Review Detail

3.7 18 0.5
The first decent US-distributed absinthe
(Updated: July 20, 2011)
Overall rating
The US release of Kübler 53 reminds me a lot of a good arak. Well, the European one does, too, but I actually think this one is cleaner and better. The colour is perfectly clear. The louche is gorgeous but too fast, as anise is by far the dominant herb.

The aroma is very pleasant and typical of VDT blanches. A lot of anise wrapped in an ethereal, floral blanket. Wormwood is quite noticeable in the nose. Unfortunately it only barely carries over to the taste, which reminds me more of Razzouk arak than it does of any absinthe. It's anise, anise, and anise. At least it's really good anise, though, and not too sweet. Spicy and slightly camphorous. Wormwood is detectable with some effort, mostly as a floral quality on the roof of the mouth and then as a light, bitter kick in the long, anisey finish. The mouth-feel is creamy but too numbing.

The most noticeable difference between this version and the European release is the lack of the chocolaty, burnt taste that I found distracting in the latter. This is a lot more clean and appropriate tasting, although it could stand to have either the anise drawn back or the other herbs brought considerably forward. For absinthe, its suggested retail price of $49.99 without the added cost of courier shipping from Europe makes it very attractive. Yet it still costs 300% more than Razzouk while only tasting 30% better. A heftier wormwood profile would really help to fix that.
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