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My First Taste of the Real Stuff


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#1 Rodan

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 07:42 PM

Hello everyone!

I went out today and found myself a bottle of Taboo Absinthe (black topper) for 48 bucks... not to bad!

Its pretty, but very pale green color is refreshing to see.... no dyes. I poured myself an ounce into a wine tasting glass and proceeded to observe.

Smells promising! Although the 'anise' aroma is there, its not overpowering! You can actually smell a bitterness, a slight 'funk' smell directly from the bottle (which i truthfully enjoy). Smell is also sweeter than i had expected, but is balanced out by this richness thats possibly from the hyssop?

I dont have a water dropper, so i'm substituting with a straw. I just dip it in the water and put my finger on the end... not very glamouros but it works. I have 4 shot glasses full of cold filtered water (one ounce each would take me to a 1:4, if i need more ill get it).

The first thing i notice right after dropping the first water is the instant oil trails, which eventuallyfall to the bottom of the glass.... very pretty. (Not unlike the Pernod 'louche', but im hoping for some flavors and aromas BESIDES star anise...)

The 'white' layer (dont know the terminology yet) forms evenly from the bottom of the glass up. This is getting exciting... i can actually smell it while sitting away from the glass! Nice floral aromatics... not regretting this purchase at all, and i havent tasted it yet.

The white layer is really definite from the green... its divided perfecty and evenly (not sure it thats an attribute or just normal).

Ratio is 1:1 now... the absinthe is totally white except a tiny little band of green at the very top... i almost want to sit and admire it! Aroma is so much more layered than any other absinthe ive had before... already i can smell many different things, and although the anise is still prominent, its not dominating the scent. I keep smelling lemon, and i dont know if its subconsious because i read that there is lemon balm in the absinthe, but its really pleasent. The bitterness is there to, but i suspect this is from the wormwood?

Ratio is now 2:1 color is lighter at the top of the drink than the bottom, bottom seems to have a 'very slight' brown tint.
Time for a taste- sweet up front, bitter later on. This is very nice, although im happy i didnt put sugar into it (and i probably wont unless someone advises differently). Im starting to understand why people compair this drink to a 'spring' or 'alpine' meadow. Im liking the bitterness of the finish a bit more than the initial sweetness.

Ratio is now 3:1 - in the mouth, the oily nature is cut down a bit, but is still there in the after taste. There a nice roundness to the mouthfeel, and a very nice 'voyage' of different flavors that you embark on for about 20 seconds after you take a drink. Sweetness is still a little stronger than the rest of the balence, but fades out quickly into a nice bitterness.
So much more than just anise... finally! I can taste the fennel notes that are whisping through the pallette, the lemon balm (which is actually more apparent than i initially thought it would be). The combination lends itself to candy or fruity bubble gum (sorry, maybe a bad compairison).

Theres also a refreshing creamy and minty flavor after the bitterness resides.... wow. Its really something, like a strange cold herbal mintyness.

Im really liking 3:1 ration with this absinthe so far. If i could change one tiny thing it would be the sweetness, which i find a little to intense right off the bat. Minor complaint though, this stuff is really impressing me.

Time to try the 4:1 in hopes i dont ruin whats happening in my glass.
- Hm... even more dispursion of flavor... things really start to 'divide' as far as the flavor goes. Again less oily in the tongue (something that i was getting used to before), but its still there.
-You really dont have to take a drink often eh!? There's plenty of flavors that linger for minuets after a single drink... very cool.

- Im finding the aromatics are dispursing a bit at 4:1... to bad. But i cant help but wonder if this is because the drink is still cold.... anyone ever warm up absinthe? or 'louche' with 'warm' or 'room temperature' water? I would assume that warming a drink like this would allow more aromatic permeation, but would it destroy the flavor?

- at 4:1 the sweetness and bitterness are a lot more evenly matched. Nice to taste!

Im thinking that are may be a special absinthe to water ration somewhere between 1:3 and 1:4 that will be sought after.

