Reviews written by Doctor Love
|Flavor / Mouthfeel||4.0|
Philly's Finest Packs a Punch
Color (3 points): My bottle is a deep green, not unpleasant, and free of sediment, but slightly darker and more amber than I would expect from a relatively new absinthe.
Louche (5 points): Louche action was fantastic, thick, full, strong.
Aroma (4 points): A lovely balance of herbal aromas with an earthy component
Flavor (4 points): Robust and herbal, with an earthy undertone that makes this a very meaty flavor profile.
Finish (4 points): Finish is a nice continuation of the flavor, tingling the tongue slightly, with the strong herbal notes remaining on the throat.
Overall (4 points): Vieux CarrÃ© is a wonderful addition to the domestic absinthe market, and is most certainly one of the best values out there at under $60 a bottle. The strong louche and flavor profile make it perfect when seeking something substantive.
Presentation (no points): Beautiful decanter-style bottle looks impressive on any bar, unfortunately the clear glass means keeping it displayed where light can degrade its color is problematic.
Last updated: May 17, 2009
|Flavor / Mouthfeel||4.0|
Meadow of Love, Delicate Verte with Floral Poetry
Presentation (no points): The bottle is a clear glass bell, nicely labelled. Clear glass is not ideal for protecting the absinthe from light, so dark storage is ideal. The cork popped out easily despite the wax seal, could probably use more wax if a tight seal was desired.
Color (5 points): Lovely natural green, clear and free of any sediment. Very appetizing. Looks a touch young, but I couldn't wait any longer to open it!
Louche (5 points): Excellent louche, thick, full, and rich.
Aroma (5 points): Anise and herbs are first, followed by a touch of floral aroma, smells like springtime. Wonderful.
Flavor (4 points): Nicely balanced flavors, herbal softness throughout, I found myself craving to taste a bit more of the floral character I can smell.
Finish (4 points): Soft finish, slight numbing in the middle of the tongue. The herbal flavors remain and once again I would only wish to taste a bit more of the floral character.
Overall (4 points): The U.S. domestic absinthe market is beginning to have an embarrassment of riches with such high quality yet subtlely crafted absinthes being made available for us to enjoy. Meadow of Love is a wonderful addition to the absinthe cabinet, it is distinct enough from it's sister absinthe, Walton Waters, to merit getting both. If I had any request it would be to introduce more of the lovely floral hints that were a bit of a tease at their current levels.
|Flavor / Mouthfeel||5.0|
A Must-Try from small town N.Y.
Presentation (no points): Clear glass bell shaped bottle with a lovely label that speaks to this absinthe's origins. The clear glass bottle suggests that long term storage of this absinthe should be done well away from where light can get to it, especially sunlight. The cork popped out easily despite the wax seal, could probably use more wax if a tight seal was desired.
Color (5 points): Beautiful bright and natural green, clear and free of any sediment. Very appetizing!
Louche (5 points): My favorite kind of louche, thick, full, and rich.
Aroma (4 points): When smelled neat, soft herbal aromas come through, a touch of citrus, anise is present but not sharp. After louche the aromas are similar, not necessarily room-filling as with some absinthe, but its delicate nature makes up for it.
Flavor (5 points): Wonderfully balanced flavors here, nothing overpowers, there is a sweetness from the anise balanced with a crisp citrus, underpinned by satisfying bitter wormwood.
Finish (4 points): Soft finish, slight numbing in the middle of the tongue, very relaxed feel to this absinthe.
Overall (5 points): Walton Waters is a fantastic contribution to the U.S. domestic absinthe market, many thanks to its creator. A few years ago, the idea that one would be able to buy absinthe of this quality within the U.S. was a complete pipe dream. Walton Waters has brought that dream to life, and beautifully transforms the peaceful reflections of the Delaware River into a lovely glass of absinthe.
|Flavor / Mouthfeel||4.0|
Absinthe from EspaÃ±a
Presentation (no points): Obsello Absenta comes in what looks like a dark wine bottle, with an attractive label. A healthy amount of wax seals a t-cork. This review is based on a freshly opened bottle imported from Spain.
Color (4 points): A light natural green. Clear and free of sediment. Very attractive and natural looking. It could have been slightly brighter and more vibrant in color which is why I gave it a 4 instead of a 5.
