Vieux Carré Absinthe http://www.wormwoodsociety.org/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/300x300s/0e/5b/14/489_vchiresphoto1_1234558959.jpg

 
4.1 (3)
 
3.8 (14)
 

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Available in the US?
Style/Color
Degrees ABV (% alcohol)
Year of Make (if known)
Country of Origin
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Editor reviews

Average editor rating from: 3 user(s)

Overall rating 
 
4.1
Appearance 
 
3.3  (3)
Louche 
 
4.0  (3)
Aroma 
 
5.0  (3)
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0  (3)
Finish 
 
4.0  (3)
Overall 
 
4.0  (3)

Color
Unlouched, the color is medium amber with slight greenish glints. Reasonably clear, some slight suspended particulate in the dose. The bottom of my bottle is monkey island. Louched, the final color is milky amber with whitish yellow at the edges and whitish blue at the meniscus. Only the slightest gradients in color keep it from being one-dimensional looking.

Louche
Very nice thick trails immediately and clouding sets up quickly. The clouding builds real fast though, and every time it was fully opaque by .8/1. Almost no layering, and also each time I got a "sudsy" looking cordon of bubbles around the rim that I did not find attractive. And believe me, I'm a nutcase where it comes to washing and rinsing any kind of drinking glass. This is something I've not seen with any other absinthe. Louche is somewhat murky until the dilution reaches about 3.5/1 and lets some light in.

Aroma
Neat, nice anise/fennel backed by clean, pleasant herbals. What I believe is the genepi gives this a slightly different character than most. Louched, very nice. All the "green" stuff up front... wormwood, genepi, pontica. The anise and fennel back this up, and a note of florals, citrus and mint wrap it up. Occasionally I get a nice whiff of hyssop. Really fine balance. All facets constantly weaving in and out.

Flavor
Like the nose, the palate is very herbal driven. Wormwood, genepi, pontica, hyssop up front and supported by the anise/fennel combo. The star anise adds a pleasant little tingle and kicks the brightness a bit. Probably the best use of star anise I have seen yet. A lot of other complexities (floral, citric, minty) dance in and out of view.

Finish
A really straight on kind of finish. Not boring because this absinthe isn't. A good linear fade of all the nose and palate impressions. The slightest tongue numbing and "pull" on the palate. Overall finish is crisp, minty, refreshing, and satisfying.

Overall
Yeah, I like it. The last two evaluations, especially, I have started out lukewarm on this because the visual aspects could use some improvement. But I gotta' tell you once past that, VC has a lot going for it. Great subtle and refined balance, it's fresh, refreshing, not overpowering in any way. Let it warm up. At room temperature this stuff sings. Clearly genuine absinthe with its own unique personality.

Done with a 1 ounce dose, diluted 3.5/1, and 4/1 and no sugar.

Vieux Carre 3/08/09, 3/15/09, 5/09/09, 5/16/09
All evaluations had consistent notes.
Overall rating 
 
3.9
Appearance 
 
3.0
Louche 
 
3.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0
Reviewed by Michael Meyers May 16, 2009
Last updated: June 19, 2012
Top 50 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (53)

Unique Personality, Subtle Complexity

Color
Unlouched, the color is medium amber with slight greenish glints. Reasonably clear, some slight suspended particulate in the dose. The bottom of my bottle is monkey island. Louched, the final color is milky amber with whitish yellow at the edges and whitish blue at the meniscus. Only the slightest gradients in color keep it from being one-dimensional looking.

Louche
Very nice thick trails immediately and clouding sets up quickly. The clouding builds real fast though, and every time it was fully opaque by .8/1. Almost no layering, and also each time I got a "sudsy" looking cordon of bubbles around the rim that I did not find attractive. And believe me, I'm a nutcase where it comes to washing and rinsing any kind of drinking glass. This is something I've not seen with any other absinthe. Louche is somewhat murky until the dilution reaches about 3.5/1 and lets some light in.

Aroma
Neat, nice anise/fennel backed by clean, pleasant herbals. What I believe is the genepi gives this a slightly different character than most. Louched, very nice. All the "green" stuff up front... wormwood, genepi, pontica. The anise and fennel back this up, and a note of florals, citrus and mint wrap it up. Occasionally I get a nice whiff of hyssop. Really fine balance. All facets constantly weaving in and out.

Flavor
Like the nose, the palate is very herbal driven. Wormwood, genepi, pontica, hyssop up front and supported by the anise/fennel combo. The star anise adds a pleasant little tingle and kicks the brightness a bit. Probably the best use of star anise I have seen yet. A lot of other complexities (floral, citric, minty) dance in and out of view.

Finish
A really straight on kind of finish. Not boring because this absinthe isn't. A good linear fade of all the nose and palate impressions. The slightest tongue numbing and "pull" on the palate. Overall finish is crisp, minty, refreshing, and satisfying.

Overall
Yeah, I like it. The last two evaluations, especially, I have started out lukewarm on this because the visual aspects could use some improvement. But I gotta' tell you once past that, VC has a lot going for it. Great subtle and refined balance, it's fresh, refreshing, not overpowering in any way. Let it warm up. At room temperature this stuff sings. Clearly genuine absinthe with its own unique personality.

Done with a 1 ounce dose, diluted 3.5/1, and 4/1 and no sugar.

Vieux Carre 3/08/09, 3/15/09, 5/09/09, 5/16/09
All evaluations had consistent notes.

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This is another tasty absinthe and thanks to a friend, I'm delighted to have my hands on a full bottle of Vieux Carré Absinthe. The color is very pretty but my bottle had a bit of haze and once in the glass, the color was a beautiful yellow-green. The louche held a lovely opalescence through 4.5-to-1 but started to degrade after that. That's less of a complaint than a warning to those with a 5-to-1 or greater preference. It is a delicious absinthe, light and refreshing with plenty of complexity. The Wormwood bitterness is a little curious as it seems to come and go, perhaps playing with the Genepy but a bit more sustained Wormwood dominance would be a personal preference of mine. It's a minor complaint because this is a well crafted beverage.

