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Review Detail

(Updated: June 11, 2011)
Overall rating 
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
6/10/11 Revisit

Since Walton Waters has noticeably improved after sitting in the bottle for two years I wanted to see what had happened with Meadow of Love.

The surprising thing is not much has changed and the little that has is for the better. The colour has gone from perfect peridot to an elegantly aged gold while the louche is unchanged. It even somehow still has a greenish tint not present when poured neat. The aroma is less floral and more honeyed, completely blowing VDT blanches (whose aromas I tend to really love even if they taste boring) out of the water. The flavour has always been balanced but is now very mellow and rounded. For a while about a year ago I noticed that the wormwood bitterness had gotten out of line and was a bit too strong but it's perfect again. Rather than crisp the mouth feel is creamy and mouth-coating but not oily or buttery. The finish is unchanged. I had forgotten just how amazing this absinthe is.

It's difficult to restrain myself from changing the scores to all 5's, based on the criteria. However I like to assume that no matter how good things are they can theoretically be improved upon, even if I cannot imagine how. The aroma will take the scoring hit, based on the fact that its superb balance robs it of some complexity, so it loses a point for what is essentially a positive feature. Hardly fair, but there it is.

Despite some very strong contenders this is still the best modern commercial absinthe I've had. It's simply unbelievable.

Original review:

Bright, clear, peridot green before louche. Fantastic! Aroma is incredibly floral, and reminds me of Val-de-Travers blanches. Wormwood galore, with a sweet anise layer underneath. Louche action is nothing short of magnificent. It begins at the bottom, rolling back and forth, building layer upon layer, and looking near the end like cumulus clouds with little, puffy tops before turning completely stratus. After louche the colour is nearly white, with the faintest bit of yellow and green. Pretty thick. The aroma is powdery, still with the dense wormwood presence. The other herbs are so balanced they're almost too tangled to pull apart.

Flavour is the pinnacle of balance. Nothing overwhelms. Sweet with a salival gland-activating bite. Wormwood becomes pretty dominant in the lingering finish, which transitions to fennel and then anise before it finally fades. The mouth-feel is incredibly soft, mellow, and creamy. If Walton Waters is an entree then this is dessert. It's everything an absinthe should be.

This drink in my glass is my favourite modern commerical absinthe. Man, I could drink this forever. I decided to wait until I'd had a few glasses to review it so that I could see if the passion would burn brightly and then fade. It's still quite hot.
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