Reviews written by Brian Robinson

165 results - showing 151 - 165
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Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by Brian Robinson     June 30, 2007
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
5.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
5.0
Overall 
 
4.0

An interesting absinthe. Another nice Jade

Color is a deeper green than the Eddy. Very inviting, but after water, looks a bit murky.

Louche slowly builds with great oils trails and nice layering.

The aroma is almost medicinal, with some wormwood and hints of something that reminds me of... allspice, or maybe nutmeg?

The taste is very light a crisp with the noticable presence of top quality anise. It's a bit thin on the tongue though.

Overall, another nice addition to the Jade line. Not my favorite of the 4, but still very much worth having on the shelf.

Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by Brian Robinson     June 30, 2007
Last updated: May 13, 2009
Overall rating 
 
4.4
Appearance 
 
5.0
Louche 
 
5.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
5.0
Overall 
 
4.0

Another winner from Jade

Color is a very light green. Natural.
Louche produces great oil trails with a gradual louche, ending with a brilliant light green opalescence.
Aroma begins with a little heat without water. After louche, it's ver light and crisp. Rich in anise.
Taste is a little light, but still has nice wormwood and anise flavors with a strong finish. Hints of corriander.

Overall, a wonderful absinthe to have around. Very easy to drink.

Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by Brian Robinson     June 24, 2007
Last updated: June 10, 2012
Overall rating 
 
2.3
Appearance 
 
2.0
Louche 
 
3.0
Aroma 
 
2.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
3.0
Finish 
 
1.0
Overall 
 
2.0

Another typical lower quality Spanish absinthe

I bought Deva back in 1997, when I was living in Madrid. Many of my Spanish friends drank it, so I picked up a bottle for nostalgic purposes. Most people there don't drink it like a traditional absinthe. That's probably for the best, since it doesn't really taste like one.

Color is a clean, bright, artificial radioactive green. Even 10 years later...

The louche is very thick and oily and stays around forever, but is inappropriately thick, I think.

The aroma is heavily antiseptic with a bit of underlying funk. It will clear out your sinuses. The fennel appears a bit when it's louched up.

The taste is clean and crisp, but BURNS on the way down. Not an unpleasant taste, but the afterburn knocks it down a few pegs.

All in all, another typical bitter Spanish Absinthe. I wouldn't recommend it as a proper absinthe. If anything, just use this one in mixed drinks.

Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by Brian Robinson     June 24, 2007
Last updated: September 13, 2008
Overall rating 
 
3.2
Appearance 
 
3.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
3.0
Finish 
 
2.0
Overall 
 
3.0

It's OK. Not great, but not bad.

Overall, a decent absinthe. One that can be used to introduce people to absinthe as a basic brand.



The color is clear and natural, but not really green. More of a hay/straw color. No visible sediment.



The louche seems a bit unnaturally slow, really only starting after close to a full measure of water is added. It does show as very thick and oily after that point.



The aroma is average before water, but the boquet definitely opens up after louching. A bit medicinal, with wormwood and anise.



The taste is decent but unremarkable, but tends to burn a bit on the way down. A tad too astringent.



Overall, nothing bad, but nothing great. A decent beginner's absinthe.

Faux Absinthe
Reviewed by Brian Robinson     June 24, 2007
Overall rating 
 
2.1
Appearance 
 
2.0
Louche 
 
2.0
Aroma 
 
3.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
2.0
Finish 
 
1.0
Overall 
 
2.0

Not like any absinthe I've ever tasted

Mata Hari bills itself as an absinthe without the anis. Well, it definitely doesn't have the anis.



The color is obviously a fake, bright bluish green, but not necessarily unappetizing.



Watering brings about a very quick louche, but it isn't a strong one. Gets a bit cloudy but that's about it. It turns a radioactive green color when fully diluted.



Mata Hari neat has a cinnamony scent that's a bit medicinal. After water it has a strong scent of marjoram and cinnamon with a noticeable absence of fennel or anis. A perfect impression of the smell of those little candy hearts with messages on them that you get during valentine's day.



The flavor is extremely bitter. Lots of wormwood, not much else. Definitely would benefit from loads of sugar if taken like a real absinthe. My recommendation though would to only use this in drink recipes, almost like a bitters.

Reviewed by Brian Robinson     June 24, 2007
Last updated: July 16, 2007
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Appearance 
 
5.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
5.0

A very nice pre-ban

Color was a wonderful straw color with still a few hints of green. A great example of typical Feuille Morte.



I had to take off a point for the louche because it was very slow and didn't build into a very good opalescent hue. Became cloudy, but meh, nothing amazing.



Before water, the wine base alcohol was quite evident, but not in an unpleasant way. Nose of fennel and wormwood, with almost a nutty undertone. Fresh and clean.



