Reviews written by Loosher
|Flavor / Mouthfeel||4.0|
Batch #8. Amazing aroma, delicate taste
A 40ml dose louched with 160ml chilled water, unsweetened for this review.
Aroma (pre-louche): The aroma is completely free of any alcohol harshness. The grape foundation is allowed to shine through a spicy vegetal aroma, the combination reminds me a lot of frehly opened
orsnge flavored dark chocolate. This is a really wonderful aroma.
Very smooth and inviting. Whether or not it smells like "the ideal absinthe" is likely a matter for more knowledgable discussion, but
it definitely smells just wonderful.
Color (pre-louche): This is a little darker than I believe is optimal, peridot with a tinge of brown/dark olive, but not unpleasant.
Louche: The louche forms evenly, with wicked and thick "refractive artifacts" that bring on the cloudiness gradually. There is not a billowing of fog from the bottom as much as an "onset" which becomes the "always expected but startingly so" beatiful green tinged louche. There is less of the "meniscus" effect than in some, but it is still evident. A thick, beautiful colored louche that you will want to see
over and over.
Post-louche aroma: Very clean, herbal with clearer notes of fennel, wormwood and anise. The anise is evident, but not overpowering. There are some nice, delicate flowery notes, very pleasant.
Flavor: A distinctly herbal flavor, very fresh. The wormwood is
evident at the core of a spectrum of flowery, spicy and herbal flavor.
Fennel is very evident up front. A very nice anise that acts not so
much as a centerpiece for the flavor but as a "mesh" that holds it
together: subdued but definitely present. The aroma indicates a
natural sweetness that is maybe more psychological, but I'd say this
is one that could go unsweetened very easily.
Finish: I like to dilute to 12-13%, and because of this the finish will be less prolonged than with a lesser dilution. But it also seems like the prominent notss in the finish are easier to pick out. Even at this dilution, this has a wonderful fading of the fennel and herbal mist, with a wormwood flourish beneath a rising anise note, which gradually diminishes.
Overall: This has got to be at least a "4". It is a wonderful aroma, a very nice louche, a pleasant and complex flavor that has unique aspects.
Is it worth a premium price over, say, Lucid? Not an exhorbitant premium, I think, but it is absolutely in a higher tier: a more intricate and delicate set of flavors that takes full advantage of
the grape-based pedigree.
|Flavor / Mouthfeel||3.0|
The one I longed for, but will it withstand new co
40ml louched with 200ml chilled water, unsweetened for this review.
Color: It is perfectly clear pre louche. The color after louche is a fobby grey with nice overtones of blue and lavender. These overtones in the louche are what, to me, provide much of an absinthe's "mystique": an indeterminate billow of subdued color, coaxed from a perfectly clear liquid.
Louche: The louche forms quickly, but with some oil trails and interest. There is a clear layer at the top that is subsumed by the billowing louche from below.
Aroma: The aroma of the neat liquor is mild and warm. Anise is not overpowering, and well balanced. When louched, that warmth and mildness is broadened, the anise is not overpowering but "couched" in an herbal mist.
Flavor: The flavor of Kubler 53 (US Release) is well balanced with subtleties, tending towards sweetness. The anise is present in the nose with lifting the glass, and emerges nicely on the tongue when sipping, not overpowering. There is more sweetness than dryness throughout the sip, and the bitterness of the wormwood is present but not biting, "drying" just before the finish.
Finish: Finish is dry, with a fading anise sweetness. There is a bit of "soapiness" that is more apparent when unsweetened, and which is not apparent when sweetened. There is some mildness where the chilled water comes through more cleanly towards the middle of the finish, and then a nice woodworm astringence with anise and herbal atmosphere is left.
Overall: A mild, controlled and clean flavor throughout. Not aggressively sharp in any regard. Somewhat thin unsweetened, and so "gaps" are carried by sweetening, in the way the bottle suggests it should typically be prepared. A soothing elxir, as opposed to alcholically harsh or medicinal in the manner of the many of the US targeted absinthes to date, and a definite bargain in terms of quality vs. price.
|Flavor / Mouthfeel||4.0|
Somewhat biased, as this was my first *sigh*
Dose was 40ml to 200ml of chilled water.
Color: I have purchased several bottles of Lucid. There is some inconsistency in the color. For this review, the color happened to be a pale yellowish-green, slightly cloudy, but I have had others where it is more green and clearer. Rather than a count against, I take this as a by-product of natural techniques applied.
Louche: I drip water from a measuring cup that has a "beaker-like" protrusion for pouring. The louche forms quickly from the bottom, and larger *blop* drops of water burst into clouds, as opposed to bursting into tangles of trails. So the louche is faster forming than some, but with nice refractive attributes and that "what color *is* that?" kind of green/greyish/amber hue.
