Posted 22 July 2008 - 06:43 AM
Finally got to Trillium sample last night, thanks again to khiddy for making it available, and apologies to everyone for sitting on it for a few days! My notes:
Color - Very pale, green leaning slightly to straw/yellow. The pale color made it difficult for me to judge clarity, it looked almost like a slightly cloudy blanche.
Nose (neat) - All I got was anise, with a background of isopropyl alcohol. I asked my wife to smell it, after I suggested rubbing alcohol she agreed, so I don't think it was just me. It wasn't terribly hot or sharp or anything, and I actually like the smell of rubbing alcohol, so it wasn't off-putting to me, but inappropriate for absinthe. I'll be interested to hear if anybody else picks up this aroma.
Louche - Very nice trailing and swirling action in the glass. Beautiful layering. The louche action is by far the strong point of this absinthe. The weak color detracts a bit, but this might be the best performing louche I've seen to date. Finished glass had very weak color, almost like a blanche but without the clean, milky white. Finished color much lighter than Lucid. As it was getting late I had poor lighting so difficult to judge opacity, but it didn't appear as thick and heavy as, for example, Kübler.
Nose (post louche) - Very weak. I was surprised how the aroma seemed to just disappear after the louche. Faint anise aroma, and that's it.
Flavor - Anise, and very quickly tongue numbing, attacking the tip of the tongue. Ends with some wormwood bitterness. Balance between anise and wormwood seems good, but the flavors do not seem well integrated; you get the anise first, and then the wormwood quickly takes over. Could be due to the overall light character of the absinthe, the anise character just doesn't have any staying power other than the tongue numbing.
Finish - Very quick, and dominated by the tongue numbing and some lingering bitterness.
In summary, the whole experience can best be described as "weak". Weak color, and weak, simple flavor. There was nothing that I found offensive, but nothing interesting enough to entice me to a second glass. To me, it's the "Coors beer" of absinthe.
Oh, and I know I promised pictures ... my first time trying to photograph absinthe, and my results were not good. Flash gets too much reflection, and with the late hour and poor lighting, turning off the flash resulted in slow shutter speeds and blurry images. I'll keep working at it.