Reviews written by pt447
|Flavor / Mouthfeel||5.0|
The Benchmark For All Modern Absinthe
This bottle is, I believe, from a very early batch. It was prepared in an East glass, with no sugar, and icy cold slow drip.
Initial Aroma: The smell coming from the newly uncorked bottle was everything I've come to expect in a quality absinthe. It seems one can, with experience, sense the quality of an absinthe, at least vaguely, by the very first sniff. In the glass there is no trace of alcohol, only the subtle sweet hint of fennel I've come to anticipate and crave. Very light and attractive.
Color, pre-louche: Being an older bottle, the color is somewhat less vibrant than when I first put it in storage, but it is still a perfectly clear, wonderfully hued olive oil.
Louche: The louche begins beautifully as a smokey cloud gently filling the bottom of the glass before rising evenly up to the band. Up until the band vanishes, very defined trails stand out, seeming to lift the band higher and higher. I've never seen a louche with such beautifully defined trails, let alone for so long during the transformation. The aroma barely changes from pre-louche, only growing in intensity and becoming more icy and complex. It smells incredibly balanced. This is a wonderfully thick louche, just how I prefer my absinthe, and the color is a gorgeous shade of velvety jade.
Flavor: At first sip this absinthe is nowhere near as sweet as I, for whatever reason, envisioned it. The first flavor to express itself is wormwood, and only after that does the complex mixture of traditional and unique ingredients begin to show their magic. I am instantly reminded of the highest quality traditional style absinthe I've had, and this one imminently sets itself up as contender to any. I find it difficult to point out specific flavors because it is so fantastically blended; nothing overpowers anything else, and yet they all come together perfectly.
Overall Judgment: With each absinthe I taste I find myself either crowning a new favorite or not being completely satisfied, but without any overreaction I can say this is by far the most delicious absinthe I've tasted. It is perfectly balanced and carries that wonderfully mysterious character that, to me, defines absinthe. I can't help but wonder if any absinthe served during the Belle Epoque tasted this good. There is nothing about this absinthe that seems "too much" or "out of place". I legitimately feel like I've tasted absinthe for the first time!
|Flavor / Mouthfeel||5.0|
The Highly Anticipated Blanche
This review is done upon opening a bottle of 'Essai 4', aged slightly over two years old. Slow, icy cold drip. No Sugar.
Aroma: Removing the cork offers a wonderfully delicate scent of flowers. Even before pouring, the heat of this absinthe gives itself a way on the nose. Once poured and having a chance to breath, the flowers vanish, leaving a strange duet of astringency and something that resembles mashed peas. AS it louches, the flowers reemerge, but are subtle. There is no room-filling cascade of aromas, only a subtle hint of earthy, meadowy wormwood. I just wish it was more pronounced.
Color: Perfectly crystal clear. When it sits perfectly still and is viewed from the side it looks as if there is nothing in the glass at all.
Louche: Sensuous trails hang gently and start to look like ice forming through a high-speed camera. The cloud rises up from the bottom giving the louche the effect of a frosting glass as it rises up to meet the banding line that stays around well through 2.5:1. I develops enticingly slow, and once finished, it ends a thick, flawless snow white. Beautiful!
Flavor: Wow! The first thing you notice is a very powerful wormwood character. For a second it seems as though it will be very bitter, but falls away the instant you take a breath, leaving a wonderful, creamy sweetness. This is a very straightforward drink, but masterfully blended to provide the tongue with an easy to comprehend, but delightfully powerful flavor. All I can say to elaborate is, heavy on the wormwood, but crafted so as to make it sweet and delicate. Fantastic!
Overall: My only previous experience with any blanche is Kubler. I have grown not to enjoy Kubler too much, and was starting to think all Blanches might share the same "twangy" flavor. Blanche Traditionelle 'Essai 4' is one of the most wonderful drinks I've ever tasted, let alone one of the best absinthes. It easily pushed a good number of my favorite vertes out of the top 5 picture. The mouth feel is exquisite, and the flavor is so far beyond my ability to do it justice that I'm almost embarrassed.
|Flavor / Mouthfeel||5.0|
My 2nd Jade
This generously provided sample was prepared without sugar, and with a slow, icy drip.
