Review Detail

0.7 24 0.5
Double Agent... Double Doomed
(Updated: September 13, 2012)
Overall rating
Flavor / Mouthfeel
Unlouched, a nice medium green, just a smidge on the forest green side with the slightest bluish underpinning. A little dull (this is a four year old bottle), perfectly clear and contaminant free. Louched, good green retention and nice translucence. Moderate opalescence.

Well, for all the flap about “reduced anise” and “non-dominate anise formula” this stuff louches like nobody's business, and fast... completely louched with a well defined green line by 0.8:1. Final louche displays good translucence and moderate opalescence, much better than I thought it would be, however it leaves a very visible residue on the glass when swirled. The same residue collects on the threads of the screw-cap bottle. In spite of the other acceptable visual characteristics, I feel this residue problem has to be addressed, and I can't think of a more appropriate place to do so than this category. So I am going to give a score of 3 to what might otherwise arguably be a 4, to account for the evidence of some included sweetener, or more likely resin, or both.

Unlouched, anise, wormwood, and cinnamon. Louched, an overall confectionery presence that portends substantial sweetness. When I catch it just right after swirling, I can detect a quickly fleeting whiff of wormwood. I've been nosing hard for 15 or so minutes now. Occasionally I think I detect something like licorice root, mint, cinnamon, or pontica for just the briefest moment, but it disappears in a nanosecond behind the cloak of artificial-smelling sweetener that dominates.

Flavor And Mouthfeel
A smooth mid-weight entry with an odd combination of artificial-tasting sweetness, bitter, cinnamon spicy, and not much else. I honestly wonder if I would identify this as absinthe if I were blindfolded. Mid-palate mouthfeel and flavors have an eerie hollow and artificial quality about them. Warmed up, it's almost candy-like and slightly minty.

Really the same as the palate, and hangs around a good long time. Not pleasant, not ultra-painful, slightly unclean. What characteristics it displays seem in conflict with each other. If I pay attention to the finish long enough, I can barely detect wormwood when I smack my tongue against the roof of my mouth.

Overall Impression
Odd... very little in common with traditional Franco-Swiss absinthe. After a couple of good long looks at this, I guess I've concluded that it is probably identifiable as an attempt at absinthe, but not a very successful one (hence the dominance of 2s in my scoring). What authentic absinthe elements I can detect, while not of abjectly poor quality (I have tasted worse), certainly are not of exemplary quality either.

This is a product that seems to try to straddle the line between authentic and impostor. The trouble is it is likely to do justice to neither. And from what I see (or more accurately, what I'm not seeing of it) on the net, it seems its fate is already sealed. Try to live both lives and the true aficionados will not embrace it due to its peculiarities and deficiencies, and the consumer of impostor products is likely to find it to be overly complicated and challenging.

Done with a 1 ounce dose, diluted 3.5:1, 3.8:1, and 4:1 and no sugar.

Absinthe Mata Hari, 9/1/12, 9/12/12.
Both evaluations had consistent notes.
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