Louche (4 points): The louche was practically instantaneous, as one might expect with the relatively low alcohol percentage. While relatively quick, it was full and attractive, and with bright light in the background some faint orange hues can be seen in the appetizing, light opalescent green cloud.
Aroma (3 points): The aroma smelled neat really took me by surprise. I mean, holy moly this was a strong smell. Rich, minty, spicy aroma. At this point I admittedly began to feel a touch nervous of how this was going to taste. So it was to my utter astonishment that after louche, the character changed completely. Gone was the spice assault, instead was a cool, mellow, sweet aroma of anise. I wasn't sure how to rate the aroma given how unusual an experience it was - smelled neat I must say it was strong enough such that I'm not entirely sure it was appetizing, but conversely after louche it certainly was.
Flavor (4 points): After the aroma experience I did not know what to expect from the flavor, and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. There is certainly mint present and you taste it initially, but it fades to the background, and to my palate it thereafter does not overpower the flavor. Instead I was then greeted with a creamy vanilla, and a mouthfeel that was thicker than I expected. This part of the tasting was my favorite, this creamy vanilla coming out of nowhere and blooming. As the vanilla subsides a mellow flavor of anise spreads across tongue. Not a lot of wormwood. Rating this objectively was challenging, as "appropriateness" is one of the standards cited in the rating system, with a "3" being described as "appropriate but unremarkable" - well certainly Obsello is not unremarkable, it's interesting and complex, but the presence of mint may prompt some to question whether it is "appropriate." Meanwhile a "4" would correspond with "correct, pleasant, enjoyable" - once again I'm not sure of how correct it will be considered as I am not the most experienced absinthe taster, but I certainly found it pleasant and enjoyable. Thus, I wound up at a 4.
Finish (3 points): The finish is pleasant, but is primarily made of mint and a touch of anise, but the creamy vanilla that I savor during a sip departs. Very slight numbing of the middle of the tongue. Pleasant but not as good as the taste.
Overall (3 points): I really had fun tasting Obsello, so many different things caught me off guard. Mint in general is such a strong flavor, that I can imagine it was difficult to regulate when making this, and truth be told I could have used a smidgen less of it and a touch more wormwood character, but nevertheless I don't think it compromises the drink. Obsello is a very distinct, enjoyable absinthe that offers a creamy, and yes minty, Spanish alternative to what you may be used to. I would openly encourage anyone to give it a try.
|Flavor / Mouthfeel||2.0|
Artificial color, mediocre flavor hold this back..
Presentation (no points): This review is based upon a brand new bottle of Grande Absente. Bottle is clear, which would be concerning for a naturally colored absinthe as it would let unfettered light in and break down the chlorophyll rapidly. Unfortunately, Grande Absente is not naturally colored, so this was not a concern for them.
Color (1 point): The label proudly proclaims, "To recall this glorious time [Belle Ã‰poque era], Grande Absente, Absinthe Originale is one of the oldest traditional Absinthe recipes from the south of France." And then at the bottom of the label it clearly reads, "Contains FD&C Yellow #5 and Blue #1." This upset me, because clearly that is not part of any traditional absinthe recipe and made me feel as if the producer was attempting to mislead me already. For this reason, Grande Absente gets a 1. I was tempted to give a 2 since it is devoid of sediment and is bright and clear, but the artificial color and misleading statements from the producer made me angrily choose a 1.
Louche (4 points): Grande Absente louches reasonably well, it took about 100 medium-speed droplets to get it going, but it then filled the glass in a pleasant opalescent color that is far more appealing than the artificial green in the bottle.
Aroma (2 points): I was a bit disappointed in the aroma, really only could smell alcohol and a bit of anise. No wormwood, and even upon louching the aroma did not bloom very well.
Flavor (2 points): I was torn between a 2 and a 3 on flavor, I can't say it's appropriate for an absinthe as it's really a straight-forward candy licorice flavor. It's not as sickly sweet as La Fee Parisian, and if I had to choose between the two I would most definitely pick Grande Absente, but if any more traditional absinthe was available I would have it over either in a heartbeat.
Finish (3 points): The finish is not bad, slightest numbing of the tongue, mouthfeel is a touch watery, flavor profile is still very simple and uninspiring.
