Taking Marc's advice, tonight I had a glass of this at a lower dilution. It was even better than before.
2.5:1 with 1 sugar. Amazing.
I'd been louching in those proportions from the get-go.
I tried it at 3:1 once, and while it was absolutely superlative, it was almost a tad on the soft side when compared to the even more vibrant "popped" (and still totally opened up) flavors of the 2.5:1 ratio.
And 2.5:1 is ideal.
It's always interesting to see the variety of approaches to any subject, and what "coats the throat" of the individuals involved. When I first started drinking absinthe, I was one of those guys that just arbitrarily picked 3:1 as the preferred ratio and ran with it (I even posted my first few reviews using that ratio). The longer I have drunk this beverage, the more I have gravitated to higher levels of dilution. And, I now find it to be almost universally consistent that the high quality offerings really come into their own at a final abv of somewhere between 11% and 12.5%. Lesser dilutions (higher abv), with a high quality product, just don't seem to afford the more subtle, detailed, and delicate herbal and floral elements the chance to reveal themselves (no alpine meadow). LBDJ is no exception, in my opinion.
I'm tasting a glass of LBDJ, at 2.5:1, with and without 1 tsp simple syrup as I post this. My personal opinion is that while interesting in a way (it almost approaches what I would call a Wormwood Liqueur, especially with the sugar), I don't find any of the very beautiful and expressive details I have noted in two evaluations I have done on this label. It is certainly not off-putting (it is very high quality, after all), but I do find it to be overly dense, weighty on the palate (it is 16% abv at this ratio), and while not monochromatic, just not as complex as when all those great ingredients have the breathing space they need.
My personal favorite ratio is just about 4:1 (it is 11.2% abv at this ratio), and I would encourage anyone to try other ratios north of 2.5:1. Of course we will all have our preferences. I just felt compelled to write this post because I think this is seriously good absinthe, I don't find it to be fragile at all, and I think it can be enjoyed as the gentlemen quoted do, and also in a more conventional ratio.
One final point, mainly for those who write reviews; This post is certainly worth reading. I read this about a year after I began posting reviews, and it informed me on some of the fine points where I was making errant assumptions about this beverage we all love.