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La Grenouille

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4.4
 
4.4 (9)
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Appearance: A very light yellowish green, clear.

Louche: Beautiful. Initially is orange and purple at the bottom with a clear green layer on top. At the a medium thick louche, greenish white with some bluish tracts.

Aroma: Drier than usual, flowery and spicy. Freshly-cut grass. Less anise than usual.

Flavor/Mouthfeel: Complex and spicy. Difficult to describe, but with a very specific personality. Less sweet, less anise, more spicy than usual. Nothing is too flowery or candy-like. The result is more than the sum of the parts here.

Finish: All the complex tastes and aromas linger amazingly long.

Overall: This is by far one of my favorite absinthes, the one I currently drink most often, a permanent resident in my bar. Its personality is rather unique, it may not be everyone's darling. No other absinthe lingers this long in my mouth and nose.
Overall rating 
 
4.6
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
4.5
Aroma 
 
4.5
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
5.0
Overall 
 
4.5
Reviewed by Chiopris March 31, 2016
Top 10 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (29)

More than the sum of the parts

Appearance: A very light yellowish green, clear.

Louche: Beautiful. Initially is orange and purple at the bottom with a clear green layer on top. At the a medium thick louche, greenish white with some bluish tracts.

Aroma: Drier than usual, flowery and spicy. Freshly-cut grass. Less anise than usual.

Flavor/Mouthfeel: Complex and spicy. Difficult to describe, but with a very specific personality. Less sweet, less anise, more spicy than usual. Nothing is too flowery or candy-like. The result is more than the sum of the parts here.

Finish: All the complex tastes and aromas linger amazingly long.

Overall: This is by far one of my favorite absinthes, the one I currently drink most often, a permanent resident in my bar. Its personality is rather unique, it may not be everyone's darling. No other absinthe lingers this long in my mouth and nose.

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I added this bottle onto an order from a vendor because it was the highest rated bottle in the price bracket too get me free shipping. This bottle turned out to be the real surprise gem in the set. The aroma and flavor are a delightful mix of spice and perfume that work together to make an Absinthe that is different and experimental but still recognizably Absinthe.
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
4.5
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.5
Finish 
 
4.5
Overall 
 
4.5
Reviewed by drdaniel5 April 16, 2015
Top 50 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (7)

Perfumey Spicy and Surprising

I added this bottle onto an order from a vendor because it was the highest rated bottle in the price bracket too get me free shipping. This bottle turned out to be the real surprise gem in the set. The aroma and flavor are a delightful mix of spice and perfume that work together to make an Absinthe that is different and experimental but still recognizably Absinthe.

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While I am not a huge fan of "spicy" absinthes - this one is very well done and knows where to restrain itself. Appearance is clear and vibrant - louching quite well into a balanced and proper thickness. Aromas and flavors are traditional - with an additional complexity that I cannot even begin to lay out in a review like this. Others have done so much better than I could. The finish is quite nice with the additional flavors lingering some time after... very nice.
Overall rating 
 
3.8
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
3.5
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
3.5
Finish 
 
3.5
Overall 
 
4.0
Reviewed by josephlabrecque October 20, 2014
Top 10 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (47)

Nice Little Oddball

While I am not a huge fan of "spicy" absinthes - this one is very well done and knows where to restrain itself. Appearance is clear and vibrant - louching quite well into a balanced and proper thickness. Aromas and flavors are traditional - with an additional complexity that I cannot even begin to lay out in a review like this. Others have done so much better than I could. The finish is quite nice with the additional flavors lingering some time after... very nice.

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Appearance: A topaz-esque green and a little bit faded, but still in the right color family and tone.

Louche: Very lovely green and orange. Just the right thickness, and louched perfectly without much coaxing at all.

Aroma: There's a LOT going on here. Just from mulling over the odors I've noted hints of lemongrass, confection, thyme, something like menthol, coriander, pine resin, and something that reminds me of Christmas spices that makes my nose tingle.

Flavor/Mouthfeel: A lot going on here as well...wormwood, a peppery anise, fresh mown grass, rosemary, clean soil, cardamom, allspice, and a bit of a green tea astringency, all of this definitely leads to a lot of salivation and makes you want to keep drinking.

Finish: At the ratio I mixed the glass at, there's no alcohol heat but my tongue feels a bit like I've been eating peppers, probably from the anise bite, but there's also a sweet and minty length that's numbing the mouth.