Overall (2 points): Despite being put off by the artificial color, I really tried to give Grande Absente a fair shake. But between the simplistic flavor, lack of aroma, an unnecessary use of artificial coloring, I can't give it any more than a 2 overall. Additionally, I would challenge the classification of this as a verte unless it can be verified that there is indeed a secondary maceration process for flavoring/coloring. If there is, I sure as heck can't taste it. This tastes more like a simplistic blanche to me. I'd rather have a glass of KÃ¼bler. In fact I think I will.
|Flavor / Mouthfeel||4.0|
The hammer and gavel do not disappoint.
Presentation (no points): Tall dark bottle with a classic looking label with symbolic touches provides a stately presence on my absinthe counter and should keep the light out to preserve the pleasant color. This review is based on a new, freshly opened bottle.
Color (5 points): Beautiful bright and natural green, clear and free of any sediment. This is what you want to see in a verte.
Louche (5 points): A really remarkable louche, comes in after a reasonably short period of time and slowly blooms to a rich and full opalescence that is very appetizing.
Aroma (4 points): Anise up front, with a subtle layer of wormwood neat, pleasant. After louche a note of citrus becomes a descant over the melody of the classic trinity of herbs.
Flavor (4 points): A very tasty absinthe, definitely on the sweet side, with plenty of green anise flavor and some grassy citrus highlights.
Finish (4 points): I really like the finish on this absinthe, the citrus lingers and just the slightest hint of numbness on the tongue prompt you to take another sip.
Overall (4 points): I wish this was readily available in the U.S., a quality absinthe that is very pleasing to drink. It has the classic flavors one would expect, with some nice overtones and a finish that lets you pick it out from a crowd. Wish I had ordered a liter.
|Flavor / Mouthfeel||2.0|
An Interesting Offering from Okanagan Spirits
Presentation (no points):
Interesting bottle for this absinthe, tall and skinny, which makes it fit on my absinthe counter well. Unfortunately it also means that it's only 500ml, which seems stingy. For reference, this review is based upon a brand new bottle, freshly opened.
The color was surprisingly light. A casual glance and one might mistake it for a blanche. It was clear and bright, but the weak color was a little disappointing for a verte.
The louche came on immediately from a slow-drip brouille setup. This was somewhat anticipated based on the use of star anise, but it was even more immediate than expected. Fully louched, it looks like a blanche with the tiniest tinge of green. The louche was full and attractive and may have been in contention for a 5 from an actual blanche, but from a verte the lack of color was again a bit underwhelming.
The aroma from the bottle is primarily star anise to my nose, smelled neat it is much the same. While it has a fairly mild aroma from the bottle, once louched it changed completely. An entirely unexpected fruity aroma comes to the front. It's interesting and somewhat pleasant.
I was really taken back by the taste of this absinthe. The fruitiness hits you up front, it's almost a confectionery taste. Others have compared it to Juicy Fruit gum, and I see the comparison. However, this is only the initial taste, half way through some of the more earthy wormwood flavors come in to play, and on my palate that seems to clash a little bit. Either one or the other would work on its own, but combined to be it tastes like chewing Juicy Fruit and eating a mushroom at the same time. Perhaps the analogy overstates my feeling, as I don't dislike this absinthe, but the flavor combination is a tad disharmonious for me.
When the flavor clash subsides a bit, the mild tingle of the star anise and some subtle fruitiness remain. I actually prefer the finish over the immediate taste. The star anise did not produce an overwhelming numbness of the tongue, which I've experienced with other recipes which use star anise.
By my estimation this seems to be a properly made, if unusual, absinthe. It has some very interesting flavors that I have not tasted in an absinthe before, which makes me glad I ordered a bottle as new tastes and different flavor profiles are what trying new things should be, and is what gives one a new experience. That being said, this would not be one of my preferred absinthes to have on a regular basis, as the flavors just do not coalesce in a substantially pleasurable way for me to complete the experience. Nevertheless, Taboo is a well made, unique take on absinthe that I think it is worthwhile to try.
|Flavor / Mouthfeel||2.0|
Color: Fake, bright green. Similar color to that Sour Apple Pucker Liqeur. Clearly unacceptable. What saved it from a 1 is the fact that it is clear, bright, and free of sediment.
Louche: The louche was full and came in quickly even withÂ a relatively quick pour. It took the fake green and made it more attractive, proper degree of opalescence, attractive. A 5 here was out of the question though as it still has an artificial slant to it.
