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St. George Absinthe

St. George Absinthe

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3.2 (2)
 
3.4 (22)
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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 (192)

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: 22 user(s)

Overall rating 
 
3.4
Appearance 
 
3.5  (22)
Louche 
 
3.4  (22)
Aroma 
 
3.3  (22)
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
3.3  (22)
Finish 
 
3.6  (22)
Overall 
 
3.4  (22)
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In my intro on the forum, I summed up some of my main objections to St George, and they haven't changed... to start with, appearance and louche: in its pre-louched, neat form, St George is too dark, and too brown/yellow, NOT in a "dead leaf" kind of way, but in a something else was used to color this that ain't quite right... it is natural, not artificial. It is distilled and then had a traditionally-accomplished coloring step.

It still reminds me of pictures of liquid chemical warfare agents (specifically mustard gas, in its liquid form) from WW 1.
Then, after louche-- it's one-dimensional. Chalky. Opaque, not translucent, and it's yellow-brown... like clouds of mustard agent floating across the battlefield in cool autumn weather. Sorry if those images disturb people, but I can't get them out of my head when I think about St George... The other way I can describe it is it's just like Pinesol (or other pine oil cleaner), before and after adding water (Pinesol "louches" into a chalky yellowish off-white too when it's mixed with water to form a diluted cleaning solution). It's not what proper absinthe should resemble.

And the aroma.... unfortunately, this goes right back to the chemical warfare associations (I'm an old Army veteran... too much training to forget this stuff)-- maybe it's the stinging nettles they use, but there's a peculiar sharp odor to St George that likewise has me thinking of the old manuals, that commented on the tell-tale odors that accompanied certain chemical agents. Appearance: 2 is for substandard. 3 for Louche is chalky, opaque and one-dimensional. 2 for Aroma is because (IMO) it's peculiar and unbalanced.

And it goes downhill from there-- 2 for Flavor/Mouthfeel is because it's highly flawed and I'm tempted to rate even lower, because St George is downright unpleasant tasting to me-- but I leave it with a 2 here and further, because it is distilled and traditionally made, and I can respect that-- but I guess I really question the choice of herbs distilled into this product and macerated for the coloration/additional flavoring step.
2 for Finish, because IMO it did linger quite unpleasantly. It took a lot of La Clandestine and Mansinthe to wash the nasty taste of St George out of my mouth on the one occasion that I broke it out and tasted it.
Overall: 2. I'm really not sure I should acknowledge it as barely acceptable, except that the makers took too much care in distilling and making it for me to put it rock-bottom with the crapsinthes. But I can't in good conscience rate it any higher-- I wanted to like this stuff, I usually have a high tolerance for some of the unusual and idiosyncratic drinks and desserts out there in other fields than absinthe... but St George is just plain nasty looking, smelling and tasting to me.

To each their own though-- there's a good friend o' mine, who took the rest of my bottle of St George home after we broke it out, because he likes the stuff....
Overall rating 
 
2.3
Appearance 
 
2.5
Louche 
 
3.0
Aroma 
 
2.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
2.0
Finish 
 
2.0
Overall 
 
2.0
Reviewed by m_glenn April 01, 2016
Top 50 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (11)

It reminds me too much of pinesol...

In my intro on the forum, I summed up some of my main objections to St George, and they haven't changed... to start with, appearance and louche: in its pre-louched, neat form, St George is too dark, and too brown/yellow, NOT in a "dead leaf" kind of way, but in a something else was used to color this that ain't quite right... it is natural, not artificial. It is distilled and then had a traditionally-accomplished coloring step.

It still reminds me of pictures of liquid chemical warfare agents (specifically mustard gas, in its liquid form) from WW 1.
Then, after louche-- it's one-dimensional. Chalky. Opaque, not translucent, and it's yellow-brown... like clouds of mustard agent floating across the battlefield in cool autumn weather. Sorry if those images disturb people, but I can't get them out of my head when I think about St George... The other way I can describe it is it's just like Pinesol (or other pine oil cleaner), before and after adding water (Pinesol "louches" into a chalky yellowish off-white too when it's mixed with water to form a diluted cleaning solution). It's not what proper absinthe should resemble.

And the aroma.... unfortunately, this goes right back to the chemical warfare associations (I'm an old Army veteran... too much training to forget this stuff)-- maybe it's the stinging nettles they use, but there's a peculiar sharp odor to St George that likewise has me thinking of the old manuals, that commented on the tell-tale odors that accompanied certain chemical agents. Appearance: 2 is for substandard. 3 for Louche is chalky, opaque and one-dimensional. 2 for Aroma is because (IMO) it's peculiar and unbalanced.

And it goes downhill from there-- 2 for Flavor/Mouthfeel is because it's highly flawed and I'm tempted to rate even lower, because St George is downright unpleasant tasting to me-- but I leave it with a 2 here and further, because it is distilled and traditionally made, and I can respect that-- but I guess I really question the choice of herbs distilled into this product and macerated for the coloration/additional flavoring step.
2 for Finish, because IMO it did linger quite unpleasantly. It took a lot of La Clandestine and Mansinthe to wash the nasty taste of St George out of my mouth on the one occasion that I broke it out and tasted it.
Overall: 2. I'm really not sure I should acknowledge it as barely acceptable, except that the makers took too much care in distilling and making it for me to put it rock-bottom with the crapsinthes. But I can't in good conscience rate it any higher-- I wanted to like this stuff, I usually have a high tolerance for some of the unusual and idiosyncratic drinks and desserts out there in other fields than absinthe... but St George is just plain nasty looking, smelling and tasting to me.

To each their own though-- there's a good friend o' mine, who took the rest of my bottle of St George home after we broke it out, because he likes the stuff....

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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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