Review Detail

2.3 6 0.5
My first rouge, sort of...
(Updated: February 27, 2009)
Overall rating
Flavor / Mouthfeel
This glass was prepared with ice cold water at slow drip, without sugar.

Aroma pre-louche: I was expecting flowers. What I got was a delicate sweet perfume that presents anise yet has beneath an unusual quality. I can only presume this is from the hibiscus flowers used in coloration. I sense nothing bad in these first inhalations. It definitely smells like a traditional absinthe, but with some sort of sweet, candy-like secret I can't wait to expose.

Color: The color is completely orange. A pleasant, natural orange, but not red in any way. It is a beautiful, gem-like color with an inviting crystal clarity. Interestingly, from above the glass it almost vanishes completely!

Louche: A ballet of oily wisps holds the louche ab bay. In fact the louche did not even begin until at least a 2:1 ration had been reached. And even then there was no billowy effect; it just was there. The aroma came long before the louche took hold; a wonderful candy-like scent filled the area. I actually salivated. The anticipation of the louche was so strong that the aroma took center stage. Think freezing cold peppermints before dinner instead of after and you'll understand the sensation. It finishes a pleasant shade of off-white. Not took thick and not too thin. The smell right over the glass is unusual.

Flavor: very subtle. velvety. I taste more wormwood than anything else, and even that is rather subdued. Not in a bad way though, and it allows an unusual taste to move forward. There is a hard to describe flavor that dominates the drink, perhaps a distant hint of flowers, I just don't know. The mouth feel is very thin.

Finish: Gone in a flash, this absinthe leaves very little taste considering the amount of questions it brings up. I can't pinpoint any one flavor from the others, and there is no trace of anything once it is gone. The last thing I taste is just another question; "what is that... that... what is that?"

Overall: My initial concern about the bottle of Maitresse I received was the color of its contents. Gone was any trace of the rouge color I was expecting. But after some good advice, and careful contemplation I decided to forgo any misgivings about the totally orange color of this absinthe. I respect the attempt at coloration by using natural products, and as such i cannot penalize this absinthe for losing its color. The taste is unique and rather unremarkable. For me there is nothing at all about this absinthe that makes it stand out over any other I've had. It's not bad at all, but I find my struggle to pinpoint many aspects of it take away from the experience. Unfortunately it tastes nothing like a traditional absinthe, in my humble opinion This absinthe greatly benefits from sugar, but I need to further experiment with the water ration.
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