I like Vieux Carré Absinthe. I also like the decanter bottle. It looks damn good on my bar and tastes damn good to boot. Congratulations to Philadelphia Distillery. They have added another quality product to their arsenal of fine beverages.
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
5.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0
Reviewed by Joe Legate February 18, 2009
Top 100 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (26)

Another very good absinthe from America

This is another tasty absinthe and thanks to a friend, I'm delighted to have my hands on a full bottle of Vieux Carré Absinthe. The color is very pretty but my bottle had a bit of haze and once in the glass, the color was a beautiful yellow-green. The louche held a lovely opalescence through 4.5-to-1 but started to degrade after that. That's less of a complaint than a warning to those with a 5-to-1 or greater preference. It is a delicious absinthe, light and refreshing with plenty of complexity. The Wormwood bitterness is a little curious as it seems to come and go, perhaps playing with the Genepy but a bit more sustained Wormwood dominance would be a personal preference of mine. It's a minor complaint because this is a well crafted beverage.

I like Vieux Carré Absinthe. I also like the decanter bottle. It looks damn good on my bar and tastes damn good to boot. Congratulations to Philadelphia Distillery. They have added another quality product to their arsenal of fine beverages.

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I was very pleased when I first pulled out this absinthe and poured a dose. First off, the packaging is great. The decanter style bottle adds a lot of class.

Color: A deep emerald/forest green. Maybe a bit too dark.

Louche: Using my fountain and Simon Pierce bubble glass, I got some remarkable trails and a nice thick (but not too thick) louche. It retains an inviting light green color when fully louched. I enjoyed it most at about 3.5:1.

Aroma: Lots of very nice anise and fennel with some minty wormwood in the background. Well balanced and refreshing.

Flavor and Finish: I really like how balanced this absinthe is. The fennel doux adds a nice light sweetness that plays well with the light anise and floral wormwood. The genepi adds a nice 'roundness' to the overall flavor and texture. The flavors linger on the tongue for quite a while.

Overall: It would be tough for people to not enjoy this absinthe. It's well balanced, light and still complex. Nothing out of the ordinary. I like that they used their first absinthe as a chance to represent a traditional flavor profile.

If you can pick up a bottle of this, I recommend doing so.
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Appearance 
 
3.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0
Reviewed by Brian Robinson February 13, 2009
Last updated: January 07, 2010
#1 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (167)

Really good stuff

I was very pleased when I first pulled out this absinthe and poured a dose. First off, the packaging is great. The decanter style bottle adds a lot of class.

Color: A deep emerald/forest green. Maybe a bit too dark.

Louche: Using my fountain and Simon Pierce bubble glass, I got some remarkable trails and a nice thick (but not too thick) louche. It retains an inviting light green color when fully louched. I enjoyed it most at about 3.5:1.

Aroma: Lots of very nice anise and fennel with some minty wormwood in the background. Well balanced and refreshing.

Flavor and Finish: I really like how balanced this absinthe is. The fennel doux adds a nice light sweetness that plays well with the light anise and floral wormwood. The genepi adds a nice 'roundness' to the overall flavor and texture. The flavors linger on the tongue for quite a while.

Overall: It would be tough for people to not enjoy this absinthe. It's well balanced, light and still complex. Nothing out of the ordinary. I like that they used their first absinthe as a chance to represent a traditional flavor profile.

If you can pick up a bottle of this, I recommend doing so.

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User reviews

Average user rating from: 14 user(s)

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Overall rating 
 
3.8
Appearance 
 
3.8  (14)
Louche 
 
3.8  (14)
Aroma 
 
3.9  (14)
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
3.6  (14)
Finish 
 
3.8  (14)
Overall 
 
3.7  (14)
Color: Rather darker than most of the other absinthes I have stocked. Verynice, though - one of the better aspects.

Louche: The louche is nice and thick - which is my preference. This probably has to do with the overwhelming amount of star anise present. Also worth noting that this is a much greener absinthe, post-louche, than I have seen.

Aroma: The star anise is definitely overpowering in aroma, sadly. Not as much as taste but is definitely too forward for my senses.

Flavor: Again... (you know where I'm going, right?) way, way too much star anise. It cheapens the product and sadly - I would most likely find this quite more enjoyble if the star anise was excluded from the entire process. Just keep it out of my absinthe.

Mouthfeel: Not overly creamy - or overly numbing... nothing much to say here.

Finish: Again... star anise.

Overall: Don't get me wrong - I do like this absinthe. I just probably would not purchase a second bottle with such a variety of other absinthes available. The star anise is far too strong. This could definitely be due to my taste so please judge for yourself. I will say that the decanter bottle is a bonus - quite handsome!
Overall rating 
 
2.8
Appearance 
 
3.5
Louche 
 
3.5
Aroma 
 
2.5
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
2.0
Finish 
 
2.5
Overall 
 
3.0
Reviewed by josephlabrecque March 15, 2013
Last updated: September 06, 2013
Top 50 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (27)

Star Anise Flavor Bomb!

Color: Rather darker than most of the other absinthes I have stocked. Verynice, though - one of the better aspects.

Louche: The louche is nice and thick - which is my preference. This probably has to do with the overwhelming amount of star anise present. Also worth noting that this is a much greener absinthe, post-louche, than I have seen.

Aroma: The star anise is definitely overpowering in aroma, sadly. Not as much as taste but is definitely too forward for my senses.

Flavor: Again... (you know where I'm going, right?) way, way too much star anise. It cheapens the product and sadly - I would most likely find this quite more enjoyble if the star anise was excluded from the entire process. Just keep it out of my absinthe.

Mouthfeel: Not overly creamy - or overly numbing... nothing much to say here.

Finish: Again... star anise.