Overall: This absinthe is bold and not particularly lady-like (and if I didn't know any better, there's some star anise in here too), and very un-traditional, but it's truly wonderful.
Overall rating 
 
4.4
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
5.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.5
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0
Reviewed by Amber Peter February 12, 2013
Top 10 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (58)

Unconventional success

Appearance: A topaz-esque green and a little bit faded, but still in the right color family and tone.

Louche: Very lovely green and orange. Just the right thickness, and louched perfectly without much coaxing at all.

Aroma: There's a LOT going on here. Just from mulling over the odors I've noted hints of lemongrass, confection, thyme, something like menthol, coriander, pine resin, and something that reminds me of Christmas spices that makes my nose tingle.

Flavor/Mouthfeel: A lot going on here as well...wormwood, a peppery anise, fresh mown grass, rosemary, clean soil, cardamom, allspice, and a bit of a green tea astringency, all of this definitely leads to a lot of salivation and makes you want to keep drinking.

Finish: At the ratio I mixed the glass at, there's no alcohol heat but my tongue feels a bit like I've been eating peppers, probably from the anise bite, but there's also a sweet and minty length that's numbing the mouth.

Overall: This absinthe is bold and not particularly lady-like (and if I didn't know any better, there's some star anise in here too), and very un-traditional, but it's truly wonderful.

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Appearance: A smooth and clear olive green. Slightly darker than most peridot colored absinthes.

Louche: The louche is actually a bit thick and only slightly transparent (4:1). The frog retains a fair amount of color from the original appearance.

Aroma: Citrusy juicy funk time! You know you love it. The initial smell is heavily aromatic and very pleasant. There are some slightly floral notes as well. Overall the aroma is complex and very mysterious.

Flavor: Just like the smell, the flavor is wonderfully complex. There is a dominant peppery and citrus combo along with the unique herbal profile that reminds me of rosemary. Very complex and full on the palate. The anise is tricky though and I may stir some controversy by suggesting the use of both sweet and star anise here? Not a bad thing but tricky.

Finish: Ramp up the floral and citrus notes with that rush of oxygen. The finish sweetens up on me and expands on the palate, almost candy-like.

Overall: This is absolutely stellar with the only problem being the overly thick louche. I enjoy the herbal notes and other unique flavors quite a bit.
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
3.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
5.0
Overall 
 
4.0
Reviewed by Evan Camomile April 12, 2012
Top 10 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (70)

Different and awesome!

Appearance: A smooth and clear olive green. Slightly darker than most peridot colored absinthes.

Louche: The louche is actually a bit thick and only slightly transparent (4:1). The frog retains a fair amount of color from the original appearance.

Aroma: Citrusy juicy funk time! You know you love it. The initial smell is heavily aromatic and very pleasant. There are some slightly floral notes as well. Overall the aroma is complex and very mysterious.

Flavor: Just like the smell, the flavor is wonderfully complex. There is a dominant peppery and citrus combo along with the unique herbal profile that reminds me of rosemary. Very complex and full on the palate. The anise is tricky though and I may stir some controversy by suggesting the use of both sweet and star anise here? Not a bad thing but tricky.

Finish: Ramp up the floral and citrus notes with that rush of oxygen. The finish sweetens up on me and expands on the palate, almost candy-like.

Overall: This is absolutely stellar with the only problem being the overly thick louche. I enjoy the herbal notes and other unique flavors quite a bit.

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This would be a really good absinthe, but the spiciness makes it one of the great absinthes. You gotta be carefull when adding water, not to confuse heat from spice with heat from alcohol. But to drink, and just look at, it is truly a hedonistic pleasure. This is the first absinthe my wife has sampled, where she asked me to purchase a bottle.
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
5.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
5.0
Overall 
 
4.0
Reviewed by Miguel September 24, 2011
Top 50 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (11)

We love the spicy frog!

This would be a really good absinthe, but the spiciness makes it one of the great absinthes. You gotta be carefull when adding water, not to confuse heat from spice with heat from alcohol. But to drink, and just look at, it is truly a hedonistic pleasure. This is the first absinthe my wife has sampled, where she asked me to purchase a bottle.

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Colour is Light golden. Could be darker. The tinge is in the vein of L'italienne but not spoiling the coeur of distillation.

Louche is translucent, almost to the dot, neither too thin nor too thick. The best ratio is 1:2. All the aromas and single nuances are being captured, the amount of water is just enough to open the absinthe in full majesty.

Upon taking a whiff, you are getting Violets, perfums, very light, almost ethereal, smells like alpine bitters from Italy. Aroma is very frontal without any edges, the fuller notes of wormwood, earthiness are approaching slowly all the way thru instead of emerging just in the finish.

