Reviews written by Brian Robinson

165 results - showing 126 - 150
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Faux Absinthe
Reviewed by Brian Robinson     April 11, 2008
Last updated: February 21, 2009
Overall rating 
 
2.2
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
2.0
Aroma 
 
3.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
1.0
Finish 
 
1.0
Overall 
 
2.0

Starts out promising, then falls flat

Upon first seeing the Reality in the glass without the addition of water, one can believe that they might be in for a nice experience. The color is an inviting deep peridot green.The addition of water brings about a very light haze. You can't even call it a louche. It's quite pitiful.
The aroma is weedy and herbal with an alcoholic bite.The flavor is the worst thing about this absinthe. Upon hitting the tongue, there isn't much flavor to be experienced, it's very light and bland. However, once it makes its way to the back of the throat, you get the unmistakable harsh bitterness and astringency of macerated A.A.
Overall, this absinthe is unacceptable. The color is there, but no louche and terrible flavor. Not worth spending money on.

Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by Brian Robinson     February 16, 2008
Last updated: February 21, 2009
Overall rating 
 
2.0
Appearance 
 
3.0
Louche 
 
3.0
Aroma 
 
2.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
1.0
Finish 
 
1.0
Overall 
 
2.0

Better than expected, but still not good

I got a sample of this from a foxy friend.

The color isn't too bad, a nice peridot green, but it seems a bit artificial.
The louche is quite weak, and difficult to coax out.
The aroma is strong with alcohol, but I detect hints of lettuce and bitter celery. Quite vegetal.
Flavor killed this. It's all bitterness. Lots of macerated wormwood it seems. That's pretty much all I can pick out. As with other macerated A.A. products, the astringent bitterness lingers for an uncomfortably long time in the back of the throat.
Overall, the aroma and color show promise, but the high thujone marketing and unrepentant bitterness makes this one that I'll never shell out money for.

Reviewed by Brian Robinson     February 16, 2008
Overall rating 
 
1.2
Appearance 
 
1.0
Louche 
 
1.0
Aroma 
 
2.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
1.0
Finish 
 
1.0
Overall 
 
1.0

Just as bad as the Green

This absinth is just as horrifying as their green offering. In fact, maybe moreso when you think about what the heavy red dye is doing to your insides. When I louched this up (if you could call it that) the red color hardly diluted at all.

Reviewed by Brian Robinson     February 16, 2008
Last updated: February 21, 2009
Overall rating 
 
1.7
Appearance 
 
3.0
Louche 
 
2.0
Aroma 
 
2.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
1.0
Finish 
 
1.0
Overall 
 
1.0

One of my first, and worst...

Absinth Original was one of my first online purchases of absinth since moving back to the States. I'm very glad to say that my affair with the Original was short-lived.
The color is not unpleasant and fairly natural looking, but could use improvement.
Water produces an extremely weak louche, but there is at least SOME clouding.
The aroma is mostly alcohol burn with a tad bit of anise dancing around in the back, struggling to be noticed.
Lots of bitterness comes through in the taste and lingers in the back of the throat. An indicator of macerated wormwood. There's a slight sweetness that I can pick up in the back from the anise, but it's practically non-existent. The rest is burn, which lasts for a while, even at a 3:1 dilution ratio.
Overall, I'll never go back to this one. But I WILL use it as a comparative education tool when I am discussing the differences between absinth and absinthe with newcomers to the scene.

Faux Absinthe
Reviewed by Brian Robinson     February 16, 2008
Last updated: February 21, 2009
Overall rating 
 
1.0
Appearance 
 
1.0
Louche 
 
1.0
Aroma 
 
1.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
1.0
Finish 
 
1.0
Overall 
 
1.0

Be afraid...