Aroma pre-louche: Very sweet, candy-like smell. No real hint of anything else but anise here. Very mouthwatering. In the glass the almost sickly-sweet aroma broadens and becomes very delicate and more floral.
Color: In the glass, the Nouvelle Orleans is very light. There is no rich, peridot coloration or even olive color present. It is crystal clear, but lacking in impressiveness.
Louche: Very pretty louche. The watery trails move quickly as the billowy opalescence takes a long time to settle in. I imagined the louche would be thin for some reason, but this is not the case. It is thick and inviting. A clear demarcation between alcohol and the louched portion of the drink hangs around for some time, and the smell coming out of the glass is as sweet as it was when sniffed from the bottle. I can't help but think this absinthe will be very sweet. It finishes a very pale green.
Flavor: Right off the bat, not the flavor I was expecting due to its intensely sweet aroma. At first I was put off because to me this absinthe is not anise first and other flavors second, but a more woody flavored offering. There is a nice interaction between the wormwood and other herbs that round out the flavor and really casing me to wrack my brain trying to figure it out.
Overall: I think this absinthe is a challenge. Not in a bad way, just that it might not be a great absinthe for beginners. As with most of the higher quality absinthe I try, I don't know if sugar would be appropriate, at least for my palate. What on the first sip pushed me back I now find invites me further into this drink's mystery. Definitely good, but definitely not mundane. I like this absinthe quite a lot. Very different from the PF 1901.
Last updated: April 03, 2009
|Flavor / Mouthfeel||5.0|
My first Jade
This taste has been sponsored by a generous sample, louched with slowly dripped, ice cold water and no sugar.
Aroma pre-louche: A nice, smooth blend of wormwood and fennel. Very soft and floral. In the glass the nose is slightly of alcohol, but not unpleasant, with a sweetness that tames it.
Color: Perfect crystal peridot. Very natural. Perfect.
Louche: The water trails dance around very slowly. Much slower than any absinthe I've had previously. This lasts for a minute or so before the whole volume just cascades into complete opalescence, leaving a thing layer at the top that eventually melts away. The aroma is weak during the louche, but provides the room with a cleansing sweetness that is not overpowering but noticeable. The aroma when finished and sniffed right from the rim of the glass is very sweet and well supported from within, if that makes any sense. The color on completion is a perfectly authentic shade of pale, milky jade.
Flavor: First off, the mouth feel is exceptional. Very creamy. At first something very "woody" jumps out, and I presume this might be the best example of a forward wormwood flavor I've had yet. This lingers on the tongue and throughout the mouth as a very subtly sweet character appears and quickly cuts off any hint of bitterness. I find the anise to be only a supporting character here, allowing fennel and wormwood to bring their unique qualities to the front and sit on the tip of the tongue.
Overall: There is something nostalgic about this absinthe. This is the most balanced and well formed absinthe I've had. It really emphasizes the importance of each ingredient to the overall flavor. This is a fantastic absinthe!
|Flavor / Mouthfeel||4.0|
The rouge I was waiting for!
No sugar. Icy cold slow drip. This is from a sample provided to me from a bottle opened March, 2007.
Aroama pre-louche: Very light, with little standing out other than sweet frutiness. Not unpleasant, but no trace of the usual "absinthe" characteristics. This is going to be a tough one to rate. In the glass the aroma does not change. Candied fruit still tries to make its mark, but other than that, not much. Nice aroma, but weak.
Color: A crystal clear blood-red. Not the brilliant candy red I was expecting from stock photos. Actually, this appeals to me more since it may show some development of natural coloration, despite the fact that it has to be colored unnaturally. All in all, just what I would want a "naturally" colored absinthe to look like, strange as though that may sound.
Louche: slow trails develop quickly, and there is no cloud for quite a while. When it does come, it flushes through rather slowly. It is a beautiful display. The louche is thick and a rich orange-red. A very nice louche indeed. The aroma while louching is not strong, the pleasant candy scent is concentrated and smells very good.
Flavor: Very nice. I don't find this absinthe bitter at all. In fact, I find it very nice. It is not imposing in any one character, but has a surprising balance of subtle sweetness. This is precisely what I wanted a rouge to taste like. I can't put it any other way than that. Very subtle, very smooth, very straightforward.
