La Grenouille http://www.wormwoodsociety.org/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/300x300s/09/37/b7/598_AbsintheGrenouillebig150x640_1299201770.jpg

 
4.4
 
4.5 (6)
 

Product Details

Available in the US?
Style/Color
Degrees ABV (% alcohol)
Year of Make (if known)
Country of Origin
Distiller/Manufacturer
Wormwood Society Editor Comments
When Stefano Rossoni, the Italian distiller behind L'Italienne absinthe, started working on the La Grenouille recipe, his idea was to create an absinthe with a southern and Mediterranean connotation. La Grenouille has a classic backbone of wormwood, green anise, fennel, lemonbalm and hyssop, but is completed with other unique southern herbs to achieve a warm, velvety character.

La Grenouille was born in a family-run distillery Zufanek, producers of the first genuine Czech absinthe St. Antoine. That is another proof that there are some good absinthes in the Czech Republic!



Editor reviews

The absinthe is of an olivine colour, clear and without haze. Quite nice. It smells sweet and purfumey. Some licorice root aroma. Spicy with vanilla notes.

The louche is a tad thin, but good. Great colour, opalescent green with the faintest hint of yellow. Much more green than expected from seeing it neat. After water the aroma is candy-like but very herbal. Green tea, fennel. Very sweet.

It's much more absinthe-like in its flavour. Well balanced wormwood and anise. Sweet but not as much so as the aroma suggests. Licorice root flavour blends nicely. Some cinnamon perhaps? Good balance of colouring herb flavour with notes of fresh grass and citrus. Actually nearly ideal flavour, but bright instead of smooth. Very crisp.

The finish is anisey, with a slight bitterness emerging. Long and fruity.

This is fantastic. It's weird but it still tastes like absinthe, which is what too many "adventurous" absinthes fail to do.
Overall rating 
 
4.4
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0
Reviewed by Andrew Young July 09, 2011
Last updated: July 15, 2011
Top 10 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (60)

What a delight!

The absinthe is of an olivine colour, clear and without haze. Quite nice. It smells sweet and purfumey. Some licorice root aroma. Spicy with vanilla notes.

The louche is a tad thin, but good. Great colour, opalescent green with the faintest hint of yellow. Much more green than expected from seeing it neat. After water the aroma is candy-like but very herbal. Green tea, fennel. Very sweet.

It's much more absinthe-like in its flavour. Well balanced wormwood and anise. Sweet but not as much so as the aroma suggests. Licorice root flavour blends nicely. Some cinnamon perhaps? Good balance of colouring herb flavour with notes of fresh grass and citrus. Actually nearly ideal flavour, but bright instead of smooth. Very crisp.

The finish is anisey, with a slight bitterness emerging. Long and fruity.

This is fantastic. It's weird but it still tastes like absinthe, which is what too many "adventurous" absinthes fail to do.

Was this review helpful to you? 
 

User reviews

Average user rating from: 6 user(s)

To write a review please register or
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Appearance 
 
4.0  (6)
Louche 
 
4.3  (6)
Aroma 
 
4.7  (6)
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.8  (6)
Finish 
 
4.8  (6)
Overall 
 
4.3  (6)
Appearance: A topaz-esque green and a little bit faded, but still in the right color family and tone.

Louche: Very lovely green and orange. Just the right thickness, and louched perfectly without much coaxing at all.

Aroma: There's a LOT going on here. Just from mulling over the odors I've noted hints of lemongrass, confection, thyme, something like menthol, coriander, pine resin, and something that reminds me of Christmas spices that makes my nose tingle.

Flavor/Mouthfeel: A lot going on here as well...wormwood, a peppery anise, fresh mown grass, rosemary, clean soil, cardamom, allspice, and a bit of a green tea astringency, all of this definitely leads to a lot of salivation and makes you want to keep drinking.

Finish: At the ratio I mixed the glass at, there's no alcohol heat but my tongue feels a bit like I've been eating peppers, probably from the anise bite, but there's also a sweet and minty length that's numbing the mouth.

Overall: This absinthe is bold and not particularly lady-like (and if I didn't know any better, there's some star anise in here too), and very un-traditional, but it's truly wonderful.
Overall rating 
 
4.4
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
5.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.5
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0
Reviewed by Amber Peter February 12, 2013
Top 50 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (58)

Unconventional success

Appearance: A topaz-esque green and a little bit faded, but still in the right color family and tone.

Louche: Very lovely green and orange. Just the right thickness, and louched perfectly without much coaxing at all.

