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

4.1 (4)
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Pure Floral Perfume!
(Updated: March 05, 2011)
Overall rating
Here is a case where I feel that the whole adds up to more than the sum of the parts.

Yes, the color is yellowish, but only because its creator, Steffano Rossoni, had a vision of a super-floral, and perfumy absinthe, and the mystery herb that contributed those wondrous qualities also happened to be responsible for the lack of a peridot, or emerald hue. IMO, I'd much rather sniff that glorious aroma, and taste that profound perfume, and sacrifice some of the visuals.

As far as the louche is concerned, yes, it is on the thin side, but only (once again) to allow that perfuminess to hold sway over the palate, and the addition of more anise would have destroyed much of that delicate floral balance. That being said, I found the louche to be quite adequate for the style, and nowhere near as thin as those of the Roquette, or Belle Amie.

Some drinkers have been put off by the extreme perfuminess, but I find it to be exquisite, and there is an accompanying dryness (this is one of the more austerely dry absinthes I've ever tasted) that further emphasizes the aforementioned attributes.

For my money, this is the finest commercial absinthe (along with L'Artianale) to be produced, to date.
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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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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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An elite absinthe!
(Updated: October 22, 2008)
Overall rating
L'Italienne is a pretty and deep gold. Right upon opening the bottle, this absinthe's aroma is splendid. Neat in the glass, it does sear the nose with alcohol some, but otherwise suggests a fruity blend of wormwood and a honey-like character. There is a fresh anise, but it is in more of a supporting role. I did a slow drip to a 1:4 ratio, as any less water produced a too-vague louche. Louched, the aroma becomes stronger, but not too different than before; I think L'Italienne laid its cards on the table already. It isn't quite room-filling, but that shouldn't detract from how nice it smells.

L'Italienne is light on anise and misses out on what likely would have been a nice, creamy mouth feel, but it makes up for it with its simply superb flavor. It is difficult to single out individual herbs in this absinthe, even the anise and wormwood; they all blend quite seamlessly. Perhaps it is this particular wormwood that doesn't leave much of an enduring finish, though it is wonderful while it lasts.

This absinthe is already one of my favorites for the quality of its nose and the harmony of its taste. I think if there were more wormwood, the finish could stay with me longer, and that would be an improvement. I also believe it could benefit in mouth feel and aroma from a greater portion of anise. But these are minor personal quibbles.
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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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