Overall: I feel like I'm committing some sort of heresy by saying that this is one of my favorite absinthes. I was very wary after trying the only other rouge, but this is actually a very fine drink. I only have enough for two drinks worth, and so now I have to determine whether or not to try my second, and last glass with sugar for comparison, or without since I already enjoy it as is. I will most likely be buying a bottle of this in the near future!
|Flavor / Mouthfeel||4.0|
My new number one!
No sugar. Slow icy cold drip.
Aroma pre-louche: very well balanced. Sweet, almost juicy. No hint of alcohol present. Nothing overpowers anything else, leaving a very subdued complexity that leaves me not knowing what to expect. In the glass the aroma opens up allowing an almost lemony quality to ride along a gentle hint of heat.
Color: Crystal clear. Very bright peridot green. Very appropriate and very pleasing. Maybe the most beautiful green I've seen to date.
Louche: The most beautiful louche I've seen so far. Fantastic trails begin dancing around wildly with the first drop. This magical display lasts quite a while, but all of a sudden a cloud simple envelopes the dance as if trying to hide your eyes from something you shouldn't be seeing. The aroma is wonderful; full of fruit and candy notes. The color of the glass when finished is a brilliant emerald green, probably the darkest post louche coloration I've seen. But really quite something to behold.
Flavor: Delectable. Wormwood is the central figure here, but it is surrounded by a supporting cast of very subtle flavors that bring a balanced sweetness to the finish. The mouth feel is very nice, and a spiciness begins to display itself after each successive sip.
Overall: I'm not sure what else to say other than it may have just nudged above Viuex Pontarlier as my current favorite. This is definitely a wormwood forward drink, but there is plenty of other flavors there that make this, so far, the most balanced absinthe I've tried. Towards the end of the glass, the wormwood settles into the background and the more sweet hints of anise and fennel begin to give you a new experience. Very, very nice!
Last updated: March 23, 2009
|Flavor / Mouthfeel||4.0|
Not what I expected, but enjoyable!
Prepared with no sugar and a slow, ice-cold drip.
Aroma pre-louche: Heavy anise. Very floral, if you will. Well balanced and smooth. There is a dark, musty, dried-fruitiness that is really alluring. On pouring and allowed to breathe in the glass, the aroma thins and becomes more anise than anything else. A slight hint of alcohol becomes more apparent. Something hints at chocolate.
Color: A gorgeous peridot green. No hint of yellowness. Unmistakably absinthe.
Louche: The wormwood makes its first appearance as the louche begins to develop. The aroma returns to the mustiness found before being poured, and becomes very sweet. The louche itself is unremarkable. No real suspense, and the usual layering only lasts a short time. The color is very nice when finished, but more than anything the aroma takes the stage here.
Flavor: All wormwood. No anise. A slight hint of mintyness and fennel. There is an almost off putting back note to the flavor, but only as an aftertaste. There is definitely something spicy and dry that holds back any sweet flavors. In fact, to me, there's almost no perceivable sweetness at all. I think a cube of sugar might help coax forward the more subtle sweetness that seems to be held back by an overwhelming woodiness. Very good mouth feel.
Overall: I really like this absinthe. I wouldn't call this absinthe sweet by any means, but the flavors begin to "cool off" as the glass gets emptier. I think it is good, but missing real complexity. A more blended flavor emerges towards the bottom of the glass that seems to get a handle on the overwhelming wormwood character of this drink. Perhaps not a great starter absinthe, but good. This absinthe definitely benefits from sugar, but still retains a heavy wormwood character. I'm really digging it with the sugar!
Last updated: March 05, 2009
|Flavor / Mouthfeel||4.0|
High octane delicacy
Icy cold water, slowly dripped with no sugar!
Uncorked Aroma: Very sweet aroma; not bad sweet, but quite delectable. Very forward anise, with almost a supporting push by something minty. Of all the absinthe I've had to date, this smells almost exactly like opening a fresh, moist package of licorice. The alcohol is incapable of hiding itself on the aroma, but seems strangely transformed by the intense herbal scent.
Color in Glass: Very pale green, almost yellow, but clear as crystal except for what look like tiny clear bubbles perfectly suspended. Also, when poured, the lovely smell upon uncorking is totally overpowered by alcohol. It smells like some sort of antiseptic.