Overall: Don't get me wrong - I do like this absinthe. I just probably would not purchase a second bottle with such a variety of other absinthes available. The star anise is far too strong. This could definitely be due to my taste so please judge for yourself. I will say that the decanter bottle is a bonus - quite handsome!

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Color: An alluring green and yellow-gold. Good, natural coloring, but below my benchmark (Jade Edouard) for a 4-5 score.
Could be because the bottle has been opened for about a month, however.

Louche: Nice opalescence immediately. Lime-colored spots wrestle with the un-louched absinthe from the top view. It shimmers when looking through the glass. Not as opaque as a benchmark absinthe however - it does not appear very 'creamy.' The end result is a pale lime color.

Aroma: I absolutely love the aroma of this absinthe. The mixture of herbs here smells like what I would imagine alpine plants to be like. It's a very 'fresh' scent. Small hint of creamy mint, mixed with fennel & wormwood. Floral notes dominate.


Taste: The taste is just like the aroma, which is great. Some absinthe has a fantastic aroma but the taste is somewhat anti-climactic. Not so with this one. This is very balanced. The absinthe is sweet - I used no sugar and the water ratio is about 3.0. It tastes like a sugared absinthe. I heard this absinthe contains Genepi, so perhaps some of the complexity in the flavor and the sweetness is due to this. I also noticed, as stated in other reviews, that the flavor becomes thin and flat very suddenly with even just a little too much water.

Finish: Good finish - it is not too abrupt and the flavor doesn't just die out. There is a pleasant bit of numbing/tingling on the tongue as it fades out. The tiniest suggestion of ricola. The mouth feel is smooth and light, but not as light as say, l'Italienne.

Overall: My first US distilled absinthe! This is literally what I've been waiting for since Nov. 2007! The price is right at $54.99 as well. The decanter bottle is up there with the best packaging/presentation I've ever seen. Definitely enhances the ritual. It does its namesake justice!
Overall rating 
 
3.9
Appearance 
 
3.5
Louche 
 
3.5
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.5
Finish 
 
3.5
Overall 
 
4.0
Reviewed by Neorebel January 27, 2013
Top 500 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (11)

Quality absinthe at a great value right at home.


Color: An alluring green and yellow-gold. Good, natural coloring, but below my benchmark (Jade Edouard) for a 4-5 score.
Could be because the bottle has been opened for about a month, however.

Louche: Nice opalescence immediately. Lime-colored spots wrestle with the un-louched absinthe from the top view. It shimmers when looking through the glass. Not as opaque as a benchmark absinthe however - it does not appear very 'creamy.' The end result is a pale lime color.

Aroma: I absolutely love the aroma of this absinthe. The mixture of herbs here smells like what I would imagine alpine plants to be like. It's a very 'fresh' scent. Small hint of creamy mint, mixed with fennel & wormwood. Floral notes dominate.


Taste: The taste is just like the aroma, which is great. Some absinthe has a fantastic aroma but the taste is somewhat anti-climactic. Not so with this one. This is very balanced. The absinthe is sweet - I used no sugar and the water ratio is about 3.0. It tastes like a sugared absinthe. I heard this absinthe contains Genepi, so perhaps some of the complexity in the flavor and the sweetness is due to this. I also noticed, as stated in other reviews, that the flavor becomes thin and flat very suddenly with even just a little too much water.

Finish: Good finish - it is not too abrupt and the flavor doesn't just die out. There is a pleasant bit of numbing/tingling on the tongue as it fades out. The tiniest suggestion of ricola. The mouth feel is smooth and light, but not as light as say, l'Italienne.

Overall: My first US distilled absinthe! This is literally what I've been waiting for since Nov. 2007! The price is right at $54.99 as well. The decanter bottle is up there with the best packaging/presentation I've ever seen. Definitely enhances the ritual. It does its namesake justice!

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Appearance: Amber and olive color neat. No noticeable sediment in the glass. {*edit: About halfway through this bottle I did begin to notice a floating sediment in my glass, black in color. Even after swirling the bottle before pouring. Kinda offputting, making me change appearance score from 4 to 3.*} Very Enticing color.

Louche: Begins with nice trails ending in rolling fog at 2/1. fully louched at 3/1 a golden amber green with a red aura. Beautifully opalescent. Hold it up to a light to see this effect really shine through.

Aroma: Neat it is energetic with a slight asringency.
Louched the aroma is of wormwood, spearment and genepi with a citrus twist. Heres where you can tell its going to get interesting.

Flavor: First thing to come to mind is fresh cucumbers on the vine and jalapeno peppers. Maybe cinnamon. Reminds me of a warm spring day down by the water.

Finish: Lip smacking good. Cooling like after you eat a peppermint. Limes and something like pine nuts. Not overwhelming and doesn't last too long.

Overall: Beautifully unique in character. A nice artisinal style. Refreshing, and different for sure. A unique American absinthe.
This is my second bottle and although the first took a little to get used to, this one is pleasantly familiar and quite enjoyable.
Overall rating 
 
3.9
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
3.5
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0
Reviewed by Songcatcher July 19, 2012
Last updated: November 23, 2012
Top 100 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (9)

Unique Carre

Appearance: Amber and olive color neat. No noticeable sediment in the glass. {*edit: About halfway through this bottle I did begin to notice a floating sediment in my glass, black in color. Even after swirling the bottle before pouring. Kinda offputting, making me change appearance score from 4 to 3.*} Very Enticing color.

Louche: Begins with nice trails ending in rolling fog at 2/1. fully louched at 3/1 a golden amber green with a red aura. Beautifully opalescent. Hold it up to a light to see this effect really shine through.

Aroma: Neat it is energetic with a slight asringency.
Louched the aroma is of wormwood, spearment and genepi with a citrus twist. Heres where you can tell its going to get interesting.

Flavor: First thing to come to mind is fresh cucumbers on the vine and jalapeno peppers. Maybe cinnamon. Reminds me of a warm spring day down by the water.