Im really liking this! Thanks to all who recommended this brand! Anyone else have similar tasting notes to mine? Would anyone be able to answer some or any of the questions i have about water warmth and aromatics? I suppose i can just try for myself...

:cheers:

#2 Joe Legate

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 07:57 PM

It's all about personal taste. OMG actually likes his glass to hit room temperature as he's slowly sipping. I like it very cold. There's no wrong answer as long as you're enjoying yourself, not hurting anyone and not setting your nice absinthe on fire.

I think much of the sweetness from Taboo comes from the eau de vie base. It gives it a very Juicy Fruit flavor that (at times) I find very pleasant. At least, I think that might be part of what you're experiencing. That was a fun description. Thanks for sharing. :cheers:

#3 Larspeart

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 07:59 PM

I remember my first beer...



Kidding. Congrats man. Enjoy!

"Here's to the corkscrew - a useful key to unlock the storehouse of wit, the treasury of laughter, the front door of fellowship, and the gate of pleasant folly." - W.E.P. French

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#4 rant

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 08:18 PM

Ahh yes, my first time.....

Enjoy! :cheers:
What matter, O refuge of the damned! That you a vain paradise be, If you appease my need; - Ponchon

#5 fingerpickinblue

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 08:48 PM

I agree with J.L. on the personal taste point... Whatever coats your throat! However, that being said, I'm with OMG in thinking that closer to room temperature is better (depending on the temperature of the room!). At very cold initial temps from the drip, I always find some part of the aromatic or flavor spectrum to be dulled by the cold. I like typical red wine temps (62 - 65 degrees, or thereabouts). Also, by the time that comes about, the drink has done a little breathing, which usually helps.

BTW, the regular Taboo is my personal favorite of the three.
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#6 uglybiker

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 09:07 PM

There's plenty of flavors that linger for minuets after a single drink...


Typo? Or Freudian slip? ;)

I could go with either!
I am mot suffering from mental illness
Quite the contrary! I'm enjoying every minute!

#7 Absinthe Ben

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 11:43 PM

Rodan, for someone who doesn't "know the terminology yet" you've done remarkably well. It sounds like you got away from all distractions and just really sat there and savoured that Taboo. It reminds me of the first few times I had really good absinthe. You'd get excited and think "man, I just keep finding stuff that's even more incredible! This is fun!" :)


It's all about personal taste. OMG actually likes his glass to hit room temperature as he's slowly sipping.


Make that two! :thumbup: I drink water at room temperature, too....














...about 3 litres a day.
At least it's not Le Tourment Vert...

15 minutes of reading could save you $50 or more on shit absinthe:

www.absinthe-review.net

#8 Bob Tessier

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 05:19 AM

Taboo is amazing. I too can easily take a couple of hours to finish a glass, and I love the evolution of the aroma and flavor as the absinthe warms to room temperature.

I thank the absinthe gods for Taboo. :cheers:
"Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!"

#9 Absomphe

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 05:41 AM

Make that two! :thumbup: I drink water at room temperature, too....


Thirded.

Yes, I'm Krinkles the Clown on an absinthe a beer bender.

You got a problem with that?


#10 tayker

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 06:01 AM

I like it very cold.

Ditto. Same as my whiskeys, has to have a nice crispness to it.
When a person who is honestly mistaken hears the truth, they will either quit being mistaken or cease to be honest.

#11 mesteele

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 06:29 AM

Same here. Cold. I even usually drop an ice cube or 3 into my glass post louche.
Buy the ticket, take the ride.

#12 pt447

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 08:57 AM

Blended scotch cold
Single Malt neat
all absinthe cold... but I like how the taste and expeirence changes as the glass gets a little older. Although, the glass rarely last me 10-15 minutes!

#13 Rodan

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 09:59 AM

It's all about personal taste. OMG actually likes his glass to hit room temperature as he's slowly sipping. I like it very cold. There's no wrong answer as long as you're enjoying yourself, not hurting anyone and not setting your nice absinthe on fire.


This is good to hear... i figured that there would be a 'proper' way to do this, (and since i'm not starting my absinthe on fire :thumbdown: ) ill continue to try a couple minor variations.