Aroma: Pre-louche, it is somewhat strongly alcohol but with kind of a "smoky" melange around an anise core. Post-louche: I love this aroma. It is anise but subdued by a heady mixture, which seems to be that smokiness "exploded". That mixture... I live on a farm, in the spring, the meadow air has components of this aroma: that combination of flowery and weedy and grassy and woody. In this case, I am weighing more heavily in favor of the post-louche aroma with the number rating, because pre-louche is fairly harshly alcohol. Smelling the louched glass is almost as nice as drinking from it.
Flavor: Louched, I bring it up for a sip, and the combination of aroma and flavor reminds me of my great-grandmother's house. Is this because she was alive during the Belle Epoch? Because you don't just taste an alcoholic drink, you smell and taste it at once. Her house had a potpourri aroma mingled with a mixture of dusty antiquity and brass. Knickknacks everywhere, a clutter, but her ancient and thickly bespectacled visage also provided a focus, as the anise does in this flavor.
Finish: Yes, there is a murkiness, an indeteriminant jumble, like the items cluttering the shelves, and this fades behind the gentle insistence of the wormwood, but also a sweet clarity in the integration of the anise. The pressed meadow foliage reconstituted in the louche, tethered by the wormwood, dancing around that sweet anise maypole, fading softly into light anise notes as the wormwood dances up just slight into the sinuses! Did I mention I was slightly biased in the title of this review!?!
Overall: Ok, ok. So I have not tasted the greats of antiquity. The sole "solid 4" rating among these reviews that I have experienced is Kubler 53, and I would rate it higher than Lucid. But there is obviously a crafted effort that has gone into this liquor that surpasses an artful bottle and cashing in on the absinthe mystique. The sweetness of the anise, and the numbing of the wormwood is nicely balanced, with a host of herbal flavors that are at times maybe murkily tangled, but not unpleasantly so. The only real "dings" in the experience as I see them would be the aroma as poured out of the bottle, and some inconsistency in the coloration.
|Flavor / Mouthfeel||2.0|
The Torment is all mine, thanks.
A 40ml dose louched with 200ml chilled water, no sugar was used for this review.
Color: copper sulfate solution.
Louche: thin oil trails that eventually manage to coalesce into a slight fog.
Aroma: Now. This is not an unpleasant aroma, but neither is it the aroma of absinthe. Cardamom/coriander-ish, with some lemon/flowery undertones a'la Avon Skin-So-Soft. Really kind of a pleasant aroma, but not necessarily like the aroma of something you want to *drink* with just chilled water and sugar.
Taste: please don't make me taste it again. It tastes like it smells: cologne-ish. Anise is missing completely.
Finish: Buy some sugarless minty gum. Chew it for 17 minutes. Put it on your bedpost overnight. In the morning, put a tiny tiny tiny drop of wormwood extract on it and chew it again: that's about it.
Overall: I read where the makers are marketing this as a drink additive, that is a better idea than claiming it tastes like absinthe when mixed with chilled water and sugar. It is a very complex flavor, and I do think it is a matter of balancing it with other drink ingredients: there are plenty of liquors that don't taste good on their own. Adding just 5ml of this will impart its flavor and some of it's color, and I can see where the swank mixologist could earn some points just for waving the ornate bottle over a libation. BUT, much sympathy for anyone who tries this as a "first absinthe experience". Much like losing one's virginity to a... well: something unpleasant.You can fill in the blank.
|Flavor / Mouthfeel||2.0|
Hard to get past that rubbing alcohol aroma
I use a dose of 40ml to 200ml chilled water. Unsweetened for this review.
This has an extremely strong alcohol aroma. I pour into a small graduated measuring glass first to measure the dose, and slowly move my nose over the rim to get a whiff: the alcohol is wincingly strong.
Artificial color is listed on the label, and the color is slightly unnatural but not awfully so, appropriately olive/peridot and nicely clear.
The louche forms slowly with wicked oil trails, where a clear layer forms and holds its clarity until almost half my water is added.
The aroma after louche is much more pleasant, but not "filling the air aromatic" and not complex, primarily anise.
There is significant bitterness in the flavor, which has three primary notes: anise, wormwood and lemon. The finish has a slight peak of anise at the start, which then withers to bitter wormwood and lemon which clings to the tongue leaving a substantial numbness.
A comparison that springs to mind is the Absente pastis with higher octane alcohol. In a comparison with a price point per volume competitor, Lucid, it lacks complexity and body, and the harsh "rubbing alcohol" aroma at the outset is the biggest drawback.
My conclusion is that it is the absinthine analog of Orwell's 1984's 'Victory Gin'.
I had to think about the overall rating, where "3" is interpreted as "acceptable, ahows promise". Clearly this is from a mass producer, so even if they somehow 'tweak' their recipe it seems like it would take a while to show up on ths ehelves. The aroma is clearly unacceptable, whereas color and louche seem very nice, and the flavor has the "traditional elements" represented, although unbalanced and lacking interesting complexity.
But, as American-market-aimed absinthes go, I'd say if you want a verte, see this on the shelf next to Lucid at the same price and they are the only two verte absinthes in the store, buy the Lucid.