Finish: Lip smacking good. Cooling like after you eat a peppermint. Limes and something like pine nuts. Not overwhelming and doesn't last too long.

Overall: Beautifully unique in character. A nice artisinal style. Refreshing, and different for sure. A unique American absinthe.
This is my second bottle and although the first took a little to get used to, this one is pleasantly familiar and quite enjoyable.

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A natural green & dead leaf color, a shade darker than most, but natural.

A Pretty jewel like louche, with impressive trails as soon as the water hits the absinthe.

The VC smells like peppermint and sugarcane. And it tastes like it too. I meant these two as a compliment, as I liked it, and the fact that it is different from other absinthes.

After taste does remind you it's absinthe, but in a nice way, and the sweet pepermint flavor does linger, but not as much as I wished.

Overall a different, but tasty absinthe, and a most welcome addition to my hooch cabinet. Perfect after a meal or with a sweet treat. I do use a bit of sugar. My wife's favorite Verte.
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Appearance 
 
5.0
Louche 
 
5.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0
Reviewed by Miguel May 27, 2011
Last updated: July 12, 2011
Top 1000 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (11)

The perfect treat as dessert.

A natural green & dead leaf color, a shade darker than most, but natural.

A Pretty jewel like louche, with impressive trails as soon as the water hits the absinthe.

The VC smells like peppermint and sugarcane. And it tastes like it too. I meant these two as a compliment, as I liked it, and the fact that it is different from other absinthes.

After taste does remind you it's absinthe, but in a nice way, and the sweet pepermint flavor does linger, but not as much as I wished.

Overall a different, but tasty absinthe, and a most welcome addition to my hooch cabinet. Perfect after a meal or with a sweet treat. I do use a bit of sugar. My wife's favorite Verte.

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I was quite eager to try the Vieux Carre, in part because I am a big fan of the Bluecoat gin from the same distiller. Unfortunately, this absinthe falls short of the standard set by the best American brands.

The color before water is a dark olive. It looks very natural, but is otherwise unremarkable. Fresh from the bottle, the aroma is mostly alcohol, with some herbal scents discernible as well. With the addition of water, a gradual louche forms, resulting in a translucent yellow jade. While nothing extraordinary, the results are generally pleasing.

The aroma after water is rather peppery, and while fresh and mild seems somewhat out of balance. This is even more true of the flavor, which is unbalanced to the point of being unacceptable. The predominant note is white pepper, and if it could be dialed down a bit, this absinthe would probably improve a great deal, because the anise and wormwood are present.

The finish is also mainly peppery, with the other herbal flavors being lost in the clamor.

Overall, I think this absinthe shows promise, but it remains a work in progress.
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Appearance 
 
3.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
3.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
2.0
Finish 
 
3.0
Overall 
 
3.0
Reviewed by marlow April 13, 2010
Last updated: April 13, 2010
Top 50 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (36)

Sgt. Pepper

I was quite eager to try the Vieux Carre, in part because I am a big fan of the Bluecoat gin from the same distiller. Unfortunately, this absinthe falls short of the standard set by the best American brands.

The color before water is a dark olive. It looks very natural, but is otherwise unremarkable. Fresh from the bottle, the aroma is mostly alcohol, with some herbal scents discernible as well. With the addition of water, a gradual louche forms, resulting in a translucent yellow jade. While nothing extraordinary, the results are generally pleasing.

The aroma after water is rather peppery, and while fresh and mild seems somewhat out of balance. This is even more true of the flavor, which is unbalanced to the point of being unacceptable. The predominant note is white pepper, and if it could be dialed down a bit, this absinthe would probably improve a great deal, because the anise and wormwood are present.

The finish is also mainly peppery, with the other herbal flavors being lost in the clamor.

Overall, I think this absinthe shows promise, but it remains a work in progress.

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* I revisited this, enjoying it more than ever, this time with my 4th bottle.

Sampled at 3:1 suggested ratio, no sugar as suggested by distiller. I went to 3.5:1, and love it there. It certainly does not need sugar.

Appearance: Natural blend of amber and emerald. There were some swirls of light sediment in the bottle.

Louche: built slowly, dramatically and evenly. A full, thick louche with just a tad of translucence. Clear layer hung in at the top until the very end. The final result was
a rich blend of green and copper.

Aroma: It is a crisp, clean and spicy aroma, but the traditional elements of the anise and wormwood are not masked. It had me looking forward to the first sip. The highlight of this absinthe for me.

Flavor: This absinthe has a strong "in your face" personality, and I mean this in a good way. I like it more than ever. The anise is simply delicious, it is spicy, but the trinity is clear and quality.

Finish: Clean and very sharp, nice lingering wormwood, pepper and spice. Stays with you just long enough for that relaxed sipping pace. The mouthfeel is full and rich.

Overall, it is a well-made absinthe with a unique personality. As far as bang for the buck, you'd be hard-pressed to do better than this.
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
4.5
Aroma 
 
4.5
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.5
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0
Reviewed by Scott M. February 02, 2010
Last updated: January 05, 2013
Top 50 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (64)

Delicious, and nicely priced.

* I revisited this, enjoying it more than ever, this time with my 4th bottle.

Sampled at 3:1 suggested ratio, no sugar as suggested by distiller. I went to 3.5:1, and love it there. It certainly does not need sugar.

Appearance: Natural blend of amber and emerald. There were some swirls of light sediment in the bottle.

Louche: built slowly, dramatically and evenly. A full, thick louche with just a tad of translucence. Clear layer hung in at the top until the very end. The final result was
a rich blend of green and copper.

Aroma: It is a crisp, clean and spicy aroma, but the traditional elements of the anise and wormwood are not masked. It had me looking forward to the first sip. The highlight of this absinthe for me.

Flavor: This absinthe has a strong "in your face" personality, and I mean this in a good way. I like it more than ever. The anise is simply delicious, it is spicy, but the trinity is clear and quality.