Aroma: There's a LOT going on here. Just from mulling over the odors I've noted hints of lemongrass, confection, thyme, something like menthol, coriander, pine resin, and something that reminds me of Christmas spices that makes my nose tingle.

Flavor/Mouthfeel: A lot going on here as well...wormwood, a peppery anise, fresh mown grass, rosemary, clean soil, cardamom, allspice, and a bit of a green tea astringency, all of this definitely leads to a lot of salivation and makes you want to keep drinking.

Finish: At the ratio I mixed the glass at, there's no alcohol heat but my tongue feels a bit like I've been eating peppers, probably from the anise bite, but there's also a sweet and minty length that's numbing the mouth.

Overall: This absinthe is bold and not particularly lady-like (and if I didn't know any better, there's some star anise in here too), and very un-traditional, but it's truly wonderful.

Was this review helpful to you? 
Appearance: A smooth and clear olive green. Slightly darker than most peridot colored absinthes.

Louche: The louche is actually a bit thick and only slightly transparent (4:1). The frog retains a fair amount of color from the original appearance.

Aroma: Citrusy juicy funk time! You know you love it. The initial smell is heavily aromatic and very pleasant. There are some slightly floral notes as well. Overall the aroma is complex and very mysterious.

Flavor: Just like the smell, the flavor is wonderfully complex. There is a dominant peppery and citrus combo along with the unique herbal profile that reminds me of rosemary. Very complex and full on the palate. The anise is tricky though and I may stir some controversy by suggesting the use of both sweet and star anise here? Not a bad thing but tricky.

Finish: Ramp up the floral and citrus notes with that rush of oxygen. The finish sweetens up on me and expands on the palate, almost candy-like.

Overall: This is absolutely stellar with the only problem being the overly thick louche. I enjoy the herbal notes and other unique flavors quite a bit.
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
3.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
5.0
Overall 
 
4.0
Reviewed by Evan Camomile April 12, 2012
Top 10 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (67)

Different and awesome!

Appearance: A smooth and clear olive green. Slightly darker than most peridot colored absinthes.

Louche: The louche is actually a bit thick and only slightly transparent (4:1). The frog retains a fair amount of color from the original appearance.

Aroma: Citrusy juicy funk time! You know you love it. The initial smell is heavily aromatic and very pleasant. There are some slightly floral notes as well. Overall the aroma is complex and very mysterious.

Flavor: Just like the smell, the flavor is wonderfully complex. There is a dominant peppery and citrus combo along with the unique herbal profile that reminds me of rosemary. Very complex and full on the palate. The anise is tricky though and I may stir some controversy by suggesting the use of both sweet and star anise here? Not a bad thing but tricky.

Finish: Ramp up the floral and citrus notes with that rush of oxygen. The finish sweetens up on me and expands on the palate, almost candy-like.

Overall: This is absolutely stellar with the only problem being the overly thick louche. I enjoy the herbal notes and other unique flavors quite a bit.

Was this review helpful to you? 
This would be a really good absinthe, but the spiciness makes it one of the great absinthes. You gotta be carefull when adding water, not to confuse heat from spice with heat from alcohol. But to drink, and just look at, it is truly a hedonistic pleasure. This is the first absinthe my wife has sampled, where she asked me to purchase a bottle.
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
5.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
5.0
Overall 
 
4.0
Reviewed by Miguel September 24, 2011
Top 500 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (11)

We love the spicy frog!

This would be a really good absinthe, but the spiciness makes it one of the great absinthes. You gotta be carefull when adding water, not to confuse heat from spice with heat from alcohol. But to drink, and just look at, it is truly a hedonistic pleasure. This is the first absinthe my wife has sampled, where she asked me to purchase a bottle.

Was this review helpful to you? 
Colour is Light golden. Could be darker. The tinge is in the vein of L'italienne but not spoiling the coeur of distillation.

Louche is translucent, almost to the dot, neither too thin nor too thick. The best ratio is 1:2. All the aromas and single nuances are being captured, the amount of water is just enough to open the absinthe in full majesty.

Upon taking a whiff, you are getting Violets, perfums, very light, almost ethereal, smells like alpine bitters from Italy. Aroma is very frontal without any edges, the fuller notes of wormwood, earthiness are approaching slowly all the way thru instead of emerging just in the finish.

Astringent, very very subtle. Not cloying. Bitter in the vein of gentiane or cinchoma. No heaviness from anethole buddies. These are just accompanying the main herbal sensations.

There is an irrestible note that is very strong on the palate and is not hidden in the finish. It starts like calamus, but going in th rooty sensation of gentian or cinchoma. It is like absinthe style with decent and robust Italian vermouth foundation.

