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Review Detail

Traditional Absinthe
Quite a rose!
(Updated: August 10, 2008)
Overall rating 
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
Notes: Maitresse Rouge bottle # 76/400; opened 4-11-2008, tasted 4-12-2008. Prepared with ½ sugar cube and fountain drip. I also tried it with one full sugar cube, as the literature suggests sugar is beneficial, but I found this to be too sweet and the cloying aftertaste from the sugar distracting.


Before water- In the bottle, a very attractive and natural looking red with a just a tint of orange. The orange becomes much more pronounced when poured into the glass and viewed from an overhead angle.

After water- A delicate and attractive shade of peach pink. The body does not have the sought after strawberry milk thickness I was hoping for, and is on the translucent side of opaque. I did not score it lower, though, because of the beautiful opalescent ruby glints that shine through when backed by a strong light source (such as sunlight). The action and resulting thin final louche is reminiscent of the only other Emile Pernot absinthe I’ve tried so far, the Roquette 1797.

Louche: Nice trails forming and bouncing in a jelly layer dance as a good absinthe should. The louche cloud itself is very slow to appear, however, and until about 1:1.5 when the cloud starts to appear on the bottom, it leaves one worrying if it will actually form. The action itself is great, and the suspense is part of what I enjoy about it! However, as mentioned previously, the end result is not very thick.

Aroma: Before water, I get a dark grain/woodiness with a fruity scent that was a little off-putting due to the “berries-gone-south” tinge. Fortunately, the aroma opens up very nicely after water. I’m getting a much more pleasant red fruit scent commingling with green anise, nice wormwood, and a pleasant background of other herbal notes.

Flavor: In the front, a delicate (just like the pink tint) floral red fruit that makes me think of someone dashing raspberry flavored water drops into the glass. I perceived that this was balanced nicely with green anise, and some very tasty wormwood (which may have contributed to the floral character of the red fruit- once again, it seems very balanced so I can’t really tell).

Finish and Mouthfeel/Body: Not unpleasant or biting in any way, but it’s pretty darn thin. On the plus side, I detect just a little body with a mild tongue numbing. But I really wanted it to be the strawberry milk texture that I was fantasizing about! The finish is refreshing with a good lingering bitterness…I think the fruit tones in the aftertaste might not be to everyone’s liking, though I found it enjoyable.

Overall Impression:

This is the first rouge absinthe I’ve tried (I have now tasted 11 absinthes total, all modern COs), so I can’t compare it to others of this type. Judged by its own merits, though, I found it unique and quite enjoyable. I’m still waiting for that strawberry milk body that I’ve heard about, but I think that facet is one that could be improved, rather than one that actively detracts from the overall experience.

I detect little of the acrid hibiscus-like tones or clashing flavors that I’ve seen mentioned regarding the previous Un Emile Rouge incarnation.

I would not hesitate recommend this absinthe to anyone wanting to try something a bit different, or whose curiosity is piqued by the beautiful vintage Oxygeene Absinthe Rosinette poster. I am very glad that I picked up a bottle.
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