Delaware Phoenix "Blues Cat" - Reviewed by Experts and Consumers at The Wormwood Society

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This Cat Shouldn't Have Anyone Singing The Blues
(Updated: May 22, 2014)
Overall rating
Very nice light peridot green. A bit paler than I'd like, but absolutely clear and natural looking. The clarity is particularly impressive for an unfiltered absinthe. I've worked my way through a goodly portion of the bottle, and there is zero sign of sediment.

Although not the most gradual of louches, I don't find it to be as "quick" as a few other tasters who have commented on it. There are some nice swirling tendrils as it forms, if not exactly rolling fog banks. The final result stops short of opaque, and is reminiscent of mother of pearl that has lost most of its fire. Nonetheless, there is a smidgeon of opalescence, if one gazes at the louche in the right light.

This is where Blues Cat really begins to shine. Fennel is the foremost ingredient, followed by a candied anise, and some woodsy qualities (I don't specifically pick out wormwood, at least neat).

Louched, Blues Cat really opens up and blossoms. Fennel is still the lead player, followed by the anise, but the woodsy earthiness is wrapped in a very fragrant alpine floral bouquet that completely fills a room. I actually walked out of another room, and had to be about twenty feet away, when I was startled by that wonderful scent.

Like its similarly earthy counterpart Ridge Verte, Blues Cat really stands up to water. I usually like my absinthe fairly dense, but I found my typical 3-4:1 dilution ratio to be a bit too concentrated to allow all the wonderful flavors to take wing, and I settled on 4-5:1 as my ideal here.

An absolutely beautiful balance of fragrant, fruity fennel (still just a tad in the forefront), that wonderful candied anise, minty wormwood and other wildflowers, just the right touch of citrus, and something almost like chanterelle mushrooms.

The finish is incredibly lengthy without much change from the initial flavor. I agree with Michael Meyers that there is a powdery buildup that leaves one's mouth feeling a bit cluttered by the time the end of a glass is reached. However, for me, the flavor is such a beguiling combination of sweet, perfumy, and savory, that I actually enjoy the cumulative effect, hence my score of a 4.5.

Already a thing of beauty, and very balanced for its age, Blues Cat is still quite young, and there is definitely some room for the various components to further meld and soften with age. If this occurs, I feel there is an excellent chance that it will become my absolute go-to commercial offering. In any case, I fervently hope it becomes a "regular" product in the Delaware Phoenix lineup.
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Coolest Cat Around
Overall rating
Appearance: A nice and clear peridot green. Slightly on the yellow side and just a tad thin but not much.

Louche: This is an absinthe that can handle a “power-louche”. The final result is definitely on the thick side but otherwise correct.

Aroma: The fennel seems to pop a bit more than usual as well as some mint and citrus notes. A slight bit of peppery nuance is also balanced with the usual trinity leaving a very intriguing result.

Flavor: Wormwood, anise and fennel do battle right up front exchanging dominance in flavor, Melissa, mint and coriander aren't too far behind though. The texture is creamy yet piqued with peppery notes and a delightful bitterness. A compelling and strong absinthe. Not weak in any aspect at all.

Finish: The anise comes out a bit more with a slight bitterness ending the finish but it doesn't change too much from the original flavor and stays relatively strong as well.

Overall: This is a wonderfully complex and strong absinthe. It is up front with no apologies; an absinthe for absinthe lovers. Not for those wanting weird flavors or something tame at all.
Top 10 Reviewer 70 reviews
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Not to be left in the bag.
(Updated: June 07, 2012)
Overall rating
Pre-louche, my particular bottle is a lighter and more yellow shade of peridot. Goes without saying but I see very little importance on this factor and know it's discoloration could be do to a number of different factors. Post-louche, not much color carries over and it becomes very neutral for a verte.

