitely is changing as I slowly sip it. I suppose that's not a bad thing.

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Updated review 10-3-09:
Not much has changed other than the color is now a bit too dark for me and the louche is just way too thick, bringing the color and louche down a bit for me.

===========
Updated review 9-13-08:
Overall, much of my original opinions persist, however, it seems like the recent batches have been made a bit thicker. Maybe additional star anise? Either way, I'm having a hard time drinking it while properly diluted now. It's just too thick on the tongue. If I overwater it, the mouthfeel is better, but the flavor is thin. This has brought down my reviews for flavor, finish and overall from 4's to 3's. Updated overall score: 3.5

============
Original review: This is a very intriguing absinthe. A highly respectable first absinthe from the US in ages.

Color is a deep peridot green. Quite appealing.

The addition of ice cold water via dripper brought about a quick forming louche. The trails were quite nice. The color after louche is a milky greenish white. Very appealing.

The aroma is one of the nicest things about this absinthe. Extremely crisp and clean. Lots of floral notes. The lemon balm comes through quite clearly. The basil adds a nice depth as well.

The flavor is extremely spicy. It's going to be a dividing factor I think. Those who enjoy unique flavored absinthes like Montmartre will really like this. Others may think its a bit overpowering, but sugaring will help even it out. There's a nice wormwood bitterness that's enhanced by the nettles and tarragon. It's quite intriguing. Although I don't add sugar to my absinthe, I do believe that this one will highly benefit from it.

The finish is a combination of light sweetness from the basil and just a touch of astringence from the wormwood. It's really a great aftertaste, although I'd like it to last a bit longer.

Overall, this is a great start for US absinthes. It's certainly setting the bar high for other US based producers. I think the strength of flavors might drive a small few away, but I think it will garner a lot of attention from those with sophisticated palates. OVERALL RATING 4.2

Overall rating 
 
3.2
Appearance 
 
3.0
Louche 
 
3.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
3.0
Finish 
 
3.0
Overall 
 
3.0
Reviewed by Brian Robinson December 14, 2007
Last updated: October 03, 2009
#1 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (171)

A whopping flavor.

Updated review 10-3-09:
Not much has changed other than the color is now a bit too dark for me and the louche is just way too thick, bringing the color and louche down a bit for me.

===========
Updated review 9-13-08:
Overall, much of my original opinions persist, however, it seems like the recent batches have been made a bit thicker. Maybe additional star anise? Either way, I'm having a hard time drinking it while properly diluted now. It's just too thick on the tongue. If I overwater it, the mouthfeel is better, but the flavor is thin. This has brought down my reviews for flavor, finish and overall from 4's to 3's. Updated overall score: 3.5

============
Original review: This is a very intriguing absinthe. A highly respectable first absinthe from the US in ages.

Color is a deep peridot green. Quite appealing.

The addition of ice cold water via dripper brought about a quick forming louche. The trails were quite nice. The color after louche is a milky greenish white. Very appealing.

The aroma is one of the nicest things about this absinthe. Extremely crisp and clean. Lots of floral notes. The lemon balm comes through quite clearly. The basil adds a nice depth as well.

The flavor is extremely spicy. It's going to be a dividing factor I think. Those who enjoy unique flavored absinthes like Montmartre will really like this. Others may think its a bit overpowering, but sugaring will help even it out. There's a nice wormwood bitterness that's enhanced by the nettles and tarragon. It's quite intriguing. Although I don't add sugar to my absinthe, I do believe that this one will highly benefit from it.

The finish is a combination of light sweetness from the basil and just a touch of astringence from the wormwood. It's really a great aftertaste, although I'd like it to last a bit longer.

Overall, this is a great start for US absinthes. It's certainly setting the bar high for other US based producers. I think the strength of flavors might drive a small few away, but I think it will garner a lot of attention from those with sophisticated palates. OVERALL RATING 4.2

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User reviews View all user reviews

Average user rating from: 21 user(s)

Overall rating 
 
3.4
Appearance 
 
3.5  (21)
Louche 
 
3.4  (21)
Aroma 
 
3.3  (21)
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
3.3  (21)
Finish 
 
3.6  (21)
Overall 
 
3.4  (21)
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I'll keep it short: color before louche is a dead-leaf which tends to bow to orange-ish. The neat scent is off-putting for me. It's probably due to the brandy base but I'm not entirely sure as there are a LOT of botanicals listed on the label. Louche is great though - nice and thick... billowing cloudbanks with a glass dripper which is a kick to watch. Drip too fast and you'll get a thin louche though! Smell and taste after louche is confusing and off-putting :(

I respect this absinthe for what it represents in American absinthe history - but it just isn't my taste at all.
Overall rating 
 
2.6
Appearance 
 
2.5
Louche 
 
3.5
Aroma 
 
2.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
2.5
Finish 
 
2.5
Overall 
 
2.5
Reviewed by josephlabrecque April 10, 2014
Last updated: April 10, 2014
Top 10 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (47)

Hmmm...

