Reviews written by madphd

3 results - showing 1 - 3
 
 
Absinthe Substitutes
Reviewed by madphd     February 27, 2008
Last updated: February 27, 2008
Overall rating 
 
2.4
Appearance 
 
2.0
Louche 
 
3.0
Aroma 
 
1.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
3.0
Finish 
 
2.0
Overall 
 
3.0

Neon in a bottle

At risk of sounding like a Pernod apologist, I will submit what I consider a fair review of Pernod. I say 'fair' because I think rating pastis low because it is not like absinthe is unfair. Pastis is not absinthe. I use a 5 to 1 dilution.



That said…nothing, and I mean NOTHING edible should be this shade of green. Reminds me of the wide-lapeled polyester suit I had in the 70’s. It’s unnatural, it's inorganic, it's likely made by Union Carbide.



Certainly it has a louche and a fairly heavy one at that. But it lacks the character and complexity of that of a good quality absinthe or even a pastis like Ricard. Pernod’s louche, like its color, smacks of chemical intervention rather than herbal infusion.



The aroma is like a visit to the licorice room at the Wonka factory. It’s not herbal, it’s not botanical. It’s candy. The addition of water doesn’t really improve the situation. Thankfully, it doesn’t make it worse. There isn’t even a hint of anything but licorice.



Nothing is hidden to the taste. What you smell is what you taste. Don’t even think about adding sugar. I like sweet tea on a hot day so I like Pernod on a hot day or as an after-dinner drink. But don’t expect an herbal symphony.



The finish is average compared to the other pastis' I've had. Not nearly as intriguing and satisfying and a genuine absinthe but, hey, this isn’t absinthe. Still, Herbsaint isn’t absinthe either and it does manage a much more impressive mouth-feel than Pernod.



I have never tasted a Pernod product from the belle époque. I am sure it didn’t taste like this. But I don’t think this is supposed to. Pernod is a cheap commercial pastis. Nothing hand-crafted about it. It’s about the cheapest pastis you can buy in the US. Given a choice, I would spend an extra buck for Ricard or Herbsaint. It is certainly no substitute for absinthe. However, if you like licorice—if you REALLY like licorice—then you may like Pernod.

Absinthe Substitutes
Reviewed by madphd     February 27, 2008
Last updated: February 27, 2008
Overall rating 
 
3.1
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
2.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
3.0
Finish 
 
3.0
Overall 
 
3.0

Pernod with a really nice tan

My preference is to review a pastis as a pastis, not as an absinthe. That said, I will offer comparisons between Ricard and another common, previously reviewed pastis; Pernod.

I use a five-to-one dilution.



The color of Ricard is warmer and richer than the artificial greens you get with some pastis and absinthes. Whereas Pernod is 'antifreeze' green, Ricard is an herbal, earth-tone--like fall leaves. The color of Pernod is loud and annoying; the color of Ricard is...comforting.



The louche is full with much greater character than Pernod. Cloudy yes, but so is Pernod. Ricard retains an opalescence that Kubler (an absinthe) has, but Pernod does not.



Aroma is weak, almost absent. Refreshing compared the jelly bean factory scent of Pernod. Water does nothing to release any more herbal aroma.



Flavor is very strong on the licorice-side as is the Pernod. However, Ricard gets the nod as it is not quite as over-the-top as Pernod. Give Ricard an oh-so-slightly more herbal content.

As with Pernod, adding sugar is overkill. It is plenty (overly) sweet on its own.



The aftertaste of Ricard is like that of Pernod, sweet like sucking on licorice allsorts. Tongue-numbing but not complex. If you find a can of soda or southern 'sweet tea' refreshing, you will also find Ricard refreshing. Dry, fresh, crisp? ...not so much.



I prefer the Ricard to the Pernod but I can't get the Ricard in North Carolina. My supply comes from Louisiana. I give Ricard a 3 as an acceptable, relatively cheap summer refresher: A fine compliment for any pastis. But please don't mistake it for absinthe.

Absinthe Substitutes
Reviewed by madphd     January 24, 2008
Last updated: February 27, 2008
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Appearance 
 
3.0
Louche 
 
2.0
Aroma 
 
3.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0

THE Spirit of New Orleans

Part of Herbsaint's attraction must be it rarity. I had to travel to New Orleans to get it. As I write, I am sitting with open bottles of Pernod, Ricard, and Kubler 53 and will try to draw comparisons. Go easy on me, this is my first review.



Color: Pernod-like, sort of a Prestone green. Bet it glows in the dark.



Louche: Slow, weak, not mysterious like the Kubler and not as opaque as any pastis I have had. In a 1 to 5 mix, it is cloudy but I can see all the way through it.



Aroma: Mediciney, like cough syrup. I can hardly smell Pernod and Ricard, but this has a strong alcohol smell to it. However, there is something else in this that is...very herbal and peppery. Yes, pastis by definition is herbal but this is NOTHING like Pernod and Ricard. Unlike any other drink I have had. It barely comes through the alcohol in smell, but it really shows through in the taste.



Taste: This is a pastis and I like pastis. That said, it is utterly unlike any pastis I have had. The herbal bouquet hinted at in the aroma is found in the taste. It's a wonderful woody, peppery flavor. Think of food in New Orleans, how unique the flavors are, even in common dishes. That is what this is like. Face it, a hamburger in a good New Orleans restaurant is not just a hamburger. This is like that...uncommon. I wish it was a bit richer, like the Kubler. It is not overpoweringly sweet like Pernod and the woody peppery touch is wonderful, but too thin. So much promise damn it, but just too thin. Oh what this could be...



Finish: Hot, dies out fairly quickly.



Overall: If you are looking for an absinthe replacement, this isn't it. If you are tired of Pernod, you will get a kick out of this, if you can get your hands on it.

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