Absinthe Taboo - Reviewed by Experts and Consumers at The Wormwood Society

3.4 (4)
3.4 (9)

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Absinthe, eh?
Overall rating
Appearance: Absolutely beautiful in the glass. Just the faintest emerald hue amidst crystalline clarity.

Louche: Thin trails lead to a thick fog that keeps a nice separation between the louche and the top layer. This holds until 1.5:1 or so, then it's completely foggy with a hint of green.

Aroma: This is the downfall for me on this one. It's slightly spicy, but overly medicinal until the dilution is at least 4:1. Only then does the aroma balance out a bit.

Flavor: Slightly thin in feel, there are some interesting flavors happening in the background. A tad bitter (in a good way), a little spicy and fruity, works best if you let it sit in your mouth and warm a bit before swallowing. Nothing really stands out as a "wow" but there's not much to complain about, either.

Finish: Very dry with a lingering bitterness (again, in a good way).

Overall: Not a bad effort at all, but nothing that really stands out as superior over other brands.
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O ya Canada
(Updated: June 02, 2011)
Overall rating
Color: Bright emerald green, I mean very bright and very emerald. Seems to have been tweaked since the last time I purchased a bottle. It's perfectly clear. Although the ingredient list on the label lists only natural ingredients, the color of this absinthe is a bit too close to turquoise. I will give it a 3 though because apparently it is natural and it is rather appealing.

Louche: A nice thick louche that leads to a creamy opalescent green with lots of nuance. Definitely star anise in there.

Aroma: Beautiful sweet perfume aroma. Fruity and candy like. Also lemony. Wormwood is there and anise smells good. I believe this is the new formulation because I can notice a huge difference. It has a much fuller flowery aroma.

Flavor: Anise up front. Whereas the old formulation was more star anise this one seems to be more balanced between the star anise, green anise and fennel. This is an improvement. Other than anise flavour is very fruity and sweet with a mild mentholated bitterness from the wormwood. Make sure not to overwater this one. I feel it does best around 2.5 to 3.5 parts water, more flavour comes out. More than 4 parts water is too much. I think the fruit based alcohol contributes much to the fruity sweetness. This is definitely a summer aperitif absinthe.

Finish: The weakest link in this absinthe. Don’t get me wrong though, it’s good, mentholated tongue numbing sweetness but does not linger long. The less water you add the more bitter it is and the longer it lingers. The more water you water you add the thinner and less lingering it becomes. Perhaps a perfect middle can be reached.

Overall: This has turned out to be an excellent absinthe. The new formulation is noticeable and an excellent improvement in my opinion. This has always been a unique absinthe and I’m glad that they continued to go in that direction with the new formulation. I’m proud that Okanagan Spirits, being a Canadian company, has created such a unique and high quality absinthe that easily stands on its own in today’s absinthe market.

Edit 06/02/2011:

After letting this absinthe sit and breathe for a bit I have noticed a few changes. The pre-louche color has toned down a bit. It's still bright and very green but the artificial tones have toned down. Not so much turquoise now but just cyan-like nuance. Further proof it is naturally colored but I will leave the score at 3 since it still has unnatural nuance.

The candylike aroma's and flavor's have toned down to a more herbal and earthy mix. I believe I added a bit more water than normal to this glass as well. I really like how this absinthe is turning out. It seems to get better every time I pour myself a glass.

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Mister sandman, bring me a dream
(Updated: April 12, 2010)
Overall rating
He's not... So let's hope the Fée Verte does! Anyway, love this song, Mr Sandman. Long time since I didn't listen to it. It was this song, the cover from Blind Guardian, that made me love metal when I was a young teen. And we could say that all my teen years took a corrner when I heard that song. It's what it started that made me grow my hear, turn gothic, etc. Seems so long ago, while it isn't really. When I look at it now, considering I'm a rock fan and that this « teen spirit » that I « smelled » last summer when discovering the fairy was also me taking a corner in my adulthood. I suppose it's also the fairy inspiration that pushed me to think of it now, instead of my ordinary rocky lullaby. Yeah it's not my first glass this night... Anyway, the review :

The color is a bit weak, quite clear. When you look at it quickly, it seems like minty/cold-green tone, but when looking more closely and through the light you can see a yellowish tint. Not flashy, but beautiful.

The louche is quite beautiful as far as my little experience can tell. At 2:1 the « tourment » is still there, with a beautiful layering of anise cloud, a line of wormwood green and a fresh water layer on top of it. After it though, the swift oil swirls quickly pale at a green-translucent white and settle at about 3:1.

The pre-louched aroma is in my opinion the bad side of this absinthe. It smells alcohol, with maybe some mint far behind. While the alcohol smell is not cheap, it's not what we could hope from a topsinthe. Until 3:1. When fully louched, you can smell a mix of minty anise with some wormwood crisp. There's also something, a « je ne sais quoi », that could be linked to the fruit-base alcohol used. Maybe the color plays on my mind but I cannot tell something other than white grape. Also, lemon (or even grapefruit I could say) and a « cinamonny » undertone.

