Reviews written by GFee
|Flavor / Mouthfeel||4.0|
A punch in the mouth, but a good one.
INTRODUCTORY NOTE: I found this Absinthe best experienced at 4.5:1 with no sugar. Thanks go out to the generous provider of this sample, for review purposes.
Color - 5/5 : Crystal clear, light, radiant peridot. No flaws, beautiful.
Louche - 4/5 : Started with a slow icy drip and watched oily bursts begin to pool at the bottom. Around .5:1, very beautiful snow-globe effect. Layering beginning at 1:1 and fully louched at 3-3.5:1. Louche is a tad thin (balancing the flavor w/ more water can exacerbate this thinness).
Aroma - 4/5 : While louching, alcoholy. Fennel on the front of the nose, alpiny-mint with a hint of a floral bouquet just behind that. Louched, very balanced, A.a. smells so good!
Flavor - 4/5 : Somewhat of a strong alcohol-heat presence, even at 4:1. As mentioned, balancing this out w/ more water is only deleterious to the louche and finish, so pick your poison. This is indeed a very spicy and complex drink, the flavors of the herbs are dancing round, here. Natural sweetness wraps things up.
Finish : 4/5 - Spicy, sweet/floral, spicy again, in that order. Nice, smooth sweetness after swallow, then a bitterness on the back of the tongue, and some peppery heat. Despite having a tad thin of a louche, the mouthfeel is excellent.
Overall : 4/5 - Very, very good drink. Drink this one only with the time to contemplate it. My only qualm is the amount of detectable heat, if that mellowed with some aging, this would be a top-shelf
Final weighted score: 4.16
Last updated: January 05, 2010
|Flavor / Mouthfeel||4.0|
Decent US offering - Value with potential
INTRODUCTORY NOTE: Tasting samples were louched at 3.5:1 ratio, with ice-cold slow drip and sans sucre. I think it's important to note some discernable differences between this bottle and some previous batches reviewed at this and other sites, particularly color, and louche. See related sections below for more details.
COLOR: 3/5 - Neat, mossy brown. Much too dark for an appropriately colored verte fresh off the production line. Marketing images of this product led me to expect otherwise. This is certainly an issue which could be addressed to get higher marks. No sediment found in most doses.
LOUCHE: 3/5 - Mediocre. Verte green presents itself when louching. Some light oil trails, becoming thicker gradually to produce a louched glass that looks more waxy than cloudy. I had to use a VERY cold and VERY slow drip and was still unable to define a demarcation line of alcohol on top. I have seen others reviews of this product claiming both adequate and inadequate louche, which leads me to believe there may be some consistency issues with manufacturing.
AROMA: 4/5 - Complex! Some grassiness from quality hyssop - some chamomile presumably from the non-conventional presence of genepy. Strong wormwood front, backed by this wonderfully pleasant herbal bouquet, then fennel doux, and finally, waaay back there is the anise.No detectable heat. Neat aroma (does not affect score) has a bit of a medicinal smell, reminiscent of ripping into a sterile gauze package. This quickly fades with the addition of water to give a more enjoyable camphor-like tinge to the aroma.
FLAVOR: 4/5 - Lemon Balm. Honeysuckle. Mint. Light, crisp earthiness. This stuff has a lot going on, and is a real treat! Wormwood goodness with lots of balanced herbal nuances dancing across the tongue. Great tasting, exciting, flavorful drink. I think bolstering the flavor with a stronger anise presence would really put this one over the top.
FINISH: 3/5 - Very little numbing, less creamy than desired due to the somewhat thin louche, and indicative of low or weak anethole presence. Slightly oily feel on the tongue, which transpires into moderate dryness. There is then some noticeable heat on the back of the throat. This is nullified with additional water, but I would advise against that for the sake of sparing all other properties of the finish.
OVERALL: 4/5 - This is a very good introductory Absinthe, especially for those interested in expanding their familiarity with different flavor profiles, and how additional herbal qualities can affect the final taste. It is priced at a very attainable $55, setting a reference for products in this price point. This one does have a very appealing taste and aroma to it, but is lacking an impressive appearance and louche, and the finish could use more oomph. Some of these "flaws", if you can call it that, could be manufacturing-related (i.e. overheating the coloring vat, etc). There needs to be less tolerance for that type of production inconsistency. Attributing to the higher overall score is this amazingly beautiful bottle with glass cork, even though the brew is so dark that the printing on the bottle is rendered illegible.
Last updated: January 15, 2011
|Flavor / Mouthfeel||5.0|
One of the very best!
INTRODUCTORY NOTE: I enjoyed my sample at an approximate 3:1 ratio from an ice cold fountain of spring water, with a half cube sugar. The sample I was given had been at rest for at least 3 years now, properly stored. I think this may have had a positive effect on the previously reported heat, as there was none detectable, but possibly a negative effect on the color, more explained about that below.
COLOR: 4/5 - The color was green, with green highlights! There was no sign of sediment visible. The sample somewhat lacked that gem-like radiance, maybe an effect of aging, it did not shine with that illumination that would have pushed it into an Excellent rating. Still very, very acceptably pleasant.
LOUCHE: 5/5 - Very entertaining to watch! Slow oily trails that build with the first few splashes of cold water. These trails thicken and the swirling and layering in the drink brings out a stained-glass resemblance, with emulsion occurring thereafter, finishing to a pearlescent, opaque, minty-green. The spoon in my full glass was only visible about 3/4" beneath the surface.
AROMA: 4/5 - Quality herbs, and it is immediately noticeable upon first whiff of the cork/lid (this is how I get the best subtle whiff of straight liquor). Comments below represent opinion after louching.
Strong glorious wormwood front on the nose intro, backed by subtle fennel and sweet anise. Soft minty pontica. Attractive bouquet, but did not seem to perfume the area further than a foot or two from my glass, even during louche, hence I can't mark it as "expansive".
FLAVOR: 5/5 - Flavor very closely matched aroma. Well-executed, classic Pontarlier, which is exactly what I believe the creator was after. Quality coloring herbs gave the product a naturally floral tinge behind the strong presence of the holy trinity, with that aromatic A.a. in the driver's seat.
FINISH: 5/5 - Long-lasting wormwood bitterness perfectly balanced by fennel and anise, with some fruity piquancy on the back of the tongue. Satin finish to the louche that was very nice at 3:1, and I can only imagine it to be able to hold such a characteristic up to, if not beyond 4:1, but I like my drink a little strong. Flavor keeps going and going.
OVERALL: 5/5 - This is what I had envisioned the absinthe experience to be all about. The taste and aroma of this drink were captivating and engaging. Since I have sampled this absinthe, my repertoire has more than doubled, and this still remains a reference to me (and probably always will). I wish I were around for the inception of this brand, but consider myself extremely! lucky to have, through a very generous individual, been able to sample such a deserving spirit.