Fennel, what does fennel....taste like? in General Absinthe Discussion Posted May 8, 2018 · Report reply That's a little tough to describe for me, because it's very similar to anise. Maybe a bit earthier. If you really want to get to know the different flavors in absinthe, get your hands on some of the raw herbs. I think there might be a set of single-herb distillates out there. I've never tasted those, but I imagine they would be really helpful. To me, Grand Wormwood imparts some of the more ethereal or purely aromatic aspects to a good absinthe. Bitterness really shouldn't be a big part of the equation, unless the Wormwood was used in the coloring. I consider that just wrong, but others might have a different view. I highly recommend getting some fresh wormwood and rubbing the leaves between your fingers. Smell that, and I think you'll start to realize what the plant brings to the overall flavor profile. If you're morbidly curious, taste it. The difference between the smell and the taste is a vivid demonstration of why it needs to be distilled.