L'Italienne - Reviewed by Experts and Consumers at The Wormwood Society

4.1 (4)
4.2 (9)

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9 reviews
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1 star
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Very nice with unique flavor.
Overall rating
Color: A yellowish jewel color. Clear and natural. Bright enough not to be dead leaf. Very good but too yellow in hue.

Louche: Slow to start and hazes the original color. Nice layering and ends up an oily translucence. Clouds up in a nice gradient and is slightly on the thin side.

Aroma: Strong very noticeable smells emerge from L'Italliane. A bitter rush up front and sweetness in the back. The trio of absinthe herbs are there but they are behind other smells including what I detect as a lemongrass smell.

Flavor: Very complex and powerful. The taste does better at slightly higher ratios. Perfect bitter-sweet flavor without sugar for me. Tea (jasmine?) and other flavors enhance the general absinthe taste. An amazing wormwood feel in the back of the mouth. Really tasty stuff here.

Finish: Slight peppery taste displays here and the finish sweetens up just a bit for a while. The flavor doesn't change much but it does display subtle variances. Mouth feel lasts a long time even after the flavor dies down.

Overall: This is so close to a higher rating in just about every aspect. The color and louche are a bit off but the flavor is amazing with nice tones displayed in a subtle way instead of the usual in your face style of experimentation. Jasmine and lemongrass are a nice touch and the wormwood is phenomenal. This definitely separates this absinthe from the rest while still sticking to traditional tastes.
Top 10 Reviewer 70 reviews
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Completely wonderful.
Overall rating
Color: Topaz, but not in a "dead" way. Clear, and without sediment.

Louche: Extremely slow, but not too spectacular. Turns and attractive citrine color with amber tones. It can sometimes be finicky to get the correct temperature of water/texture.

Aroma: Once louched, the scent fills the room. It's absolutely magical. Very perfumed and beautiful, with the wormwood creating an easy bridge from the trinity over to the floral notes of lilac and jasmine. I would wear this as a perfume.

Flavor: I can't taste any flavors that I don't adore and I can't think of how all the flavors could be balanced any better. It's fresh and clean with a hint of lemongrass. It's strong jasmine and wormwood flavors have just enough anise to still be undeniably absinthe. So much could go wrong with all of these flavors, but this is so right.

Finish: Not so much of a "finish," as I feel 100% of the flavor lasts for quite a while before slowly diminishing.

Overall: It's hard to be too picky on what is clearly a natural color and louche, but I would like these to present a little better, but the taste more than makes up for this. Definitely my favorite absinthe.
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Very tasty and unique
(Updated: May 04, 2011)
Overall rating
*Edited after drinking off and on over 8 months, and 2 bottles.

Sampled at 3:1 and 4:1, with 1 sugar, then with no sugar. I finally settled at about 3.75:1 and liked it more with half a sugar cube. I suspect you will either really like it, or you won't, due to its unique personality.

The color was a blend of amber, gold and yellow with a faint touch of green. Natural, and clear.

The louche formed slowly and evenly, with modest layering. A soft cloudy louche that formed more from the top down in my egg glass. It required a very cold, slow drip to really bring out the louche. The final color was a nice light green, that when held to a light became bronze, copper and gold with discreet green and yellow flashes. A thinner louche than most, but silky and opalescent.

Its aroma is floral, clean, and crisp, with a delicate perfume element. Interesting and different, and very inviting. It filled the room as water was added. The aroma as the louche formed was stunning; flowers and herbs, and a different softer wormwood with anise in the background. Absolutely wonderful.

As far as flavor, it is a tasty and unique absinthe. It reminded me a bit of Spanish absenta, but with a stronger floral personality, and a bit drier. Delicious gentle wormwood, flowers, perfume, delicate spice and citrus. Some may not like this, as it is not in the typical absinthe arena. I found I had to really hit the right water to absinthe ratio before I really enjoyed it. Just under 4:1 is where it suddenly all came together for me. I'm giving it a 5 as I feel it accomplishes something unique in a very well thought-out manner.

The finish is a bit shorter than ideal, but not overly so. A nice build with layering of its elements.

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Strange Brew
Overall rating
L'Italienne is a most unusual absinthe. It seems unremarkable at first, pouring a natural gold-olive with a strong, medicinal scent before water. The louche action is as it should be: all the usual visuals and ending in a thin, yellow jade.

After water, the aroma is quite odd. With a long inhale I get lavender, grapefruit, and white pepper, all mixed together. "Peculiar" is just the word for it. The flavor is odd and way out of balance. The white pepper becomes more intense, while the citrus remains, but there is also an intrusive bitterness which is not pleasing. That bitterness lingers in the finish, along with notes of pepper and a weird floral air, none of which can be mutually reconciled.

What I do not get with this absinthe is much in the way of anise, or the clean herbal bitterness I expect from a good absinthe. I am afraid I cannot recommend this one.
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Pretty woman..... walking down the flowerpath
(Updated: February 21, 2010)
Overall rating
Color- Very rich golden green with slight amber tones. Deep and inviting with no sediment.

Louche- No swirly clouds or crazy layering. Extremely slow transition due to the use of quality green anise, in my opinion. Beautiful color when louched. It consists of gold and greens.

Aroma- Very flowery and perfumy. It’s like nothing I’ve ever smelled before. I get a whiff of anise, fennel and a Chinese spice I can’t quite put my finger on. It’s lavender and velvety throughout. This is outstanding.

Flavor- I get a good dose of green anise and a mixture of more flowers and perfume. Not an overpowering floral taste but a flavor that compliments the basic flavors of absinthe. It has a real feminine taste but it maintains assertiveness as others have noted. Powdery flavors transition to a peppery wormwood bite at the back of the tongue. The wormwood used is quality and the flavor is crisp.

Finish- This drink makes my mouth happy. Anise, flower and spicy notes are in full bloom at finish. They last pretty long. Only a small amount of tongue numbing.

Overall- I really like this absinthe. Definitely in my top 3. Everything is in balance. The transitioning of flavors is very unique. However, this may not appeal to everyone as it’s unconventional compared to most others on the market. If you’re looking for more floral flavors check this out. It is very distinctive and classy.

Notes- Louched with 3.5 parts water. This is the 1st edition of L'Italienne. Use a REALLY slow and cold drip in order to coax out the louche.

Score update on 2/21/10- In fairness, I changed the 'overall' score from 5 to 4.
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