Review Detail

1.4 67 0.5
America is starting to get it right.
(Updated: July 20, 2011)
Overall rating
Flavor / Mouthfeel
Pours a golden olive that I find very attractive. Per the ratings guideline it doesn't rank a 4 because it's not bright. But it's not "unremarkable" as a 3 indicates; it's very attractive, clear, and natural. So I'm going with 4, guidelines be damned. It's been a while since I've tried a new absinthe that louched from the bottom like this. Each drop becomes a small white cloud that then reflects off the bottom, spreading everywhere and climbing with the rolling action of the early formation of a mushroom cloud in a thermonuclear explosion. It leaves a clearly defined line that lasts until it's at about 2:1. It's the nicest I've seen in a while but still a bit short of the best commercial absinthes I've seen. Colour after louche is an attractive yellow-green. Kinda reminds me of Belle Amie except thicker.

Aroma before louche is anisey and a bit cloying. I struggled to figure out what it reminds me of, and then I realised a fennel tea I enjoy has a very similar character. Not much heat but also not much floral wormwood aroma. After louche the aroma is a little more traditionally anisey and I think I even might be able to detect some wormwood in there. A tad grassy, as well. The aroma is a bit too one-dimensional.

In the flavour I can finally find the wormwood. It's more camphorous than floral but manages to break through the anise and "fennel tea" flavour, which are lighter on the palate than in the nose. To my palate it's the sweetest absinthe I've ever had that hasn't had sweetener added. There's a very perfumey taste I can't quite make out; I don't recognise it and I figure it's the result of a combination of ingredients. It's slightly acrid, which makes me think that there's star anise in it, but it doesn't want to make a death-grip on my tongue like the star anise in St. George or absentas. I also taste notes that remind me of mint and ginger. The "Big Red gum" character I find peculiar in St. George is in this absinthe too but it plays more of a backup role than being a dominating flavour. It also tastes like it's composed more from mint, coriander, and fennel than from basil, tarragon, and star anise. I think I may be crossing the threshold from useful description to stream of consciousness nonsense.

The mouth-feel is fairly creamy. It could stand a little more in that department. But it's not very numbing for the amount of anise flavour. The finish is long and dry with mint turning to wormwood turning to fennel.

All in all it's a fairly weird drink but I'm digging it. I think it could use a little work. A weak wormwood profile is something I'm really wanting to see overcome in absinthes released in the States. I could also stand for it to be a bit less cloying. While the general flavour profile almost makes it a great, refreshing beverage the relatively intense sweetness and lack of floral wormwood holds it back.
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