The aging imparts hints of caramel into the light anis and fennel flavors, as well as rounds out some of the bitterness from the wormwood. I'm assuming the aging has mellowed some of the flavors, as they weren't as strong as one would expect. All in all, it still tastes delicious, but the aftertaste left me wanting.



Overall, I'm very happy that I made the investment to try this great example of a well renowned absinthe in its heyday.

Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by Brian Robinson     June 24, 2007
Last updated: September 13, 2008
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Appearance 
 
3.0
Louche 
 
2.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
3.0
Finish 
 
3.0
Overall 
 
3.0

not the best, but a good intro for a newcomer

This absinthe would be a good place to start for a newcomer, especially included in a flight of several of the basic-style absinthes.



The color wasn't the best, with a straw/hay look. Not much green there at all, but natural, and not unpleasant.



Watering didn't add much louche. Very light oil trails led to nothing more than just a slightly cloudy appearance.



Aroma before water was a bit 'alcoholy' but not overly unpleasant with herbal undertones.



Mouthfeel was thicker and more pleasant than expected. The taste was clean and refreshing but just a bit too dry in the finish. This could be compensated by the addition of sugar, I think. Wormwood and fennel dominate with hints of anis.



Overall, a pleasantly simple absinthe that I would consider very good for its time when it first came out. Nowadays, it's a bit behind the curve, but again, not bad.

Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by Brian Robinson     June 24, 2007
Last updated: December 16, 2009
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0

A wonderful blanche

December 2009 update: The vinegary note I originally found in my bottle is no longer there. Aging must have helped it. Scores changed to reflect that.
Original aroma: 3 - New aroma: 4


------------
CLB was my first foray into blanches, and it was a great place to start.

The look was very bright and clear. It was very quick to louche, but it didn't leave a lot of nice oil trails, which is why I only gave it a 4. It did come out very nice in the end with a blue hued creaminess.

The initial smell had hints of something I couldn't put my finger on. Almost vinegary, but with water, that dissipated and ended with a wonderful woodsy scent with gentle hints of anis and fennel. I had to give a low score here mainly for the peculiar initial notes.

It had a very nice, milky mouth feel with lots of anise and wormwood and a clean finish. Very light.

Overall, a very enjoyable blanche.

Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by Brian Robinson     June 24, 2007
Last updated: September 13, 2008
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0

Monty first run - spicier, with more cinnamon

The first run of Montmartre is much spicier on the palate, with the cinnamon much more pronounced than the later version. Speaking from personal taste, I like this run much better, as it's quite unique. The newer version is much more of the commonplace flavor that you would expect from an everyday absinthe. That might please some people, but not me.



The color is a very nice natural green. Quite clear and vibrant.



The louche began rather quickly and produced some of the most amazing oil trails I've ever seen. It was almost completely louched after the first measure of water was mixed. It finished up as a wonderfully opalescent white/green with hints of blue.



The aroma began with some alcohol notes, but after it was louched up, those scents went away, leaving a spicy alpine nose with hints of anis and fennel. The wormwood aroma also made itself known.



I think at 3:1, it was wonderfully thick on the tongue with anise, fennel and wormwood, along with the spiciness of cinnamon and maybe even a hint of corriander.



Overall, I really like this one. It's quite a show to louche up and pleasant to drink. The freshness of the flavor with the piney hints make it great for both summers and winters alike. It's a shame the new run doesn't have as much unique flavor. I'll have to conserve this bottle, and dole it out only on special occasions.

Reviewed by Brian Robinson     June 24, 2007
Overall rating 
 
4.9
Appearance 
 
5.0
Louche 
 
5.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
5.0

A real treat

Upon opening the bottle and decanting into smaller sampler bottles for more secure storage, it's amazing how well the color held up in this vintage batch. The fuille morte was definitely there, but even so, there was still a natural 'greenness' to it. Beautiful peridot hue. Much brighter than expected from something of such age. No visible sediment. Quite clear.



Water brought about wonderful oil trails straight from the beginning. Almost completely louched by the time it reached about 2:1. Not a whole lot of layering though.



Aroma before louche: Strong nose of anise and fennel with hints of wood, grass, citrus and bubble gum.



Aroma after louche: The anise and fennel have relaxed a bit, but still dominate. No discernible (sp?) alcohol punch.



Taste: Very crisp and clean with a bit of a peppery bite at the end. The freshness reminds me of sipping on ice cold water from a mountain stream (aside from the bite, of course). The flavors are well balanced. It doesn't have as much of an 'aged' taste to it, as one would expect from a pre-ban, but delightful, nonetheless.



