La Clandestine - Reviewed by Experts and Consumers at The Wormwood Society

 
3.9 (2)
 
4.3 (18)
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3.9
 
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A wonderful blanche
(Updated: December 16, 2009)
Overall rating
 
4.0
December 2009 update: The vinegary note I originally found in my bottle is no longer there. Aging must have helped it. Scores changed to reflect that.
Original aroma: 3 - New aroma: 4


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CLB was my first foray into blanches, and it was a great place to start.

The look was very bright and clear. It was very quick to louche, but it didn't leave a lot of nice oil trails, which is why I only gave it a 4. It did come out very nice in the end with a blue hued creaminess.

The initial smell had hints of something I couldn't put my finger on. Almost vinegary, but with water, that dissipated and ended with a wonderful woodsy scent with gentle hints of anis and fennel. I had to give a low score here mainly for the peculiar initial notes.

It had a very nice, milky mouth feel with lots of anise and wormwood and a clean finish. Very light.

Overall, a very enjoyable blanche.
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Life After Kubler
(Updated: September 12, 2012)
Overall rating
 
3.8
Color
Unlouched, it is perfectly clear, really sparkling clarity like crystal vs. glass. Louched, very milky white, and I mean white white. Early in the dilution, some bluish highlights, final color has just the slightest bluish-gray highlights.

Louche
Really nice swirling thick trails initially, clouds at the bottom with unlouched layer at the top. This all changes real fast, though. Cloudiness comes on pretty quickly starting around .5:1 and drink is pretty much opaque by 1:1. And then it's just drip, drip, drip. Consistency looks very correct, and in color, it has a nice vibrancy.

Aroma
Nice! Not the anise bomb that the "K" brand presents. Initial nose is more fennel forward with good support from the wormwood. Anise is there, of course, in nice balance. No alcohol heat on the nose, either neat or louched. Very clean, fresh, and natural... the more herbal and floral notes appear on the nose after going to palate.

Flavor
Again, very nice! Terrific balance of the trinity. Great fresh herbal impression. Everything about the ingredients here just seems less "dried" than the "K" brand. Creamy attack, nice balance mid-palate, and a subtle burst of spice on the back palate. Yummy!

Finish
Follows aromas and palate very accurately. This is really enjoyable, great balance, nice and satisfying wormwood "pull" on the palate. Ever so slight tongue numbing. Clean.

Overall
This one ratchets up the blanche category for me. Substantial quality, really nice balance, reasonable complexity. I hate to keep referring to the "K" brand, but it was my first blanche, and while I still think it has plenty of charms, this offering clearly has a higher level of raw material and refinement. A fine blanche.

7/06/09 Revisit - This evaluation is right in line with the evaluations done in November 2008. None of the original text is altered. A couple of observations... Even though I would still rate the louche a 3 because it is so fast, I must say that with a slow drip, it is really entertaining while it lasts. Also, my initial evaluations were both done at a dilution of 3:1, and as I gain more experience with absinthe, I'm finding higher water levels to be desirable. Just the addition of an extra .5 part of water has a real controlling effect on the "pull" and "tongue numbing" I mention in my comments on finish. So don't be afraid to play around with dilution. You may just find it enlightening.

Done with a 1 ounce dose, diluted 3:1, 3.5:1, and no sugar.

La Clandestine 11/15/08, 11/23/08, 7/06/09.
All evaluations had consistent notes.
M
Top 10 Reviewer 53 reviews
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