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There is no vanilla, no tobacco, and no peaches, pears, or apples in Glenlivet, but some people taste some or all of those things. Oh, and I forgot chocolate!

Well, the funny thing with whisky aged in charred oak is that, in a way, yes those things are all in there. The food items we recognise aren't, but the chemicals that give them their distinctive flavours are produced as the whisky reacts with the cask and oxygen. I used to have a book that went into the different chemicals that produce a selection of common flavours and how they come into being during aging. Some flavours also come from the fermentation as cowbwoy mentioned, such as the fruity flavours caused by esters and butterscotch caused by diacetyl.

 

In absinthe neither oak aging nor fermentation apply. Since predistilled neutral base is used you're not getting a whole lot of the main flavour out of it, much less the tiny traces of this and that caused by fermentation. So it leaves you with the colouring herbs (which blanches don't have, but they still age over the short and long term and people do taste things in them that aren't there all the time), off-flavours caused by distillation errors, and the interaction of oils in a finished absinthe with themselves and all the previous things.

 

It would be really cool if some studies were done on how absinthe reacts to itself and evolves over time. Like if new chemicals are being created or if flavours are just blending to suggest the presence of those flavours. Studies have been done on beer and whisky so hopefully as absinthe becomes more popular someone will want to take a look at it for something other than thujone.

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Yes, otherwise we wouldn't have an entire industry based on "natural and artificial flavors" and the like. I agree though, it truly would be fascinating to see the results of such a study.

 

Oh, and I hasten to add, that it's really even more complex than that. Flavors added to flavors produce other flavors that may or may not be related to the first. The sequence of compounds in your mouth, and even perhaps what you ate an hour ago all influence what you "taste" in your drink.

 

My main point was really just that the average person can't directly relate what they "taste" to what was distilled in the pot or what was in the bag during coloration. Expert palattes, perhaps, but not the average drinker.

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I was all set to write my review of Sirene after my first glass, but I decided to wait a couple days and have a second, just to be sure of my impressions. Well, my second glass tasted nothing like my first! In fact, the experience was so different I can only remember half the points I had intended to make in my review after the first glass, and now they seemed foreign to what I was tasting. It was like the second glass wiped my slate entirely clean. Luckily, I have enough left for a third glass, so hopefully it will solve my writer's block and tie these strange drinking experiences together. :cheers:

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My review is up, and I must say, this absinthe confused the hell out of me. At times I found it dull, but then after adding sugar I really liked it. The aroma while louching was way better than the flavor with or without sugar. The color before louche is a rather drab olive oil, but post-louche I felt like I was holding a more traditional verte than Lucid.

 

...I like it, I think, but maybe not, but actually I do, yeah I think so, smells awesome, taste pretty good after a few other glasses of absinthe--of varying types--I like it in the end, pretty sure I do...

 

That was how I felt overall!

 

In ways I find it more interesting than both Lucid or Kübler. I find that those two now taste different to me after tasting sirene. I like it pretty well, but do I like the others less now?

 

Very very confused!

 

But still no regrets that I got myself a sample. None at all!!!

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Well, my second glass tasted nothing like my first! In fact, the experience was so different I can only remember half the points I had intended to make in my review after the first glass, and now they seemed foreign to what I was tasting.

Give the man a cigar! You have just learned a valuable lesson. :thumbup:

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I had my second glass of this stuff last night and I actually wrote a review but I'm going to have another glass before I submit the review to Shabba. The minty and citrus facets of the drink were really getting in the way of it for me last night. Maybe it was because my sinuses were going bonkers due to springtime.

 

Me second impression was not as favorable as my first. It does seem to have a basic and traditional bill of herbs, but something tasted off balance last night. Still better than Lucid though.

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I just ordered 2 bottle that I will pick up in Chicago next month. Anyone have good advice about smuggling one bottle of booze on a domestic flight?

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Just put it in your checked luggage. I'm not sure what the ABV is in this stuff, but if the label says anything larger than 70%, I would cut that part of the label off with an x-acto. Technically speaking you are not allowed to check alcohol above 70% (probably depending on the airline). I did this on my last flight to and from Chicago and had no problems. Be sure to bubble wrap the bottles.

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I've let Sirene sit a few days and am having another glass now. I have to say I'm feeling better toward it than before. The mint is less noticeable and the wormwood is moreso, although still more the camphorous sort than floral. It's probably just masked by the star anise and mint.

 

Get rid of the star anise, decrease the mint, and this would be a hit.

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Enough that the anise profile in general is acrid and tangy. Annoyingly so. But not as bad as St. George. Either Sirene uses green anise in addition to star anise or they use star anise with more finesse than SG.

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I thought that camphorous flavors came from using certain types of fennel. I'm picking up a wee bit of that too but not too much. It's really easy to overdo the mint I think.

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What many people describe as a "minty" aspect of wormwood I find to be camphorous.

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You and your wacky taste buds again, jeez. ;)

 

BTW fresh outta the bottle into the glass, it's all gin baby. Great absinthe to demonstrate the difference "before water" and "after water" aroma, for sure.

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Just drank my second glass of the Sirene. Overall it's okay, but there's just too much star anise in the taste and orange zestiness in the aroma for me to really like it.

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They say there is no star anise in it though. Perhaps harshness in the base you're tasting? I'm really coming to like this stuff alot, although it doesn't exactly satisfy the urge for "absinthe" as I usually think of it, but it does taste good to me.

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Star anise is a nice compliment to green anise, some guys from the heyday would confirm that opinion; not counting those that are still alive :devil:

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I was already aware of that post but it doesn't say that at all. She specifically and intentionally avoided answering that question. That it has green anise I had little doubt to begin with, but it tastes to me like it has star anise to some degree in there. More strongly than Kübler.

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I'm finding a lot of historic accounts of badiane as well as—and often instead of—green anise. It was common as dust.

 

I wouldn't be surprised if some of those brands might have contained dust, as well as a host of more vile impurities.

 

I'm sure the brands those that substituted badiane for green anise lacked the discernible subtleties of the more expensive brands, but I doubt those starving artiste types gave a rat's posterior about that.

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Closer than St. George to traditional but still weirder than Montmartre in my opinion.

 

Catching up on posts... that just sold me on Sirene! Placed an order. Thanks!

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I'm sure the brands those that substituted badiane for green anise lacked the discernible subtleties of the more expensive brands

Hmmm, this sounds familiar. You ar kungfu, are yie not? :cheers:

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