Like the louched aroma, I would say minty anise with wormwood, a bit of lemon and cinammon. While the wormwood is good and crispy, the alcohol flavor is a bit straightforward. While my water is iced, I can still feel it warming my throat. Could be more subtle. Can be good unsugared to, somewhat like blanche.

The finish is long lasting, crispy, minty... so very nice, but still it has a strong alcohol flavor lingering.

A quite good absinthe and one that Canadians can be proud of. I think the major thing to upgrade is the aroma and color, as far as I'm concerned with my not very keen smell and the fact that this is the only natural green available in Montreal, these two are OK. Still, I'm curious about what fruit they use for their alcohol and I think a lot of the unsettling things about this absinthe are linked to that. I'll have to re-review it when more experienced in « verte ».

So I'll boost the overall rating a bit for now. Even if it feels a bit odd with the Blind tune. 'cause this song is all about getting from nice and light to loud and heavy, and the Taboo feels a bit like the contrary. Tell her that my lonesome nights are over, Miss Green Fairy. I'm so alone, don't have nobody to call my own. Please turn on your magic bean, miss Green Fairy, bring me a dream.

P. S. :Done with one dose, sugared with a drop of simple syrup, at 3-3,5:1. And I don't like the bottle, which while beautiful, is not practical for storing and pouring.
Top 100 Reviewer 5 reviews
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Awkward and Odd - Different is an Understatement
Overall rating

This review is based on a blind sample.


A thin stream from a fountain of iced spring water.

Color Before Water

More Aquamarine than green, although odd it's very pretty and clear. It doesn't seem to fit into acceptable color ranges. However it's natural and not at all unattractive, just not what I would expect from an Absinthe.

Aroma Before Water

As off beat as the color. But again, not unattractive. What did strike me as odd was the almost non existent scent of Anise and Fennel. There's something sweet and perfume like that was hard for me to place. The more I breathed it in and came back to it after letting the glass alone for a while to open up was an almost over ripe or candied fruit aroma. Pleasant enough with enough heat from the alcohol to keep it from being cloying or overbearing. Still, I found the aroma peculiar for an Absinthe but not offensive or unappetizing - just incredibly different.


A nice Louche that comes about in attractive trails at first and a following of billowing white that fills the glass with increasing speed. There was a subtle opal like quality towards the end and this remained. The aquamarine had given way to a delicate hint of milky blue green. Not the thickest Louche I've seen or most dramatic but very decent - although it did seem a bit thin and the color a bit off. Mouth feel is thin, no real sense of anything creamy or luscious. I noticed when tipping the glass it left the glass completely clean which I interpret as not having any real body.

Aroma After Water

Somewhat intriguing but hard to place. There's something almost candied about it which made me follow my hunch and not use sugar - at least not at first. I detected no Anise, no Fennel but again this floral, fruity and slightly candied aroma which is pleasant I just would never associate it with Absinthe.


Yikes. Let me first say that I'm one of those people who have the "soap taste" reaction to Cilantro. To me even a hint of Cilantro can ruin a dish. Should a single leaf end up in my mouth I'll spend the rest of the evening with the unpleasant taste of soap lingering for hours. I suspect there's some herb or botanical in this Absinthe that has caused the same reaction. At first sip the taste of soap was sharp and unpleasant. I added a sugar cube, a bit more water and tasted again. But to no avail, although I could detect interesting flavors in the back ground the soapy assault was too powerful to even finish the glass.

The Finish

Lingering soapy flavor and something candied and fruit like, chalky and powdery.

Final Impression

This must be a case of my own enzymes reacting to what very well may be a better tasting Absinthe in reality other than my own reaction to the botanicals within. That said, before I was hit with the unexpected soapy taste I did find both the color, Louche and Aroma all falling short of what I've come to expect and relish in an Absinthe.
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Fantastic and unique. My #1, so far.
(Updated: August 06, 2008)
Overall rating
First off, let me say that I must admit that I've only tried about five brands of absinthe so far. It's difficult to get absinthe where I live (Ontario, Canada) so I'm going to go with what I've got.

The colour is natural, but not aged looking. Looks like a blanche until a third of the ounce glass is full (for measuring) then turns a very nice bright, natural green.

When you two first meet, Absinthe Taboo has a wonderful smell neat. In my sniffing glass, it just explodes my mind. Maybe I'm missing the tide, but there's no 'stinky' smell like in the others I've tried (Lucid and Kubler, the other two Czech brands I've had don't count). Please don't get me wrong, I liked the others...

Taboo just smells incredible from start to finish. I would never drink absinthe straight, NEVER, but it sure makes you think about it. After louche (1:3 + 1 sugar cube is my house) each sip is preceded by many sniffs.

Louche is fairly quick, but the aromas released are quick as well. Absolutely fantastic... I've read in other reviews that people seem to get a 'Juicy Fruit' taste, but I never found that at all. It's got more of an apple-ish taste/smell which is subtlety binded by anise and wormwood. A wisp of a citrus pervades.

One day I'll get my hands on a bottle of Doubs Mystique or Jade Edouard, Absinthe Duplais, etc...

Until then, I'd take Taboo over anything else I've tried and no mistake.
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