Review Detail

2.2 12 0.5
Artificial color, mediocre flavor hold this back..
Overall rating
Flavor / Mouthfeel
Presentation (no points): This review is based upon a brand new bottle of Grande Absente. Bottle is clear, which would be concerning for a naturally colored absinthe as it would let unfettered light in and break down the chlorophyll rapidly. Unfortunately, Grande Absente is not naturally colored, so this was not a concern for them.

Color (1 point): The label proudly proclaims, "To recall this glorious time [Belle Époque era], Grande Absente, Absinthe Originale is one of the oldest traditional Absinthe recipes from the south of France." And then at the bottom of the label it clearly reads, "Contains FD&C Yellow #5 and Blue #1." This upset me, because clearly that is not part of any traditional absinthe recipe and made me feel as if the producer was attempting to mislead me already. For this reason, Grande Absente gets a 1. I was tempted to give a 2 since it is devoid of sediment and is bright and clear, but the artificial color and misleading statements from the producer made me angrily choose a 1.

Louche (4 points): Grande Absente louches reasonably well, it took about 100 medium-speed droplets to get it going, but it then filled the glass in a pleasant opalescent color that is far more appealing than the artificial green in the bottle.

Aroma (2 points): I was a bit disappointed in the aroma, really only could smell alcohol and a bit of anise. No wormwood, and even upon louching the aroma did not bloom very well.

Flavor (2 points): I was torn between a 2 and a 3 on flavor, I can't say it's appropriate for an absinthe as it's really a straight-forward candy licorice flavor. It's not as sickly sweet as La Fee Parisian, and if I had to choose between the two I would most definitely pick Grande Absente, but if any more traditional absinthe was available I would have it over either in a heartbeat.

Finish (3 points): The finish is not bad, slightest numbing of the tongue, mouthfeel is a touch watery, flavor profile is still very simple and uninspiring.

Overall (2 points): Despite being put off by the artificial color, I really tried to give Grande Absente a fair shake. But between the simplistic flavor, lack of aroma, an unnecessary use of artificial coloring, I can't give it any more than a 2 overall. Additionally, I would challenge the classification of this as a verte unless it can be verified that there is indeed a secondary maceration process for flavoring/coloring. If there is, I sure as heck can't taste it. This tastes more like a simplistic blanche to me. I'd rather have a glass of Kübler. In fact I think I will.
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