Reviews written by Michael Meyers

53 results - showing 1 - 25
1 2 3  
 
Faux Absinthe
Reviewed by Michael Meyers     October 19, 2012
Last updated: October 20, 2012
Overall rating 
 
2.2
Appearance 
 
2.0
Louche 
 
3.0
Aroma 
 
2.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
2.0
Finish 
 
2.0
Overall 
 
2.0

Simple And Synthetic... Just Barely Absinthe

Appearance
Well, no confusing this with anything natural. A clear, bright, lighter medium green with a good deal of blue influence. Very artificial, “candy like”, and cartoonish in overall vibe. Dick Tracy wants his boxers back.

Louche
Actually nicely translucent, however very monochromatic and synthetic looking. Just the slightest gradients to cantaloupe at the bottom and bluish at the meniscus. The dyes are very apparent as it louches with all the “swirly” stuff being distinctly blue.

Aroma
Surprising... actually a decent combination of relatively restrained star anise with a nicely balancing backing of wormwood. The wormwood doesn't really balance until dilutions of 4:1 or greater are reached. Now don't get me wrong here. So far we've got phoney-baloney color, a very synthetic looking louche, and and a simple nose dominated by the wrong anise. I'm not saying this is good, but for it's category, it gives a hint or two of what real absinthe may be like.

Flavor And Mouthfeel
Just like the nose, star anise and wormwood in acceptable balance. Try as I might, the only other absinthe ingredients I may be detecting could be the slightest amount of coriander (and only when it really warms) and a little mint, but I actually think that is coming from the wormwood. Oh, and one non-absinthe ingredient; sugar (supported by the drag and feel on the screw-top threads upon opening). Again like the nose, two things do the talking here; star anise and wormwood.

Finish
The finish is a quite rapid fade from the palate impressions leaving the whole mouth covered with the drying, high-traction coating typical of star anise. It's not horrible, but I wouldn't call it pleasant either. Like everything else about this it is simple and barely adequate.

Overall Impression
When it comes to this “highly synthetic” category of absinth(e) products, you could do a lot worse than this. However, that does not make this exactly a great choice, either. Not available in the US, it is available elsewhere starting at about the equivalent of $45.00 plus whatever you'd pay to get it here. For my money I'd rather drink something authentic and attractive.

I have often wondered what could be done by a top distiller in terms of making an absinthe consisting of the highest quality aniseed and wormwood only... just the most basic beverage with a right to be called absinthe. I think that would be an interesting academic exercise. I hope to get to see that some day, but today wasn't that day. Essentially with Xenta what you have is a barely adequate two trick pony. It's kind of like the White Stripes, only without the talent.

This review is based on a bottling labeled “Xenta Absinth” at 140 proof/70% ABV. Since I could find no available picture, the bottle shot is of their bottling labeled “Xenta Absenta” at 100 proof/50% ABV. All other label text and graphics are identical. No country of origin is identified.

Done with a 1 ounce dose, diluted 3.5:1, 4:1, 4.5:1, 5:1 and no sugar.

Xenta Absinth Je suis l'inspiration 9/12/12, 10/18/12.
Both evaluations had consistent notes.

Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by Michael Meyers     September 28, 2012
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
3.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
3.0
Finish 
 
3.0
Overall 
 
3.0

An Academic And Useful Offering

Appearance
Unlouched, a darker medium green in the moss/forest green tones. Not much in the way of nuance, however crystal clear and as bright as can be with this level of coloration. I would say right on the edge of being over-colored. Louched, medium yellowy-green with some amber at the bottom and edges.

Louche
Louche is quite translucent with moderate opalescence. This is really an unusual combination of strong color and significant translucence. I'd bet that with a little less color and a smidge more heft to the louche this would be really pretty. Not bad as is, but not amongst the best I've seen.

Aroma
Along with the wormwood, the coloring herbs really dominate here, especially the pontica. As I nose this repeatedly, I really have to look around the woodsy, conifer impressions from the pontica to see the remaining herbs. There is a hint of mint and spice in the background. It needs a bit more anise and fennel to really strike a balance. What is here is obviously of quality and clean.

Flavor And Mouthfeel
A light-medium weight on entry with decent smoothness, but like the nose portends, it could use more anethole (anise and fennel) to really make it silky, and balance what is a strong coloration. Talking loudest are the wormwoods, coriander and some mint. The strong note of conifer carries over from the nose. This restricted level of anethole creates a somewhat bitter and austere impression.

Finish
A pretty rapid but soft bloom of spiciness supported by a nice bitter bite from the wormwoods. Like every other sensory impression, the coloring herbs in control. Moderately drying, moderate length, a slight “pull”, and just a little grassy.

Overall Impression
This is an interesting offering. In my opinion, it is certainly at the mid-market level mostly because of the lack of anethole balance. The ingredients that are here are certainly of quality, and the execution seems to be very first rate. It's just the herb bill balances that keep this from doing any better with me. The bottle I'm reviewing is from December of 2007. For me, it showed best right around 5:1.

I must say, though, that I'm glad to have this around. If anyone I'm showing absinthe to ever commented that they didn't know what pontica is like this might be one of the first I'd reach for. Hey, every absinthe on Earth needn't be the most hedonistic expression only suited to those pursuits. It's nice to have these somewhat idiosyncratic offerings that serve to educate, define the elements, and further refine palates and perceptive abilities.

Done with a 1 ounce dose, diluted 4.5:1, 5:1, 5.2:1 and no sugar.

Absinthe Brevans H.R. Giger, 08/16/12, 9/06/12, 9/28/12.
All evaluations had consistent notes.

Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by Michael Meyers     September 28, 2012
Last updated: September 29, 2012
Overall rating 
 
4.2
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0

Spare You The Details?... Me?

Appearance
Unlouched, a nice medium peridot with just the slightest bluish undertone, perfectly clear and bright. The weight and tonal range is just right, however it is lacking in nuance. Once again, that “I can't quite believe it's all natural” Matter vibe. Louched,
limey green with nice moderate pastel opalescence.

Louche
A nice medium weight louche that takes its time to unfold. A clear green line is established at about 2:1. Final coloration is as described above... reminds me of the Mansinthe louche. Very pretty but the influence of the blue and the distinct pastels make it seem just a little synthetic.

Aroma
Unlouched, anise, herbs, vanilla, graham cracker, honey. Louched, nice bright dusty herbs and flowers amply backed by the anise and fennel. A little lemony. It also has a rooty/earthy element (I'm thinking angelica) that adds some real gravity. Wormwood is present, neither dominant nor submissive. Like the other Matter Brevans, the pontica is the most prevalent coloring herb on the nose, but it is much better mannered than in the Giger due to the balances of the other elements present. I must say, really quite a successful schnoz.

Flavor And Mouthfeel
A nice smooth mid-weight on entry. Bright like the nose, anise, fennel, some lemon and spicy coriander keeping the treble turned up. Wormwood and the earthy element fill in the bottom end making this quite impressive. The palate doesn't enjoy the myriad distinct details of the nose, but it is very nice indeed.

Finish
Initial finish is dominated by the pontica and a little burst of spice which then recedes. The trinity lingers nicely and as it slowly fades, the hyssop finally makes a clear appearance creating a moderate powderiness and pull. This all makes its impression for quite some time.

Overall Impression
Well, this is really quite nice, quality materials, balanced herb bill. Other than the now retired Marteau Verte Classique (which I had at 4.4), this scores as well as any other Matter absinthe I have reviewed (right with Duplais Balance and the also now retired Promethee, both of which I had at 4.2). I like it best right around 5:1 since it's got the stuffing to carry it at that dilution. The bottle reviewed is production from August, 2009.

Being the geek I am, I'm always reading about this stuff including other folks reviews. And I can recall Andrew's summation that while very nice, this offering doesn't quite live up to its namesake. I couldn't agree more wholeheartedly. And believe me, I would never ding a review just because the absinthe is misnamed. That being said, however, this A.O. Spare is more content than capricious, pleasant than pioneering, and safe than salient. It would have been nice, considering the name, to see something a little more adventurous and groundbreaking.

Done with a 1 ounce dose, diluted 4.5:1, 5:1 and no sugar.