Finish: Clean and very sharp, nice lingering wormwood, pepper and spice. Stays with you just long enough for that relaxed sipping pace. The mouthfeel is full and rich.

Overall, it is a well-made absinthe with a unique personality. As far as bang for the buck, you'd be hard-pressed to do better than this.

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INTRODUCTORY NOTE: Tasting samples were louched at 3.5:1 ratio, with ice-cold slow drip and sans sucre. I think it's important to note some discernable differences between this bottle and some previous batches reviewed at this and other sites, particularly color, and louche. See related sections below for more details.

COLOR: 3/5 - Neat, mossy brown. Much too dark for an appropriately colored verte fresh off the production line. Marketing images of this product led me to expect otherwise. This is certainly an issue which could be addressed to get higher marks. No sediment found in most doses.

LOUCHE: 3/5 - Mediocre. Verte green presents itself when louching. Some light oil trails, becoming thicker gradually to produce a louched glass that looks more waxy than cloudy. I had to use a VERY cold and VERY slow drip and was still unable to define a demarcation line of alcohol on top. I have seen others reviews of this product claiming both adequate and inadequate louche, which leads me to believe there may be some consistency issues with manufacturing.

AROMA: 4/5 - Complex! Some grassiness from quality hyssop - some chamomile presumably from the non-conventional presence of genepy. Strong wormwood front, backed by this wonderfully pleasant herbal bouquet, then fennel doux, and finally, waaay back there is the anise.No detectable heat. Neat aroma (does not affect score) has a bit of a medicinal smell, reminiscent of ripping into a sterile gauze package. This quickly fades with the addition of water to give a more enjoyable camphor-like tinge to the aroma.

FLAVOR: 4/5 - Lemon Balm. Honeysuckle. Mint. Light, crisp earthiness. This stuff has a lot going on, and is a real treat! Wormwood goodness with lots of balanced herbal nuances dancing across the tongue. Great tasting, exciting, flavorful drink. I think bolstering the flavor with a stronger anise presence would really put this one over the top.

FINISH: 3/5 - Very little numbing, less creamy than desired due to the somewhat thin louche, and indicative of low or weak anethole presence. Slightly oily feel on the tongue, which transpires into moderate dryness. There is then some noticeable heat on the back of the throat. This is nullified with additional water, but I would advise against that for the sake of sparing all other properties of the finish.

OVERALL: 4/5 - This is a very good introductory Absinthe, especially for those interested in expanding their familiarity with different flavor profiles, and how additional herbal qualities can affect the final taste. It is priced at a very attainable $55, setting a reference for products in this price point. This one does have a very appealing taste and aroma to it, but is lacking an impressive appearance and louche, and the finish could use more oomph. Some of these "flaws", if you can call it that, could be manufacturing-related (i.e. overheating the coloring vat, etc). There needs to be less tolerance for that type of production inconsistency. Attributing to the higher overall score is this amazingly beautiful bottle with glass cork, even though the brew is so dark that the printing on the bottle is rendered illegible.
Overall rating 
 
3.6
Appearance 
 
3.0
Louche 
 
3.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
3.0
Overall 
 
4.0
Reviewed by GFee January 02, 2010
Last updated: January 05, 2010
Top 1000 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (3)

Decent US offering - Value with potential

INTRODUCTORY NOTE: Tasting samples were louched at 3.5:1 ratio, with ice-cold slow drip and sans sucre. I think it's important to note some discernable differences between this bottle and some previous batches reviewed at this and other sites, particularly color, and louche. See related sections below for more details.

COLOR: 3/5 - Neat, mossy brown. Much too dark for an appropriately colored verte fresh off the production line. Marketing images of this product led me to expect otherwise. This is certainly an issue which could be addressed to get higher marks. No sediment found in most doses.

LOUCHE: 3/5 - Mediocre. Verte green presents itself when louching. Some light oil trails, becoming thicker gradually to produce a louched glass that looks more waxy than cloudy. I had to use a VERY cold and VERY slow drip and was still unable to define a demarcation line of alcohol on top. I have seen others reviews of this product claiming both adequate and inadequate louche, which leads me to believe there may be some consistency issues with manufacturing.

AROMA: 4/5 - Complex! Some grassiness from quality hyssop - some chamomile presumably from the non-conventional presence of genepy. Strong wormwood front, backed by this wonderfully pleasant herbal bouquet, then fennel doux, and finally, waaay back there is the anise.No detectable heat. Neat aroma (does not affect score) has a bit of a medicinal smell, reminiscent of ripping into a sterile gauze package. This quickly fades with the addition of water to give a more enjoyable camphor-like tinge to the aroma.

FLAVOR: 4/5 - Lemon Balm. Honeysuckle. Mint. Light, crisp earthiness. This stuff has a lot going on, and is a real treat! Wormwood goodness with lots of balanced herbal nuances dancing across the tongue. Great tasting, exciting, flavorful drink. I think bolstering the flavor with a stronger anise presence would really put this one over the top.

FINISH: 3/5 - Very little numbing, less creamy than desired due to the somewhat thin louche, and indicative of low or weak anethole presence. Slightly oily feel on the tongue, which transpires into moderate dryness. There is then some noticeable heat on the back of the throat. This is nullified with additional water, but I would advise against that for the sake of sparing all other properties of the finish.

OVERALL: 4/5 - This is a very good introductory Absinthe, especially for those interested in expanding their familiarity with different flavor profiles, and how additional herbal qualities can affect the final taste. It is priced at a very attainable $55, setting a reference for products in this price point. This one does have a very appealing taste and aroma to it, but is lacking an impressive appearance and louche, and the finish could use more oomph. Some of these "flaws", if you can call it that, could be manufacturing-related (i.e. overheating the coloring vat, etc). There needs to be less tolerance for that type of production inconsistency. Attributing to the higher overall score is this amazingly beautiful bottle with glass cork, even though the brew is so dark that the printing on the bottle is rendered illegible.