I'll keep it short: color before louche is a dead-leaf which tends to bow to orange-ish. The neat scent is off-putting for me. It's probably due to the brandy base but I'm not entirely sure as there are a LOT of botanicals listed on the label. Louche is great though - nice and thick... billowing cloudbanks with a glass dripper which is a kick to watch. Drip too fast and you'll get a thin louche though! Smell and taste after louche is confusing and off-putting :(

I respect this absinthe for what it represents in American absinthe history - but it just isn't my taste at all.

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OK, so I'm forced to include things like the louche (which was a bit fast and a bit heavy) and aroma (which is fine, but thin) into my review's "Overall" score, which is the only reason I didn't give it a five-star overall ranking.
The bottom line for me, though, is the taste - and while this one has some oddities that push the envelope a bit on what an absinthe should taste like, the trinity is there like it should be. On top of that is a riot of flavors, layer upon layer of complexity that changes dramatically with different dilution ratios and the inclusion or non-inclusion of sugar. If you try it and don't like it, change the ratio and the sugar content, then try it again. I'll bet you find a combination that knocks your socks off. I've found several... but the best for me is diluted about 4:1 with sugar.
The color is a bit too amber, the louche is too fast, the aroma not quite strong enough. But it's the taste of this one combined with a killer finish that dances on the tongue that keeps me coming back to it time after time. This is one that will always be in my cabinet, for sure.
Overall rating 
 
4.1
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
3.0
Aroma 
 
3.5
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
4.5
Overall 
 
4.5
Reviewed by coasterguy July 31, 2013
Top 50 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (6)

One word, three letters: WOW

OK, so I'm forced to include things like the louche (which was a bit fast and a bit heavy) and aroma (which is fine, but thin) into my review's "Overall" score, which is the only reason I didn't give it a five-star overall ranking.
The bottom line for me, though, is the taste - and while this one has some oddities that push the envelope a bit on what an absinthe should taste like, the trinity is there like it should be. On top of that is a riot of flavors, layer upon layer of complexity that changes dramatically with different dilution ratios and the inclusion or non-inclusion of sugar. If you try it and don't like it, change the ratio and the sugar content, then try it again. I'll bet you find a combination that knocks your socks off. I've found several... but the best for me is diluted about 4:1 with sugar.
The color is a bit too amber, the louche is too fast, the aroma not quite strong enough. But it's the taste of this one combined with a killer finish that dances on the tongue that keeps me coming back to it time after time. This is one that will always be in my cabinet, for sure.

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Color: Clear with a very dead leaf brownish-green color. The color is certainly a bit strong and off but it is still clear. It is very pretty and earthy but also very colored.

Louche: Not too much play going on with a slight layering effect noticed. Oddly enough pouring faster creates more action with a rolling cloud effect. At the end it is very thick and the color is a hazy version of the original dead leaf brown-green.

Aroma: Extremely different aroma. Some unfamiliar herbs overpowering the trio of usual absinthe herbs. There are definitely some herbs here not in the usual offerings. Not necessarily appropriate and a bit strong and unbalanced on the unusual herbal smells. A strong herbal punch.

Flavor: Actually tastes closer to traditional absinthe than it smells, but still way out of the traditional line. I enjoy the herb overload that the taste displays up front. It is bitter at first then dances with an amazingly complex array of flavors. The usual suspects of absinthe are there but kinda far in the background. The other unusual herbs do very well and are definitely the stars of the show.

Finish: Very cool finish. Starts by displaying the lemon balm just a bit more then the fennel and anise jump out quickly before fading into the other herbs with a slightly bitter numbness at the end. It lingers for a very long time and plays quite a bit. Wonderful.

Overall: I enjoy this drink quite a bit. St. George is not typical or traditional in any sense but it is still a tasty drink. This is definitely for those like me who enjoy a very herbal profile and complex finish. Not for traditionalists or those who like smooth and subtle flavors. The usual absinthe flavor is deep in the background favoring the experimentation of the other herbs and this lends it to being chock full of personality. This is a daring creation that pays the price for being so unconventional; love it or hate it.
Overall rating 
 
3.6
Appearance 
 
3.0
Louche 
 
3.0
Aroma 
 
3.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
5.0
Overall 
 
4.0
Reviewed by Evan Camomile June 14, 2011
Top 10 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (70)

Tasty Oddball

Color: Clear with a very dead leaf brownish-green color. The color is certainly a bit strong and off but it is still clear. It is very pretty and earthy but also very colored.