Absinthe Brevans A.O. Spare, 08/18/12, 9/06/12, 9/08/12, 9/28/12.
All evaluations had consistent notes.

Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by Michael Meyers     September 24, 2012
Last updated: September 24, 2012
Overall rating 
 
4.2
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
5.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0

On Balance

Appearance
A nice medium peridot with a little moss influence, not a lot of nuance. Certainly the right tonal range with about all the depth I would want to see. Crystal clear and reasonably bright. One of the more natural looking Matter colorations I've seen.

Louche
Louche is a medium weight jade green with impressive gradients from amber at the bottom to blue at the edges and meniscus. Translucence is just right. Really beautiful opalescence in good light, the only thing that may improve this might be a little less original color, but only just a little. This is right up there with the top verte louches I've seen.

Aroma
Unlouched, wormwoods, especially the pontica, against a background of anise and fennel. Louched, really nice balance... the kind where one must look hard and critically to define the elements. Clean and herbal with good anise, fennel, and spicy support. The hyssop really begins to show as it comes up in temperature.

Flavor And Mouthfeel
A medium weight and smooth entry with wormwoods apparent immediately, however anise and fennel are right there in excellent balance. A background bitterness with a little bite. Focus is provided by a bit of pepper and other spice. Overall the palate is not as fresh and snappy as the very, very best, but it is very good.

Finish
A nice fade of the palate impressions with a blooming spice and coriander push and a tingliness that's really attractive, all wrapped in a very smooth package. The anise and fennel show once the tingliness subsides, followed by a nice wormwood linger that goes on for some time. It all leaves the palate slightly tingly and powdery, but not dry.

Overall Impression
This is very, very pleasant. Like its name, balanced, clean, traditional, and well executed. It's a really good example of what absinthe should look like with no twists or quirks. My favorite dilutions with this are from about 3.8:1 to 4.2:1 depending on my mood. Really the only thing keeping this from 5s in the categories of “Aroma” through “Overall” is the lack of that ethereal immediacy and freshness that are the hallmark of the very best.

Like its Duplais siblings by Matter (the Verte and the Blanche), Balance is just very solid and well done. This is one of those reviews where I'm not sure the scoring tells the whole story. Is Balance the world's best absinthe? Well, certainly not. However, it is IMO at the top of the range we define as “Very Good” before we move into the offerings categorized as “Outstanding”, and “Exemplary”. And I'll tell you, the world wouldn't be a bad place if this were all that was available. On balance, it only occasionally gets better.

Done with a 1 ounce dose, diluted 3.5:1, 3.8:1, 4:1, 4.2:1 and no sugar.

Duplais Balance 8/16/12, 8/18/12, 9/23/12.
All evaluations had consistent notes.

Reviewed by Michael Meyers     September 12, 2012
Last updated: September 13, 2012
Overall rating 
 
2.5
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
3.0
Aroma 
 
2.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
2.0
Finish 
 
2.0
Overall 
 
2.0

Double Agent... Double Doomed

Appearance
Unlouched, a nice medium green, just a smidge on the forest green side with the slightest bluish underpinning. A little dull (this is a four year old bottle), perfectly clear and contaminant free. Louched, good green retention and nice translucence. Moderate opalescence.

Louche
Well, for all the flap about “reduced anise” and “non-dominate anise formula” this stuff louches like nobody's business, and fast... completely louched with a well defined green line by 0.8:1. Final louche displays good translucence and moderate opalescence, much better than I thought it would be, however it leaves a very visible residue on the glass when swirled. The same residue collects on the threads of the screw-cap bottle. In spite of the other acceptable visual characteristics, I feel this residue problem has to be addressed, and I can't think of a more appropriate place to do so than this category. So I am going to give a score of 3 to what might otherwise arguably be a 4, to account for the evidence of some included sweetener, or more likely resin, or both.

Aroma
Unlouched, anise, wormwood, and cinnamon. Louched, an overall confectionery presence that portends substantial sweetness. When I catch it just right after swirling, I can detect a quickly fleeting whiff of wormwood. I've been nosing hard for 15 or so minutes now. Occasionally I think I detect something like licorice root, mint, cinnamon, or pontica for just the briefest moment, but it disappears in a nanosecond behind the cloak of artificial-smelling sweetener that dominates.

Flavor And Mouthfeel
A smooth mid-weight entry with an odd combination of artificial-tasting sweetness, bitter, cinnamon spicy, and not much else. I honestly wonder if I would identify this as absinthe if I were blindfolded. Mid-palate mouthfeel and flavors have an eerie hollow and artificial quality about them. Warmed up, it's almost candy-like and slightly minty.

Finish
Really the same as the palate, and hangs around a good long time. Not pleasant, not ultra-painful, slightly unclean. What characteristics it displays seem in conflict with each other. If I pay attention to the finish long enough, I can barely detect wormwood when I smack my tongue against the roof of my mouth.

Overall Impression
Odd... very little in common with traditional Franco-Swiss absinthe. After a couple of good long looks at this, I guess I've concluded that it is probably identifiable as an attempt at absinthe, but not a very successful one (hence the dominance of 2s in my scoring). What authentic absinthe elements I can detect, while not of abjectly poor quality (I have tasted worse), certainly are not of exemplary quality either.

This is a product that seems to try to straddle the line between authentic and impostor. The trouble is it is likely to do justice to neither. And from what I see (or more accurately, what I'm not seeing of it) on the net, it seems its fate is already sealed. Try to live both lives and the true aficionados will not embrace it due to its peculiarities and deficiencies, and the consumer of impostor products is likely to find it to be overly complicated and challenging.

Done with a 1 ounce dose, diluted 3.5:1, 3.8:1, and 4:1 and no sugar.

Absinthe Mata Hari, 9/1/12, 9/12/12.
Both evaluations had consistent notes.

Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by Michael Meyers     August 12, 2012
Last updated: August 13, 2012
Overall rating 
 
3.2
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
3.0
Aroma 
 
3.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
3.0
Finish 
 
3.0
Overall 
 
3.0

Live To Fight Another Day

Appearance
Unlouched, a nice light-medium peridot with no discernible haze or sediment. Very natural looking. Louched, good green retention with little nuance or gradient in color.

Louche
Good green retention, however very monochromatic. The louche, on the border of opaque, displays gradients to just the slightest orange at the bottom and blue at the meniscus, hardly anything I would call opalescence. The surface appearance, while not chalky, exhibits no brilliance or sheen one expects to see in top offerings.

Aroma
Unlouched, a pleasant anise and herbal tone with a confectionery tinge. Louched, overall very dark, badiane (star anise) predominates. As a result, the nose is very monolithic in total character. Besides the star anise, I can detect some nice wormwoods (absinthium and pontica), but not much else (and I'm sure other things are there). On the whole, I wouldn't mistake this for anything other than absinthe, but it's really not distinguished in any way.

Flavor And Mouthfeel
A fairly big and heavy sense of weight on entry. The initial impression, much like the nose is very monolithic. Take the time to taste “hard” and it's detectable that other herbs besides the quality wormwoods and anise are present, but it's a lot of work. They're just getting walked all over by the star anise. The big and heavy theme continues throughout the glass with a building prickliness on the palate and not a trace of “spirity” sensation whatsoever, and this at a ratio of 5:1 (its best presentation, IMO).

Finish
A linear fade of most of the palate impressions leaving the entire mouth coated with a mid-grained powderiness, flavors, and drying redolent of Valentine's Day conversation hearts, backed by some wormwood bitterness. All in all a little better finish than many other absinthes with strong star anise profiles, probably a testament to the quality of the other underlying ingredients. Fair length.

Overall Impression
The way I see it, this Swedish verte is pretty average. However I'm rather charmed by it and I want to like it. Why, you might ask? Well, it's because of what I believe I can see in the intent of this effort. Because of the quality and balances of the herbs (other than the star anise) I am able to detect here, it is obvious to me that the people who produced this are making what they believe to be an honest and accurate representation of the beverage. That's a completely different thing than the somewhat similar (but inferior) offerings from some others (who know better, BTW) where it is obvious they are only in it to profiteer. I'll root for a less than par, but honorable, effort any day over a cynical one. Whether or not this has the potential to ever be great, who knows? That's up to its creators. But I think with some minor tweaking (mainly in the elimination of much of the star anise) it stands a chance of being solidly in the range of better mid-market products.