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Color- Nice amber with golden highlights. No sediment

Louche- Oil trails were good. Very good coloring that includes a rainbow of light green, golds & blues. I have to deduct a point since it was much too thin.

Aroma- A melding of mint & genepy takes centerstage. It’s hard to pick out anything else but it’s very pleasant.

Flavor- The tea-like genepy, anise & fennel are prominent. The taste is crisp and refreshing with the wormwood & mint.

Finish- Genepy & anise die down to a crisp wormwood/mint finish after an initial sweetness. Very nice.

Overall- I don’t think the genepy taste is really my thing, but this is still a nicely formulated absinthe nonetheless.
Overall rating 
 
3.4
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
3.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
3.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
3.0
Reviewed by accountant November 03, 2009
Top 50 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (25)

Crisp

Color- Nice amber with golden highlights. No sediment

Louche- Oil trails were good. Very good coloring that includes a rainbow of light green, golds & blues. I have to deduct a point since it was much too thin.

Aroma- A melding of mint & genepy takes centerstage. It’s hard to pick out anything else but it’s very pleasant.

Flavor- The tea-like genepy, anise & fennel are prominent. The taste is crisp and refreshing with the wormwood & mint.

Finish- Genepy & anise die down to a crisp wormwood/mint finish after an initial sweetness. Very nice.

Overall- I don’t think the genepy taste is really my thing, but this is still a nicely formulated absinthe nonetheless.

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I agree with Brian that the packaging is pretty nice. This review was conducted with 1 sugar cube, a 4-to-1 ratio, and per the Absinthe Evaluation Instructions.

Color: Although the color wasn't bright, it had a green to golden brown color that gave it an aged feel.

Louche: The louche was a bit thin, didn't start until around the half-way mark, and seemed milky.

Aroma: Was on the weak side. However, what I did notice was nice and pleasant.

Flavor: Bitterness is a little overpowering at first, but the flavors are definitely more noticeable when it starts to subside. Reminds me of Obsello.

Finish: A nice near-clean mouth feel with a slight tingle.

Overall: Definitely acceptable. I think there needs to be some balance so the flavors come out more quickly. I don't think 1 sugar cube is enough, but 2 might be too much. I'd say either 1 and a half cubes or 2 of the smaller sized variety like Domino Dots.
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
3.0
Aroma 
 
3.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
3.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
3.0
Reviewed by tayker October 10, 2009
Top 100 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (6)

Vieux Carre'

I agree with Brian that the packaging is pretty nice. This review was conducted with 1 sugar cube, a 4-to-1 ratio, and per the Absinthe Evaluation Instructions.

Color: Although the color wasn't bright, it had a green to golden brown color that gave it an aged feel.

Louche: The louche was a bit thin, didn't start until around the half-way mark, and seemed milky.

Aroma: Was on the weak side. However, what I did notice was nice and pleasant.

Flavor: Bitterness is a little overpowering at first, but the flavors are definitely more noticeable when it starts to subside. Reminds me of Obsello.

Finish: A nice near-clean mouth feel with a slight tingle.

Overall: Definitely acceptable. I think there needs to be some balance so the flavors come out more quickly. I don't think 1 sugar cube is enough, but 2 might be too much. I'd say either 1 and a half cubes or 2 of the smaller sized variety like Domino Dots.

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Color- The color looks like a natural dark green and is very appealing.

Louche- I was frustrated by the variability on the louche. I prepared a few doses by pouring water in with a carafe or small pitcher, and the louche was always barely there. I tried slowing down my pouring speed, but it didn't seem to affect the overall louche. I was able to get a better louche on a slow drip from a fountain though, so that's a plus, but I don't like the inconsistency.

Aroma- The aroma is nice, but a little light on the fully prepared dose. During a slow fountain drip there are nice alternating aromas of the wormwood, the spearmint and the anise.

Flavor- I was a little thrown off by the spearmint at first, but the more I've had of the Vieux Carre, without sugar added, I've noticed that the spearmint and wormwood go really well together and are very balanced. Combined with the anise, all three flavors work very well together in a surprising way.

Finish- The finish is nice and light. The wormwood lingers for a little bit, but that's not a problem.

Overall- I really like how well balanced the spearmint and wormwood are. I was surprised at how well they go together with this absinthe. I think if they portions were different, it could result in something very unappetizing, but the Vieux Carre pulls it off.
Overall rating 
 
3.8
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
3.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0
Reviewed by baubel July 11, 2009
Top 500 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (15)

Tangy and Refreshing.

Color- The color looks like a natural dark green and is very appealing.

Louche- I was frustrated by the variability on the louche. I prepared a few doses by pouring water in with a carafe or small pitcher, and the louche was always barely there. I tried slowing down my pouring speed, but it didn't seem to affect the overall louche. I was able to get a better louche on a slow drip from a fountain though, so that's a plus, but I don't like the inconsistency.

Aroma- The aroma is nice, but a little light on the fully prepared dose. During a slow fountain drip there are nice alternating aromas of the wormwood, the spearmint and the anise.

Flavor- I was a little thrown off by the spearmint at first, but the more I've had of the Vieux Carre, without sugar added, I've noticed that the spearmint and wormwood go really well together and are very balanced. Combined with the anise, all three flavors work very well together in a surprising way.

Finish- The finish is nice and light. The wormwood lingers for a little bit, but that's not a problem.

Overall- I really like how well balanced the spearmint and wormwood are. I was surprised at how well they go together with this absinthe. I think if they portions were different, it could result in something very unappetizing, but the Vieux Carre pulls it off.

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And so comes the time when Americans learnt how to colour absinthe, once louched it is too green at the edges but nonetheless fine.