Louche: Not too much play going on with a slight layering effect noticed. Oddly enough pouring faster creates more action with a rolling cloud effect. At the end it is very thick and the color is a hazy version of the original dead leaf brown-green.

Aroma: Extremely different aroma. Some unfamiliar herbs overpowering the trio of usual absinthe herbs. There are definitely some herbs here not in the usual offerings. Not necessarily appropriate and a bit strong and unbalanced on the unusual herbal smells. A strong herbal punch.

Flavor: Actually tastes closer to traditional absinthe than it smells, but still way out of the traditional line. I enjoy the herb overload that the taste displays up front. It is bitter at first then dances with an amazingly complex array of flavors. The usual suspects of absinthe are there but kinda far in the background. The other unusual herbs do very well and are definitely the stars of the show.

Finish: Very cool finish. Starts by displaying the lemon balm just a bit more then the fennel and anise jump out quickly before fading into the other herbs with a slightly bitter numbness at the end. It lingers for a very long time and plays quite a bit. Wonderful.

Overall: I enjoy this drink quite a bit. St. George is not typical or traditional in any sense but it is still a tasty drink. This is definitely for those like me who enjoy a very herbal profile and complex finish. Not for traditionalists or those who like smooth and subtle flavors. The usual absinthe flavor is deep in the background favoring the experimentation of the other herbs and this lends it to being chock full of personality. This is a daring creation that pays the price for being so unconventional; love it or hate it.

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Color: Dark iced-tea color Definitely a deep green-amber hue, as compared to a gold-amber.

Louche: With a slow drip, it transforms without any of the typical louche mechanics (like swirling or clouds, just kinda *becomes* louched.) It layers itself slowly to a opaque, blondish-brown roux color. If louched slightly faster, it develops a bit too fast, and has an olive oil and milk type of appearance.

Aroma: Definitely peculiar. Lots of interesting spice elements, it's not unpleasant, but it's hard to find anything familiar with certainty because of how much is going on with the scent. There's a gravy-like essence (perhaps the tarragon?) and aromas of mint and a bit of mallow.

Flavor: There's definitely an anise "tongue" to it that feels correct, spice and basil...the difference with the star anise is noticeable,

Finish: Not at all unpleasant, feels good in the mouth, but it takes a few seconds for the "whoa!" flavor to subside. The rest of the finish is numb and minty.

Overall: I like it, and it really does taste good...just not like an absinthe. It doesn't seem like a good introduction to absinthe for newbies who don't know what absinthe tastes like just yet...definitely a better 4th or 5th absinthe, just for the sake of tasting something wildly different.
Overall rating 
 
2.9
Appearance 
 
3.0
Louche 
 
3.0
Aroma 
 
3.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
2.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
3.0
Reviewed by Amber Peter June 13, 2011
Top 10 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (58)

Tasty, in a non-absinthe sort of way.

Color: Dark iced-tea color Definitely a deep green-amber hue, as compared to a gold-amber.

Louche: With a slow drip, it transforms without any of the typical louche mechanics (like swirling or clouds, just kinda *becomes* louched.) It layers itself slowly to a opaque, blondish-brown roux color. If louched slightly faster, it develops a bit too fast, and has an olive oil and milk type of appearance.

Aroma: Definitely peculiar. Lots of interesting spice elements, it's not unpleasant, but it's hard to find anything familiar with certainty because of how much is going on with the scent. There's a gravy-like essence (perhaps the tarragon?) and aromas of mint and a bit of mallow.

Flavor: There's definitely an anise "tongue" to it that feels correct, spice and basil...the difference with the star anise is noticeable,

Finish: Not at all unpleasant, feels good in the mouth, but it takes a few seconds for the "whoa!" flavor to subside. The rest of the finish is numb and minty.

Overall: I like it, and it really does taste good...just not like an absinthe. It doesn't seem like a good introduction to absinthe for newbies who don't know what absinthe tastes like just yet...definitely a better 4th or 5th absinthe, just for the sake of tasting something wildly different.

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4/25/10 - Please allow me to preface this review by saying that aside from Absente this is the only other Absinthe/Absinthe-like product I have tried so my palette is very limited.

As noted in one of the listed comments for a YouTube video from this distiller, I kept from adding sugar and I would agree that this absinthe doesn’t really need it. Though, for good measure, I will try it with sugar in the future for a friendly comparison.

The color is of a deep earthly green, though more earth than green I would say. As an artist, if one were to mix a bright orange with an emerald green they would likely get the color of this absinthe which is interesting considering its citrus like over tones to the smell and taste.