Valkyries... escorts of the damned or “escorts” of the “damned lucky”? I dunno... But if I were one, I'd make sure that Göran Bauerle and Henrik Larsson continue on their quest, and that Valkyria lives to fight another day.

Done with a 1 ounce dose, diluted 4.5:1, 5:1 and no sugar.

Absinthe Valkyria, 08/05/12, 8/12/12.
Both evaluations had consistent notes.

My most appreciative thanks to the generous WS member who provided the samples.

Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by Michael Meyers     June 23, 2012
Last updated: August 07, 2012
Overall rating 
 
1.3
Appearance 
 
3.0
Louche 
 
1.0
Aroma 
 
1.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
1.0
Finish 
 
1.0
Overall 
 
1.0

Knarr Knarr Hey Hey Kiss This Goodbye

I hate to be the spoiler on my own review, but I'm telling you all in advance how shockingly bad this product is because I am going to explain my reasoning for my scoring as we go along here. I'll list, by category, the scoring tips most potentially applicable and my reason(s) for my decisions.

Appearance
Dark mossy green, looks clear. Hard to tell about haze, it would be very easy to hide in this level of coloration. Way too dark and over-colored.

2 = Artificial looking, substandard or deficient.
3 = Acceptable, but hazy/contaminated, too light or dark.
4 = Correct, clear, bright, natural, attractive.

Although natural looking, it isn't correct, bright, or attractive. This absinthe is simply far too over-colored, so a 3.

Louche
That would be basically none. I can read my computer screen through any part of an absinthe glass of this. Properly diluted, it looks like a watered down version of its unlouched self.

1 = None.
2 = Very slight, almost none.

Even though this exhibits the slightest, slightest haziness after water, it is nothing I would call a louche. There are plenty of other liquids that don't louche that exhibit haziness after water, as well. None is none. It's a 1.

Aroma
Unlouched, unlike anything I've ever experienced in a proper absinthe (no anise, just for one thing). Louched (watered), a slight green tea smell wrapped in a significant weediness. Smells like five year old dried parsley.

1 = Inappropriate, unpleasant, or predominately alcohol.
2 = Too weak/strong, peculiar, or very unbalanced.

Even though this is “Too weak/strong, peculiar, or very unbalanced” (probably all of those), it exceeds those substandard qualities by being inappropriate and unpleasant. This simply does not smell at all like proper absinthe. Inappropriate wins.

Flavor And Mouthfeel
I could try to describe this, but what's the point? Bitter, weedy, and generally unpleasant. Mouthfeel is thin and watery. Nothing like authentic absinthe.

1 = Unpleasant or inappropriate.
2 = Highly flawed, very unbalanced, or peculiar.

This is the same reasoning as “Aroma”. What flavors and mouthfeel this does display are just all wrong for absinthe. Inappropriate and unpleasant wins again.

Finish
A slightly astringent impression of the old parsley, some ragged bitterness, and very tired mint. This is no place I want to be.

1 = Uncharacteristic, off-putting, or offensive.
2 = Recedes quickly, or lingers unpleasantly.

Again, very similar to the last two categories. Yes, it does “linger unpleasantly”, but it does that in a completely uncharacteristic and off-putting style not consistent with authentic absinthe.

Overall Impression
This makes me wonder if the maker has ever tasted an authentic absinthe. If so, why did they make this? I spit out every mouthful since I really was afraid to swallow it. As I was squooshing it around my mouth, every time it got near my back palate, I almost gagged.

1 = Unacceptable.
2 = Barely acceptable, needs major improvement.

Actually, a score of 2 here was never in consideration because I think to be “barely acceptable” the product would have to, at the very least, show the fundamentals of absinthe which are anise, wormwood, and probably fennel as well, even if the quality were very poor. Yes, it needs major improvement, but it would be a major improvement if it were to just get to the level of a score of 2.

Well, if you've made it to this point you now know far more about this offering than you need to. And I've spent far more time than warranted. As I've typed this I have continued to sip and spit because I am so incredulous that someone could miss the mark this badly. But now I'm kissing this goodbye, and I suggest you move on too. Nothing to taste here.

Done with a 1 ounce dose, diluted 4.5:1, 5:1 and no sugar.

Absinthe Knarr, 06/23/12.
At this score level, will not do multiple evaluations.

My most appreciative thanks to the generous WS member who provided the samples.

Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by Michael Meyers     May 29, 2012
Overall rating 
 
4.4
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0

Just Wait Till This Cat Lands On Its Feet

Appearance
Unlouched, a light-light-medium peridot with an overall slight yellow wash. Just a little pallid. Perfectly clear, bright, and contaminant free. Louched, significant retention of what is a somewhat lighter coloration. Beautiful. Light medium yellowish green with bluish hints at the edges and meniscus.

Louche
A very pretty louche on the opaque end of the translucent spectrum. No real opalescence as a result. A beautiful sheen however. Very pearl-like and very “glassy” looking.

Aroma
Prelouche, fennel, anise and other herbs, with a slight earthiness, in that order. Louched, a very balanced presentation of the wormwoods and other finishing herbs supported by the fennel/anise duo. Slightly minty with hints of oregano, conifer, flowers and something just a little earthy/rooty. Wonderfully complex and immediate. Nothing really dominates and so impressions seem to change with each schnoz-full.

Flavor And Mouthfeel
Smooth, silky mid-weight on entry with very good balance (there's that word again). Spice and pepper then ramp up as the wormwood begins working over the entire palate. Just like the nose, the fennel and anise are in good support but don't dominate. Lots of little nuances and details continually trading places. The overall tone is very assertive. My only real nit to pick is that it displays an overabundance of fine grained powderiness, bordering on graininess, on the entire palate with time in the mouth.

Finish
Wow! An even greater bloom of spice and pepper than on the palate. The anethole sources (fennel and anise) kick in to create a nice little tingle. A little mintiness provides a cooling waft and the wormwoods demonstrating why this is absinthe. The finish goes on seemingly forever with the only deficit being the aforementioned “powderiness” that has built on the palate with each sip and is now a little overbearing and unclean feeling. It's a shame because all the aroma and flavor impressions are so nice. If not for this, the finish would score an easy 5.

Overall Impression
A very nice offering. Very balanced, ultra high-quality herbs, everything right where it belongs. My favorite dilution is right around 5:1 where I think the combination of anethole and pepper, while still amply present, settle down to let me see the other herbs and flowers. The only thing holding this back from getting a really top tier Total Score is the graininess that builds and coats the entire palate. It unfortunately is the final impression, and right now it just prevents the perception of real elegance and refreshment.

Something tells me, however, that this characteristic is likely to fall out and this absinthe will further refine with some more age. How much age? Well that's hard to say. But knowing the brain trust behind this I'd be surprised if it didn't happen. Several have observed the distinct changes this very interesting absinthe has made in the first few days of being opened, so there is no reason to believe that more won't occur. My senses say this is just it's second life. That makes seven to go. I'll keep you posted.

Done with a 1 ounce dose, diluted 4.5:1, 5:1, and 5.5:1 and no sugar.

Blues Cat Absinthe Superieure, 5/12/12, 5/13/12, 5/14/12, 5/19/12, 5/20/12, 5/26/12
All evaluations had consistent notes.

Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by Michael Meyers     May 29, 2012
Overall rating 
 
4.1
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
5.0
Overall 
 
4.0

About As Blanche As Blanche Can Be

Appearance
Unlouched, crystal clear and contaminant free and just a little silvery. Louched, Nice milky white with just the barest platinum tinge.

Louche
A very nice blanche louche. Milky white with a platinum undertone and beautiful sheen. Translucent, but minimally so. Opalescence is somewhat restrained as a result.

Aroma
Neat, the grape base is quite evident, backed by a melange of very balanced herbals. Louched, a dark profile dominated by wormwood, pontica and other herbs. Anise and fennel are in a supportive role. In general, however, very balanced with nothing out of proportion. The more subtle complexities show themselves as it warms.

