Reviews written by Green Baron

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Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by Green Baron     March 21, 2008
Last updated: August 20, 2008
Overall rating 
Flavor / Mouthfeel 

Big Red

Sep. 2007 bottle, opened Jan 2008 and tasted for review March 2008; louched at 3:1 slow drip with 1/2 sugar cube.

The color was a natural and attractive light lime-amber, but I would have scored it higher if more actual green was detectable; perhaps the age of the bottling was responsible?

The louche was excellent- slow forming and fascinating with numerous spindly oil trails that layered, bouncing in a suspended dance, swirling, and reforming with each drip. There appeared to be more oil trails, but they were not as thick-looking individually as, say, 1901 or Edouard. At full louche, the color was a light lime/ amber yellow with opalescent highlights, although it was a bit thinner than other Jades.

The aroma was pleasing, with herbal, verdant, and spicy notes. However, for me, it did not quite portray the complexity of the actual taste.

A wonderfully complex flavor, with a sweet spicy upfront that, to me, conveyed a powerful suggestion of cinnamon (I dub thee Big Red!). A toasty, yet verdant, herbal, grassy green comes right along side, followed by a big, savory bitter on the back of the tongue. The finish is clean and refreshing, with all of the flavor components, even the frontal spice, lingering.

The mouthfeel, however while light and enjoyable, was not as creamy and luxurious as I was hoping for, and I subtracted a point in the finish category. I feel that the lighter oil trails and light-looking final louche might have been an indicator of this. Not a major issue, but I find it interesting to wonder if it's just the nature of this particular absinthe (e.g. Latin American vs. Indonesian coffees), or if it could be improved. The only week point in an otherwise amazing flavor profile.

All and all, a great absinthe and one of my very favorites. It took some getting used to but it's grown on me quite a bit. If Ted finds a way to thicken up the mouthfeel while keeping all the other qualities intact, I will go crazy trying to decide if this, or Edouard, is my top absinthe.

Update August 2008: Well, I’m on a different bottle (same Sept. 2007 batch) that’s been opened for some time longer. The cinnamon note is not nearly as prevalent as it was, and has mellowed into a tamer sweet and spicy in the front. Without the big biting (in a good way) iteration of the spice on my palate, I can detect a decent creamy body here. It’s not as creamy as PF1901 for example, but it’s there, and it’s quite nice. The finish is not as snappy, but it’s still crisp. So not as bold as before, but smoother. Wonderful to experience the changing flavors in the life of a bottle of good absinthe.

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