I'm already a big fan of the aromatic qualities of this drink. Id like to play around with water temperatures to see if i can coax some more aromatics out. Ill post with some notes when i do that tonight! :thumbup:

I suppose that, like single malt scotch, people will have there preferences. I personally like it neat and room temp... no ice. IF the scotch needs a bit of water to release the oils, ill drop a 1/4 of a teaspoon of room temp water in (if its not been chill filtered there are still some natural oils you can coax out with a couple drops of water).


Oh... so about 10 mins after finishing my absinthe last night, the bitterness became a bit more prominent. Seems that wormwood sticks to your mouth for a while, vecause my mouth suddenly became enjoyably dry. Its as if the absinthe itself was seducing me for another round! :heart:

thanks all!

#14 Absinthe Ben

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 12:13 PM

Make that two! :thumbup: I drink water at room temperature, too....


Thirded.


Time to start an exclusive club for the warm-absinthe-drinking snobs. :tongue:
At least it's not Le Tourment Vert...

15 minutes of reading could save you $50 or more on shit absinthe:

www.absinthe-review.net

#15 OMG_Bill

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 12:26 PM

Not exactly warm drink snobs but I like appreciating the change from cold to room temp and the subtleties as it changes. I reckon I could be a snob but rednecks aren't usually capable. *wink*

I'll just have to iron my bibs if'n I'm going to be a snob. *smile*

Next you'd expect me to wear a shirt. Cheers!
Some folks may cringe each time I use the term "Booze" regarding these high quality drinks.
I mean no offense. There are bottles of extraordinary booze out there. I've tasted a few. Relax.

#16 Bluewolf Pete

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 12:40 PM

I was kinda hopin' you'd put shoes on before shirts. :devil:

I appreciate alcoholic drinks that have warmed up a bit. As mentioned before, they get a chance to "open up". I also feel that the various ingredients, especially in a cocktail, get a chance to interact more with each other. And my perception is that too much cold can interfere with some flavors.
:cheers:

If you want thujone, fuck off and go eat sage ~ Ron

"Let's louche these bitches up and party!" ~ Fingerpickinblue


#17 Rodan

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 03:17 PM

My plan for tonight's drink is exactly that... room temp water. See if it makes any differences in the aromatic qualities and the taste. Hope it doesn't change other good qualities into bad or diminished ones!

On that note, i was thinking..... Anyone ever louche with Perrier or some other club soda? May have to try that to... (any excuse eh!)

#18 Wren

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 04:40 PM

I applaud your curiosity regarding the effects of temperature on aroma/taste, etc. (Curiosity is the greatest virtue). I don't think that I would have the minority opinion that tepid absinthe does not showcase its best features (but who cares what I think?).

I recall reading an amusing account of seltzer/club soda being used to louche absinthe. OMG Bill, care to comment? :) (Hope that I am not wrong about this).
“The very existence of flamethrowers proves that sometime, somewhere, someone said to themselves, 'You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I’m just not close enough to get the job done.”  -George Carlin

#19 Larspeart

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 05:07 PM

A general rule with all spirits (and virtually all foods) is that aroma/smell (and therefor taste) are at optimal at at least room tempature.

Further, another 'rule' is "Chill it if it tastes bad, and it won't taste as bad". It is bar none, the biggest reason (I feel) american beer, cheap vodka, and bad cheese are served cold.

"Here's to the corkscrew - a useful key to unlock the storehouse of wit, the treasury of laughter, the front door of fellowship, and the gate of pleasant folly." - W.E.P. French

We're only immortal
For a limited time.


#20 Absomphe

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 05:19 PM

Absolutely.

Yes, I'm Krinkles the Clown on an absinthe a beer bender.

You got a problem with that?


#21 OMG_Bill

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 05:24 PM

Thank you C, for remembering. Yes, it was a drunk November evening in Portland. As some of the higher ups in the forum allowed me to set and drink with them while basking in their aura at The Jupiter hotel, a fine and pleasant place. Not for children.