Flavor And Mouthfeel
Smooth, silky, and round on entry. And just like the nose, very balanced. Anise and fennel are set back just a bit, with all the “green” and “tan” stuff doing the heavy lifting. Focus is provided by a hint of spice/pepper/lemon/mint that works away especially at the edges of the tongue.

Finish
A nice slow bloom of pepper and spice, combined with an even slower bloom of the anethole sources, the first strong evidence of the anise and fennel. Seriously, these really do happen at two different paces. The wormwoods are really showing as it warms. Beautiful. This finish is what this absinthe is all about and it really gets 'er done. Fresh, clean, and very long. A great range of impressions, dark to bright. The entire palate is left with a fine powdery sensation with very gentle pull.

Overall Impression
A very nice, complete blanche with excellent mouthfeel. Solid. Just a little more impressive than some of the “la bleue” styles that rely a little too heavily on the anise/fennel combo. This is high quality and very clean. My favorite dilution is right around 4:1, but slightly lesser dilutions really provide some zing. While finishing up this review, I've been randomly searching some other things on the web for quite some time, and the finish is still hanging in there. That's pretty impressive.

I've commented two or three times in my reviews of vertes that some particular example should serve as the prototype. I've never done that with a blanche... until now. This is the mold, the model. The Venus de Milo, The Mona Lisa, The Persephone.

Done with a 1 ounce dose, diluted 3:1, 3.5:1, 4:1 and no sugar.

Absinthe Duplais Blanche 10/23/11, 4/21/12, 4/28/12, 5/25/12.
All evaluations had consistent notes.

Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by Michael Meyers     April 01, 2012
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
5.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
5.0
Overall 
 
4.0

Suitte!

Appearance
Unlouched, a light yellow-washed green, not quite peridot. Actually a little closer to celadon, with just a hint of bluish influence. Crystal clear, clean, and bright. Louched, “cream of celery” with very nice amber, light rose, yellow, and blue highlights.

Louche
Just the right weight with just the right translucence to really light things up. Overall a pretty greenish yellow with colorful refractions that augment the beauty. Gorgeous sheen, very pearl-like. And while I no longer make a big deal of “action”, I would be remiss if I didn't comment that the show getting there is about as good as it gets.

Aroma
Unlouched, anise/fennel with high quality herbal notes, and a slightly spicy confectionery tinge. Louched, wormwood, pontica, and hyssop up front with very good support from the balance of the trinity. Picking out the individual components is difficult due to the fine balance. A savory spiciness. Probably the cleanest base of the Jade bottles I've had. As it warms it becomes a little earthier and the hyssop just sings.

Flavor And Mouthfeel
Texture is the first big impression upon entry. It's firm and round, but clean, smooth, and silky. A really nice balance that only the finest beverages achieve. A very balanced expression of the trinity with just a little push in the spice and mint area, which is restrained until the finish. The anethole sources lend just the right support to the first rate wormwood and only really show their hand after significant sqooshing around the mouth, and on the finish. This is all wrapped by a little lemon and more mint to really tighten the focus.

Finish
Subtle pull and slight drying followed by a pretty good bloom of spice and a fine tingliness. This segues to soft wormwood, powderiness, and really good length. I could continue to chew on this finish for minutes.

Overall Impression
Another Jade winner. A very serious style. Nice profile, great texture, hard to fault. An assertive masculine style that doesn't go overboard. This is a local friend's favorite Jade, and it's easy to see why. This review is based on a bottle of September 2007 production that has been open about three years now. My favorite dilution in right in the 4.5:1 area, give or take a little, depending on my mood. When I'm in that mood for something spicy and slightly exotic, this never fails to satisfy.

Done with a 1 ounce dose, diluted 4:1, 4.5:1, 5:1 and no sugar.

Jade Verte Suisse, 6/25/11, 7/09/11, 2/10/12, 2/11/12, 4/01/12.
All evaluations had consistent notes.

Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by Michael Meyers     February 12, 2012
Last updated: June 18, 2012
Overall rating 
 
3.5
Appearance 
 
3.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
3.0
Overall 
 
3.0

Hitting On All Two Cylinders

Appearance
Unlouched, medium forest green with glints of olive drab. More natural looking than most Matter offerings. A quite heavy level of color, however perfectly clear and bright for this level. Louched, olive green with some rosy amber at the base of the glass and slight hints of blue at the edges.

Louche
Quite thick and as close to opaque as I would want to see. Quite quick to form. Just the slightest glints of opalescence, some blue, yellow, but mostly the typical amber glow at the bottom of an absinthe glass. Any more opaque, and this would be a 3.

Aroma
Neat, some anise and fennel with a strong blast of pontica. Louched, the coloring herbs talking the loudest. Wormwood, pontica, hyssop, and a little mint up front. Anise and fennel in a supporting role. A very clean base. Hyssop and some flowers become even more apparent as it warms.

Flavor
Once again, the coloring herbs in command. Pontica, mint, wormwood up front. Anise and fennel, like the nose, are present and in decent support. Underlying spice, and a minty/citric tang on the mid-palate. The spice really ramps up as it warms. If not for a slightly grainy mouthfeel (once again, the coloring herbs having their way), it would be a solid 4. The mouthfeel roughens it just enough that I would call this a soft 4.

Finish
A nice straight-line fade of all the palate sensations. A slight drying, and the graininess becoming dominate as the finish lingers. While there's nothing wrong with the flavors, this lingering texture is a little unclean. The hyssop has the final say as this lingers for quite some time.

Overall
A perfectly acceptable offering. I rather like it, but the deficits stemming from the heavy coloration can't be ignored. It's mostly in the area of visual aesthetics and mouthfeel, and the textural coarseness of this really does diminish my enjoyment. Due to these effects, I find it best at dilutions from 4.5:1 to 5:1. However, for anyone that really enjoys an herbal forward absinthe, this just may be for you.

Years ago, I had the pleasure of having both a Harley Davidson and a BMW in-line triple at the same time. Both were tremendously enjoyable. The BMW did everything it could to insulate one from the process of internal combustion, and the HD did everything it could to immerse one in it. It always reminded me of the first time my dad let me push the lawn mower. If someone had put a gun to my head and said "one's gotta' go", guess which would have survived? It's not always refinement that is the most enjoyable, and if the aim here is to capture the vibe of the big twins, I'd say Twin Tec's hitting on all two cylinders.

Done with a 1 ounce dose, diluted 4.2:1, 4.5:1, 5:1 and no sugar.

Twin Tec 10/23/10, 7/03/11, 2/12/12.
All evaluations had consistent notes.

Retired Brands
Reviewed by Michael Meyers     February 05, 2012
Last updated: June 24, 2012
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
5.0
Overall 
 
4.0

L'ate To The Party

Appearance
Unlouched, a light medium peridot with just the slightest, slightest hint of olive. Crystal clear and clean. Louched, very good green retention with amber, golden, and bluish accents. Very pretty.

Louche
A very well formed louche with some translucence. Nice sheen. About as close to opaque as I would like to see. Overall a golden jade color with pretty subtle opalescence.

Aroma
A really inviting aroma neat. Lovely anise, fennel, and herbs, especially the hyssop. Louched, wow. All the classic stuff in impeccable balance. Fresh, clean, not tired a bit. It just has it all. Slight mint and powder, especially as it warms. I love it at 5:1, however at 5.5:1 the flowers just go nuts. The powder, mint, and confectionery elements combine to serve as the icing on the cake. As it really warms the pontica pontificates.

Flavor
Smooth, round, silky entry, the trinity announcing it's arrival first. Just as the nose, every major element deftly balanced. Minty and floral underpinnings with a slight bloom of spice. Every once in a while a slight grace note of lemon. A very clean base. 5:1 to 5.5:1 show it best, in my opinion, but it is very nice at lower dilutions if you don't mind some slight heat. This is really one of the best Pontarlier profiles I have tried.

Finish
A very balanced fade of all the palate impressions with a slow bloom of spice. The coriander and wormwood holding hands, cheered on by the balance of the trinity. A slight powdery drying, and just a slight pull on the entire palate (tongue, roof, gums, everything). This is where I think the higher dilutions serve well, less drying, more refreshing. And length? It just goes on and on.

Overall
Lovely. Classic. Need I say more?