Aroma: Aroma is strongly of alcohol with some anise on the side. Not complex or particularly attractive. No hint of wormwood at all.
Flavor: Sweet licorice candy. I knew this beverage would be a little funky based upon what I had read about it previously, but the flavor itself was even more disappointing that what I had anticipated. One dimensional, not pleasant, wrong flavor. No wormwood detectable. First 'absinthe' I came close to sinking half way through.
Finish: Immediately numbed my tongue, which in a way was good because it made it harder to taste the unpleasant flavor.
Overall: Disappointing. Definitely my least favorite tasting so far. I'm not overly experienced with tasting absinthe, but from what I do know, this is NOT what it should taste like.
|Flavor / Mouthfeel||4.0|
A New American Absinthe
I don't have a tremendous amount of experience reviewing absinthe, but here's what I think.
The color out of the bottle is surprisingly dark, reminds me very much of St. George in this regard. A deep olive green, no particulates. Attractive and natural, but not overly bright. I'll describe post-louche color below in the louche section.
For my first glass, I utilized a turkey baster so I could measure the quantity of water added in relatively precise amounts. With a slow drip, each drop yields huge amounts of trails. The louche began with the addition of the first half ounce of cold water. From there it just got stronger and stronger. Fully louched with a slow drip, this is probably the strongest louche I have seen, also very similar to St. George in this regard. With a slow drip it might be too thick for some. This has a color result of a thick, milky green, once again reminding me of St. George. It is not unpleasant, but let's just say you're not going to be seeing much light through the glass.
Aroma from the bottle yields anise, some wormwood, and a spiciness. From the glass the wormwood is not as prominent, the spiciness and anise remain. The aroma is more fresh and herbal as opposed to earthy, but this is an absolutely brand new bottle.
There's an interesting quality to this absinthe that I can't quite put my finger on. The primary flavor is definitely anise. I poured with no sugar, and I can definitely say it is NOT needed with this absinthe, there is plenty of natural sweetness to the flavor. I believe it is a strong green anise flavor that is most prominent, strong and fresh, almost as if you were chewing on a fresh leaf, but not in a bad way.
Finish is proper, slight tingling of the tongue, but still an amazing amount of residual sweetness. If I had just picked up a glass of this I would have sworn it had sugar added during the pour. I wound up pouring at about 4:1, but I'm wondering if the richness of this flavor and finish deserves a 5:1.
Like Poor's review before me, I'm interested to see what more experienced absinthe palates have to say about this one. It tastes different to me than the other absinthes I've tried, primarily in the areas of this fresh leafy taste and creamy sweetness. By my judgment it seems to be well made, it is not a timid absinthe by any means, but I don't know if some of these distinctive aspects will fit with the expectations of what a traditional absinthe should taste like. Overall I enjoyed the two glasses I drank during this review, I see Sirene as a hearty absinthe that I would probably have 1 or 2 glasses of, but probably not more than that at a sitting due its rich character. I enthusiastically applaud North Shore Distillery for their efforts in creating a new American absinthe.
|Flavor / Mouthfeel||5.0|
Jade PF1901 Review
This is my first review of an absinthe, and I have only had 3 or 4 brands before this consisting of what was available locally. The Jade PF1901 is my first import as well, and I'm satisfied with my decision to order, although it was certainly not inexpensive. I chose the brand as I heard it was a good example of a traditional absinthe flavor, something that I didn't have access to locally.
What first struck me with this absinthe was the aroma, I immediately knew I was in for something different than what I had known so far. Complex, with the anise being very soft yet present, like the canvas for a painting. The wormwood was most noticeable to me as it was a rich smell that was not as prevalent in the other brands I had tried.
The color before louche is a very nice, bright, but natural green. No sediment or cloudiness whatsoever.
The louche was a bit slow in coming but once it finally arrived it was full and appetizing.
The flavor was much more complex and subtle than what I expected. The anise is softer and more mellow than what I've had before, which more easily allows the other flavors to come out. I've yet to identify all of them specifically but together they are a very pleasing and evenly distributed combination.
The mouth feel is nice, and the finish ends with a slight tingling of the tongue.
I rated it a 5 overall, as it was definitely a substantial step above what I have had before. And while I still have somewhat limited experience, Jade PF1901 has definitely changed my perspective on what absinthe in general should taste like.