Reviews written by Joe Legate

26 results - showing 1 - 25
1 2  
 
Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by Joe Legate     February 22, 2009
Overall rating 
 
3.9
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
3.0
Finish 
 
3.0
Overall 
 
4.0

Interesting and odd

Curious and unusual is this Italian entry into the absinthe world. The aroma is different yet fragrant and floral. My sample was not remotely green at all but a clear and bold golden amber. Post-louche had only the faintest whisper of green tint and leaning heavily toward the pastel amber color. I miss the anise forward flavor of traditional absinthe although L'Italienne is not displeasing but the flavors over-powering the anise did not strike me favorably. The wormwood is sustained from the first sip through the finish but could also be more fragrant.

I think there is room for unique and different styles of absinthe. This one is well-made and balanced and if you're looking for something other than a traditional absinthe, then it might be for you.

Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by Joe Legate     February 22, 2009
Overall rating 
 
4.1
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
3.0
Overall 
 
4.0

Pretty Good Stuff

After three glasses on three different days, I think this is a very good absinthe. I don't think it is particularly remarkable but it is quite pleasing. It is pretty in glass both before and after adding water. The louche is pleasant. The mouth feel is a little thin but certainly nice enough. The Wormwood jumps to the forefront but it's not the most pleasing flavor, more bitter than floral. The finish instead of lingering, fades away quickly and it doesn't really beckon for another sip.

Certainly it is a well-made absinthe and deserving of consideration. It's very good, just not really remarkable.

Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by Joe Legate     February 18, 2009
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
5.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0

Another very good absinthe from America

This is another tasty absinthe and thanks to a friend, I'm delighted to have my hands on a full bottle of Vieux Carré Absinthe. The color is very pretty but my bottle had a bit of haze and once in the glass, the color was a beautiful yellow-green. The louche held a lovely opalescence through 4.5-to-1 but started to degrade after that. That's less of a complaint than a warning to those with a 5-to-1 or greater preference. It is a delicious absinthe, light and refreshing with plenty of complexity. The Wormwood bitterness is a little curious as it seems to come and go, perhaps playing with the Genepy but a bit more sustained Wormwood dominance would be a personal preference of mine. It's a minor complaint because this is a well crafted beverage.

I like Vieux Carré Absinthe. I also like the decanter bottle. It looks damn good on my bar and tastes damn good to boot. Congratulations to Philadelphia Distillery. They have added another quality product to their arsenal of fine beverages.

Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by Joe Legate     January 08, 2009
Overall rating 
 
4.2
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
5.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0

A Fine Glass of Absinthe

When Duplais Verte first hit the market, I thought it was an outstanding absinthe. A year slides by and I'm given another opportunity to taste it. The aroma and color immediately leap out and I'm happy to have this old favorite in my glass. A nice thick louche and a creamy mouth feel are just what I remembered, then the bit of bitter wormwood in the finish. It is good absinthe.

More quality beverages are on the market now and perhaps Duplais has taken a step or two back on my personal top favorites list. But this is a Fine Glass of Absinthe and I'm enjoying it very much.

Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by Joe Legate     January 08, 2009
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Appearance 
 
3.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0

Favorite Absenta

I like Spanish Absentas so I was excited to finally get a chance to taste Obsello. The aroma immediately reminded me of other modern and vintage absentas I've had the pleasure of drinking. It is a fond memory filled with anise and melissa. I was hoping to find a greener color (similar to the Obsello advertising photos) but it was barely green, leaning to more of a straw. The color is a minor preference.

I like Obsello. It is a very good absinthe that (to me) captures the essence of Spanish Absenta, rising above all the current offerings and closely approaching the vintage.

Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by Joe Legate     November 20, 2008
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
5.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
5.0
Overall 
 
4.0

Tasty!

This is a very good glass of absinthe. Very good anise and a nice complexity. The Wormwood lingers in the background (perhaps too much in the background?) allowing other flavors to play on the palate. Nice mouthfeel initially but becomes a little thin as the glass wears on. The color is a little dingy which makes for a less than sparkling louche but it is nice enough. There is a touch of a cloying flavor that compelled me to markdown the finish but after a few moments, I reconsidered...the finish is very pleasant (although the cloying flavor remains when I take another sip).

I enjoyed this absinthe very much. It is not necessarily a remarkable absinthe but perfectly drinkable and I am delighted to finish my glass.

Reviewed by Joe Legate     November 12, 2008
Last updated: November 02, 2012
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
5.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
5.0
Overall 
 
5.0

The Bar Has Been Raised.

The much anticipated release of Marteau de la Belle Epoque will very appropriately attract much attention from the absinthe community. Created by Gwydion Stone, founder of The Wormwood Society this absinthe will be the subject of world-wide scrutiny as Marteau finds its place among the best offerings of Europe. It is skillfully crafted, well-balanced and is a delight to the palate.

Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by Joe Legate     September 12, 2008
Overall rating 
 
2.5
Appearance 
 
2.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
2.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
3.0
Finish 
 
2.0
Overall 
 
2.0

It's not a verte

It's not a verte. The coloring step was a waste of time and energy. It comes out as a dingy blanche both pre and post louched.



There is a solid louche and I thought it might have promise as a blanche.



The aroma is a light anise with a hint of wormwood, not unpleasant but simple.



It could be a refreshing blanche on a hot summer day but the wormwood is not a pleasant flavor but just bitter.



The finish is the lingering bitterness.



A lightly flavored absinthe could be an excellent niche absinthe for the new market and Trillium does have promise. Either color it or not. The wormwood is the most unpleasant aspect of Trillium, bitterness without flavor. Neither of these complaints are insurmountable, in fact they could easily change a mediocre offering into a very desirable and refreshing absinthe.

Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by Joe Legate     September 12, 2008
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
5.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
5.0
Overall 
 
4.0

Canada Strikes Gold

Okanagan Spirits has created a drink worthy of the name "Gold" from the moment the dark Amber-Green enters the glass until the crisp finish gently fades away. There is much to admire in this beverage and little to complain about.

The color is dark amber-green, clear and appealing.

The louche is distinct without being milky thick. It captures opalescent well while demonstrating a strong louche. Not too thick but not remotely fragile. Unfortunately, the color travels from the beautiful Amber-Green to an almost dingy post-louche.

The aroma is very appealing with a sharp, delicious wormwood aroma up front.

The flavor is spicy and complex, the wormwood is also in the forefront and quickly fades away, leaving the other flavors to become more prominent. The anise is nearly lost in the barrage of other flavors.

The finish is remarkably crisp! It fades slowly and deliciously.



It is a well-made and complex herbal bomb. Okanagan Spirits should be proud of Taboo Gold.

Absinthe Substitutes
Reviewed by Joe Legate     September 02, 2008
Overall rating 
 
4.4
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0

It is not absinthe but it is a fine pastis.

It's difficult to review a pastis and not compare it to absinthe but since it's not absinthe, it shouldn't be compared to it and only judged as the fine pastis it is.

Color: Rather surprising yellow.

Louche: Full, opaque and milky.

Aroma: An herbal feast!

Taste: Herbal, complex with a taste that rolls across the tongue in waves. Heavy anise and fennel with (supposedly) over 50 herbs adding to the banquet.

Finish: pleasant and sustained but I really do miss the bitterness that would come with the glass of absinthe instead of pastis.

Overall: A delicious and refreshing beverage that I've enjoyed every glass I've ever poured.

Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by Joe Legate     August 17, 2008
Overall rating 
 
2.7
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
2.0
Aroma 
 
2.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
3.0
Finish 
 
2.0
Overall 
 
3.0

Not a bad effort

I like the dark color in the glass. It's different but appealing to me.

When the cold ice water started falling into the absinthe, I thought I would see a lovely feuille morte but sadly, the louche did not develop.

The aroma was not unpleasant but missing anise and wormwood.

Likewise, the flavor is also weak in anise and wormwood. Otherwise, it not unpleasant.

The wormwood falls away too quickly. There is a lingering bitterness but the wormwood flavor does not.

Overall, it is a pretty good beverage and not a terrible non-traditional absinthe.



More anise and more (better) wormwood and I think this would be a very good absinthe. There are some interesting herbs working but missing the key pieces.

Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by Joe Legate     June 23, 2008
Overall rating 
 
1.9
Appearance 
 
2.0
Louche 
 
3.0
Aroma 
 
1.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
2.0
Finish 
 
1.0
Overall 
 
2.0

Not so tasty

It's not crapsinthe. It really does louche!



The color is not glow-in-the-dark green but not quite right either. Too much bright yellow. At 3-to-1, the mouth feel is nice but a little thin.



The louche was the high point for me, neither too thin nor milky thick but the color had a near bluish tint which threw me off.



Not much of an aroma. Too little anise but I think I detect fennel and wormwood.



The flavor is out of balance. A bit of herbal sweetness followed by a shot of rapidly fading wormwood. Not much lingers except mint. There's nothing outstanding happening here.



It's much better the crapsinthe but still doesn't rate "average" of what's already available, now. Save your money on this one.

Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by Joe Legate     June 07, 2008
Overall rating 
 
3.5
Appearance 
 
3.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
3.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
3.0

A Fine American Absinthe

This is a very good absinthe. The color is a little darker than I prefer but perfectly natural. The louche layers nicely and develops into a lovely thick louche at 4 to 1. Nice, pleasant aroma but I would prefer a little more. Very good balance in most of the herbs especially between the anise and fennel. There's some unusual herbs playing in the background that makes this absinthe especially interesting. The finish is predominately anise and fennel. While the Wormwood is definitely there, I would really prefer a stronger shot of A.a. here.