Louche: wonderfully anticipatory louche. Very slow to start, but when it does it looks as if thick pillars of oily cigar smoke are struggling to breath. Those peculiar bubbles are still just floating around, tossed and turned by the rising opalescent tendrils. The aroma opens up nicely, dispelling the antiseptic tinge and balancing to a cold, crisp, silky anise with a hint of fresh cut fennel. A perfectly sensuous aroma. The louche finishes thick and creamy-looking. Subtly jade, but mostly white. Very pretty indeed.
Taste: Not what I expected, but in no way a bad thing. The flavors are all very subtle, yet provide a delicate, delicious sweetness. I will try another glass with sugar, but this is not a bitter absinthe. It is naturally sweet and minty. I louched it at around 3:1, perhaps a bit more, and it is so delicate you would never know it had such a high %ABV. In a way its almost strikingly balanced. It tastes almost like a blanche, but you can definitely tell it isn't.
Finish: Very creamy mouth feel. Wonderfully smooth and refreshing. Leaves a wonderfully sweet kiss along the sides of the tongue and strokes the tip with a scarcely noticeable numbness. Each sip immediately calls out for another. And once it is gone, you are left with the same innuendo of flavors as when you slosh it around.
Overall: I think a lower ration of perhaps 2.5:1 would allow more of the flavor to come out. With too much water the taste is still sweet and refreshing, but there is no real complexity. Still, I find that I'm very drawn to this absinthe's flavor. As the glass winds down I'm getting more and more concrete flavors that weren't quite present on the first, second, or third mouthful. Instantly a favorite, I am excited to try the other four or five Eichelbergers I've encountered online. This is a very good, subtle, complex in its simplicity absinthe. I was expecting something ferocious and in your face due to the 78% ABV, but that simply lies about how delicate this absinthe is. I am looking forward to exploring it with different water ratios and, to my chagrin, sugar. I only wish it came in something larger than 0.5L.
Ooh, that last sip was fantastically delicious!
Last updated: February 27, 2009
|Flavor / Mouthfeel||3.0|
My first rouge, sort of...
This glass was prepared with ice cold water at slow drip, without sugar.
Aroma pre-louche: I was expecting flowers. What I got was a delicate sweet perfume that presents anise yet has beneath an unusual quality. I can only presume this is from the hibiscus flowers used in coloration. I sense nothing bad in these first inhalations. It definitely smells like a traditional absinthe, but with some sort of sweet, candy-like secret I can't wait to expose.
Color: The color is completely orange. A pleasant, natural orange, but not red in any way. It is a beautiful, gem-like color with an inviting crystal clarity. Interestingly, from above the glass it almost vanishes completely!
Louche: A ballet of oily wisps holds the louche ab bay. In fact the louche did not even begin until at least a 2:1 ration had been reached. And even then there was no billowy effect; it just was there. The aroma came long before the louche took hold; a wonderful candy-like scent filled the area. I actually salivated. The anticipation of the louche was so strong that the aroma took center stage. Think freezing cold peppermints before dinner instead of after and you'll understand the sensation. It finishes a pleasant shade of off-white. Not took thick and not too thin. The smell right over the glass is unusual.
Flavor: very subtle. velvety. I taste more wormwood than anything else, and even that is rather subdued. Not in a bad way though, and it allows an unusual taste to move forward. There is a hard to describe flavor that dominates the drink, perhaps a distant hint of flowers, I just don't know. The mouth feel is very thin.
Finish: Gone in a flash, this absinthe leaves very little taste considering the amount of questions it brings up. I can't pinpoint any one flavor from the others, and there is no trace of anything once it is gone. The last thing I taste is just another question; "what is that... that... what is that?"
Overall: My initial concern about the bottle of Maitresse I received was the color of its contents. Gone was any trace of the rouge color I was expecting. But after some good advice, and careful contemplation I decided to forgo any misgivings about the totally orange color of this absinthe. I respect the attempt at coloration by using natural products, and as such i cannot penalize this absinthe for losing its color. The taste is unique and rather unremarkable. For me there is nothing at all about this absinthe that makes it stand out over any other I've had. It's not bad at all, but I find my struggle to pinpoint many aspects of it take away from the experience. Unfortunately it tastes nothing like a traditional absinthe, in my humble opinion This absinthe greatly benefits from sugar, but I need to further experiment with the water ration.