But I will. It's easy to see why this wowed in it's day. It wows me now. And considering all the fine offerings that have been released since this was made, that is quite something. This could serve as the Pontarlier prototype. I wouldn't change a thing and I wish I had more.

I can still remember seeing this available when I first started drinking absinthe. Being so new to it, I didn't know the details and, of course, couldn't buy everything. But they say, "Better late than never". So all my appreciation to LdF for that 2011 release of a few bottles, and them finally getting me to the party.

Done with .75 and 1 ounce doses, diluted 4:1, 4.5:1, 5:1, 5.5:1 and no sugar.

L'Artisanale 7/10/11, 10/15/11, 11/13/11, 2/05/12
All evaluations had consistent notes.

Retired Brands
Reviewed by Michael Meyers     February 05, 2012
Last updated: February 06, 2012
Overall rating 
 
3.5
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
3.0
Aroma 
 
3.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
3.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0

When Life Is Like A Box Of Absinthes

Appearance
Unlouched, crystal clear and haze free. The ever so slightest golden tint, however nearly colorless. Louched, grey/blue tinted white with a golden undertone. Some glints of violet, gold, orange, and rose.

Louche
Surprisingly, more louche than I was expecting. Takes a little bit to get going (75% and limited anethole). On the very translucent end of the acceptable spectrum. Moderate opalescence with pretty pastel colors.

Aroma
Holy wormwood, Batman! There's a reason for the name. Yep, there are other herbs present, but they're just living in wormwood's world. Very fruity, floral, slightly minty wormwood with just enough other support to legitimize this as absinthe. As it really warms, it becomes very flowery and powdery.

Flavor
Big wormwood with a thin wrapper of anise, fennel, and other herbs. A slight fine chalky texture to the mouthfeel. A little minty with subtle underlying spice. This is really all about the wormwood, and it delivers.

Finish
The finish follows the palate vibe perfectly... wormwood, wormwood, and more wormwood. Slightly minty, spicy, and mentholated. Ever so slightly drying and pulling, balanced by salivary stimulation. A confectionery tinge. Good length.

Overall
Well wormwood fans, welcome to the orgy. Like going to wormwood boot camp. I wouldn't want it all the time, but I really wish I had another bottle. Due to its idiosyncrasies, the score is what it is and doesn't really reflect how much I like it. If I were to ignore the review guidelines and reflect just that, the score would be about a half-point higher. My favorite dilution is right up around 5:1, but I gotta' say that it showed nicely anywhere from about 4:1 and up. Remarkably there is no excessive heat from that point (surprising for a 75% offering). And while I don't usually comment on packaging, I must say that the wax-dipped and sealed screw-cap is an amusing touch. Just the way to add a bit of luxe to that closure.

Wormwood Blanche... tempting tipple or didactic distillation? I think maybe both. What I do know is if life is like a box of absinthes, when you pick the WW Blanche, you know exactly what you're gonna' get.

Done with .75 and 1 ounce doses, diluted 4:1, 4.3:1, 4.5:1, 5:1 and no sugar.

Wormwood Blanche 5/30/11, 7/10/11, 2/04/12.
All evaluations had consistent notes.

Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by Michael Meyers     February 05, 2012
Last updated: June 18, 2012
Overall rating 
 
2.3
Appearance 
 
3.0
Louche 
 
3.0
Aroma 
 
2.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
2.0
Finish 
 
2.0
Overall 
 
2.0

Beauty Is Only Skin Deep

Appearance
Unlouched, crystal clear and natural looking, however a very dark and heavy feuille morte coloration (amber, caramel, bordering on brown). Quite inappropriate considering it's age. Louched, orange, butterscotch, and caramel tones all muddled together.

Louche
On the translucent side, however no real opalescence because of the hues and weight of the coloration. A monochromatic Dijon mustard look under all but the brightest light.

Aroma
Very herbal, but the wrong herbal. I'm all but convinced that there is absinthium in the coloration, and combined with its heavy level it just walks all over the distillate. Very acrid. For what it's worth, there is a hint of lemon pith and maybe honeysuckle as it warms.

Flavor
Quite bitter. There's obviously some decent anise and fennel here or it might have been worse. A very grainy, almost highly tannic feel in the mouth. Hang with it, and other traditional herbs present, but they are just pounded into submission by this coloration.

Finish
Bitter and drying with a lingering palate coating "high-traction" graininess. The twitchiness and pull at the back of the throat pretty much confirms my suspicions of the presence of macerated absinthium. If it's not, it's the most heavy handed pontica I've experienced.

Overall
What a beautiful package. And well, I thought this one might be a fit (Obstinee meaning "stubborn" after all), but even I'm not stubborn enough to finish a glass. I tried several times, wondering if I was missing something. It's too bad since it's obvious there are quality ingredients present, and I'm betting this wasn't bad until it got to the coloring step. If you want to try, I thought it best around 5:1. For now, though, I would say better not to try. Better to pull up an image on line and savor the excellent graphics and bottle style while Gregory and Cyril revisit their coloring regimen, and hopefully infuse the next batch with some inner beauty.

Done with a 1 ounce dose, diluted 4:1, 4.5:1, 5:1 and no sugar.

Absinthe Obstinee, 7/13/11, 7/15/11, 7/17/11, 9/05/11, 2/04/12.
All evaluations had confused notes.

Faux Absinthe
Reviewed by Michael Meyers     November 20, 2011
Last updated: June 18, 2012
Overall rating 
 
1.5
Appearance 
 
3.0
Louche 
 
2.0
Aroma 
 
1.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
1.0
Finish 
 
1.0
Overall 
 
1.0

Well, Shut My Mouth!

Appearance
Neat, the telltale dark brownish yellow of macerated grand wormwood with slight glints of green. Clear and free of haze or sediment. Louched, that oddball "Dijon" yellow "Gatorade" color. Looks like a colonoscopy prep to me.

Louche
Very thin and see-through. No gradients to the color. I can read the forum subject headlines on my computer screen through the upper part of a Pontarlier glass of this.

Aroma
Low quality wormwood and not much else. Acrid, waxy, unbalanced. No sense of anise or fennel to speak of.

Flavor
Bitter and astringent. No balancing anethole. No herbs of interest. The wormwood tastes like it died of old age.

Finish
Bitter, drying, astringent, and harsh.

Overall
Well, for those familiar with my usual 475-500 word style, this must be refreshing. It took this to take the wind out of my... wind! Let's face it, if there isn't much to say, there isn't much to say. I'm glad someone gave me this bottle. I feel sorry for those who actually paid money for it. Tasted twice today, I pretty much spit out every mouthful since I was really afraid to swallow it. The best advice I can offer is that, even price unconsidered, this is a very low grade absinthe experience. Price considered, it becomes truly appalling, since there are fine, fine offerings available at this price and less... many far less.

LF literally takes the words right out of my mouth. And the next time I consider tasting something like this I think I'll just keep my mouth shut.

Done with a 1 ounce dose, diluted 4.5:1, 5:1 and no sugar.

Logan Fils Extrait D'Absinthe 10/22/11.
At this score level will not do multiple evaluations.

Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by Michael Meyers     October 09, 2011
Last updated: June 18, 2012
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
5.0
Overall 
 
4.0

Take A Walk On The Wild Side

Color
Neat, medium forest green with glints of peridot. A strong level of color but not overdone. Perfectly crystal clear and bright. Louched, lemony-yellow light green with beautiful soft amber, rose, and powdery blue highlights.

Louche
Absolutely beautiful. Restrained, with nice translucence. The allowed light really creates a classic kaleidoscope of all the expected louche tones. A slow and steady build thanks to 68% and restrained anethole. Really a treat for those into the theatre.

Aroma
Neat, a honey/vanilla coated wormwood dusted with baby powder. Louched, some of the most beautifully floral wormwood I have experienced. Just the right sense of camphor to make it assertive, but not pushy, and really give it focus. Terrific balance of the coloring and distillate herbs. A sense of tangerine at lower dilutions, a tremendous sense of flowers at the higher dilutions. A hint of conifer leaf. Very "outdoorsy" in general impression. All this is wrapped in a subtle veil of citrus confection.