This is one drink I'd not like to be reviewing.
The color is really odd. When I first received the bottle it was a greenish blue. As I've held it in the bar, it's become more blue, and less green.
No louche to speak of.
The aroma is all bitterness and alcoholic heat. Quite off-putting.
The taste is reminiscent of bottom shelf, warm vodka. All burn and no real flavor to speak of, other than some bitterness. This carries over into the finish as well.
Overall, this bottle will remain full. I couldn't even get through the very small sample I used to make this review.

Faux Absinthe
Reviewed by Brian Robinson     February 16, 2008
Last updated: October 17, 2009
Overall rating 
 
2.0
Appearance 
 
2.0
Louche 
 
2.0
Aroma 
 
3.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
2.0
Finish 
 
2.0
Overall 
 
1.0

Not terrible, but not absinthe

A sample was generously provided by a friend.
The color is an artificial aquamarine. It reminds me of Scope.
The addition of cold water via dripper resulted in a very very thin louche.
The aroma isn't unappealing, but it certainly doesn't smell like absinthe. I get a lot of eucalyptus, some mintiness, and other medicinals, with a hint of alcohol heat in the end.
The flavor certainly isn't that of my definition of traditional absinthe (which is the dominant flavors of anise and wormwood). It's very sweet and minty with the overall flavor of eucalyptus. Again, the likeness of Scope is remarkable. It's drinkable, but not as an absinthe. More like a Rumple Minze or something similar.
The finish is nothing to write home about. It's all mint and sweetness.
Overall, this isn't absinthe in my book, and definitely not absinthe if referring to traditional and present (Swiss) definitions of absinthe. I might consider adding some to my espresso as a substitute for Fernet Branca, but I'd never drink this if I were in the mood for an absinthe. The most redeeming quality of this drink is the very enticing packaging.

Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by Brian Robinson     January 17, 2008
Last updated: September 25, 2008
Overall rating 
 
3.9
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
5.0
Aroma 
 
3.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
3.0
Overall 
 
4.0

A decent blanche

Color: A nice, bright, clear absinthe

Louche: Nice and thick with a great opalescence when done. It's not too quick to form, which lends another level of enjoyment when preparing.

Aroma: Before louche, it's got a pretty nice, fresh smell, but louching brought out something I'm not a huge fan of. Kind of musty. There's a lot of nice things in here as well, but I think it's the base alcohol that lends that undertone of unpleasantness.

Flavor: Sweeter than I was expecting, but it also has plenty of nice wormwood mintiness. A good depth of flavor, but nothing 'standoutish' about it. It's very enjoyable, but unremarkable.

Finish: Nice wormwood bitterness, but a little hot.



Overall: Overall, this can be a staple blanche in any bar. It's pretty enjoyable, but suffers from some of the same funkiness as other absinthes that use grape base. Most people won't notice the 'funk', so don't let that worry you about buying it.

Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by Brian Robinson     January 17, 2008
Last updated: May 13, 2009
Overall rating 
 
4.2
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
3.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0

One of my favorites

Bottom line: this absinthe is great.

Color is a very attractive fuille morte which really reminds one more of a vintage brand than a currently available brand.

The louche is the only drawback to this absinthe. I myself enjoy a well formed, thick louche, but Belle Amie tends to be a bit weak, and subject to very easy overwatering. You have to use VERY cold water and a slow drip to be able to coax it out. At full dilution, the louche is a relatively opaque greenish brown, but not opalescent.

The aroma is stunning. It's got such a fresh, spicy herbal quality to it with strong scents of high quality wormwood. It's light on the anise but makes up for that with a boquet of floral essenses.

The taste is very refreshing. Lots of herbal character with high quality wormwood mintiness and great vegetal undertones. The coriander adds a great depth of flavor.

The finish is long and lovely. It will stay with you for a long long time and makes you want more.

Overall, this absinthe was a welcome addition to my collection. Although there are potential problems with overwatering, when it's done just right, it's one of the most memorable CO absinthes out there.

Reviewed by Brian Robinson     December 14, 2007
Last updated: December 24, 2007
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0

Lots of anise. Brings back memories.