Completely different story than L'Italienne although rooted in the same Tradition. Much, much bolder.

Overall rating 
 
4.3
Appearance 
 
3.0
Louche 
 
5.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
5.0
Overall 
 
4.0
Reviewed by absinthist July 19, 2011
Last updated: July 19, 2011
Top 10 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (60)

Mediterranean breeze with a kick

Colour is Light golden. Could be darker. The tinge is in the vein of L'italienne but not spoiling the coeur of distillation.

Louche is translucent, almost to the dot, neither too thin nor too thick. The best ratio is 1:2. All the aromas and single nuances are being captured, the amount of water is just enough to open the absinthe in full majesty.

Upon taking a whiff, you are getting Violets, perfums, very light, almost ethereal, smells like alpine bitters from Italy. Aroma is very frontal without any edges, the fuller notes of wormwood, earthiness are approaching slowly all the way thru instead of emerging just in the finish.

Astringent, very very subtle. Not cloying. Bitter in the vein of gentiane or cinchoma. No heaviness from anethole buddies. These are just accompanying the main herbal sensations.

There is an irrestible note that is very strong on the palate and is not hidden in the finish. It starts like calamus, but going in th rooty sensation of gentian or cinchoma. It is like absinthe style with decent and robust Italian vermouth foundation.

Completely different story than L'Italienne although rooted in the same Tradition. Much, much bolder.

Was this review helpful to you? 
Enjoyed tremendously at both 3.5:1 and 4:1 no sugar. 4:1 yields the more delicate notes. 3.5:1 for me was the perfect balance of strength and softness.

Color: A clear and natural golden yellow with the tiniest kiss of light green. It fits somehow, but for a new fresh absinthe, a touch more green would have yielded a 5.

Louche: Slow steady build, not a lot of dramatic effect or layering, but a lovely opalescent finale. Its final colors are a light green with hints of copper, and suggestions of light blue. Very nice. A bit on the thinner side, without being too thin.

Aroma: Simply wonderful. Blossoming anise and wormwood, surrounded by flowers, perfume, alpine herbs and candy. Artful.

Flavor: As good as the aroma, for all the same reasons. It has some of the same notes as L'Italienne, but more floral and delicate, yet, it is still a powerful profile. This is quite an accomplishment. Both yin AND yang, at the same time....I believe that indicates balance...such would be the case here. Anise, wormwood, flowers, citrus. Simply delicious, and unique.

Finish: Crisp, clean, dry and complex. A light spicy build, layers of elements; herbs, spice, citrus, florals. A delicate citrus linger and tingle.

Overall: This is a must folks. Simply one the best I've had. We need to mention this as a strong exception when speaking of Czech absinthe from now on!
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.5
Finish 
 
5.0
Overall 
 
4.5
Reviewed by Scott M. March 15, 2011
Last updated: January 05, 2013
Top 10 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (64)

I'm glad this frog hopped across the pond.

Enjoyed tremendously at both 3.5:1 and 4:1 no sugar. 4:1 yields the more delicate notes. 3.5:1 for me was the perfect balance of strength and softness.

Color: A clear and natural golden yellow with the tiniest kiss of light green. It fits somehow, but for a new fresh absinthe, a touch more green would have yielded a 5.

Louche: Slow steady build, not a lot of dramatic effect or layering, but a lovely opalescent finale. Its final colors are a light green with hints of copper, and suggestions of light blue. Very nice. A bit on the thinner side, without being too thin.

Aroma: Simply wonderful. Blossoming anise and wormwood, surrounded by flowers, perfume, alpine herbs and candy. Artful.

Flavor: As good as the aroma, for all the same reasons. It has some of the same notes as L'Italienne, but more floral and delicate, yet, it is still a powerful profile. This is quite an accomplishment. Both yin AND yang, at the same time....I believe that indicates balance...such would be the case here. Anise, wormwood, flowers, citrus. Simply delicious, and unique.

Finish: Crisp, clean, dry and complex. A light spicy build, layers of elements; herbs, spice, citrus, florals. A delicate citrus linger and tingle.

Overall: This is a must folks. Simply one the best I've had. We need to mention this as a strong exception when speaking of Czech absinthe from now on!

Was this review helpful to you? 
First impressions: It's very much like the prototype, except with a creamier louche, which is very welcome.

