St. George Absinthe - Reviewed by Experts and Consumers at The Wormwood Society

3.2 (2)
3.4 (22)

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Tasty, in a non-absinthe sort of way.
Overall rating
Color: Dark iced-tea color Definitely a deep green-amber hue, as compared to a gold-amber.

Louche: With a slow drip, it transforms without any of the typical louche mechanics (like swirling or clouds, just kinda *becomes* louched.) It layers itself slowly to a opaque, blondish-brown roux color. If louched slightly faster, it develops a bit too fast, and has an olive oil and milk type of appearance.

Aroma: Definitely peculiar. Lots of interesting spice elements, it's not unpleasant, but it's hard to find anything familiar with certainty because of how much is going on with the scent. There's a gravy-like essence (perhaps the tarragon?) and aromas of mint and a bit of mallow.

Flavor: There's definitely an anise "tongue" to it that feels correct, spice and basil...the difference with the star anise is noticeable,

Finish: Not at all unpleasant, feels good in the mouth, but it takes a few seconds for the "whoa!" flavor to subside. The rest of the finish is numb and minty.

Overall: I like it, and it really does taste good...just not like an absinthe. It doesn't seem like a good introduction to absinthe for newbies who don't know what absinthe tastes like just yet...definitely a better 4th or 5th absinthe, just for the sake of tasting something wildly different.
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One word, three letters: WOW
Overall rating
OK, so I'm forced to include things like the louche (which was a bit fast and a bit heavy) and aroma (which is fine, but thin) into my review's "Overall" score, which is the only reason I didn't give it a five-star overall ranking.
The bottom line for me, though, is the taste - and while this one has some oddities that push the envelope a bit on what an absinthe should taste like, the trinity is there like it should be. On top of that is a riot of flavors, layer upon layer of complexity that changes dramatically with different dilution ratios and the inclusion or non-inclusion of sugar. If you try it and don't like it, change the ratio and the sugar content, then try it again. I'll bet you find a combination that knocks your socks off. I've found several... but the best for me is diluted about 4:1 with sugar.
The color is a bit too amber, the louche is too fast, the aroma not quite strong enough. But it's the taste of this one combined with a killer finish that dances on the tongue that keeps me coming back to it time after time. This is one that will always be in my cabinet, for sure.
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Tasty Oddball
Overall rating
Color: Clear with a very dead leaf brownish-green color. The color is certainly a bit strong and off but it is still clear. It is very pretty and earthy but also very colored.

Louche: Not too much play going on with a slight layering effect noticed. Oddly enough pouring faster creates more action with a rolling cloud effect. At the end it is very thick and the color is a hazy version of the original dead leaf brown-green.

Aroma: Extremely different aroma. Some unfamiliar herbs overpowering the trio of usual absinthe herbs. There are definitely some herbs here not in the usual offerings. Not necessarily appropriate and a bit strong and unbalanced on the unusual herbal smells. A strong herbal punch.

Flavor: Actually tastes closer to traditional absinthe than it smells, but still way out of the traditional line. I enjoy the herb overload that the taste displays up front. It is bitter at first then dances with an amazingly complex array of flavors. The usual suspects of absinthe are there but kinda far in the background. The other unusual herbs do very well and are definitely the stars of the show.

Finish: Very cool finish. Starts by displaying the lemon balm just a bit more then the fennel and anise jump out quickly before fading into the other herbs with a slightly bitter numbness at the end. It lingers for a very long time and plays quite a bit. Wonderful.

Overall: I enjoy this drink quite a bit. St. George is not typical or traditional in any sense but it is still a tasty drink. This is definitely for those like me who enjoy a very herbal profile and complex finish. Not for traditionalists or those who like smooth and subtle flavors. The usual absinthe flavor is deep in the background favoring the experimentation of the other herbs and this lends it to being chock full of personality. This is a daring creation that pays the price for being so unconventional; love it or hate it.
Top 10 Reviewer 70 reviews
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It reminds me too much of pinesol...
Overall rating
In my intro on the forum, I summed up some of my main objections to St George, and they haven't changed... to start with, appearance and louche: in its pre-louched, neat form, St George is too dark, and too brown/yellow, NOT in a "dead leaf" kind of way, but in a something else was used to color this that ain't quite right... it is natural, not artificial. It is distilled and then had a traditionally-accomplished coloring step.