I louched a glass of Marteau with club soda. What can I say, it looked like water and was in the cooler. The result was a fizzy but slightly bitter drink that brought laughter to the group when they found out what I'd done. But, like the trooper I aspire to be, I finished the drink and made another with cold water just for the sake of comparison. I prefer regular cool water over the fizzy stuff and I doubt it happens again.

I was there for their entertainment and succeeded. I still laugh when someone brings it up.

Just say NO to a club soda louche!

Cheers!
Some folks may cringe each time I use the term "Booze" regarding these high quality drinks.
I mean no offense. There are bottles of extraordinary booze out there. I've tasted a few. Relax.

#22 Tally Ho

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 05:33 PM

I too have learned to enjoy my absinthe as it warms up. I don't like it to get to the point where it's tepid, but a good 10-15 minutes after it's been sitting there it's optimal for my taste.
Porkchops are good

#23 Wren

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 05:36 PM

A general rule with all spirits (and virtually all foods) is that aroma/smell (and therefor taste) are at optimal at at least room tempature.


Please note my disclaimer. :thumbup:
“The very existence of flamethrowers proves that sometime, somewhere, someone said to themselves, 'You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I’m just not close enough to get the job done.”  -George Carlin

#24 Wren

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 05:38 PM

But, like the trooper I aspire to be, I finished the drink and made another with cold water just for the sake of comparison.

Cheers!


Bravo!
“The very existence of flamethrowers proves that sometime, somewhere, someone said to themselves, 'You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I’m just not close enough to get the job done.”  -George Carlin

#25 fingerpickinblue

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 06:22 PM

I'll just have to iron my bibs if'n I'm going to be a snob. *smile*

Next you'd expect me to wear a shirt. Cheers!


And let's not forget, pinkies out! :twitchsmile:
blind man see her, dumb man call her name - Ed Bell

#26 Rodan

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 06:35 PM

Well... here's a possible 'newbie' comment

I just louched an ounce with room temp filtered water to exactly 3.5:1

This time, the louche took longer, lasting almost to 2:1... interesting.

Also, the sweetness is 'dulled' and the bitterness is 'heightened'... also interesting.

Here's where its getting intense: I cant tell exactly where to 'place' this drink. With scotch or beer, its pretty much the same always... but with absinthe it seems to 'change'. Not only with every drink i take, BUT the tasting notes i recorded last night have changed to.

Am i over analyzing or is absinthe much much more 'subconscious' than i thought?
Do i change or does it change?

One thing, i 'think' that i prefer the room temp water to the cold water with Taboo, although, im wondering if this will change relative to the context, mood, time... etc.

Great stuff... NOW im hooked. There's just to much to this stuff to "casually observe".
And of course, with that territory come the inevitable question: Where can i get more? In specific, i have this need to try more styles and brands...

Well, i guess ill start to look for a good deal on 'Clandestine La Bleue'

Cheers everyone! :cheers:

#27 Absomphe

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 06:40 PM

And let's not forget, pinkies out! :twitchsmile:


I was very disillusioned to learn that proper etiquette does not call for holding the pinkies out while drinking anything, according to Emily Post.

Yes, I'm Krinkles the Clown on an absinthe a beer bender.

You got a problem with that?


#28 buddhasynth

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 06:44 PM

aw, what does she know, bovine boor that she is?
What part of Klaatu Barada Nikto don't you understand?


...because shoddy absinthes will be flavored with the lubricator of take the lead anise.

#29 Absomphe

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 06:47 PM

Is??? :shock:

I thought she had long ago turned to dust.

Stop frightening me. :twitchsmile:

Yes, I'm Krinkles the Clown on an absinthe a beer bender.

You got a problem with that?


#30 Larspeart

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 07:45 PM

Well, as stated above, absinthe, like so many other consumables... has a certain amount of tempature bias. room temp can open up so many flavors and aromas.

"Here's to the corkscrew - a useful key to unlock the storehouse of wit, the treasury of laughter, the front door of fellowship, and the gate of pleasant folly." - W.E.P. French

We're only immortal
For a limited time.



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