A generous sample of this vintage Mexican absinthe was provided by a good friend. Much appreciated!



Color is a light yellow with hints of fuille morte. No visible sediment.



The customary heavy amounts of anise in Spanish and Mexican absinthe created a quick and heavy yellow louche. It began literally upon the first drop. Great thick trails with each drop. It was fully louched before it even hit 1:1.



The aroma is again not surprising. Lots and lots of anise. Hints of wormwood mintiness help to round out the sweetness a bit, but it's certainly a classic Spanish style absenta.



The flavor is surprisingly light. With the huge anise aromas, you'd expect a bit more punch, but I think the aging has tamed the flavors a bit. It's certainly sweet, but not as sweet as I'd expect. The wormwood shows through much more in the flavor than in the aroma. It's quite thick on the tongue. This one definitely shouldn't be sugared. It would be overkill.



The finish is very nice, with the sweetness of the anise lingering for quite a bit along with just a touch of peppery spice in the back of the throat. The sweetness makes me wonder if there isn't just a bit of sugar added into the bottle, or if it's just the anise.



Overall, this absenta brings about a lot of nostalgic thoughts of my first absinthes that I had while living in Spain. It's exactly what Spaniards like. Lots of anise. Although the flavor is a bit basic, it's still very enjoyable. Although it's a Mexican brand, it really makes me yearn to be back in Madrid.

Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by Brian Robinson     December 14, 2007
Last updated: October 03, 2009
Overall rating 
 
3.2
Appearance 
 
3.0
Louche 
 
3.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
3.0
Finish 
 
3.0
Overall 
 
3.0

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

Retired Brands
Reviewed by Brian Robinson     November 23, 2007
Overall rating 
 
4.4
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
5.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0

A wonderfully enjoyable absinthe

Hiram has done something wonderful here. I had the pleasure of tasting the prototype before the initial release at the Tales of the Cocktail event in July of 2007. I immediately put it on my calendar to pick up a bottle when it was formally released.



The color is very nice, although I liked the coloring of the original recipe better than the finished product. It's still a great, vibrant green.



The louche is right on the money. It forms at the right pace, not too fast and not too slow. Mine was finished louching around 2.5:1. With a slow drip from the fountain, I got some great layering and trails while it was building. When complete, it's a nice, thick opalescent green.



Lots of things going on in the aroma. Some minty wormwood, vegetal fennel and sweetness from the anise. I also catch something that reminds me of something like sweet celery. It's a unique and intriguing aroma. I could sit here and sniff it all day.



A well balanced flavor, but noticeably on the sweeter side. I think sugaring this one would be overkill. The bitterness of the wormwood is there, but it's not as dominating as in some others. I can see why this one works so well as a 'cocktail absinthe'.



Overall, this was a great job. It's most definitely an enjoyable absinthe to be drank in the traditional manner, but I have to say, it makes one helluva Sazerac too!

Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by Brian Robinson     November 23, 2007
Last updated: May 13, 2009
Overall rating 
 
4.2
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
3.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0

Oh yeah, I like this one...

Color is a very appealing, natural looking light green. No sediment. Very bright.

Not surprisingly, the louche is slow to form and is rather thin upon completion. This was to be expected based on the producer's notes regarding the recipe. Using a glass dripper with crushed ice, I managed to take approximately 10 minutes or so to louche up. It's a nice ending color, but not very thick.

The aroma is exactly what I was expecting from a recipe that was more of a tonic than an aperitif. Quite medicinal and herbal with a bit of alcoholic heat. I might penalize a normal absinthe for the heat, but it seems to fit with what the producer wanted to do with it. I loved it. It covered the entire room with an herbal blanket.

The flavor is tough to beat. Some may not enjoy the powerful herbal flavor, but I for one find it simply decadent. It's complex yet well balanced. Nice and spicy with just a hint of sweetness. You'd be hard pressed to find an absinthe with as strong of a flavor as this one. It's wonderful.

