Reviews written by Gwydion Stone
Last updated: January 01, 2013
|Flavor / Mouthfeel||4.0|
I haven't publicly reviewed an absinthe for ages, but I thought maybe I should this time.
First of all, Northshore clearly does take a traditional approach to making Sirène and I commend them on that. Where most new absinthe distillers are concerned with what new twist (or contortion, as the case may be) they can put on their absinthe, Northshore chose to show that they weren't too intimidated by time-honored standards to attempt a classic. Good choice.
The rich, golden olive color is a bit dark, and I'd maybe cut down on the amount of coloration herbs, although the herbal blend is nice. Sirène could benefit from a dark bottle as well, since the light will deteriorate the color before its time.
The louche is outstanding, and one of the most beautiful louches I've seen on a modern commercial absinthe. It has a complex opal character and interesting depth and colors. It would be great on a sunny afternoon.
The aroma is a bit timid for me, but pleasant. Aside from anise, there are hints of lemony melissa and mint and something balsamy.
The flavor is fairly well-balanced with the wormwood nicely behind the anise and all supported by assertive citrus notes.
The finish is intriguing and leaves me chewing and smacking to determine what those other herbs are, so, interesting.
All in all, this is a very pleasant drink and while there's room for improvement, it falls well within the correct profile for a proper absinthe.
I finished my glass.
|Flavor / Mouthfeel||3.0|
A Good Starter Absinthe
Francois Guy is light, and at 45%, is not as strong as most others. The color is very pale yellowish green.
This is not an absinthe for those who dislike anise; the aroma is the first detected upon opening the bottle and is the chief flavor present in the taste, although the wormwood shows through sufficiently well enough to keep this from being merely an anise aperitif.
As might be expected from an absinthe so simple, the flavor is not complex or challenging at all, but is entirely pleasant with a refreshing mouth feel. Soft and floral in both fragrance and taste, it lacks the astringency that many more herbal absinthes have.
Remarkably affordable - it comes in 1 liter bottles, as opposed to the more common 750ml. François Guy makes an good beginner's absinthe or an economical day-to-day absinthe.
Last updated: August 11, 2007
|Flavor / Mouthfeel||4.0|
The "Pernod 1914" Cache
The colors of this cache vary from bottle to bottle, from rich amber to a startlingly fresh-looking peridot green. This one is a clear, pale amber with a slight hint of green.
The louche deserved a perfect score. Every now and again you get one of those perfect louches: it forms slowly and gently as the water drips into it and when complete, has a compelling depth and rich, jewel-like nuance that has to be seen to be fully appreciated. This has one of those.
The aroma is very pleasant, slightly spicy and perfumed. Not so much as the Pernod Fils 1910, but a similar floral note.
Like the Pernod Fils 1910 cache, I found this one to be a bit more crisp and bitter than most modern counterparts. Fortunately in this case, this is not unpleasant. There is a slightly medicinal twang, and the flavor counterpart of the floral aroma. The anise is not overpowering and the wormwood is very up-front. There are hints of flavors that I would not associate with the primary six ingredients of a Pontarlier absinthe. Whether this is due to the herbs marrying in age, or to other ingredients, is up to the GC/MS analysis to discover.
The finish is pleasant and lingering and what one would expect from a quality absinthe.
Overall, I think this is a very good absinthe, but in spite of the extraordinary privilege it is to taste any pre-ban absinthe, I'm wondering how many of these I could finish in a sitting before moving on to something else, like a 1910 Pernod Fils or an Edouard Pernod.
|Flavor / Mouthfeel||1.0|
This is among the most inferior products ever offered on the market under the designation of absinthe. It is completely deficient in every quality one looks for in absinthe. The color, while not very pleasing, is at least natural looking: any absinthe in a clear bottle would fade to olive or dead-leaf brown in a short time.
The bits of leaves and stems in the bottle are gimmicky, unattractive and distracting.
There is no louche at all, as it contains no anise or fennel.
The aroma is actually not too bad on its own, but a hint of macerated wormwood is a harbinger of things to come.
The taste at the very first is unpleasantly bitter and unbalanced, but tolerable; however this almost immediately gives way to the continually building and overwhelming bitterness characteristic of raw absinthium. This taste lingers long into the aftertaste until something else is either drunk or eaten to cleanse the palate.
Overall, this product has nothing to offer in terms of value that cannot be had from ordinary high-proof grain alcohol, and plenty to offer in terms of unwanted and unpleasant taste.
As for the claimed "secondary effects" I've forced myself to drink two full glasses of KOSG and had no noticeable effects that couldn't be directly attributed to the alcohol.
All this, combined with one of the most artificially inflated prices on the market, makes this one to avoid completely unless, like me, you have a morbid curiosity.
|Flavor / Mouthfeel||3.0|
Elixir du Pays des Fées
The soft fragrance and flavor are reminiscent of Kübler and similar blanches but with somewhat more clean crispness. The flavor profile seems to lie somewhere between Kübler and the Clandestine, but with a touch of mint. This would make a nice addition to your shelf.