Review Detail

4.0 8 0.5
As Good as Duplais' Blanche, But More Complex
(Updated: April 17, 2010)
Overall rating
Flavor / Mouthfeel
From first taste of Absinthe Duplais Verte it is immediately understood that it is essentially Absinthe Duplais Blanche that's been put through a second distillation process with macerated herbs for the verte color and added flavor complexity.

Color: Before louching the color of Absinthe Duplais Verte is a lovely fresh green, and not yellow at all. It looks to be a "clear," pure green ... simply pristine and what I'd hope to expect from a recent offering of a verte. No sediment — A slight sediment doesn't bother me, but it is undetectable here. Again, this is what I would consider a very "clean" Absinthe verte. After loucheing the color turns to a fresh yellow-green. You see the "Green Lady" that is the filled, ready-to-drink glass, and it's quite pleasing.

Louche: The louche is good. Complex oil trails into the green liquor provide a nice complex show, louche is not slow but takes its time well enough to see pleasant cloud swirling formation before full louche. Ends with layer of clear-green liquor on surface, as may be expected is from a quality absinthe verte.

Aroma: Anise and fennel dominate with some hints of vanilla or a vanilla-like tasting herb. Bottle has strong alcohol odor, which is to be expected since Absinthe Duplais Verte is 68 percent alcohol. Excellent aroma in the glass, a fresh "trinity" is there plus vanilla notes and some natural sweetness from the herbs. Some alcohol aroma, as it is 68 percent alcohol afterall.

Flavor: The vanilla or vanilla-like notes are tamer here than it is with the Duplais' Blanche version. Rather, the difference seems to be in the second distillation process; the added herbs complete a more complex flavor, making it not as sweet and a tad more bitter than the Blanche version. Excellent.

Finish: Strong alcohol content leaves behind an imperfect taste, but still not bad. Strong alcohol content also preserve the freshness of the herbs and the truly exceptional green color (the chlorophyll — it is alive! it seems). Very fresh taste of anise, fennel and grand wormwood. Tongue is left quite numb.

Overall: Another high-quality product from Duplais. I also consider the quality of the alcohol. After five drinks last night I woke up with zero hangover, which tells me that the grain spirit is of high-quality and is "clean." (Disclosure: I'm particularly hangover-prone. If I don't get a hangover from five drinks, then the spirit is no doubt quite pristine.) The norm should still be five Absinthe drinks maximum, I wouldn't push it but, nonetheless, this is an impressive drink. It's up there with Pacifique for me.

Final note: This is strange for me because I think Absinthe Duplais Verte is one of the best, but Absinthe Duplais Blanche is THE finest blanche on the American market, insofar as I know. The Duplais Verte reminds me of its blanche base. Simply put, I'm not certain if I desire to mix both worlds. This is a great drink and I will have some on hand for guests and myself on occasion, but I hope to drink Absinthe Duplais Blanche on a more regular basis, especially when it's warm and sunny outside. I may prefer Pacifique slightly as the "go-to" verte. But when I want to show a newcomer to absinthe a fine example of a traditional green, "Green Lady," then I will bring this one out. Absinthe Duplais Verte is very refined, top-shelf classic verte, a better introduction for beginners than anything I can think of and satisfying to those who know absinthe.

Update April 16, 2010: The score remains the same, but I reverse my sentiments slightly. The Absinthe Duplais Verte is more the go-to absinthe for regular use, and the Absinthe Duplais Blanche is more of a special occasion drink, when "sweets for the sweet" are in order. Absinthe Duplais Verte is a great, somewhat unusual absinthe. The vanilla notes, while less apparent than in the blanche version, make it different than anything else on the market, but it is still something I would find satisfying most any time I desire absinthe. It's good to have both this and Pacifique on hand. Pacifique satisfies when you truly desire the classic 19th century French Absinthe taste made from the highest quality herbs. The Duplais is different, but of no lesser quality. Perhaps the Duplais is simply more Swiss ... and contempory? (Absinthe Duplais Verte and Pacifique Absinthe Supérieure will be in my cabinet at all times.)
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