Review Detail

1.6 14 0.5
The Highly Anticipated Blanche
Overall rating
Flavor / Mouthfeel
This review is done upon opening a bottle of 'Essai 4', aged slightly over two years old. Slow, icy cold drip. No Sugar.

Aroma: Removing the cork offers a wonderfully delicate scent of flowers. Even before pouring, the heat of this absinthe gives itself a way on the nose. Once poured and having a chance to breath, the flowers vanish, leaving a strange duet of astringency and something that resembles mashed peas. AS it louches, the flowers reemerge, but are subtle. There is no room-filling cascade of aromas, only a subtle hint of earthy, meadowy wormwood. I just wish it was more pronounced.

Color: Perfectly crystal clear. When it sits perfectly still and is viewed from the side it looks as if there is nothing in the glass at all.

Louche: Sensuous trails hang gently and start to look like ice forming through a high-speed camera. The cloud rises up from the bottom giving the louche the effect of a frosting glass as it rises up to meet the banding line that stays around well through 2.5:1. I develops enticingly slow, and once finished, it ends a thick, flawless snow white. Beautiful!

Flavor: Wow! The first thing you notice is a very powerful wormwood character. For a second it seems as though it will be very bitter, but falls away the instant you take a breath, leaving a wonderful, creamy sweetness. This is a very straightforward drink, but masterfully blended to provide the tongue with an easy to comprehend, but delightfully powerful flavor. All I can say to elaborate is, heavy on the wormwood, but crafted so as to make it sweet and delicate. Fantastic!

Overall: My only previous experience with any blanche is Kubler. I have grown not to enjoy Kubler too much, and was starting to think all Blanches might share the same "twangy" flavor. Blanche Traditionelle 'Essai 4' is one of the most wonderful drinks I've ever tasted, let alone one of the best absinthes. It easily pushed a good number of my favorite vertes out of the top 5 picture. The mouth feel is exquisite, and the flavor is so far beyond my ability to do it justice that I'm almost embarrassed.
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