Flavor
A wormwood yum-fest. Spicy, some pepper, and nice pontica. A lemony background note. Round, smooth mouthfeel with some weight, but still very "spirity", satisfying, and refreshing. It's great at a wide range of dilutions, but my favorites are in the 4.5:1 to 5:1 range. Lots of teasingly playful nuances that come and go. All impressions exhibit a very mature restraint. This is a very "grown-up" drink.

Finish
An immediate bloom of slightly drying, powdery, and spicy sensations in such a wonderfully controlled way. That georgeous Jura wormwood, center stage, and just the right measure of anise and fennel, supported by a persistent nano-tingle. Not highly complicated, but very long and tremendously satiating.

Overall
If only I could afford it, I'd buy a case of this. Seriously, one of the most beautifully nuanced absinthes I have had. It might not be the desert island choice, but it certainly would make the desert island five. Much has been made of the foraged wild wormwood used here, and it is terrific. But I think the even greater influencing factor with this offering is the extreme care and thought that went into it because of that wormwood. Every facet of the assembly of this is obviously well planned and expertly executed. In every category I gave a "4", it would be pretty easy to cave and give it a "5". A beginner may not necessarily see all this has to offer, but would still probably find it pleasing, and the experienced absintheur will reap a refined experience that only the top-tier offerings provide. However, anyone would be leading a more charmed life for walking down this path.

Done with a 1 ounce dose, diluted 3.5:1, 4:1, 4.5:1, 5:1, and no sugar.

Sauvage Extrait d'Absinthe 8/13/11, 8/15/11, 8/17/11, 10/08/11, 10/09/11.
All evaluations had consistent notes.

Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by Michael Meyers     October 08, 2011
Last updated: June 18, 2012
Overall rating 
 
3.5
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
3.0
Aroma 
 
3.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
3.0

Hurts So Good

Color
Unlouched, mossy green to olive drab with just some glints of peridot. Clear, bright, and natural looking. A heavy level of color. Any darker, and I would give it a "3". Louched, milky yellowish olive green, almost no gradients to the color.

Louche
Very thick, very opaque. The handle of a spoon in a Pontarlier glass is visible to only 1/4" in from the surface, and only the edges can be seen through the sides. No real opalescence. One must look hard and under very good light to see the slightest hint of orange at the bottom, and blue at the meniscus.

Aroma
Neat, a quite strong anise/fennel profile with an equally strong sense of finishing herbs, especially the pontica. Louched, somewhat of a balance, I suppose, but both sides (distillate and coloring) of this formula seem a little overdone to me. Lemony notes, some florals, mint, hyssop, and pontica become quite evident as it warms. I'm certain the wormwood is there, but the anise/fennel, and finishing herb overkill overshadows it.

Flavor
A lot of everything... really packed. Commercial American attitude ("bigger is better"), combined with anything but commercial execution. It's really quite deftly crafted, considering the loudness of all the ingredients. Strong anise/fennel, strong finishing herbs, strong spice and pepper, strong citrus, everything vying for front and center. Weighty mouthfeel (even at the 4.5:1 to 5:1 dilutions, which I preferred best), and not a very "spirity" impression. A little rough. Not a "3", not a strong "4".

Finish
Immediately goes astringent, drying, and quite numbing. A strong anise, fennel, and wormwood linger accompanied by strong spice and pepper. Some "graininess" on the palate... tingly, tingly... prickly, prickly. There's a lot going on without much real harmony. Doesn't leave me in a bad place, just not an elegant one. Satisfying in the same way as is scratching the same bug-bite over and over.

Overall
I rather enjoy this for what it is, but the way I see it, by the criteria, these are the scores. It's got lots of push in all departments without much style or finesse. Kind of a bulldozer, it gets the job done by brute force, and this is further complicated by the sense that every impression is fighting with all the others for attention. My score of "3" here is reflective of my opinion that the 4s in other categories are soft 4s. Nonetheless, I'm intrigued, and when I'm in the mood for a "whip me, whip me, beat me, beat me" absinthe experience, this will be one of the first to come to mind.

Done with a 1 ounce dose, diluted 4:1, 4.5:1, 4.8:1, and 5:1 and no sugar.

Absinthe Butterfly 7/04/11, 7/09/11, 7/17/11, 9/25/11, 10/08/11.
All evaluations had consistent notes.

Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by Michael Meyers     June 12, 2011
Last updated: June 18, 2012
Overall rating 
 
3.5
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
3.0
Finish 
 
3.0
Overall 
 
3.0

A No Nonsense Reaction To Utter Nonsense

Color
A nice light medium green with a bluish undertone. A little monochromatic looking, it's typical Matter coloration, most of which don't quite look all natural to me. Pretty nonetheless. Louched, good green retention with an amber undertone, and powdery blue edges and meniscus.

Louche
Nice weight and just the right translucence to allow for very pretty opalescence even under moderate light.

Aroma
Unlouched, anise with herbs, mainly wormwood, detectable from several feet away. Louched, wormwood and other herbs up front with the anise and fennel definitely in a supporting role. An extremely clean base. A little minty, with pontica, hyssop and a slight earthiness showing, as it warms.

Flavor
Just like the nose, wormwood is up front. Joining forces is some coriander, creating a spiciness that pecks away at the tongue. Again, like the nose, anise and fennel are secondary. Spicy, tingly, with some mint and lemon notes, not so unbalanced as to be a "2", not so correct as to be a "4". My favorite dilution is a smidge shy of 5:1. As it warms, I get a slight "evergreen" tinge.

Finish
Long, peppery, spicy, evergreenish, slightly astringent and drying. Absinthium and pontica definitely in control. The pontica seems a bit much, to me. Sit on the finish long enough, and it becomes quite drying. The anise and fennel provide a little airy cooling waft while breathing through the mouth, but this just increases the drying effect. Nothing seriously wrong, but not seductive enough to garner a "4" or "5".

Overall
Nothing really wrong, nothing really refined. It's good, but not great. Nothing wrong with that. The way it's balanced, it reminds me of a milder Matter version of La Berthe De Joux. "La Berthe De Joux Light"!, very wormwood forward, but without the same fine level of ingredients and craftsmanship. Certainly correct enough for use in showing those new to absinthe a proper profile, and enough of a statement to allow the aficionado to join in "thumbing their collective noses" at the VdT. Throw in the very reasonable pricing, and it makes for a fair, no-nonsense, mainstream absinthe experience.

Done with a 1 ounce dose, diluted 4.5:1, 5:1 and no sugar.

LDF Absinthe Suisse La Verte, 5/09/11, 5/14/11, 5/21/11, 6/12/11.
All evaluations had consistent notes.

Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by Michael Meyers     May 28, 2011
Last updated: July 04, 2012
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Appearance 
 
3.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
3.0
Finish 
 
3.0
Overall 
 
3.0

Redefining Limits... Has Its Limits

Color
Unlouched, a significant gold tint, about 1 shade lighter than my early bottle of Blanchette, but somehow not quite as interesting. Louched, chalky greyish white with a gold undertone. Some violet-pewter notes try to peek out at the edges.

Louche
The right weight, however, very fast. Fully louched by 1:1. I can see it trying to be opalescent, but the tint interferes. The result is somewhat chalky and flat, with a general "dirty water" look under all but the brightest light. A struggle with score here. Ultimately not a 3, so a "soft" 4.

Aroma
Nice, interesting. Clearly gin influenced absinthe, not absinthe influenced gin. Even neat, it is clearly identifiable as absinthe. The juniper and wormwood play nicely together along with the usual blanche suspects, but are backed by some rooty, funky undertones. I suspect it is the beet base talking, as it reminds me of the base in Lucid. Any more forward, and I would consider it a serious fault. The nose is absolutely the highpoint of this absinthe for me, and it shows where this idea could go.

Flavor
Big, round, weighty, and oily impression on the attack. On the mid-palate, is that aggressive prickly spiciness that only star anise can deliver. It tempts me to add more water, but at 3.5:1, I'm already clearly in the sweet spot for this abv. Otherwise, nice traditional elements plus the piney, mulberry influences of the juniper. The beet base continues to show on the palate. Other than the oily mouthfeel and "star", some nice ideas that might be very good with a little tweaking and refinement.

Finish
Prickly, powdery, astringent, and drying. Only the lingering mouth-coating oiliness keeps it from being harsh. As it wears on, the juniper shows, but with more time it becomes all star anise, and that "pink mint" thing. Not very clean. It makes me want to drink something else to cleanse my palate.