Finish was a bit astringent (again not surprising) but still very enjoyable. Strong minty wormwood flavor at the back of the tongue with lots of other things dancing around.

Overall, I have to say that, even though I really enjoyed the original release of the 1797, this second version is leaps and bounds above it. Really a great job. Bravo.

Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by Brian Robinson     November 23, 2007
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
5.0
Overall 
 
4.0

This Doubs is the REAL deal

I was very happy to see the old Doubs completely overhauled.



The color is a very nice peridot yellow-green. No visible sediment.



The louche tends to take a little while to develop, but it benefits from a slow and very cold water drip. If you drip slow enough (my drip was set at approximately 1 drip every 1-2 seconds through a glass dripper filled with crushed ice) you get a very nice build from bottom to top with a distinct layering up until about 2.5:1.



The aroma is a whopper. Very strong fresh alpiney wormwood profile.



A well balanced flavor. Like Absomphe mentions, the wormwood comes out pretty strong in the beginning, but after a few sips, it tends to round itself out. I think this absinthe might benefit from a few minutes of resting in the glass before louching. Also, although I VERY rarely sugar my absinthe, I think this one would benefit from it, if you don't prefer the forthrightness of wormwood. I for one enjoy it tremendously.



Finish was long and pleasant.



Overall, the new Mystique is a very nice compliment to any collection of absinthe. One that is very easy to drink, and will satiate even the most discerning of palates, while at the same time provide a pleasing experience for any novice.

Faux Absinthe
Reviewed by Brian Robinson     October 29, 2007
Overall rating 
 
2.3
Appearance 
 
2.0
Louche 
 
3.0
Aroma 
 
3.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
2.0
Finish 
 
2.0
Overall 
 
2.0

An anise bomb

I received some of this essence from a gentleman who runs the site that sells it.



The color is definitely artificial looking, but not unattractive. A little over the top on the neon green though.



It louches of pretty quickly, but doesn't turn opalescent. The neon green color gets brighter, so now it looks like a green HUGS drink.



The aroma is heavy on alcohol and anise. That's about it. Not unpleasant, but not too enjoyable either.



Flavor is pretty much all anise. I taste a very faint wormwood bitterness, but it reminds me more of southern wormwood than AA. Not much balance here at all.



I was thinking about giving this a 1 in finish because of the aftertaste of Everclear, which is astringent and not very pleasant, but there is some anise sweetness that makes it a little better than the descriptor for 1 (unpleasant).



Overall, there's no need to buy any of this. At $10 a pop, it's cheap, but then by having to buy a $16 bottle of Everclear, that brings it up to close to $30. Consumers would be better served throwing in another $20 and buying a bottle of Lucid or Kubler or even Absente.

Retired Brands
Reviewed by Brian Robinson     October 22, 2007
Overall rating 
 
4.2
Appearance 
 
5.0
Louche 
 
3.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0

Unique and very enjoyable

Although this absinthe only comes in extremely small apothecary bottles, and is rather pricey, it's still something that should be experienced.



The color is a GORGEOUS deep forest green.



Adding water produced some great, dancing oil trails, but the lack of anise made itself apparent with the rather weak overall louche. That was to be expected, given the objective of this absinthe. The final louche is still a deep green, and rather thin. No opalescence. I gave this a 3, again because it was deliberate. Others would have scored lower.



The aroma is fantastic. It's one of my favorite smelling absinthes. Very nice minty wormwood freshness with hints of angelica and hyssop. It's such a wonderfully attractive scent. It just pulls you in.



The flavor is crisp and clean. Straight forward, obviously high quality wormwood with just a hint of anise. Good fennel finish.



The finish is nice, but not remarkable. It doesn't last long on the tongue, and is rather thin, but it's still very nice.



Overall, if this was available in normal sized bottles, I'd buy it in an instant. I love the color and the aroma. Those two qualities allow me to overlook the louche (or lack thereof).

