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

4.1 (4)
4.2 (9)

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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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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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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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One of my favorites
Overall rating
Color: A mixture of light olive and gold. Free of any sediment or haze. Attractive and natural looking.

Louche: Builds slowly from the bottom up, but lacks the trails and layering action that a superior louche provides. Doesn't get too thick, which I like. It was thick enough with an attractive milky green hue characteristic of a good verte. It doesn't obtain that opalescence though. Much like the Belle Amie, a slow drip and ice cold water is essential for getting a decent louche.

Aroma: Neat the aroma is wonderful. As soon as I opened the bottle I knew I was going to like this absinthe a lot. It possesses a delightful floral bouquet that dances all over your olfactory senses. It gave me deja-vu to a time standing in my great grandmother's garden in the spring long ago. The anise takes a back seat. Very clean, very floral. Not room filling, in fact it stays mostly in the glass. For this, and for the fact that I found the N-O and Belle Amie more complex I granted this a 4 instead of a 5.

Flavor: Delicious. That floral bouquet exploded onto your palate while that Italian Wormwood imparts a desirable bitterness. There is a strong "bite" in there that I enjoyed. I found that it contrasted some of the more delicate floral notes well. The only imbalance is that the anise plays second fiddle, but it works well in this absinthe. An offering like this makes me re-think my stance about the pre-dominant flavor in an absinthe having to be anise.

Finish: Long and enjoyable. The wormwood imparts a slight bitterness while that creamy fennel finally makes it's presence known. IMO that's how fennel should work in an absinthe. It imparted a slight numbing sensation, which I found desirable.

Overall: This is one of my favorite offerings to date. I have a feeling this stuff has good aging potential, if one has the willpower to do so. I look forward to trying more of Stefano's creations.
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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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