Overall
Well, it's a great idea, definitely heading in the right direction. There are some things about this that get me excited. However, it's a little rustic in its execution, and disjointed in its presentation, although not altogether bad. My scoring puts it in the range that I would consider "mid-market". If I were calling the shots on this one, I would say get a cleaner base, loose a lot of the star anise, and stay out of the tails. Also, I usually do not comment on packaging, but If one is going to employ such a strong, masculine geometry as this bottle has, great care should be exercised to make sure the label is affixed dead straight and level. A degree or two off (as on my bottle) greatly diminishes the effect.

I really want to like this absinthe. My hope is that with some future refinement, Tenneyson will become one of those products that successfully helps redefine the limits of what absinthe can be.

Done with a 1 ounce dose, diluted 3:1, 3.5:1 and no sugar.

Tenneyson Absinthe Royale 5/07/11, 5/14/11, 5/28/11.
All evaluations had consistent notes.

Faux Absinthe
Reviewed by Michael Meyers     May 22, 2011
Last updated: June 18, 2012
Overall rating 
 
1.8
Appearance 
 
2.0
Louche 
 
2.0
Aroma 
 
2.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
2.0
Finish 
 
2.0
Overall 
 
1.0

It Ain't Easy Tasting Green

Color
FD&C Blue #1 and FD&C Yellow #5. What's more to say? Artificial looking light bluish green.

Louche
At 1:1, the recommended dilution on the product's own web site, it becomes a slightly hazy version of itself... almost no louche. At 2.5:1 (much closer to a classic final abv), it is slightly hazier with a pretty bluish tint, if this is your thing.

Aroma
Neat, lots of alcohol with a very weak Good & Plenty center surrounded by even weaker other sweet components. Louched, the same with a very slight herbal hint.

Flavor
At 1:1, artificial, licoricy, and alcoholic. At 2.5:1, maybe a slight sense of herbs. The star anise hurts, and everything is just artificial tasting, weak, and unbalanced.

Finish
A little burst of "star" and some drying on the tongue. Recedes very quickly. I almost took the liberty of marking it up for that.

Overall
Green Moon Vodka a L'Absinthe
Green Moon Absinthe Superior Anise Flavored Vodka
Green Moon Vodka Absinthe Superior

These are the various incarnations of title for this beverage over the last few years. The final two appear together currently on their own web site.

Q. Which one is it?
A. Green

I am at a total loss to understand the intent of this beverage. As a cocktail ingredient, there are so many alternatives available, that better achieve what this is trying to do, that why bother? As an absinthe, which its own promo purports, it is an abject failure.

Done with a 1 ounce dose, diluted 1:1, 2.5:1, and no sugar.

Green Moon Absinthe Superior Anise Flavored Vodka, 5/21/11.
At this score level, will not do multiple evaluations.

Faux Absinthe
Reviewed by Michael Meyers     April 30, 2011
Last updated: June 18, 2012
Overall rating 
 
1.9
Appearance 
 
2.0
Louche 
 
3.0
Aroma 
 
2.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
2.0
Finish 
 
1.0
Overall 
 
1.0

Thou Shall Not Covet This Absinthe

Color
Unlouched, light medium yellow-green. Lighter than La Fee Pariesienne, and more yellowish. Very artificial looking (it is colored with FD&C Yellow #6, FD&C Blue #1, and FD&C Yellow #5). Louched, an atomic milky lime green with a blue undertone. Very monochromatic, with only the slightest gradients to yellow at the edges, and blue at the meniscus.

Louche
Actually a restrained louche, more transparent than I expected. No depth or nuance. Very synthetic looking.

Aroma
Unlouched, vanilla/caramel with a vague herb background. Very faint. Louched, still faint, mostly low quality vanilla. Not much of a sense of anise of any type. No real impression of herbs, flowers, etc.. Only with a really strong swirl can I detect some poor quality wormwood. The overall nose portends substantial sweetness.

Flavor
Viscous, sweet, and round on the attack. Like the nose, a combination of low quality vanilla and wormwood on the mid-palate. No nuance or sense of other herbs and flowers. Other than the base alcohol, I suspect that the artificial colors are half the ingredients.

Finish
The roundness retires first, leaving the drying combination of poor vanilla and wormwood, backed by a light coating of star anise that gently chisels away at the tongue. As the finish wears on, the wormwood becomes a little more apparent with an almost "weedy" character.

Overall
Why bother? This is so unlike genuine absinthe that it's hard to understand why anyone would voluntarily buy it (my bottle was given to me), unless they just wanted to appear to be drinking absinthe. It's no bargain, either, since what you essentially have here is a partially pre-louched absinthe (the first approximately .8:1 of dilution has been done for you to make it 38% abv). In my market, this costs $25.00 to $28.00. If you work the math backwards, to account for the extra water, this would be $45.00 to $50.00, bottled at 68% abv. At slightly above this price there are plenty of authentic alternative choices. I really struggled here between 1, Unacceptable, or 2, Barely Acceptable. I landed on 1, because of the combination of low quality, and the strange vanilla dominance. Honestly, if I were tasted on this blindfolded, I might not even guess that it is supposed to be absinthe.

NV? Where does that name come from? NV-ous of what? Am I supposed to NV it? Clever can be fun, but in marketing it is always best backed up by some substance. Lacking that, I can only see this as a deadly sin. Can I hear an Amen?

Done with a 1 ounce dose, diluted 2:1, 2.2:1, and no sugar.

NV Absinthe Verte, 04/30/11.
At this score level, will not do multiple evaluations.

Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by Michael Meyers     April 23, 2011
Last updated: June 18, 2012
Overall rating 
 
4.2
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0

The Horse He Rode In On

Color
Unlouched, a light green with an overtone which is more yellow than gold. Like peas and corn (with Gump accent). Crystal clear and clean, pleasing and very natural looking. Louched, better retention of the green than I expected, with a golden-yellow influence overall.

Louche
More translucent than most, lovely nonetheless. Very correct for this style of absinthe. Celery green, and an amber interior with myriad other subtle colors changing with light source and movement. Nice action while forming, due to a relatively high abv (75%), and restrained anethole. May not satisfy the "thick louche" crowd, but I like it very much.

Aroma
Very clean both before and after louche. Balanced slightly toward the herbal side, however the anise and wonderful fennel are present and in adequate support. A great wormwood, mint, and floral impression. Nice sense of hyssop and a very clean base. I really like this when it warms a little.

Flavor
A nice, dry, herbal impression up front. A.a., A.p., and hyssop in nice tandem, combined with a great combination of spice and dryness. Slightly more anise than the nose led me to expect, lends good balance with a slight impression of sweetness. Very clean, smooth mouthfeel. A little tingle and a slight mintiness are the icing on the cake.

Finish
Right in sync with the whole package. An initial sweet impression leading to the wormwood and other herbs, combined with a soft pull on the palate. Bright, fresh, and minty with a spicy tingliness that eventually segues to a slight astringency and powderiness. Long, satisfying, and enjoyable.

Overall
I like this one a lot. It's herbal, spicy, honest, and clean. Very absinthey. I really don't get all the comments I've read about this, for years now, referring to it as "medicinal". I suspect, however, that some of those comments result from mis-preparation. Because of the translucent nature of the louche, I think some are moved to under-water this. At lesser dilutions (under 4.5:1), it's my opinion that its herbal forward quality and the degree of alcohol combine to create that impression. One must remember this is an absinthe bottled at 75% abv. As such, it needs a good deal of water to bring it to a conventional final abv. At even 4.5:1, the final abv is 13.63%. I think this needs more like 5:1 - 5.5:1 (12.5% - 11.54%) to really show correctly.

So my suggestions to maximize your enjoyment with this one are; 1. Utilize icy cold water and a slow drip or pour to develop the best louche. 2. Watch your dilution ratio. 3. Let it warm a little to enhance the aromatics. 4. Giddyup!

Done with a 1 ounce dose, diluted 4:1, 4.5:1, 5:1, 5.2:1, 5.5:1, and no sugar.

