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La Grenouille

 
4.4
 
4.4 (9)
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9 reviews

 
(4)
 
(5)
3 stars
 
(0)
2 stars
 
(0)
1 star
 
(0)
Overall rating 
 
4.4
Appearance 
 
4.0  (9)
Louche 
 
4.3  (9)
Aroma 
 
4.5  (9)
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.7  (9)
Finish 
 
4.7  (9)
Overall 
 
4.3  (9)
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9 results - showing 1 - 5
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Liquid Poetry
(Updated: March 06, 2011)
Overall rating 
 
4.8
Appearance 
 
5.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
5.0
Overall 
 
5.0
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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I'm glad this frog hopped across the pond.
(Updated: January 05, 2013)
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.5
Finish 
 
5.0
Overall 
 
4.5
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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Mediterranean breeze with a kick
(Updated: July 19, 2011)
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Appearance 
 
3.0
Louche 
 
5.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
5.0
Overall 
 
4.0
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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Different and awesome!
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
3.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
5.0
Overall 
 
4.0
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.
EC
Top 10 Reviewer 70 reviews
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We love the spicy frog!
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
5.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
5.0
Overall 
 
4.0
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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