I prefer a little brighter color, more floral bouquet and a healthier measure of Wormwood. Sirène is sporting a complex yet mostly balanced herbal profile with some unique choices which deserve being praised. Lovely mouth-feel and a beautiful louche add to a delicious glass of absinthe. Well done, North Shore Distillery.

Absinthe Substitutes
Reviewed by Joe Legate     March 19, 2008
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
3.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
3.0
Finish 
 
3.0
Overall 
 
3.0

A historically significant shadow

Maybe, with the resurgence of absinthe in the US, Herbsaint will find its old recipe and place in American history. It's not bad just not very good. I was surprised at the near-golden louche that first started building in my glass which gave way to a pale yellow-green. It has a herbal bitterness which clearly isn't Artemisia absinthium although the anise was pleasant enough and the herbal complexity almost satisfying. The flavor faded away much too quickly leaving only a touch of pepper lingering on the tongue, reminiscent of Herbsaint's own history.

Faux Absinthe
Reviewed by Joe Legate     February 22, 2008
Overall rating 
 
1.4
Appearance 
 
1.0
Louche 
 
2.0
Aroma 
 
1.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
2.0
Finish 
 
1.0
Overall 
 
1.0

Mouthwash

It's blue. It looks like Scope. It tastes like Listerine with a touch of wormwood bitterness. It smells like medicine. Despite the louche (which was a little weak), I couldn't detect the flavor of anise or fennel which may be there but overwhelmed by the mouthwash mint. This was disappointing.

Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by Joe Legate     January 31, 2008
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0

A tasty offering from Canada

The name, Taboo is an unfortunate choice as it conjures up images of the Czechsinthe with the same sounding name which seems to be building on the bad-boy absinthe image. Try to forget the name and you'll find an interesting, quality absinthe from Canada. The color is a surprise: thinly green but very bright. The louche comes quickly but it is also interesting as it nicely layers in the glass. My first impression was disappointment in the lightly colored louche but that quickly gave way to the near-opaque pastel green. Taboo doesn't seem interested in copying other absinthes but making it's own statement on it's own terms. The aroma was a bit weak but pleasant and enjoyable. The flavor was a big surprise! It's so fruity it could have been flavored with Juicy Fruit gum. The Star anise is not distracting at all to me. There's plenty of anise but I think it could use a little more fennel. There's a nice bit of citrus from the Melissa, too. The mouth-feel is lovely. There is a gentle but distinct Wormwood bite that comes on nicely in mid-sip and sustains itself throughout the very nice finish. It is quite good.



There is something about Taboo that's not quite traditional but I have the feeling that Okanagan Spirits wasn't trying to make a French or Swiss absinthe but their very own Canadian absinthe. I think they did just fine.

Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by Joe Legate     December 23, 2007
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Appearance 
 
3.0
Louche 
 
3.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
5.0
Overall 
 
4.0

I'll pass on this bandwagon.

Belle Amie is good but...

Color: A bit of olive that's not very pretty but quite dull and even a little hazy. If it had some age to it, I might forgive it but it's new.

Louche: Temperamental, demands very cold water and a slow drip to get a thick louche. As in other areas, it is too delicate to be consistent.

Aroma: Excellent...don't over-water, not even a drop.

Flavor: Very good flavor, nice herbal qualities that are sustained well after the drink has been swallowed. If even slightly over-watered, the flavor profile falls apart. Under-watered and there is a distinct medicinal quality.

Finish: Here Belle Amie shines.

Overall: Belle Amie is good but the delicate temperament is a real distraction.



Belle Amie's real problems develop when slightly over-watered and it begins to fall apart in the glass. At that point, it goes from a good glass of absinthe to absolutely undrinkable. This is a real Jekyll and Hyde in a bottle. The real issue is over-watering but not in the usual sense if the drinker should become distracted and water at 5-to-1 but only slightly over-watered at a very common 4-to-1. In my mind, this is not a little thing but a real concern. If the drinker can find that very shallow "sweet spot," it's a good beverage but not close to any of the Jades or Marteau or even Eichelberger Limitee Verte.

Retired Brands
Reviewed by Joe Legate     November 05, 2007
Overall rating 
 
4.4
Appearance 
 
5.0
Louche 
 
5.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
5.0
Overall 
 
4.0

Shape of things to come?

Marteau Verte Classique has a beautiful color and opalescent louche. My initial impression is the aroma and taste are a little lighter than I expected which I am attributing to the beverage being crafted for cocktails. Served traditionally with sugar and cold water, it is a very delicate and delicious glass of absinthe. If Marteau is the shape of things to come, the future is looking very bright indeed.