Absinthe Roquette 1797, 3/03/10, 5/02/10, 11/12/10, 4/23/11.
All evaluations had consistent notes.

Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by Michael Meyers     January 22, 2011
Last updated: June 18, 2012
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0

Wave Hello To The New

Color
Unlouched, light medium peridot with an ever so slight bluish tinge. Not particularly nuanced, however crystal clear and bright. Although pleasing, it almost borders on being not quite natural looking. Louched, golden green, slightly bluish, and a good level of overall color.

Louche
Quite translucent, and as a result, very pretty. Very opalescent golden green with multicolor refractions of yellow, gold, amber, orange, glints of blue, and soft rose. The visual action getting there is very entertaining (thank you, Mr. 68%), with the show running to nearly 3:1.

Aroma
Neat, coffee and cacao up front with anise and other herbs in the background. Louched, the coffee and cacao stay up front, with the traditional verte components showing the kind of bloom that water always provides. Think traditional verte with the thinnest layer of unsweetened Mocha Java icing. Not overdone or clumsy, the addition of the "C and C" are judicious and deftly integrated. The "new" and "old" components all have their say here to make this nicely complex, and a lemony brightness focuses it all.

Flavor
Like the nose, the "C and C" is slightly up front, but make no mistake about it, this is absinthe. The trinity is apparent, with really nice wormwood, and an underlying spicy, citric tingle. All the usual suspects are present and really quite complex. All impressions are in excellent balance. Mouthfeel here is one of the best I have experienced in an absinthe. At 4.5:1 it's just velvety and hedonistic, at 5:1 still silky smooth and extremely clean.

Finish
A nice linear fade combines with an attractive subtle drying that overspreads the entire palate. The traditional verte facets hang in for a long time, accompanied by the "C and C" and an anise and lemon tingliness, all wrapped in a gentle pull on the entire palate.

Overall
Mmmmm... Nouvelle Vague (New Wave). I likey. Who says absinthe isn't for breakfast... or desert? Just yummy! Watch your water with this one. I found 4:1 to be just a little hot and prickly. 4.5:1 to 5:1 really show it nicely, in my opinion. Just remember, this is a 68% absinthe.

Well, I guess we all knew this was bound to happen (in fact, it already has, frequently with disastrous results). It's great to see such a sensitive, respectful riff on the traditional verte platform. Very successful, I would say. It, of course, won't make me wave goodbye to the more traditional offerings that I love, but it really has become a guilty little pleasure and will always have a place in my collection.

Done with a 1 ounce dose, diluted 4:1, 4.5:1, 5:1 and no sugar.

Absinthe Nouvelle Vague 12/31/10, 1/04/11, 1/08/11, 1/22/11.
All evaluations had consistent notes.

Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by Michael Meyers     January 16, 2011
Last updated: June 18, 2012
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
5.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0

A Whiter Shade... Not Pale

Color
Unlouched, crystal clear, bright, and absolutely colorless. The colorlessness here is almost unbelievable, and it pays off handsomely in the louched appearance. Louched, one of the most beautiful blanche louches I have seen. Very skim-milky white with pastel orange, blue, and rose highlights.

Louche
A nice mid-weight. Ample translucence really lights things up. Great sheen, very "wet" looking, myriad colorful refractions, a carry-over from the absolute lack of unlouched color. And if you're one to enjoy the show, set the fountain for a reasonably slow drip to stretch out the gorgeous lavender, lilac, indigo, and violet trails you'll see while it is forming.

Aroma
Consistent with the Ridge style, a very savory, earthy, rooty first impression. Very complicated, with a solid core of the trinity dead square in the middle. This is very substantial, with a lot going on. Highly nuanced, with a pretty sense of flowers as it warms. The brighter components become apparent after going to palate. Impeccably clean, intriguing and inviting.

Flavor
Round, velvety mouthfeel with a good sense of weight on entry. Holy crap! And like the nose, all kinds of earthy, rooty, savory, almost "forest floor" type impressions, all wrapped around the trinity, which clearly acts as the canvass on which this absinthe is painted. Bold and assertive, firm grip, with an underlying spiciness, none of which goes overboard. Throw in some focusing camphor, mint, and citric tang, and it's a party in my mouth!

Finish
Initially, dry, herbal, savory, smooth, then almost immediately, a spicy, minty, tingliness blooms and takes over. It's almost like those two sides just swap places. All the while the wormwood and the rest of the trinity fades, and for a long time. In the end, the anise, wormwood, and coriander end up in beautiful tandem, with a gentle grip, and a soft bitter linger.

Overall
Really, really nice. I love the transitions from savory, earthy, sultry on the nose to savory, slightly bitter on the attack, to anisy and complicated on the mid-palate, to minty-anisy, with wormwood and coriander on the finish. A great series of shifts, that just make sense. When combined with the quality, immediacy, complexity, and high level of craftmanship this shows, it'll make some of you take back everything you ever said about blanches.

Folks, this is real "knife and fork" absinthe that pales not, in comparison, to any of the top modern offerings. My favorite dilution is right up around 4:1. It's almost hard to think of such a bold offering as having finesse, but the level of restraint, in all areas, is admirable and impressive. My sense of this is that every facet was fussed with, to find the edge, maybe even by going over the edge, and then dialed back to create the most harmonious whole. I'm glad to see this American offering as another great alternative that should soon be available to those who seek it out. When that happens, you owe it to yourself.

Done with a 1 ounce dose, diluted 3:1, 3.5:1, and 4:1, and no sugar.

Ridge Extrait d'Absinthe Blanche, 11/20/10, 11/27/10, 12/18/10, 01/12/11, 01/15/11.
All evaluations had consistent notes.

Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by Michael Meyers     January 16, 2011
Last updated: January 16, 2011
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
5.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0

Extrait, Extrait, Read All About It!

Color
Unlouched, a very clear and bright medium peridot with an amber overtone. A strong level of color, unquestionably natural looking. Louched, nice green retention with amber highlights and some whitish blue at the edges and meniscus.

Louche
The weight of this louche shows good restraint, and the resulting ample translucence to really get some maximum refractions of all the classic louche tones. Very opalescent, very colorful, just about as good as it gets.

Aroma
Spicy, herbal, savory, rooty up front. There is an assertive honesty to this that really sets it apart from most. Very fresh and immediate. The trinity, featuring that great Ridge wormwood, is perfectly evident. Pontica definitely talking, as well. As this has aged, some dustier herbs and flowers have emerged, especially when it warms. A little camphor and some lemon curd bring it all into focus. Very complex and balanced.

Flavor
A round, fruity attack followed immediately by the well measured insistence of the Artemisias and coriander. Very clean, smooth mouthfeel and a nice sense of weight. A very spicy, dry, savory overall impression, however not austere. The trinity, again, is right in the mix and very balanced with all the other components. Just enough minty and lemony notes to bring an offsetting brightness.

Finish
A round anisy, fennely linger that quickly segues to a spiciness and some tingle. It all eventually lands on anise and wormwood and just goes on and on. Very long.

Overall
Of the high-quality modern vertes I've tried, this is one of the few with a truly unique and distinctive personality. It's earthy, spicy, honest and grounded. Very workman-like in it's execution. Very clean, very high quality, very immediate, very no-nonsense, right in keeping with the Ridge house style. Every time I louche one of these up (which by the way, my favorite ratio is a little lean of 5:1), I am excited with anticipation, and the glass never lasts quite long enough. Like all the top scoring absinthes I have reviewed, the difference between a score of 4 or 5 in any given category was a razor's edge, and in those where I awarded a 4, I probably could have given a 5 and supported it. I swear, I need to start reviewing some more mediocre absinthes. They're way easier! Right now, I'm tasting this for probably the 10th time for this review (oh, the pain!), and I can tell you this is a pleasure to have in the collection for those times when I want a quintessential absinthe experience.

Done with a 1 ounce dose, diluted 4:1, 4.5:1, 4.8:1, 5:1 and no sugar.

Ridge Extrait d'Absinthe Verte, 11/20/10, 11/27/10, 12/21/10, 1/04/11, 1/08/11, 1/15/11.
All evaluations had consistent notes.

53 results - showing 1 - 25
1 2 3  
 
Powered by JReviews

We Recommend ...

Banner
f logo twitter logo flickr button in logo