It still reminds me of pictures of liquid chemical warfare agents (specifically mustard gas, in its liquid form) from WW 1.
Then, after louche-- it's one-dimensional. Chalky. Opaque, not translucent, and it's yellow-brown... like clouds of mustard agent floating across the battlefield in cool autumn weather. Sorry if those images disturb people, but I can't get them out of my head when I think about St George... The other way I can describe it is it's just like Pinesol (or other pine oil cleaner), before and after adding water (Pinesol "louches" into a chalky yellowish off-white too when it's mixed with water to form a diluted cleaning solution). It's not what proper absinthe should resemble.

And the aroma.... unfortunately, this goes right back to the chemical warfare associations (I'm an old Army veteran... too much training to forget this stuff)-- maybe it's the stinging nettles they use, but there's a peculiar sharp odor to St George that likewise has me thinking of the old manuals, that commented on the tell-tale odors that accompanied certain chemical agents. Appearance: 2 is for substandard. 3 for Louche is chalky, opaque and one-dimensional. 2 for Aroma is because (IMO) it's peculiar and unbalanced.

And it goes downhill from there-- 2 for Flavor/Mouthfeel is because it's highly flawed and I'm tempted to rate even lower, because St George is downright unpleasant tasting to me-- but I leave it with a 2 here and further, because it is distilled and traditionally made, and I can respect that-- but I guess I really question the choice of herbs distilled into this product and macerated for the coloration/additional flavoring step.
2 for Finish, because IMO it did linger quite unpleasantly. It took a lot of La Clandestine and Mansinthe to wash the nasty taste of St George out of my mouth on the one occasion that I broke it out and tasted it.
Overall: 2. I'm really not sure I should acknowledge it as barely acceptable, except that the makers took too much care in distilling and making it for me to put it rock-bottom with the crapsinthes. But I can't in good conscience rate it any higher-- I wanted to like this stuff, I usually have a high tolerance for some of the unusual and idiosyncratic drinks and desserts out there in other fields than absinthe... but St George is just plain nasty looking, smelling and tasting to me.

To each their own though-- there's a good friend o' mine, who took the rest of my bottle of St George home after we broke it out, because he likes the stuff....
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Quirky and delicious
Overall rating
The color is a very attractive feuille-mort. Very clear, bright and natural.

The louche is very fast and the action is not very exciting. A wall of clouds rises up from the bottom, and is complete by about 2 to 1. The louched color, though, is very nice with greener hues than the original color seemed to promise. Looks very rich and creamy to me.

The aroma really knocked me out. There is an amazing bass note of honey, new-mown grass, and clover up front. Later you smell the anise, basil, tarragon, lemon balm. It makes me hungry. I want to eat a giant plate of lasagna and drink the whole bottle. God, I dream about this aroma and wake up wanting more, no kidding.

The flavor is not exactly what the aroma promises. The anise comes on fast with a minty heat and is immediately overtaken by the wormwood. So much for first impressions. If you wait a moment longer the other flavors of basil and tarragon start asserting themselves. The bitterness lingers but is not out of balance. If you believe in the holy trinity of anise, fennel and wormwood, you may find this completely over the top. But I am digging the complexity.

The finish is more abrupt than the aroma. The wormwood bitterness lingers along with a somewhat hot antiseptic taate from the basil, and the alcohol seems a little more predominant at this point than is really desirable.

Overall, this is a *very* interesting departure from the path blazed by the new absinthe distillers. It is astonishingly good with food. Pour an ounce in your spaghetti sauce and you will weep tears of joy. I bought a second bottle right away just to make sure I don't run out. It is definitely quirky, and you may not like it. Or like me, you may find that the aroma penetrates your dreams and drags you back again and again. As others have said, maybe this is a uniquely California take on absinthe, as the Taboo is uniquely Canadian.
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