The taste and color would make you think more of the ideal current CO instead of a pre-ban. The effects of aging have been conquered by this bottle. It truly is amazing to know that this is from 1914. It's something that absolutely MUST be experienced. Of all the vintage I've tasted, this along with the Pernod Tarragona are at the top.



I'm saving another bottle to not be opened until 2014, upon its 100th anniversary. Will post another review then! :)



Absinthe Substitutes
Reviewed by Brian Robinson     June 24, 2007
Overall rating 
 
2.5
Appearance 
 
3.0
Louche 
 
3.0
Aroma 
 
2.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
2.0
Finish 
 
2.0
Overall 
 
3.0

A substitute, but not really a good one

The color is not too bad, at least it looks natural. Water brings about a slow-developing louche that's not great, but it's also not too bad. It still retains a hint of green, but no opalescence that you look for in a good absinthe. The aroma is not the most appetizing with a hint of funk beneath the anis and some alcohol burn in the nostrils. I was surprised with the bitterness that showed through all of the anis. It's not a complex flavor. Pretty much what you taste is anis.



Overall, it's disappointing that a company that is looked upon so venerably for its history of absinthe quality would make such a low quality reproduction. I wish they would bring back the Pernod of old, and not this mixed stuff.

Faux Absinthe
Reviewed by Brian Robinson     June 24, 2007
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

Mouthwash or Absinth?

It's hard to think of anything that makes this resemble real absinthe. The color is more akin to scope than a drinkable substance. Watering brings no louche. Very thin and watery on the tongue, but the burn is definitely there.

Overall, I don't see why anyone with knowledge of how this tastes would ever buy a bottle, or even one drink at a bar. It's only a notch up from Staro, but that's still waaaaay down on the absinthe ladder.

It just doesn't represent what a historic Franco-Suisse type of absinthe should taste like.

Faux Absinthe
Reviewed by Brian Robinson     June 24, 2007
Overall rating 
 
1.3
Appearance 
 
2.0
Louche 
 
1.0
Aroma 
 
2.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
1.0
Finish 
 
1.0
Overall 
 
1.0

Most definitely avoid

Everything about this liquor screams thujone marketing. The smell is very antiseptic. In fact, I'd probably use this more for cleaning wounds than to drink. All of the talk about 'effects' are nothing but hype. The color is its only redeeming value, and that's only because it's not artifical looking. No louche whatsoever. The taste is nothing but bitter, and will last in your mouth for hours if left to its own devices.



If you see it on a shelf somewhere in Europe, walk away. Just walk away.

Faux Absinthe
Reviewed by Brian Robinson     June 24, 2007
Overall rating 
 
1.0
Appearance 
 
1.0
Louche 
 
1.0
Aroma 
 
1.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
1.0
Finish 
 
1.0
Overall 
 
1.0

Whoa

This is about as close as I've come to the worst tasting 'absinth' I've ever tried. Compared to this, most anything would be appetizing.

Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by Brian Robinson     June 23, 2007
Last updated: February 29, 2012
Overall rating 
 
3.4
Appearance 
 
3.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
3.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
3.0

Promising, but still some work to do

UPDATE 5-24-10
I got a new bottle from Mike at Alandia, so I decided to update my review.
Color: A bit lighter than the previous version, but attractive. Old Score: 3, New Score: 3.
Louche: Attractive and opaque, with hints of green, yellow, white and blue. Old Score: 3, New Score: 4.
Aroma: I think I might have overreacted with the aroma in the last batch. It's still quite nice though. Old Score:5, New Score: 4.
Flavor: I'm not getting any of the harshness that was there last time. It's mainly anise. A bit basic, but still tasty. Old Score: 3, New Score: 3.
Finish: This is where the major improvement resides. No acridity at all. Again, it's fairly basic, but tasty. I'd like more wormwood, but the anise lasts for a good while. Old Score: 2, New Score: 4.
Overall: It's hard to believe that they haven't changed the recipe at all. While it's not the most complex absinthe, it's enjoyable. I'd accept a drink of Epoque any day if offered to me. Old Score: 3, New Score: 3.


OLD REVIEW
Coloring seems natural. A nice bright green. Nothing overtly amazing, but nice. The louche is CRAZY.
Aroma brings hints of fennel and anise with wormwood overtones. Very pleasant, but a tad sweet.
The taste is light and refreshing with just a hint of harshness at the end. Maybe spicy is a better word for it. Some people are more attuned to the bitterness, but for me, it's not bad. It's in fact, a fairly enjoyable drink.
Overall a fairly pleasant surprise from Alandia. Definitely drinkable but also a bit overpriced, especially since it's really their first major run at high quality absinthe. Now with Lucid available in the states, they have to set this at a cheaper price to get the business.

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