Astringent, very very subtle. Not cloying. Bitter in the vein of gentiane or cinchoma. No heaviness from anethole buddies. These are just accompanying the main herbal sensations.

There is an irrestible note that is very strong on the palate and is not hidden in the finish. It starts like calamus, but going in th rooty sensation of gentian or cinchoma. It is like absinthe style with decent and robust Italian vermouth foundation.

Completely different story than L'Italienne although rooted in the same Tradition. Much, much bolder.

Overall rating 
 
4.3
Appearance 
 
3.0
Louche 
 
5.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
5.0
Overall 
 
4.0
Reviewed by absinthist July 19, 2011
Last updated: July 19, 2011
Top 10 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (60)

Mediterranean breeze with a kick

Colour is Light golden. Could be darker. The tinge is in the vein of L'italienne but not spoiling the coeur of distillation.

Louche is translucent, almost to the dot, neither too thin nor too thick. The best ratio is 1:2. All the aromas and single nuances are being captured, the amount of water is just enough to open the absinthe in full majesty.

Upon taking a whiff, you are getting Violets, perfums, very light, almost ethereal, smells like alpine bitters from Italy. Aroma is very frontal without any edges, the fuller notes of wormwood, earthiness are approaching slowly all the way thru instead of emerging just in the finish.

Astringent, very very subtle. Not cloying. Bitter in the vein of gentiane or cinchoma. No heaviness from anethole buddies. These are just accompanying the main herbal sensations.

There is an irrestible note that is very strong on the palate and is not hidden in the finish. It starts like calamus, but going in th rooty sensation of gentian or cinchoma. It is like absinthe style with decent and robust Italian vermouth foundation.

Completely different story than L'Italienne although rooted in the same Tradition. Much, much bolder.

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Enjoyed tremendously at both 3.5:1 and 4:1 no sugar. 4:1 yields the more delicate notes. 3.5:1 for me was the perfect balance of strength and softness.

Color: A clear and natural golden yellow with the tiniest kiss of light green. It fits somehow, but for a new fresh absinthe, a touch more green would have yielded a 5.

Louche: Slow steady build, not a lot of dramatic effect or layering, but a lovely opalescent finale. Its final colors are a light green with hints of copper, and suggestions of light blue. Very nice. A bit on the thinner side, without being too thin.

Aroma: Simply wonderful. Blossoming anise and wormwood, surrounded by flowers, perfume, alpine herbs and candy. Artful.

Flavor: As good as the aroma, for all the same reasons. It has some of the same notes as L'Italienne, but more floral and delicate, yet, it is still a powerful profile. This is quite an accomplishment. Both yin AND yang, at the same time....I believe that indicates balance...such would be the case here. Anise, wormwood, flowers, citrus. Simply delicious, and unique.

Finish: Crisp, clean, dry and complex. A light spicy build, layers of elements; herbs, spice, citrus, florals. A delicate citrus linger and tingle.

Overall: This is a must folks. Simply one the best I've had. We need to mention this as a strong exception when speaking of Czech absinthe from now on!
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.5
Finish 
 
5.0
Overall 
 
4.5
Reviewed by Scott M. March 15, 2011
Last updated: January 05, 2013
Top 10 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (64)

I'm glad this frog hopped across the pond.

Enjoyed tremendously at both 3.5:1 and 4:1 no sugar. 4:1 yields the more delicate notes. 3.5:1 for me was the perfect balance of strength and softness.

Color: A clear and natural golden yellow with the tiniest kiss of light green. It fits somehow, but for a new fresh absinthe, a touch more green would have yielded a 5.

Louche: Slow steady build, not a lot of dramatic effect or layering, but a lovely opalescent finale. Its final colors are a light green with hints of copper, and suggestions of light blue. Very nice. A bit on the thinner side, without being too thin.

Aroma: Simply wonderful. Blossoming anise and wormwood, surrounded by flowers, perfume, alpine herbs and candy. Artful.

Flavor: As good as the aroma, for all the same reasons. It has some of the same notes as L'Italienne, but more floral and delicate, yet, it is still a powerful profile. This is quite an accomplishment. Both yin AND yang, at the same time....I believe that indicates balance...such would be the case here. Anise, wormwood, flowers, citrus. Simply delicious, and unique.

Finish: Crisp, clean, dry and complex. A light spicy build, layers of elements; herbs, spice, citrus, florals. A delicate citrus linger and tingle.

Overall: This is a must folks. Simply one the best I've had. We need to mention this as a strong exception when speaking of Czech absinthe from now on!

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First impressions: It's very much like the prototype, except with a creamier louche, which is very welcome.