Louche is delicate and persistent

The aroma is built of Kirk's hyssop, some anise, very complex. The absinthe itself is herbal and balanced.

tasting:
Pleasant and with nicely accentuated genepi, pontica, wormwood, what not, and unique, yet not striving towards any style, long-lasting in the aftertaste, different as much as Leopold

Walton Waters and Pacifique are the front, just after them comes VC and Leopold, so not bad, not bad

Overall rating 
 
4.2
Appearance 
 
5.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0
Reviewed by absinthist May 29, 2009
Last updated: May 29, 2009
Top 50 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (60)

Worthy its name

And so comes the time when Americans learnt how to colour absinthe, once louched it is too green at the edges but nonetheless fine.

Louche is delicate and persistent

The aroma is built of Kirk's hyssop, some anise, very complex. The absinthe itself is herbal and balanced.

tasting:
Pleasant and with nicely accentuated genepi, pontica, wormwood, what not, and unique, yet not striving towards any style, long-lasting in the aftertaste, different as much as Leopold

Walton Waters and Pacifique are the front, just after them comes VC and Leopold, so not bad, not bad

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I hadn’t had a good absinthe in quite a while, and figured it was time to pick up a bottle. After poking around drinkupNY, it seems like fresh US offerings are being released every day, as the selection has gotten vast since my last purchase. Indeed, much to my surprise and delight, among the best of these (Vieux Carré) is from a local operation, Philadelphia Distilling Company. A quick stroll down to the local spirits shoppe, and I had a [rather attractive] bottle in hand.

I should preface this review by noting I haven’t had a great many absinthes to this point. Just Duplais Balance, Lucid, and US Kübler (Balance being far and away the best of them). Enough to more or less know what I’m talking about, but far from an expert.

-Color-
Neat, it tends more toward an aged absinthe’s feuille morte, amber-green, rather than the verdant green most expect. I don’t find this to be inappropriate or unattractive, so no points docked in this regard. However, there’s a notable (some might say significant) amount of particulate. It settles out when given enough time, but even a slight jarring of the bottle brings it all back into suspension. This may be a style/motif Philly Distilling is going for, and I don’t find it off-putting, but all the absinthe’s I’ve tried and seen have been filtered to clarity. I’d give it a five if it was crystal clear, but I’m going to have to dock a point for particulate. I’m tempted not to, as I feel this was a deliberate move on the part of the distiller, but for now it gets a point off.
4 of 5

-Louche-
Occurs fairly fast, as others note. Well on it’s way to complete opacity at 1:1, pretty much there at 2:1, and completely opaque at 3:1. Very nice oil trails, nice layering, and the characteristic opalescence of a good ‘sinthe. Still, though, a bit too quick, and not quite perfect.
4 of 5

-Aroma-
When cracking the bottle, one smells – wait for it – absinthe! It’s quite good, with the alcohol well masked. Alpine meadow is cliché, but nonetheless a good way of describing it. Definitely a step above the Kübler (one dimensional) and lucid (close to one dimensional). Hard to say how it stacks up to the Duplais (which I liked quite a bit), as its been over two years since I’ve had it. In all, I’d stop short of calling it an ephiphanal, room-filling majesty, but still very good, and better than all but the best.
4 of 5

-Flavor-
Very, very good. Sampled at the distiller recommended 3:1, which I found to be about ideal. Refreshing is a good way to describe it. Feels substantial in the mouth, not too thin. Mix of herbs. Nuances to explore. Still not what I’d call perfect, but very solid.
4 of 5

-Finish-
I think the finish is where this one stands out the most. It has a very alpine, almost citrusy effect that lingers for some time. Solid 5 in this regard.
5 of 5

-Overall-
A solid product, at a competitive price point. Definitely one to try, particularly if you’re in PA. Not what I’d consider a “grail” absinthe, but better than all but the best.
4 of 5
Overall rating 
 
4.1
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
5.0
Overall 
 
4.0
Reviewed by JJBlanche May 21, 2009
Last updated: May 21, 2009
Top 1000 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (2)

Solid Offering

I hadn’t had a good absinthe in quite a while, and figured it was time to pick up a bottle. After poking around drinkupNY, it seems like fresh US offerings are being released every day, as the selection has gotten vast since my last purchase. Indeed, much to my surprise and delight, among the best of these (Vieux Carré) is from a local operation, Philadelphia Distilling Company. A quick stroll down to the local spirits shoppe, and I had a [rather attractive] bottle in hand.

I should preface this review by noting I haven’t had a great many absinthes to this point. Just Duplais Balance, Lucid, and US Kübler (Balance being far and away the best of them). Enough to more or less know what I’m talking about, but far from an expert.

-Color-
Neat, it tends more toward an aged absinthe’s feuille morte, amber-green, rather than the verdant green most expect. I don’t find this to be inappropriate or unattractive, so no points docked in this regard. However, there’s a notable (some might say significant) amount of particulate. It settles out when given enough time, but even a slight jarring of the bottle brings it all back into suspension. This may be a style/motif Philly Distilling is going for, and I don’t find it off-putting, but all the absinthe’s I’ve tried and seen have been filtered to clarity. I’d give it a five if it was crystal clear, but I’m going to have to dock a point for particulate. I’m tempted not to, as I feel this was a deliberate move on the part of the distiller, but for now it gets a point off.
4 of 5

-Louche-
Occurs fairly fast, as others note. Well on it’s way to complete opacity at 1:1, pretty much there at 2:1, and completely opaque at 3:1. Very nice oil trails, nice layering, and the characteristic opalescence of a good ‘sinthe. Still, though, a bit too quick, and not quite perfect.
4 of 5

-Aroma-
When cracking the bottle, one smells – wait for it – absinthe! It’s quite good, with the alcohol well masked. Alpine meadow is cliché, but nonetheless a good way of describing it. Definitely a step above the Kübler (one dimensional) and lucid (close to one dimensional). Hard to say how it stacks up to the Duplais (which I liked quite a bit), as its been over two years since I’ve had it. In all, I’d stop short of calling it an ephiphanal, room-filling majesty, but still very good, and better than all but the best.
4 of 5

-Flavor-
Very, very good. Sampled at the distiller recommended 3:1, which I found to be about ideal. Refreshing is a good way to describe it. Feels substantial in the mouth, not too thin. Mix of herbs. Nuances to explore. Still not what I’d call perfect, but very solid.
4 of 5

-Finish-
I think the finish is where this one stands out the most. It has a very alpine, almost citrusy effect that lingers for some time. Solid 5 in this regard.
5 of 5

-Overall-
A solid product, at a competitive price point. Definitely one to try, particularly if you’re in PA. Not what I’d consider a “grail” absinthe, but better than all but the best.
4 of 5

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Color (3 points): My bottle is a deep green, not unpleasant, and free of sediment, but slightly darker and more amber than I would expect from a relatively new absinthe.

