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

3.9 (2)
4.3 (18)

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6 reviews with 5 stars
18 reviews
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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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Sneaky Blanche!
Overall rating
Wow - this absinthe is absolutely transparent unlouched. Looks like water with no particles present. Aromas are lovely, floral, balanced, and inviting. The louche consists of pretty trails which turn to a billowing fogbank! Quite exciting to watch. Very pure white when completely louched and noticing some bluish tints around the edges. Striking! Sweet, quality flavor and aroma. You can really tell the quality of ingredients and the mastery of the distillation process in this absinthe.

With this being a blanche - some of the normal flavorings of a verte are noticeably absent... but this is such a great product that it truly makes up for anything which might be considered "lost" by working so well with what *is* there. An absolutely beautifully crafted spirit.
Top 10 Reviewer 47 reviews
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It's a keeper
Overall rating
Appearance: absolutely clear, almost invisible

Louche: Beautiful, but it's over pretty quickly. Pearly white with a few blue overtones.

Aroma: No-nonsense, unadorned absinthe goodness. Nothing stands out, but that's not a complaint. Everything harmonizes into a nice bouquet.

Flavor: Wow. I'm partial to vertes, but if all the blanches were this good, I wouldn't be so biased. Rock-solid blend of the trinity, slightly bitter (but not too much), seductively spicy (but not overpowering), and a hint of numbing that just begs for another sip.

Finish: Slightly dry, slightly bitter, a hint of anise, a dose of pepper... long after the last sip.

Overall: This will absolutely be my go-to brand when I want to introduce someone to absinthe. It's not edgy, it's not unusual, it's not trying to be anything other than a really, REALLY good absinthe, and it hits the mark almost perfectly. I'll definitely have this on hand all the time.
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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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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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