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

 
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Ordering
Foresty.
Overall rating
 
3.6
The colour is amber with hints of green around the edges. Looks like it has some age to it, which is perfectly fine. It smells dark and purfumey. Trinity is well blended and seems subdued. Powdery.

The louche is pretty thin, but nice colour. Yellow-green with good texture. Wish it were thicker. Water opened the aroma right up. Big wormwood, sweet anise. Earthy, grassy.

However there's not much anise on the palate, but more bitter wormwood. I'm not tasting the floral quality other people are. Lemony and vegetal. I like it but it's incomplete. Mouth-feel is thin.

The finish is wormwoody at first, but the anise finally comes through and the bitterness fades quickly. Sweet, fruity, and lingering.

To me this is an autumny absinthe. It's dark and woodsy. More anise to flesh out the louche and mouthfeel would improve it, but it's very tasty as is.
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Subtle Seduction From The Valle d'Awesome
(Updated: June 18, 2012)
Overall rating
 
4.4
Color
Very clear amber with caramel tinges and glints of peridot at the edges. Although the dose poured is perfectly clear and bright, I can get only one pour per session like this (with a steady hand, and without up-righting the bottle, maybe two), since the bottom of the bottle has so much easily suspended sediment. It needs days of rest to get another clean pour.

Louche
A beautifully translucent and "gossamer" style that fits perfectly with the overall character of this absinthe. The primary color is like butterscotch with orange highlights, and refractions of milky blue, some green, and even a little rose as the glass is rotated. Very delicate, very pretty. Very nice action while forming.

Aroma
First of all... very different, very inviting. A beautiful bright, floral, and herbal center balanced by honeysuckle and citrus. Not tart or sour citrus, but more from the orange, tangerine, clementine family. Anise is in the background to support and legitimize this as absinthe. Further complexities added by hints of chamomile, lanolin, and beeswax.

Flavor
A delicate and gorgeous floral, dusty herbal, and wormwoody presence, backed up by the citrus and anise notes. A very classy, clean mouthfeel. And for all the components that lend an impression of sweetness, this is really much drier than most. The slightest hints of the aforementioned chamomile, lanolin, and beeswax impressions carry over to the palate making this just compli-tastic. An overall very feminine nose and palate impression.

Finish
I have no gripes with this finish. All the nose and palate impressions in a nice linear fade, followed by a gentle little drying "squeeze" on the tongue and upper palate. As it fades, the anise dances around the edges of all this in delicate little wisps. Not a monster long finish, but not short either. I think to expect it to be any longer is probably unreasonable, given the style. I had the primary finish impressions conservatively timed at 30 - 40 seconds.

Overall
This is a bottle of L'Italienne #1 that I have had for a little over a year. If you can't tell by now, I really like this one, a luscious offering from the Valle d'Aosta. It's beautifully delicate, feminine, floral, and sexy. I suspect this is a style that could have become a mess in the hands of another distiller, so congrats Stefano. Another aspect that really impresses me with this one is how nicely balanced it is at various temperatures from icy cold to room temperature. And speaking thereof, the only caution I would add here is that I definitely think this is best prepared with an icy cold very slow drip. My favorite dilution was a little north of 4/1. If you're the kind of drinker that only likes beverages that come at you like a freight train, look elsewhere. If you like subtle and seductive, this just might be for you.

Done with a 1 ounce dose, diluted 3/1, 4/1, 4.2/1, and no sugar.

L'Italienne 1/02/09, 1/10/10, 2/16/10.
All evaluations had consistent notes.
M
Top 10 Reviewer 53 reviews
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Interesting and odd
Overall rating
 
3.9
Curious and unusual is this Italian entry into the absinthe world. The aroma is different yet fragrant and floral. My sample was not remotely green at all but a clear and bold golden amber. Post-louche had only the faintest whisper of green tint and leaning heavily toward the pastel amber color. I miss the anise forward flavor of traditional absinthe although L'Italienne is not displeasing but the flavors over-powering the anise did not strike me favorably. The wormwood is sustained from the first sip through the finish but could also be more fragrant.

I think there is room for unique and different styles of absinthe. This one is well-made and balanced and if you're looking for something other than a traditional absinthe, then it might be for you.
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This absinthe is so easy to drink
Overall rating
 
4.4
This absinthe was extremely enjoyable.

Color: A very attractive deep green.

Louche: It didn't layer as much as I would hope, but it built up nicely and ended up deep and inviting.

Aroma: Very sweet, floral and inviting. The difference in the wormwood really does bring out the character in this absinthe. It's noticeably different from the aromas you'd get from Pontarlier wormwood. It's more floral and muted. Not as spicy. It works very well.

Flavor: The same relaxed, perfumey, floral character mentioned above brings itself over to the flavor as well. I think that even those people who think they must drink their absinthe with sugar would enjoy this without it. It's sweet, but not cloying, floral, but not overwhelmingly so. It ends with just a wisp of the wormwood bitterness.

Finish: It recedes a bit quicker than I would hope, but that's to be expected with the sublteness of the wormwood. It just makes you want to take that next sip all the more quicker.

Overall: I really like this absinthe. It's a departure from the normal, up-front bold abisnthes. This one is refined and glamorous. I can see myself drinking this seated at a sidewalk cafe in the dead of summer in Cortona. I couldn't ask for a better drink in that situation.
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