It has that L'Italienne type of perfume, but with a much rounder profile including mallow, lilac, almost a jasmine quality, and a very dry woodiness that is mitigated by a substantial dose of candied anise. As it coats the palate, a subtle underpinning of citrus also reveals itself. There is very ample wormwood in the finish, and it tastes like the same Italian varietal that Stefano used in the L'Italienne distillations, which is very fragrant, but not quite as assertive as the splendid Pontarlier strain found in Berthe de Joux.

The color is a beautifully natural golden green, neat, and when louched there are lovely underpinnings of blue and copper, as well. It is true that the color could be greener, but I thought it rated a 5 because it seemed the ideal shade to match the unusually dry, floral, mallowy, and perfumy palate. A vivid green would have almost seemed somewhat out of place.

The nose (neat) is redolent of anise (more licorice-y than I expected, but after louching, a remarkably complex and nearly room filling perfuminess blossoms.

The louche (I opted for a 4:1 ratio (which seems ideal in this case)* is extremely gradual and lovely...not exactly billowing clouds and rolling fog banks, but pretty darn close, just not as turbid. There is a fine opalescence when La Grenouille is fully louched. I was very close to giving this one a 5, and still may, after I've observed a few louches.

*I wouldn't recommend a water to absinthe ratio of much lower than 4-1 because the mallow, lilac and jasmine flavors won't really reveal themselves, and the balance will shift a bit too heavily toward the citric

The flavor is not as austere as that of L'Italienne, but I could see drinkers who do not generally add sugar making an exception here, as it would probably round out the intense flavors a bit.

I am, of course, enamored of this Stefano masterpiece sans sucre, particularly the finish, which is delightfully long and fragrantly dry.

La Grenouille is a marvelous absinthe paradox, being at once a beverage of great complexity, delicacy, and finesse, and yet also powerfully flavored and direct, immediate, and vibrant. This is a feat that few modern distillers could achieve, and definitely speaks volumes for Stefano Rossoni's liquid poetic artistry.

So much for Czech absinthe (I hear Stefano supervised the distillation of this one, but it still comes out of a Czech alembic) never having a shot at the top echelon.
Overall rating 
 
4.8
Appearance 
 
5.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
5.0
Overall 
 
5.0
Reviewed by Absomphe March 04, 2011
Last updated: March 06, 2011
Top 50 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (26)

Liquid Poetry

First impressions: It's very much like the prototype, except with a creamier louche, which is very welcome.

It has that L'Italienne type of perfume, but with a much rounder profile including mallow, lilac, almost a jasmine quality, and a very dry woodiness that is mitigated by a substantial dose of candied anise. As it coats the palate, a subtle underpinning of citrus also reveals itself. There is very ample wormwood in the finish, and it tastes like the same Italian varietal that Stefano used in the L'Italienne distillations, which is very fragrant, but not quite as assertive as the splendid Pontarlier strain found in Berthe de Joux.

The color is a beautifully natural golden green, neat, and when louched there are lovely underpinnings of blue and copper, as well. It is true that the color could be greener, but I thought it rated a 5 because it seemed the ideal shade to match the unusually dry, floral, mallowy, and perfumy palate. A vivid green would have almost seemed somewhat out of place.

The nose (neat) is redolent of anise (more licorice-y than I expected, but after louching, a remarkably complex and nearly room filling perfuminess blossoms.

The louche (I opted for a 4:1 ratio (which seems ideal in this case)* is extremely gradual and lovely...not exactly billowing clouds and rolling fog banks, but pretty darn close, just not as turbid. There is a fine opalescence when La Grenouille is fully louched. I was very close to giving this one a 5, and still may, after I've observed a few louches.

*I wouldn't recommend a water to absinthe ratio of much lower than 4-1 because the mallow, lilac and jasmine flavors won't really reveal themselves, and the balance will shift a bit too heavily toward the citric

The flavor is not as austere as that of L'Italienne, but I could see drinkers who do not generally add sugar making an exception here, as it would probably round out the intense flavors a bit.

I am, of course, enamored of this Stefano masterpiece sans sucre, particularly the finish, which is delightfully long and fragrantly dry.

La Grenouille is a marvelous absinthe paradox, being at once a beverage of great complexity, delicacy, and finesse, and yet also powerfully flavored and direct, immediate, and vibrant. This is a feat that few modern distillers could achieve, and definitely speaks volumes for Stefano Rossoni's liquid poetic artistry.

So much for Czech absinthe (I hear Stefano supervised the distillation of this one, but it still comes out of a Czech alembic) never having a shot at the top echelon.

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