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

3.4 (4)
3.4 (9)

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Not bad for a first Canadian offering!
(Updated: April 13, 2008)
Overall rating
Thanks to a big sky friend for sending a sample of this new release.

A nice well rounded green, but a tad light for me.

Louche came about rather quickly (but not in a bad way) and created some pretty decent layering and trails that ends in a nice opalescent green.

Aroma is tropical and intriguing. I'm sure that has to do with the choice in base alcohols. It's light and refreshing.

The flavor is what really differentiates this absinthe with others in its category. Again, due to the base alcohol as well as some of the herbs, it's very sweet and fruity. Almost peachy. Juicy Fruit is a good descriptor. I'd like to see a bit more wormwood come through, but then again, I like wormwood to be very forward in my absinthes.

Overall, this is an enjoyable beverage. Similar to St. George in that the flavors aren't what many would call a 'traditional' absinthe, it still is something that I can enjoy. This is an absinthe that would go well at the beach during a luau or tiki party.
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A tasty offering from Canada
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The name, Taboo is an unfortunate choice as it conjures up images of the Czechsinthe with the same sounding name which seems to be building on the bad-boy absinthe image. Try to forget the name and you'll find an interesting, quality absinthe from Canada. The color is a surprise: thinly green but very bright. The louche comes quickly but it is also interesting as it nicely layers in the glass. My first impression was disappointment in the lightly colored louche but that quickly gave way to the near-opaque pastel green. Taboo doesn't seem interested in copying other absinthes but making it's own statement on it's own terms. The aroma was a bit weak but pleasant and enjoyable. The flavor was a big surprise! It's so fruity it could have been flavored with Juicy Fruit gum. The Star anise is not distracting at all to me. There's plenty of anise but I think it could use a little more fennel. There's a nice bit of citrus from the Melissa, too. The mouth-feel is lovely. There is a gentle but distinct Wormwood bite that comes on nicely in mid-sip and sustains itself throughout the very nice finish. It is quite good.

There is something about Taboo that's not quite traditional but I have the feeling that Okanagan Spirits wasn't trying to make a French or Swiss absinthe but their very own Canadian absinthe. I think they did just fine.
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A Verte, A Blanche, It's Two Absinthes In One!
(Updated: September 12, 2012)
Overall rating
Memo To Producer
Is it possible to put this in a taller bottle? You see... I'm confused about where to store it. Should I put it in the umbrella stand?, or should I put it in the broom closet? If the bottle were a couple of inches taller, the answer would be clear... broom closet! On the plus side, me likes the molded plastic stopper... efficient, won't dry and shrink, and no cork flakes in my absinthe.

Unlouched, clear, very pale mint green with just the slightest hint of blue. Louched, pretty milky minty light green. Light whitish-blue highlights and bluish-white at the meniscus. Decent, but not brilliant sheen. Looks like a slightly colored blanche, rather than a verte.

Fast, Fast, Fast! Actually, nice looking trails and rolling explosions at first. Then good layering sets up. Then I turn to get something out of the fridge, look back, and it's completely opaque at .6:1, with a little green line left. 60% abv and star anise probably has something to do with this. Final color is pleasant, reminds me of summer.

I find the wormwood to be the initial aroma sensation, followed closely by the anise and fennel and an undertone of peach/apricot. Toss in a little florals, dusty herbals, and mintiness, and that rounds out the package. Bright and fresh, a really sunny herbal character. Everything fairly light and delicate, like a verte that thinks it's a blanche.

Mouthfeel is slightly on the thin side. Wormwood is fresh, herbal, and minty, but asserts itself very gently. Some florals, hint of citrus, and that peach/apricot thing. A little prickly on the palate, probably due to the star anise. Overall flavor is bright and would make a great summer drink.

This is where this one falls down a little. First, Nice gentle wormwood "pull" on palate, with a little burst of mint and florals. But then the star anise really becomes a little problematic. As finish wears on, the star anise becomes pricklier and pricklier on the palate. Combined with the drying effect of the drink, it creates the sensation of those chalky pink after dinner mints. It does move me to take another sip, but only to call it quits on this finish.

This is an interesting example of the whole being, maybe, a little better than the sum of it's parts. There's something likeable about this... not in a standard way, but likeable. I do really want to try this in the summer, when I might be thinking of a blanche.

My Biggest Problem With Taboo
I actually kind of like this unconventional verte. My biggest problem is the price, and the price/value ratio. Shipped recently with a bottle of Taboo Gold it cost me about $84 landed on my doorstep (this is a 50cl). In a comparison with some of the highest scoring available absinthes on this site (landed price per liter), Taboo is about 33% more expensive than the 4 comparison products (remember, these are some of the best). To me, that kind of disparity with the market isn't only condemnable, it's shameless! If Absinthe Classics Canada can't find a way to get their pricing at the market (you might start with treating shipping separately, and fairly), I won't be a repeat customer on this one. There's an awful lot of fine absinthes coming down the pike.

7/05/09 Revisit - This evaluation was right in line with my earlier review. One note...from the standpoint of Aroma and Flavor, this absinthe definitely shows best at room temperature. Icy cold, it is just way out of balance. I almost lowered the scores for these categories from 4s to 3s and I am glad I took my time with this.

Done with a 1 ounce dose, diluted 3:1, 3.5:1, and no sugar.

Taboo 11/21/08, 11/28/08, 11/30/08, 7/05/09.
All evaluations had consistent notes.
Top 10 Reviewer 53 reviews
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Not my cup of tea...
(Updated: June 27, 2008)
Overall rating
Color: pale green with a slight bluish tint.

Louche: good and honest.

Aroma: hard to define, something weird in it. Primarily it smells wine base Marc. Then a veronica-like scent. And finally some oddities from where you can discern a hint of fennel and star anise (not the star anise I'm used to in pastis though).

Flavor: some bad bitterness here, every herbs are hidden behind that overpowering Marc that leads to some strange fruity flavors. The result is not really savory, just 'odd' for an absinthe.

Finish: biting and dry tongue, there is something unnatural that I dislike and stays forever.

Overall: definitely not my cup of tea, I can appreciate some 'unusual' absinthes for a change, but not that one. It's like Taboo has been distilled as a 'novelty' eau-de-vie, not a 'novelty' absinthe.
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