The louche was a milky green and it was opalescent, cloudy, and mesmerizing to watch. Many of the other reviews mention the louche being quick which I think I now understand what this means. In regards to the adding of water I added just enough to complete the louche effect, which possibly seemed like a 2:1 (water:absinthe) ratio. And despite not adding any sugar the drink still had legs (coated the walls of the glass), which I imagine is due to its Brandy base.

The aroma seemed to have hints of anise, orange, and lemon and instantly struck me. When I smelled this absinthe I knew exactly where my money went. The distinct difference in aroma to Absente was extremely noticeable (as it should be) and I was pleased to become personally enlightened to this fact. There was much more to the smell of this absinthe than simply licorice, which had been my previous experience. However, I was unable to detect any notion of sage or basil which many other reviews mention about this product, though I realize at this time my palette is limited.

I found the flavor to be peppery with the hint of anise. It also had the taste of an orange rind -if one has ever bitten into one- of which didn’t bother me and I thought this gave it a nice quality. I also found it to be thick and somewhat syrupy, which was possibly due to the small amount of water I added which almost seemed like a 2:1 as I mentioned earlier.

As far as the finish in concerned, it has a unique quality which makes it stand out. To me, the finish was whiskey-like due to its warm, peppery quality which started with the anise flavor. I also found it to be sprinkled with citrus trails. Like I mentioned briefly it was also thick, but I don’t mind this quality. After all, if a drink is meant to be savored why not have it drink slowly, why would one prefer it to be any other way.

Overall, I was extremely pleased by this product, which could be due to my inexperience, but I would purchase a bottle of this Absinthe again and think that the people at St. George have a unique product on their hands. As far as my current local selection goes, this is by far the best absinthe that I will find on the shelf at a local seller and am now finding it difficult to finish my previous purchase or to give any other local option a chance. I say definitely give St. George a try!
Overall rating 
 
3.7
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
3.0
Aroma 
 
3.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0
Reviewed by chrisorapello April 26, 2010
Top 100 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (1)

St. George's Prayer

4/25/10 - Please allow me to preface this review by saying that aside from Absente this is the only other Absinthe/Absinthe-like product I have tried so my palette is very limited.

As noted in one of the listed comments for a YouTube video from this distiller, I kept from adding sugar and I would agree that this absinthe doesn’t really need it. Though, for good measure, I will try it with sugar in the future for a friendly comparison.

The color is of a deep earthly green, though more earth than green I would say. As an artist, if one were to mix a bright orange with an emerald green they would likely get the color of this absinthe which is interesting considering its citrus like over tones to the smell and taste.

The louche was a milky green and it was opalescent, cloudy, and mesmerizing to watch. Many of the other reviews mention the louche being quick which I think I now understand what this means. In regards to the adding of water I added just enough to complete the louche effect, which possibly seemed like a 2:1 (water:absinthe) ratio. And despite not adding any sugar the drink still had legs (coated the walls of the glass), which I imagine is due to its Brandy base.

The aroma seemed to have hints of anise, orange, and lemon and instantly struck me. When I smelled this absinthe I knew exactly where my money went. The distinct difference in aroma to Absente was extremely noticeable (as it should be) and I was pleased to become personally enlightened to this fact. There was much more to the smell of this absinthe than simply licorice, which had been my previous experience. However, I was unable to detect any notion of sage or basil which many other reviews mention about this product, though I realize at this time my palette is limited.

I found the flavor to be peppery with the hint of anise. It also had the taste of an orange rind -if one has ever bitten into one- of which didn’t bother me and I thought this gave it a nice quality. I also found it to be thick and somewhat syrupy, which was possibly due to the small amount of water I added which almost seemed like a 2:1 as I mentioned earlier.

As far as the finish in concerned, it has a unique quality which makes it stand out. To me, the finish was whiskey-like due to its warm, peppery quality which started with the anise flavor. I also found it to be sprinkled with citrus trails. Like I mentioned briefly it was also thick, but I don’t mind this quality. After all, if a drink is meant to be savored why not have it drink slowly, why would one prefer it to be any other way.

Overall, I was extremely pleased by this product, which could be due to my inexperience, but I would purchase a bottle of this Absinthe again and think that the people at St. George have a unique product on their hands. As far as my current local selection goes, this is by far the best absinthe that I will find on the shelf at a local seller and am now finding it difficult to finish my previous purchase or to give any other local option a chance. I say definitely give St. George a try!

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A Classic Cocktail

McClelland Cocktail

1 dash absinthe
1/3 Curaçao
2/3 sloe gin

Shake with ice. Strain into cocktail glass.

Savoy Cocktail Book, 1930

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