Reviewed by Joe Legate     October 09, 2007
Overall rating 
 
3.9
Appearance 
 
5.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
3.0
Finish 
 
3.0
Overall 
 
4.0

American Release - Yay!

Color: It's perfectly clear. It's a blanche for goodness sakes!

Louche: Nice and not too thick. It does get there fast, though.

Aroma: Clean, fresh and herbal.

Flavor: Great start! Not much in the middle but the wormwood lingers in the end.

Finish: Nice Wormwood and a bit of tongue-numb but more flavor would be better.

Overall: I like Kubler. It's a wonderful everyday absinthe and I expect to keep a bottle in easy reach on my bar. Welcome to America, Kubler!

Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by Joe Legate     September 30, 2007
Overall rating 
 
3.5
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
3.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
3.0
Finish 
 
3.0
Overall 
 
4.0

I keep trying to like it

Every time I try a glass of Montmartre, I pledge to myself to keep an open mind. So many people I respect are singing Montmartre's praises, I must be missing something. The color is fine although not spectacular. The louche is alright but a bit thin for my taste. The aroma! There is something there I do not like and it only becomes more pronounced in the sipping. Perhaps, it is the cinnamon mingling with the other herbs that throws me off. Whatever it is hangs on through out the finish, tinging the delicious wormwood. I keep trying to like it but Montmartre is one absinthe I just can't get excited about.

Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by Joe Legate     September 30, 2007
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Appearance 
 
3.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
3.0
Finish 
 
3.0
Overall 
 
3.0

Sweet and simple

To be such an unassuming absinthe, it seems so contentious. People seem to love it or hate it. Fact is, it's a simple little absinthe with an anise overload that hides the rest of the herbs. There is little more than a hint of wormwood in the finish. Despite its shortcomings, if you accept Francois Guy as a tasty everyday sort of absinthe and consider its contribution to contemporary absinthe, it's very easy to appreciate this drink on its own merits. I like the thick louche and I really like the creamy mouth feel, too. The aroma is delicious. I think a bottle of Francois Guy should be a staple of every absinthe bar. I thoroughly enjoyed the glass I had while writing this review and the nice thing is, I've enjoyed every glass of Francois Guy I've ever had.

Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by Joe Legate     September 29, 2007
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Appearance 
 
5.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
5.0

Consider the future

My personal favorite CO. If I could, I'd store away a case every year, knowing that I'd be giving my grandchildren a remarkable treasure. Another case I'd buy each year to celebrate the first good snow of fall, friends visiting or any other happy opportunity. This is a wonderful beverage that's near-perfect now and probably will be perfect in a only a decade or two.

Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by Joe Legate     September 28, 2007
Last updated: September 28, 2007
Overall rating 
 
3.7
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
3.0
Aroma 
 
3.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0

Simple, clean and tasty

A wonderful first absinthe for America! Call it "Jade Lite" but it is a smooth and absolutely drinkable absinthe. Sure it's not as complex as the Daddy Jades but it doesn't pack the hefty price, either. I especially like the sustained flavor long after the drink has been swallowed of wormwood and a warm spiciness.



Consider the price and factor in the delivery charge if it was shipped from Europe and you have to give Lucid credit as excellent bang-for-your-buck. Besides the price, it's an excellent everyday absinthe.

Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by Joe Legate     September 26, 2007
Overall rating 
 
3.7
Appearance 
 
5.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
3.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
3.0
Overall 
 
3.0

A lovely, unpretentious blanche

Kubler 53% is a perfectly lovely, unpretentious blanche. It's everything it promises and while it may not deliver extraordinary complexity, it does serve as a delicious every day La Bleue.
Color: I gave it a "5". It's a blanche for God's sake and my glass was crystal clear.
Louche: Milky and thick. Perhaps too thick for some but I enjoyed it.
Aroma: A little too much alcohol/medicine. I would prefer a more herbal aroma.
Flavor: A bit simple but honest. Heavy anise with a nice Wormwood kick at the end.
Finish: Very good but not sustained. Clean and very refreshing but I prefer a taste that lingers after the drink is gone.
Overall: I really like Kubler 53%. I'd be happy to have a drink almost any day and I've enjoyed every drink I've ever had. Perhaps it's not exceptional but it is very, very tasty. It may not be the best La Bleue but it's a fine one and always has a place in my bar.

Reviewed by Joe Legate     September 16, 2007
Overall rating 
 
4.9
Appearance 
 
5.0
Louche 
 
5.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
5.0

Having tasted 3 glasses.

Delicious absinthe from start to finish but wishing for a little longer finish. The pale green color only hinted at the clean, spicy aroma. As I tasted the drink, from around the room I heard the same word again and again, "Floral." I was surprised at how quickly the flavor disappeared, leaving a light, clean wisp of a memory that was both delightful and slightly disappointing because I wanted it to last a longer.

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