Last updated: February 21, 2009
|Flavor / Mouthfeel||5.0|
My first Spanish absinthe
This first tasting of Obsello was prepared with no sugar and ice cold water at a slow drip.
Aroma pre-louche: Uncorking the bottle--after fighting with devil wax for about ten minutes--offers a soft, pleasant aroma that does not scream of one particular ingredient over another. It is rather well balanced, sweet, and at the risk of jumping headlong into a cliche, very much a delicate licorice.
Color: The color on pouring is unremarkable. a faded green, not very pretty. Almost hard to say if green, or yellow is the dominant hue. While there is no sediment, it does appear a bit dull. Not cloudy, but there is no sparkle.
Louche/aroma: There are no oily trails--50% ABV--and the louche develops very quickly. One second its not there, the next second it is. It stays separated for a while, and then seems to collapse on itself. Unspectacular. The aroma is strong, but not not powerful--if that makes sense. It smells wonderful, and is so far the best part of the experience. Very subtle and inviting. I'm afraid it could be easy to over water this absinthe and stopped it at just barely 3-1. It finishes a pale jade.
Flavor: Subtly sweet, with a forward wormwood character. There is an unusual flavor that, while I cannot place, is very tasty. The mouth feel is thin, but the flavor holds up well. Very little anise or fennel, but there is something pairing with the wormwood that provides a distinct flavor. AS un-useful as it might be to compare one absinthe to another in a review, this is not dissimilar to Lucid; only more sophisticated and pleasant. The sweetness is definitely there so sugar might not be necessary.
*EDIT* With sugar, the flavor profile changes towards anise. The wormwood subsides, and fennel is still almost nonexistent. Good, but perhaps better without sugar; too sweet.
Finish: Clean, fresh, sweet. It lingers on the tongue and coats the inside of the mouth with an almost grassy memory. The finish is hardly different than while it sits in the mouth; a very nice characteristic. You never loose sight of the flavor.
Overall: This one seems strange to me. Above all else the taste reins supreme here, as the color both before and after louche are insignificant. A delicate, sweet aroma suggests at a delicate, sweet taste. This is a very good absinthe--worth more than the price. It is the perfect substitution for Lucid as they are not dissimilar. But Obsello is a much more refined product. Perhaps a perfect starter absinthe, and at its insanely low price, worth buying two bottles at once. The wax is a monster and I was terrified I'd get some in the bottle or my glass, but it can be dealt with using a pocket knife. Think sweet grass laced with wormwood!
Last updated: February 18, 2009
|Flavor / Mouthfeel||5.0|
My first supposedly high quality absinthe
This first taste glass of Vieux Pontarlier was prepared with ice cold water, no sugar, and very slowly dripped.
Aroma pre-louche: I think it is important to experience a new absinthe's aroma upon opening the bottle and give a very first impression. Upon opening the bottle a familiar and expected wormwood-heavy aroma was omnipresent. It smells enticing. Upon pouring, the heavy wormwood aroma fades and takes a back seat to something more complex. Alcohol is, however, very apparent.
The color is by far the nicest I've personally experienced. It is crystal clear with no sediment, and represents for me a perfect coloration. It looks the most natural, and most absinthe-y I have seen yet.
For me one of the most important characteristics. IT began as magnificent oily trails that seemed to conjure up the jade opalescence from somewhere unseen within. A bit quick to erupt, the full louche began almost after the blink of an eye and filled all but the top layer until around 2.5 it was complete. It's fantastic green color set in nicely and never move towards being too much white. It was so pretty at the start that I wish it lasted longer. The aroma was like cold candy canes, and while pleasant was not very powerful. Stopping the drip at around 3 or 3.5-1 I quickly stirred. Utterly gorgeous.
A fantastically blended flavor. Wormwood--so far as I believe it to be--jumps right onto your tongue and riding quickly in tow is a smooth mix of fennel and anise. I have no qualms about saying that, on instant reaction, this is the most fantastic thing I've ever tasted. It blends all the qualities of my previous absinthes and gives me a stern, yet enjoyable lesson in what absinthe should taste like. The texture on my tongue is of perfect creaminess. No biting alcohol. Although I do miss the nice numbness I've come to expect from others.