Moderately paced louche that is complete at about a 1.3:1 ratio. I stopped the dilution at about a 4:1 ratio and it's still on the heavy end. I would agree with the other reviewers, it is pearlescent at the drinks extremities but doesn't quite make it to opalescent.

Most fragrant when dilution is paused at the 2:1 and 2.5:1 mark. Fennel that's sweetened with anise and supported by a woodsy element, a dark mint. Overall a very mouth watering aroma.

Flavor And Mouthfeel
Sweet, woodsy and creamy...wonderful. Fennel-forward accompanied by anise and mint but after rolling over the tongue a spicy wormwood drops in. All flavors build together in a very luscious but harmonious way. Each element of the trinity ride their way on silky carriage. While I enjoy the thicker louche those who are not so fond of this mouthfeel may find their palate over-matched.

Lingers with a playful peppery bite, some tongue numbing as you get down the glass but pleasant. All flavors are present but wormwood is now more dominant. Still has great depth and is long lasting. As stated by others the aftertaste seems to build up almost to cause a slick teeth feel but I don't find it to be a turn off.

Overall Impression
My first impression was that BC compared more with a blanche than a verte. Still highly complex with quality herbs but less grassy and floral. BC is mellow and harmonious but still savory and rich. I look forward to enjoying the two bottles I've purchased and seeing how allowing them to breath enriches any characteristics.

Hopefully no one views this caricature as too strange but I liken BC to a double stuffed Oreo. It's a weird thought and I can't get it out of my head. Perhaps its just the interplay of the oreo's creamy center and minty cookie that remind me of Blue's Cat. To me both are delightful. If only it wasn't necessary to moderate my consumption of both.

*Review was made on the third sitting with a final dilution ratio of 4:1.
**This is also my first review, on this site, and any comments or questions would be appreciated.
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I wish this Cat would stick around
(Updated: July 25, 2012)
Overall rating
Appearance: Very bright and clean light golden green hues.

Louche: Starting immediately as a low lying fog bank working upwards to fully louched at 1/1. Continuing on all the way to 5/1 to a thickly opaque milky green.

Aroma: Fennel, fennel, and lots of fennel. Crisp and clean anise and a hint of violets maybe? Definitely a Delaware Phoenix product.

Flavor: Sharp at 3/1. More balanced at 4/1. Perfect at 5/1. Like I said, fennel, fennel; and lots of it. Not off putting at all. Very nice Artemesia and a lightly sweet anise. high quality.
A very delicious dryness adds to the flavor.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth clean and light at 5/1. Easy on the tongue. Very refreshing. A slight dryness. Nice balance

Finish: Gets your mind to thinking about the wind in your face on a warm summer day. Nice and tangy. Makes me click my tongue. Sticks to the roof of your mouth like peanut butter for a minute and then fades away making me reach for my glass again.

Overall: A really tasty absinthe from Delaware Phoenix that I wish was a full time offering. A good cross, in my mind, of Meadow of Love and Walton Waters with a little extra "umph".
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Finally, fennel!
Overall rating
Appearance: A very nice light citrine color with hints of a apple-y green when viewed in sunlight, but can appear near-peridot in certain light.

Louche: Extremely thick and opaque, and becomes nearly white, while maintaining a greenish glow with some lurking rusty highlights.

Aroma: After adding water the scent expands a good deal, with deep peppery notes and a enticingly big fennel scent.

Flavor: There's definitely a bit more focus on the fennel in this particular absinthe, which is certainly welcome. It doesn't come across as particularly wormwoody or camphorous, and instead has a velvety candied violet and lemon curd-esque citrus that really explodes when swished around.

Finish: The finish is mouth-watering, but clean, with a bit more anise present along with a cucumber-like juicy flavor.

Overall: It's nice to see a different balance of herbs in an absinthe and have fennel get the spotlight for a while. I was also impressed at how Blues Cat is extremely versatile at a number of dilutions, both extremely low and high amounts of water have been interesting, and not at all undrinkable.
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