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

3.9 (2)
4.3 (18)

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18 reviews
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1 star
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Flavor / Mouthfeel
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18 results - showing 1 - 5
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Hallmark of the Bleue Tradition
Overall rating
Appearance: Clearer than water with a hint of nothingness. This is seriously clean and clear. The glass ads the only imperfection that I can see. Almost surreal to an extent.

Louche: Surprisingly thick louche. The louche was quick to form and stands strong. The final result is a milky white with blue hued edges.

Aroma: Wormwood floral tones mesh with an anise sweetness, earthen herbs, and a fruit scent similar to apple. I'm betting on Chamomile usage. A bit of pepper tone is there to add depth, just a bit.

Flavor: A soft creamy texture is very noticeable along with a very sweet taste, to the degree that I would suggest sugar users try this one without sugar first. Wormwood rushes in first followed quickly by anise. Every background note that was detectable in the aroma is present in the taste. A very well balanced and deeply flavored blanche.

Finish: Anise and peppery coriander come out and dominate the lengthy finish changing the creamy texture into a sharp and slightly bitter finish. Very refreshing.

Overall: It is obvious to me why this is the gold standard blanche absinthe. This is well crafted and complex enough to keep one guessing. A very good place to start heading if you are looking for a good blanche.
Top 10 Reviewer 70 reviews
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Possibly My Favorite
(Updated: August 12, 2008)
Overall rating
If you like the Kubler product in the US, I believe you'll enjoy this one as much or even more. It has an aroma and taste that are ever so slightly better, in ways that I cannot describe.

The color is perfectly clear and the louche is patient, translucent, and a very fine combination of rumbling thunder clouds with small oily trails dancing on top. The aroma is complex and fills the room. It is definitely overpowering and non-fans might find it too much. I felt that in spite of its goodness, it wasn't perfect and taste seemed the most appropriate place to take the points away. The taste is very mellow and non-offensive. It is also complex, without any one flavor dominating. All these add up to a slight disappointment because there is almost nothing to talk about.

The finish cleans up well and leaves the mouth feeling like it did before the first sip. But the flavor from the aroma lingers, calling out for the next sip.

This is probably my favorite of all blanches and vertes combined and one I will definitely keep stocked.
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One of the Best
Overall rating
I usually drink this around 3/4:1, no sugar. I first tried this before it was legal, when it was sold by Betty. Betty's La Bleue's. I now regularly keep this in stock, partly because it has been readily available in Quebec for the past several years.

Color: Perfectly Clear

Louche: Opalescent white with blue around the edges. Finishes quickly

Aroma: Anise, spice, white pepper, herbs, wormwood, a bit of earth, pine. Alpinely, crisp and cold. Very complex. Amazing.

Flavor: Matches aroma. Anise, white pepper, menthol. Crisp, clean and very refreshing. Sweetness and bitterness in perfect balance. A bit tongue-numbing

Finish: Excellent mouth feel, not thin at all, has some weight, but also not too thick. Sweetness fades fast, then long bitter tongue-numbing. Piney and bitter til the end. Lasts a long time. In no way unpleasant.

Overall: A top-notch absinthe. Sweet enough to not require sugar (I sugar most of my absinthes). The bitterness of the wormwood matches the sweetness perfectly. A perfect balance.
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Crystal Clean
(Updated: May 03, 2009)
Overall rating
Before Water: Crystal clear. Pretty refractions.

After Water: Good opalescence, catches the light well, has good glow with mostly grey, slight copper-bronze highlights, and hints of blue.

Nice trails and jellies. Quick compared to vertes of course, but a good pace for a blanche. Nice rolling fog bank and tendrils reach into the clear portion on top. Good show.

Before Water: A lush, inviting concentrated herbal aroma of the main trinity. I don’t usually find the neat aroma for absinthe to be this pleasant.

After Water: It actually loses a little of the lushness, but the notes are retained and become more delicate and floral.

While many vertes may be bolder, the herbs in Clandestine give it a very nice richness and depth. The anise leads of course; the wormwood is delicate, but definitely registers in the soft floral ranges, floating above the light sweetness of the fennel. Subtle supporting herbal notes that might be hyssop, chamomile, and even coriander round out the overall flavor. The quality of the ingredients is apparent, and there’s a really nice crispy clean feel to the whole thing.

The nice creamy body smoothly transforms into a dryer wormwood finish with just a hint of alcohol heat. Almost palate cleansing.

Excellent la bleue, easily one of the best that’s commercially available. I wish a little more of the lush herb power from the neat aroma stuck around after water, but that certainly doesn’t take away from the full crystal clean flavor. The immaculate character is what pushes the Flavor and Overall areas to a 5 for me.

Notes: Louched 3:1, fountain drip, no sugar. Both EU and US bottles tasted separately.
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The Secret's Out
(Updated: April 06, 2010)
Overall rating
This review is based on several glasses of LCB from between September os 2009 and March of 2010.

When it comes to blanches, it makes more sense to speak of clarity rather than color, and the clarity of Clandestine is fairly sharp, with a little bit of opalescence. But it's the aroma of this one which caught my attention -- it is one of a pleasant, spicy mintiness that outshiness any of the other three blanches I've tried to date.

As hinted at by the aroma, taste was just as spicy, but not overwhelming or too intense. In fact, the minty sharpness of the wormwood was very well balanced. The finish is equally pleasant, although I had expected it to last a little bit longer. Admittedly, I prefer my vertes, but this is an exceptional blanche and I would never refuse a glass.

I prefered this one mixed at a 4.5:1 ratio, with a teaspoon of light agave nectar. Others have noted that blanches tend to taste sweeter to them than vertes, but I didn't find this one to be so much sweeter as to warrant changing my normal amount of sugaring.
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