Pernod Liqueur d'Anis - Reviewed by Experts and Consumers at The Wormwood Society

2.6 (2)
2.4 (5)
Pernod Liqueur d'Anis - Reviewed by Experts and Consumers at The Wormwood Society

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Editor reviews

4 reviews
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At least it's better than the absinthe.
Overall rating
The colour is a little more yellow than peridot, but very nice looking. It's not natural but it does a good job of faking it; I have to score on what I see and not what I know. Clear with no sediment. It smells strongly of star anise. There's a little bit of lemon. Very sweet smelling.

The louche is very quick and very thick. This is where it becomes obvious the colour is not natural; after water it's almost a neon greenish-yellow. It surprisingly doesn't leave chalky traces on the glass. Water kills the lemon aroma and it just becomes lots of anise.

There's as expected a syrupy sweet star anise flavour. It's a little on the acrid side but not terrible. Not exactly refreshing, but alright for a candy drink. Very thick, greasy mouth-feel. The finish is not particularly eventful. Numbing with a twinge of bitterness.

This isn't a brilliant beverage by any means but at least it's drinkable, thanks to the lack of added wormwood oil that makes its oil mix absinthe counterpart undrinkable.
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A substitute, but not really a good one
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The color is not too bad, at least it looks natural. Water brings about a slow-developing louche that's not great, but it's also not too bad. It still retains a hint of green, but no opalescence that you look for in a good absinthe. The aroma is not the most appetizing with a hint of funk beneath the anis and some alcohol burn in the nostrils. I was surprised with the bitterness that showed through all of the anis. It's not a complex flavor. Pretty much what you taste is anis.

Overall, it's disappointing that a company that is looked upon so venerably for its history of absinthe quality would make such a low quality reproduction. I wish they would bring back the Pernod of old, and not this mixed stuff.
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An objective assessment...
Overall rating
It's not absinthe, and priced way below absinthe. Perhaps a better comparison would be with other faux absinthes, particularly of the czech variety, when you want something else for a change.


+ Cheap
+ Found everywhere
+ Inoffensive taste
+ Sweet
+ Refreshing
+ Lower volume of (rather poorly made) alcohol
+ No spurious marketing
+ Established brand = subject to quality control


- Aroma: Anise, Head: Anise, Body: Anise, Finish: Anise
- Oily
- Clearly unnatural colour
- Poor quality base alcohol
- Essentially drinkable liquorice

In my opinion this is a clear winner when compared with crapsinth. Whether or not Pernod is a so-called "acceptable substitute" is a point of debate, but judged solely in itself, it is by and large very drinkable, although it obviously will not appeal to connoisseurs.
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From what I remember...
(Updated: January 16, 2010)
Overall rating
Not a bad product, but a bad absinthe in the sense of tradition, since it's artificially-colored. There's also a lack of quality and compplexity, but from what I understand you could say that from a lot of absentas also, and people still like them... I am not enough experienced to comment a lot, but it tastes a lot of anis, and that could be far worse (by far I mean, as far as by the Hills and further if you understand;).

Positive : The color, while unnatural, is very nice! I would have granted a 5 to color if ingredients where not taken into accounts or in blind tasting.

Negative : The taste is to simple, nearly no aroma except anis, the color fake and all that for the cost of a fine absinthe!

All in all, I think if this product was sold at the 2/3 or half of it's price, it could make a fine cocktail or routine (for the less fortunate) absinthe.

Edit:I just noticed there was Pernod extrait d'absinthe and regular Pernod. I think I tasted regular Pernod, so altough I revised my review (since it just doesn't taste wormwood, it doesn't have any!), I could add that it's quite cheap. It the extrait d'absinthe version which cost a lot. So regular Pernod is just a yellowish green, probably less sugared version of pastis. As such, it's a good product, but not as an absinthe.
Top 100 Reviewer 5 reviews
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Not bad, but I probably won't buy it
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I tried this at a bar and asked it prepared with sugar and ice water. As such, I wasn't able to judge the color prior to the louch hitting. The aroma and taste weren't bad, but were less like absinthe than I would have expected. They were very candy-like, more so than Absente. Given that I already have absente at home, and prefer it to the pernod, I probably won't be purchasing any of this product.
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Neon in a bottle
(Updated: February 27, 2008)
Overall rating
At risk of sounding like a Pernod apologist, I will submit what I consider a fair review of Pernod. I say 'fair' because I think rating pastis low because it is not like absinthe is unfair. Pastis is not absinthe. I use a 5 to 1 dilution.

That said…nothing, and I mean NOTHING edible should be this shade of green. Reminds me of the wide-lapeled polyester suit I had in the 70’s. It’s unnatural, it's inorganic, it's likely made by Union Carbide.

Certainly it has a louche and a fairly heavy one at that. But it lacks the character and complexity of that of a good quality absinthe or even a pastis like Ricard. Pernod’s louche, like its color, smacks of chemical intervention rather than herbal infusion.

The aroma is like a visit to the licorice room at the Wonka factory. It’s not herbal, it’s not botanical. It’s candy. The addition of water doesn’t really improve the situation. Thankfully, it doesn’t make it worse. There isn’t even a hint of anything but licorice.

Nothing is hidden to the taste. What you smell is what you taste. Don’t even think about adding sugar. I like sweet tea on a hot day so I like Pernod on a hot day or as an after-dinner drink. But don’t expect an herbal symphony.

The finish is average compared to the other pastis' I've had. Not nearly as intriguing and satisfying and a genuine absinthe but, hey, this isn’t absinthe. Still, Herbsaint isn’t absinthe either and it does manage a much more impressive mouth-feel than Pernod.

I have never tasted a Pernod product from the belle époque. I am sure it didn’t taste like this. But I don’t think this is supposed to. Pernod is a cheap commercial pastis. Nothing hand-crafted about it. It’s about the cheapest pastis you can buy in the US. Given a choice, I would spend an extra buck for Ricard or Herbsaint. It is certainly no substitute for absinthe. However, if you like licorice—if you REALLY like licorice—then you may like Pernod.
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Pernod - What have you done???
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Very dissapointed, but what do you expect for under $AU40.00... The colour is a very see-through yellow, almost like urine. There is no louche, only clouding and a slight color change. The scent is nice, however the taste is very bland as there is not enough bite (prepared traditionally 1-5 w/ sugar). Overall it is drinkable, and as a substitute not too bad, but it is not what you would expect from a company with the history that Pernod-Ricard hold.
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