It has that L'Italienne type of perfume, but with a much rounder profile including mallow, lilac, almost a jasmine quality, and a very dry woodiness that is mitigated by a substantial dose of candied anise. As it coats the palate, a subtle underpinning of citrus also reveals itself. There is very ample wormwood in the finish, and it tastes like the same Italian varietal that Stefano used in the L'Italienne distillations, which is very fragrant, but not quite as assertive as the splendid Pontarlier strain found in Berthe de Joux.

The color is a beautifully natural golden green, neat, and when louched there are lovely underpinnings of blue and copper, as well. It is true that the color could be greener, but I thought it rated a 5 because it seemed the ideal shade to match the unusually dry, floral, mallowy, and perfumy palate. A vivid green would have almost seemed somewhat out of place.

The nose (neat) is redolent of anise (more licorice-y than I expected, but after louching, a remarkably complex and nearly room filling perfuminess blossoms.

The louche (I opted for a 4:1 ratio (which seems ideal in this case)* is extremely gradual and lovely...not exactly billowing clouds and rolling fog banks, but pretty darn close, just not as turbid. There is a fine opalescence when La Grenouille is fully louched. I was very close to giving this one a 5, and still may, after I've observed a few louches.

*I wouldn't recommend a water to absinthe ratio of much lower than 4-1 because the mallow, lilac and jasmine flavors won't really reveal themselves, and the balance will shift a bit too heavily toward the citric

The flavor is not as austere as that of L'Italienne, but I could see drinkers who do not generally add sugar making an exception here, as it would probably round out the intense flavors a bit.

I am, of course, enamored of this Stefano masterpiece sans sucre, particularly the finish, which is delightfully long and fragrantly dry.

La Grenouille is a marvelous absinthe paradox, being at once a beverage of great complexity, delicacy, and finesse, and yet also powerfully flavored and direct, immediate, and vibrant. This is a feat that few modern distillers could achieve, and definitely speaks volumes for Stefano Rossoni's liquid poetic artistry.

So much for Czech absinthe (I hear Stefano supervised the distillation of this one, but it still comes out of a Czech alembic) never having a shot at the top echelon.
Overall rating 
 
4.8
Appearance 
 
5.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
5.0
Overall 
 
5.0
Reviewed by Absomphe March 04, 2011
Last updated: March 06, 2011
Top 500 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (26)

Liquid Poetry

First impressions: It's very much like the prototype, except with a creamier louche, which is very welcome.

It has that L'Italienne type of perfume, but with a much rounder profile including mallow, lilac, almost a jasmine quality, and a very dry woodiness that is mitigated by a substantial dose of candied anise. As it coats the palate, a subtle underpinning of citrus also reveals itself. There is very ample wormwood in the finish, and it tastes like the same Italian varietal that Stefano used in the L'Italienne distillations, which is very fragrant, but not quite as assertive as the splendid Pontarlier strain found in Berthe de Joux.

The color is a beautifully natural golden green, neat, and when louched there are lovely underpinnings of blue and copper, as well. It is true that the color could be greener, but I thought it rated a 5 because it seemed the ideal shade to match the unusually dry, floral, mallowy, and perfumy palate. A vivid green would have almost seemed somewhat out of place.

The nose (neat) is redolent of anise (more licorice-y than I expected, but after louching, a remarkably complex and nearly room filling perfuminess blossoms.

The louche (I opted for a 4:1 ratio (which seems ideal in this case)* is extremely gradual and lovely...not exactly billowing clouds and rolling fog banks, but pretty darn close, just not as turbid. There is a fine opalescence when La Grenouille is fully louched. I was very close to giving this one a 5, and still may, after I've observed a few louches.

*I wouldn't recommend a water to absinthe ratio of much lower than 4-1 because the mallow, lilac and jasmine flavors won't really reveal themselves, and the balance will shift a bit too heavily toward the citric

The flavor is not as austere as that of L'Italienne, but I could see drinkers who do not generally add sugar making an exception here, as it would probably round out the intense flavors a bit.

I am, of course, enamored of this Stefano masterpiece sans sucre, particularly the finish, which is delightfully long and fragrantly dry.

La Grenouille is a marvelous absinthe paradox, being at once a beverage of great complexity, delicacy, and finesse, and yet also powerfully flavored and direct, immediate, and vibrant. This is a feat that few modern distillers could achieve, and definitely speaks volumes for Stefano Rossoni's liquid poetic artistry.

So much for Czech absinthe (I hear Stefano supervised the distillation of this one, but it still comes out of a Czech alembic) never having a shot at the top echelon.

Was this review helpful to you? 
 
Powered by JReviews

We Recommend ...

Banner
f logo twitter logo flickr button in logo