Reviewed by Brian Robinson     October 08, 2007
Last updated: September 13, 2008
Overall rating 
 
3.5
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
3.0
Finish 
 
3.0
Overall 
 
3.0

Just as enjoyable as the original

ORIGINAL REVIEW FROM 10/8/07: Color is very bright and clear, as would be expected from a blanche.

Louche begins quickly and builds well, with nice oil trails, and a clearly defined layering effect. The heaviness of the anise definitely contributes to a quick forming, thick louche. Great to watch.

The aroma is herbal, light and refreshing.

Flavor starts out well, with a nice anise sweetness which finishes with an alpine wormwood bitterness. Simple, yet extremely enjoyable.

Finish is light and creamy. Doesn't last long. That could be uninteresting while drinking solely, but advantageous if drinking while eating.

Overall: To be honest, I can't pick out any glaring differences between this version, and their European offering. It's quite good. When I'm in the mood for a blanche, this will be at the top of the list. Given the fact that I can get it for so much cheaper than the European version, there's no doubt I'll be picking this one up at the local liquor store. This absinthe makes me extremely excited to see what's going to be coming into the states in the near future! OVERALL SCORE: 4.2



UPDATED REVIEW 9-13-08: As with my Lucid review, I was forced to update my original review based on a host of new products entering the US market. On a whole, this still is a great, everyday absinthe. It's not a stand out, but it's nothing I'd recommend passing over either. It's still very clean and refreshing. Great for summer days. Although my review rating has fallen because of the wealth of comparable products, I still like this one a lot.

Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by Brian Robinson     October 07, 2007
Last updated: September 13, 2008
Overall rating 
 
3.6
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
3.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
3.0

A great, everyday blanche

Kubler's original (i.e. European) offering, at 53%, is a bit lighter in alcohol content than many other absinthes, but nonetheless shows itself as a very nice, refreshing blanche.



Color is very bright and clear, as would be expected from a blanche.

Louche begins quickly and builds well, with nice oil trails, and a clearly defined layering effect.

The aroma does have a bit of a medicinal herbal quality, but it still light and refreshing.

Flavor starts out well, with a nice anise sweetness which finishes with an alpine wormwood bitterness. Simple, yet extremely enjoyable.

Finish is light and creamy. Doesn't last long. That could be uninteresting while drinking solely, but advantageous if drinking while eating.

Overall: This is one of my top blanches. It's something that I use as an everyday blanche. It's simple and unpretentious. It always scratches the blanche absinthe itch. If the US version keeps up with the quality of the original, then I'm going to be a happy man.

Reviewed by Brian Robinson     July 27, 2007
Overall rating 
 
4.2
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
5.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0

I like this one

The color is a deep natural almost forest green color. Quite apropos with the Deep Forest name attached to it.



The louche is wonderful. Nice and thick, and builds slowly to a thick opalescent white drink with just hints of green.



The aroma is almost citrusy with nice doses of anise and fennel. The wormwood becomes more pronounced with the addition of water.



The taste is crisp and clean with a thick mouth feel. The citrus is here again, along with a pleasant dryness, with some spice and also just a pinch of sweetness. I like the balance.



Overall, an extremely well made absinthe. One of my top ranking absinthes.

Retired Brands
Reviewed by Brian Robinson     July 27, 2007
Overall rating 
 
3.9
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
3.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
5.0
Overall 
 
4.0

A nice addition to the collection

The color of this absinthe is one of my favorites, a deep peridot green. Very inviting and intriguing.



The louche was nice, but it seemed to build up rather uniformly as opposed to layering.



Aroma was clean and crisp with hints of pine and wormwood. Very herbal. Extremely attractive.



I liked the flavor of this absinthe because the bitterness of the wormwood and the sweetness of the anise really married well, and there was also a bubblegummy scent in the back of your mouth. Quite pleasant, with a crisp wormwood finish.



Overall, the flavors marry well, but nothing really stands out dramatically. It is a very interesting insight into the beginnings of absinthe, so it's worthy of any liquor cabinet.

