Review Detail

3.7 17 0.5
My First Absinthe
Overall rating
Flavor / Mouthfeel
Vieux Carré is the first absinthe I ever bought, when I found that it was being carried in liquor stores very near my home. The bottle providing the glass for review is about 3/4 gone now. When I first bought it, the aroma from the bottle was a very strong blast of anise, and the same was true neat from a glass, with perceptible alcohol going along with it. Strangely, pouring this glass, smelled neat it is all alcohol, and very strong.

APPEARANCE: A rich, golden- brown in color, very clear with no haze or sediment, when light is allowed to pass directly through. Moving the glass so that light strikes more obliquely reveals slices of peridot sandwiched between the golden brown body of the absinthe. It's not green, but it's darn pretty.

LOUCHE: Nice clouds, but they become unclear very quickly. The line dividing milky brown from golden brown is very much obscured, and things become opaque very fast. Outer edges of the louche do show some green and blue. Okay.

AROMA: The alcohol aroma has completely disappeared. Some anise/licorice notes, but muted; fennel is there, as are flowers, and a slight sensation of mint. When I first tried this absinthe, I described it as an anise bomb, but now the aroma post-louche is much more balanced, with a very nice interplay of different scents. Reminiscent of a spring day at the park. The only negative is that the aroma does not "bloom" outward as much as I would like. Still, really good.

FLAVOR/MOUTHFEEL: Mouthfeel is pleasant, it's smooth and clean, not quite what I would describe as creamy, but still with some body to it. The anise is well-accounted for in the taste, but again, as with the aroma, it no longer hits like a brick to the face, but instead is playing nicely with the other elements. There's some slight, but pleasant, bitterness, fennel and the mint returns, more strongly than in the aroma, with a tiny bit of heat. There's a very small numbing effect, but nothing unpleasant.

FINISH: A little bit of heat and bitterness, very little astringency to speak of, and it's essentially over. Nothing unpleasant here, but also nothing too long-lasting, save a sort of faint sensation of lingering cleanness.

OVERALL: Having a nice louche is fun and interesting, and can be an indicator of what sort of ingredients were used, but in general it doesn't factor all that highly in my (still-building) estimation of an absinthe's quality. If the ingredients or manufacture are low grade, it should show up where it really counts. In the case of Vieux Carré, it's aces in the areas that matter most to me in an absinthe; a fine choice for mail order or, if you're lucky enough to live locally, pick it up in-store.

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