Louche (5 points): Louche action was fantastic, thick, full, strong.

Aroma (4 points): A lovely balance of herbal aromas with an earthy component

Flavor (4 points): Robust and herbal, with an earthy undertone that makes this a very meaty flavor profile.

Finish (4 points): Finish is a nice continuation of the flavor, tingling the tongue slightly, with the strong herbal notes remaining on the throat.

Overall (4 points): Vieux Carré is a wonderful addition to the domestic absinthe market, and is most certainly one of the best values out there at under $60 a bottle. The strong louche and flavor profile make it perfect when seeking something substantive.

Presentation (no points): Beautiful decanter-style bottle looks impressive on any bar, unfortunately the clear glass means keeping it displayed where light can degrade its color is problematic.
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Appearance 
 
3.0
Louche 
 
5.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0
Reviewed by Doctor Love May 18, 2009
Top 1000 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (10)

Philly's Finest Packs a Punch


Color (3 points): My bottle is a deep green, not unpleasant, and free of sediment, but slightly darker and more amber than I would expect from a relatively new absinthe.

Louche (5 points): Louche action was fantastic, thick, full, strong.

Aroma (4 points): A lovely balance of herbal aromas with an earthy component

Flavor (4 points): Robust and herbal, with an earthy undertone that makes this a very meaty flavor profile.

Finish (4 points): Finish is a nice continuation of the flavor, tingling the tongue slightly, with the strong herbal notes remaining on the throat.

Overall (4 points): Vieux Carré is a wonderful addition to the domestic absinthe market, and is most certainly one of the best values out there at under $60 a bottle. The strong louche and flavor profile make it perfect when seeking something substantive.

Presentation (no points): Beautiful decanter-style bottle looks impressive on any bar, unfortunately the clear glass means keeping it displayed where light can degrade its color is problematic.

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Color: Shabba's description as a deep emerald/forest is dead on. I had to penalize it a bit for the sediment though. I believe absinthe's should be rewarded for being clear and free of sediment or haze.

Louche: I prefer this absinthe at 2.5:1, so naturally my louche was thick. It acquired that opalescence and was attractive. I'll nitpick though and say it could have built a bit better and more slowly. My barometer for a 5 in this category are the Edouard & Marteau, so it's a high bar.

Aroma: I found this to be complex, interesting and delightful. I really had trouble picking out what was going on in there outside of the holy trinity. I had to cheat and ask for the herb bill, and was surprised when I found out all but 1 ingredient (genepi) were common absinthe ingredients. I thought there were very unique things in here. Again though, my benchmark for a 5 in aroma are quite high, and to me Jade N-O & Belle Amie are a rung above all other commercials in this category. Like the L'Italienne, consider is a strong 4.

Flavor: Delicious. Like I said, my personal sweet spot for this absinthe is 2.5:1. At that ratio you still have a touch of alcohol heat, some (desirable) astringency from the genepi, and the flavors are robust. As you water this absinthe to more than 3:1 it falls apart IMO. It flattens out and there is a subtle note not unlike chlorine or bleach that becomes noticeable. It doesn't take well to over-watering, but then again, I've yet to meet an absinthe that does.

Finish: Semi-long and enjoyable with cooling, minty wormwood and creamy fennel.

Overall: This stuff has turned into my go-to absinthe because it's readily available on the shelves where I live, priced reasonably, and (above all else) I like it quite a bit. It also works well in cocktails, I think. I will always have a bottle of this on hand.
Overall rating 
 
3.8
Appearance 
 
3.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0
Reviewed by Tally Ho February 15, 2009
Top 100 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (12)

My current go-to absinthe

Color: Shabba's description as a deep emerald/forest is dead on. I had to penalize it a bit for the sediment though. I believe absinthe's should be rewarded for being clear and free of sediment or haze.

Louche: I prefer this absinthe at 2.5:1, so naturally my louche was thick. It acquired that opalescence and was attractive. I'll nitpick though and say it could have built a bit better and more slowly. My barometer for a 5 in this category are the Edouard & Marteau, so it's a high bar.

Aroma: I found this to be complex, interesting and delightful. I really had trouble picking out what was going on in there outside of the holy trinity. I had to cheat and ask for the herb bill, and was surprised when I found out all but 1 ingredient (genepi) were common absinthe ingredients. I thought there were very unique things in here. Again though, my benchmark for a 5 in aroma are quite high, and to me Jade N-O & Belle Amie are a rung above all other commercials in this category. Like the L'Italienne, consider is a strong 4.

Flavor: Delicious. Like I said, my personal sweet spot for this absinthe is 2.5:1. At that ratio you still have a touch of alcohol heat, some (desirable) astringency from the genepi, and the flavors are robust. As you water this absinthe to more than 3:1 it falls apart IMO. It flattens out and there is a subtle note not unlike chlorine or bleach that becomes noticeable. It doesn't take well to over-watering, but then again, I've yet to meet an absinthe that does.

Finish: Semi-long and enjoyable with cooling, minty wormwood and creamy fennel.

Overall: This stuff has turned into my go-to absinthe because it's readily available on the shelves where I live, priced reasonably, and (above all else) I like it quite a bit. It also works well in cocktails, I think. I will always have a bottle of this on hand.

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