Retired Brands
Reviewed by Brian Robinson     July 27, 2007
Last updated: May 13, 2009
Overall rating 
 
4.4
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0

Wish this one was commercially available again

This is probably one of my favorite commercially made absinthes. It's evident from the moment the bottle is opened, all the way to the last drop that this product was made with only the best ingredients and a loving hand.

The color wasn't astounding, but was a very nice light green.

Louching starts slow and builds milky thick. Lots of wondrous oil trails leave you wanting to watch all day. But then you remember...it's there to be drank!

The aroma reminds me of an alpine valley. Very complex, fresh, and crisp. Minty with the sweetness of the anise and hints of fennel in the background. So clean, it's tough not to rush the first taste.

Speaking of taste, lots and lots of stuff going on here. Lots of depth and complexity. Wormwood, anise and fennel all fight a glorious battle to get the most attention, but it all works so well. The only reason this didn't get a 5 for both flavor and finish is because it did have a bit of a burn, but I'm assuming that's due to the lack of aging when I first rated this. By this point, it probably has mellowed considerably.

Overall, if this absinthe was commercially available, I'd be hard pressed to buy anything else.

Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by Brian Robinson     July 27, 2007
Last updated: May 26, 2010
Overall rating 
 
3.7
Appearance 
 
3.0
Louche 
 
3.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0

Significant improvement since last review

Updated Review 5-24-10
Got a new bottle a couple of weeks ago, so I decided to update the review.
Color: A light green with hints of yellow. Old Score:3, New Score:3.

Louche: Lots of nice trails and a decent layering. Opaque with yellow and green hues. Old Score: 3, New Score: 3.

Aroma: Sweet with hints of anise, cotton candy and even touches of cinnamon. Old Score:4, New Score:4.

Flavor: Heavier handed with the wormwood, compared to the Epoque, but not at all in a bad way. The Epoque is sweeter, where this one is a bit more minty and bitter. However, the bitterness comes from distilled wormwood, which is enjoyable. The anise is subdued, but present. No detectable acrid bitterness, compared to the last tasting. Old Score: 2, New Score: 4.

Finish: Minty wormwood, some fennel, and hints of anise. Worlds different from the last review. I don't understand how they couldn't have made any changes. Maybe the original batch I tasted was too young, or possibly flawed? Old Score: 1, New Score: 4.

Overall: This isn't the same absinthe I tried several years ago! Between Alandia's Epoque and Maison, I prefer the wormwoody goodness of the Maison. I'll continue to stock this one in the bar. I can't say it's 'almost perfect' as the definition of a 4, states, but I can't in good conscience give it a 3, because it's not solely 'acceptable. Four it is. Old Score:2, New Score: 4.


OLD REVIEW
The color was a yellowish green. Natural, but rather drab.
The louche had great color and thickness, The color turned into a murky greenish white. Kind of swampy.
Aroma wasn't too bad. Distinct smell of cinnamon and anise with a punch of wormwood. Its drawback was a harsh alcohol note that really opened the sinuses!
Flavor was a definite wormwood bomb. Hints of fennel but everything was overpowered by the bitterness. It has quite a 'burn' to it as well
Overall, at first glance, this could pass as a real absinthe, but after tasting it, it's much more like a Czech brand that has a nice louche. I feel this may be what their goal of this absinthe was, since many of their products are styled after the Bohemian style absinths.

Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by Brian Robinson     July 27, 2007
Last updated: September 13, 2008
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Appearance 
 
3.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
3.0
Finish 
 
3.0
Overall 
 
3.0

A very nice introduction for the US market

ORIGINAL REVIEW FROM 7/27/07: Tagged even by Ted Breaux as a 'Jade light', this is the first authentic absinthe to be released for purchase within the U.S. since the early 1900's.

The color isn't as bright as the Jades, but very natural and pleasant. There's just a hint of murkiness.

