Vieux Carré Absinthe - Reviewed by Experts and Consumers at The Wormwood Society

4.1 (3)
3.7 (17)

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11 reviews with 4 stars
17 reviews
1 star
Overall rating
Flavor / Mouthfeel
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Overall rating
Color- Somewhere between an olive green and a golden brown. It can look just kind of brownish in the bottle, from across the room, but when you actually pour it you can see some green in there. I noticed some tiny sediments floating around in the bottle but they don't really bother me.
Louche- The louche action itself isn't too fun to watch. The absinthe just kind of turns a bit milky, without much swirling cloudy stuff going on. The end result looks nice in the glass however, and has some blue/yellow coloring effects when looking through it.
Aroma- Very herbal/vegetal, but also sweet candied scents of anise. After louched, floral scents kind of take over.
Flavor- Anise and fennel seem most prominent, with a hint of something like mint. Also strong floral qualities that kind of weight everything down. The flavor is solid and enjoyable but not really complex or exciting or grabbing in any way. Just a nice example of absinthe that's slightly dominated by anise.
Finish- The floral quality comes forward here, for me.
Overall- I like this absinthe. It's a very good value for the price. I would consider it a kind of slightly upper-mid tier absinthe.
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My First Absinthe
Overall rating
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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Quality absinthe at a great value right at home.
Overall rating

Color: An alluring green and yellow-gold. Good, natural coloring, but below my benchmark (Jade Edouard) for a 4-5 score.
Could be because the bottle has been opened for about a month, however.

Louche: Nice opalescence immediately. Lime-colored spots wrestle with the un-louched absinthe from the top view. It shimmers when looking through the glass. Not as opaque as a benchmark absinthe however - it does not appear very 'creamy.' The end result is a pale lime color.

Aroma: I absolutely love the aroma of this absinthe. The mixture of herbs here smells like what I would imagine alpine plants to be like. It's a very 'fresh' scent. Small hint of creamy mint, mixed with fennel & wormwood. Floral notes dominate.

Taste: The taste is just like the aroma, which is great. Some absinthe has a fantastic aroma but the taste is somewhat anti-climactic. Not so with this one. This is very balanced. The absinthe is sweet - I used no sugar and the water ratio is about 3.0. It tastes like a sugared absinthe. I heard this absinthe contains Genepi, so perhaps some of the complexity in the flavor and the sweetness is due to this. I also noticed, as stated in other reviews, that the flavor becomes thin and flat very suddenly with even just a little too much water.

Finish: Good finish - it is not too abrupt and the flavor doesn't just die out. There is a pleasant bit of numbing/tingling on the tongue as it fades out. The tiniest suggestion of ricola. The mouth feel is smooth and light, but not as light as say, l'Italienne.

Overall: My first US distilled absinthe! This is literally what I've been waiting for since Nov. 2007! The price is right at $54.99 as well. The decanter bottle is up there with the best packaging/presentation I've ever seen. Definitely enhances the ritual. It does its namesake justice!
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Unique Carre
(Updated: November 23, 2012)
Overall rating
Appearance: Amber and olive color neat. No noticeable sediment in the glass. {*edit: About halfway through this bottle I did begin to notice a floating sediment in my glass, black in color. Even after swirling the bottle before pouring. Kinda offputting, making me change appearance score from 4 to 3.*} Very Enticing color.

Louche: Begins with nice trails ending in rolling fog at 2/1. fully louched at 3/1 a golden amber green with a red aura. Beautifully opalescent. Hold it up to a light to see this effect really shine through.

Aroma: Neat it is energetic with a slight asringency.
Louched the aroma is of wormwood, spearment and genepi with a citrus twist. Heres where you can tell its going to get interesting.

Flavor: First thing to come to mind is fresh cucumbers on the vine and jalapeno peppers. Maybe cinnamon. Reminds me of a warm spring day down by the water.

Finish: Lip smacking good. Cooling like after you eat a peppermint. Limes and something like pine nuts. Not overwhelming and doesn't last too long.

Overall: Beautifully unique in character. A nice artisinal style. Refreshing, and different for sure. A unique American absinthe.
This is my second bottle and although the first took a little to get used to, this one is pleasantly familiar and quite enjoyable.
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Delicious, and nicely priced.
(Updated: January 05, 2013)
Overall rating
* I revisited this, enjoying it more than ever, this time with my 4th bottle.

Sampled at 3:1 suggested ratio, no sugar as suggested by distiller. I went to 3.5:1, and love it there. It certainly does not need sugar.

Appearance: Natural blend of amber and emerald. There were some swirls of light sediment in the bottle.

Louche: built slowly, dramatically and evenly. A full, thick louche with just a tad of translucence. Clear layer hung in at the top until the very end. The final result was
a rich blend of green and copper.

Aroma: It is a crisp, clean and spicy aroma, but the traditional elements of the anise and wormwood are not masked. It had me looking forward to the first sip. The highlight of this absinthe for me.

Flavor: This absinthe has a strong "in your face" personality, and I mean this in a good way. I like it more than ever. The anise is simply delicious, it is spicy, but the trinity is clear and quality.

Finish: Clean and very sharp, nice lingering wormwood, pepper and spice. Stays with you just long enough for that relaxed sipping pace. The mouthfeel is full and rich.

Overall, it is a well-made absinthe with a unique personality. As far as bang for the buck, you'd be hard-pressed to do better than this.
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