The finish is quick and clean, almost as if the flavor completely vanishes leaving only a refreshing afterthought. It is naturally sweet in a way that sugar could ruin it. I would have liked the flavor to linger a bit longer, perhaps with a nice numb reminder on the tip of my tongue.
This is delicious. It seems to be a perfect blend of all dominant absinthe flavors, and yet in some way I am almost missing having one jump out over another. I think that perhaps a lesser water ration might benefit this absinthe as it might allow for a more sharp bite to the tongue. Of course, this could just mean that it really is a very high quality absinthe with a particularly refined character. Overall, the best I've had so far--it doesn't cry out for sugar--and an absinthe that I have no doubt will replace at least one of my current mainstays.
*EDIT* So I tried one with sugar and, exposing my complete absinthe naivete, it isn't bad at all. The wormwood comes out a bit more, but the anise vanishes and you only get a hint of fennel. Not as catastrophic as I thought. I'm a bit confused now.
Last updated: May 13, 2008
|Flavor / Mouthfeel||3.0|
I could only rate this absinthe in relation to my prior experiences with Lucid and Kubler. In that regard I will be comparing Sirene to Lucid, the only other verte I've tried, and on this basis sirene is surely a unique absinthe. It took me three glasses to find the right opinions to express, as this is my first absinthe review, and only when I had a glass of Kubler and Lucid in between my 2nd and 3rd glasses of Sirene did I find myself able to work up a review.
Aroma Before Louche
The aroma before louche is subtle yet sweet, and very intriguing. It hints at citrus, and perhaps mint. I find it a more "stable" armoma than Lucid. More "naturally herbal".
Color before Louche
I first thought of olive oil as I settled into my glass. I noticed it seemed thicker than Lucid. From seeing pictures of other absinthes, I was please to see it seemed like it had more depth and character. But it isnâ€™t necessarily pure green as much as a yellow-brown tinted green.
As the first drop plopped, a wonderfully enticing aroma of grassy-citrus filled the room. The louche itself was very pretty, starting slow and then almost cascading in on itself to a very consistent yellowish-jade. The best characteristic of this absinthe is the aroma coming off the louche. It is very enticing. As good as it did smell though, I detected no anise or fennel. It was a purely new absinthe aroma for me. I also enjoyed how it stayed "green" after the louche was complete. As Lucid louches almost completely white, I was overjoyed to find myself holding a glass of, what to me, seemed to look like a traditional absinthe post-louche.
I did not use sugar for my first tasteâ€”a plan I will stick to with all my 1st-tastingsâ€”and after that 1st tasting I donâ€™t know if this actually tastes like absinthe. It is very plain IMO. Not bad tasting, just nothing really jumps out at me. There is a lot of that grassy-taste I anticipated due to the aroma, but I find that it doesnâ€™t work as wonderfully on my tongue as it did in my nostrils. Not much anise, or fennel, or wormwood for that matter. I have to say that I find this absinthe rather weak in flavor, at least without sugar.
With sugar however, it becomes a totally different absinthe. Those grassy, citrus notes become very entertaining. You can almost taste more of the fennel, as well as a more lingering wormwood tongue-grasp. I think this absinthe totally changed with sugar. Before the white cube I would have totally washed this absinthe away, but with sugar, and a few relaxed sips, I really enjoy it. In light of this I simply cannot tell if this is a weakness of the absinthe, or simply a quirk of my pallet.
As my 3rd absinthe, I don't think I'm quite qualified to make a definitive judgment about Sirene. I can only hope to convey my modest first impressions. I do like Sirene, However I find that it has totally changed my opinion of absinthe. Is this more traditional, more "cutting edge"? I just don't know. I do like it, although I cannot drink it without sugar. I think that the characteristics of grass-citrus do overpower any traces of fennel, anise, or wormwood, and for that I have to look at it with concern. With that said, I do enjoy Sirene. I'm just not sure, after absorbing a lot of absinthe knowledge, that this would pass the test of a traditional absinthe.