The louche starts with wonderful oil trails and builds slowly from the bottom to the top, with a clear delineation of green and milky white.

The aroma is spicy and herbal with nice amounts of anise and fennel. Quite powerful. The use of beet spirit instead of grape spirit is noticable, but not off-putting.

Upon tasting, I didn't expect as much anise as I got. Given his notes that he had reduced the amount of anise to comply with American tastes, I was taken by surprise. The balance of anise and fennel and wormwood is much better than I anticipated. It also leaves nice legs on the glass when drinking or swirling.

The finish has a hint of the same spiciness that I taste with the PF 1914 vintage. Almost peppery. When asked about this at the Tales of the Cocktail 2007, he attributed this to the use of commercially available herbs, which have different qualities and tastes than the small scale harvesting of herbs that he uses for the Jades.



Overall, this is a great introduction of absinthe to the US. It's an absinthe that doesn't overpower the novice, and will leave them wanting to try more. A success as a door opener. OVERALL REVIEW: 3.8



UPDATED REVIEW 9-13-08:

Most of my opinions above still are valid, but with the recent influx of high quality absinthe into the US market, the original scores just couldn't hold up to the competition. It's still a great introduction to absinthe newcomers, but it's a mid-range absinthe. Made th right way, with the qualities one looks for in authentic brands, just not a blockbuster.

Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by Brian Robinson     July 27, 2007
Last updated: September 13, 2008
Overall rating 
 
3.5
Appearance 
 
3.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
3.0
Overall 
 
3.0

Matter keeps the tradition of top notch products

It's color is most definitely green, but to me it seems unnaturally so. Very bright.



Ice cold water creates amazing oil trails from the beginning. It gets progressively cloudy, but doesn't really build from the bottom so much as clouds up everywhere. If I had seen good layering, it would have easily received a 5.



After water, it turns into a nice opaque white/green. The brightness of the green color calms down and becomes much less artificial looking. Inviting.



The nose is very nice; light and crisp. Overtones of wormwood and hyssop rounded out by anise. Just a hint of what I would call freshly cut celery.



The taste is quite refreshing. Nice wormwood bitterness pairs well with the anise sweetness. No major flaws, but there is just a little bit of burn on the way down, and it's maybe just a tad too thin.



Overall, quite a surprise, given its sponsor. However, its distiller has kept with his tradition of top notch distillation. An enjoyable drink. I may not appreciate MM very much, but I do appreciate his 'Mansinthe'.

Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by Brian Robinson     June 30, 2007
Overall rating 
 
4.2
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0

The most unique of the Jades

This is a very unique offering from the Jade line. It's almost a love it or hate it kind of thing, like Montmartre.

The color is a deep forest green color with no visible sediment or murkiness.

The louche seems a bit pale and slow forming, which ends up being a bit too thin. Mostly opaque but no opalescence.

The aroma has hints of allspice again. It really reminds me of almost a Christmas-y type of smell. Rather intriguing and VERY enjoyable.

The taste is very clean and crisp with a nice wormwood finish. However, I can't put my finger on it, but there is something almost briny hiding back there somewhere, like what you might get hints of in a coastal Scotch. I still get the holiday vibe from the flavor as well.



Overall, an extremely interesting and complex absinthe. It's unique, which will attract some people, and put off some others. It's still a very enjoyable drink.

Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by Brian Robinson     June 30, 2007
Last updated: May 13, 2009
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Appearance 
 
5.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0

The best, bar none, of the Jade line

Color is a wonderful emerald/peridot green. Clear and natural.
Louche builds up slowly in layers with the characteristic great Jade oil trails until it turns into a fully opaque, opalescent greenish white.
The aroma brings a nice balance of the wormwood, anise and fennel with a bit of minty freshness.
The first taste, you notice the thickness and richness of the louche. The flavor is a well balanced display of the anise and fennel blending with a flowery freshness. Very nice crisp wormwood finish.
Overall, this is the best in the Jade line. It will be tough to buy any of the other three!

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