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#1 Ambear

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 03:00 PM

I recently received a sample of this absinthe by Stefano Rossoni (which I hear a few other people have received as well), and though I'd get a thread going for discussion/reviews.

 

I know the absinthe was pretty freshly made, and it's really evident in the coloring...super vibrant without any fading, though it was a little off-putting because it was incredibly yellow. I'd be interested to see how it looks after a few months of sitting around...it may not be so shocking.

 

It louched up gorgeously...there was a lot of louche action. Once louched the color was more of a pleasant lemon curd color (so, brighter yellow than what I'd consider to be "buttery"). It had some topaz reflections and a bluish-white meniscus. It louches up pretty thick and very creamy...barely shy of opaque.

 

Pre-louche it smelled a lot like black pepper, but once louched it became very intriguing and complex...wormwood being the only scent I can clearly identify...it smells like clean earth and there's a hint of something clove-like.

 

I was surprised at how light and clean it felt while drinking...especially with how thick the louche was visually. The absinthe overall is very cool and not at all dry. The first thing I noticed was that there's something almost minty about the absinthe (which typically I hate), but it didn't have any of the things I dislike that comes with familiar mint flavors (like the mouth-washy fresh breath coldness and the mentholated feel)...it reminded me more of a tastier mint, like spearmint. I wasn't able to analyze the flavor more, because after drinking more than a few sips, the absinthe kinda turns into a round and harmonious whole. It was difficult to pick out any specific flavors because they're all melded together into a cohesive flavor, though if pressed I could sorta find fennel and an impressive wormwood backing. It also still had a lot of the clean soil essence and a nice amount of an orangey-lemon tartness.

 

The finish was a bit more of a feel and the aroma in the throat and less of a lingering flavor, but was very pleasant and somewhat velvety. Overall I think the absinthe was a tad bit idiosyncratic to what I'd consider a strictly "traditional" absinthe, but it's not too wild...as an experienced drinker, I really enjoyed how it's not the same ol' absinthe experience but was undeniably still recognizable as an absinthe. I'm definitely looking forward to getting my hands on more in the future (hopefully!)

 

I did up an "official" evaluation sheet with scores while reviewing, so if people are interested in the specific scores, I can post them, but the total score ended up being a 4.


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#2 Evan Camomile

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 03:27 PM

Appearance: Clean, clear and definitely on the yellower side for an absinthe.
 
Louche: A very thick louche. The main color is a brighter shade of butter with the usual meniscus highlight of blue. There was lots of slender action, not rolling clouds while this was being louched, leaving me perplexed at how thick and monotone the end result is.
 
Aroma: Lemon, coriander, and a hard candy-like sweetness are the first aromas that I notice. The smell is somewhat powdery and "smooth". There's not much wormwood in the aroma.
 
Flavor: My first thought was lemon yogurt. There's definitely some anise and coriander use that pops out without a problem as well. The wormwood is noticeable when you cover your palate but otherwise hidden among the accentuating herbs. Most of the sweetness seems to come from the anise and there is a wonderfully smooth texture. Mint is hidden well as an accent without becoming too center stage or distracting. Very idiosyncratic and the accents seem to overpower a traditional absinthe profile. 
 
Finish: Anise and coriander burst forth as the prickly spice sensation begins to develop on the palate. The finish is fairly long but doesn't contain too many highlights or deviancy from the original flavor with a nice lemon note being the last to vanish.
 
Overall: A person must really cover their palate to understand the complexity of this absinthe. Most of the highlighting herbs overpower the usual absinthe flavors. The coarseness of spice use is slightly distracting, and the lemon-citrus flavor dominates much more than I would like. This is still a tasty offering but I would tone the accentuating flavors to the background so as not to lose the basic flavors that they would build upon and enhance, instead of distract from.
 
Appearance: 3.5 x 0.8 = 2.8
Louche: 3 x 0.8 = 2.4
Aroma: 3 x 0.9 = 2.7
Flavor: 3.5 x 1.0 = 3.5
Finish: 3.5 x 0.5 = 1.75
Overall: 3 x 1.0 = 3.0
Total: 16.15 x .20 = 3.23 = 3.2

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#3 redwun

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 06:39 PM

Without getting all technical ('cause that's not my thing),I got this stuff on Friday.Definitely on the yellow side,but that doesn't bother me.Nice thick louche with out over doing it and becoming "chewy".I tried four - fifteen mil.samples.One at 4:1,two at 4.5:1,and one at 5:1.I can't decide which ratio I like best of the last two,(4:1 was way too hot).At 4.5:1,the finish is a bit sweet,then a little bitterness comes forth and lingers.(very nice) What I like is that all the ingredients meld together very nicely,and nothing is too out front. From what I understand,it's Stefano's intent to market this as a readily available,everyday absinthe.I think it would be fantastic to have this available for sale on American shelves.It definitely has that European "flair" that I'm very fond of,but I don't notice in American COs.I would buy a couple bottles tomorrow,and recommend it very highly.Thanks Stefano! (I wouldn't change a thing)!!!


Edited by redwun, 22 March 2014 - 07:00 PM.

You Know there ain't no Devil that's just God when he's drunk"...Tom Waits

#4 greytail

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 07:06 PM

I am going to follow your style Redwun. I don't do many reviews. With absinthe, I either like it or I don't. I really like this and would also stock a few bottles and here is why.

Only once before did I get that awesome earthy smell and flavor from wormwood. I get hyssop and wormwood up front with anise and fennel following behind. There is another herb I am detecting too.

I would simply describe this as taking a fresh bag of herbs, opening it and inhaling. That is the thing I get with this absinthe. I find it nice and herbal. It is definitely not a boring absinthe, nor is it something so strange that it would be mistaken for something else.

I do have tasting notes which go into detail during the louche. It mirrors a lot of what has already been said. Color is natural looking, louche is indeed fun to watch as Ambear described. The louched glass is pleasant looking.

It is like tasting the evaporating dew as it rises from an alpine valley.
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#5 Songcatcher

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 07:53 PM

I'm no expert by any stretch of the imagination so please don't beat me up too badly.  Anybody that knows me from correspondences through P.Ms, emails, texts or otherwise knows how my opinion on an absinthe can be one way at first, and then take an extreme change of course later on, so please take this review with a grain of salt, and put no stock in it whatsoever, but here goes. Total score: 3.6

 

 Appearance: 4

Neat a golden green very clean verte. Louched a nice light green verte, thick and inviting that seemed to turn whiter the longer it sits and warms.

Louche: 3.9

Very heavy as the water entered with a nice this fog layer sitting on the bottom below the neat layer.
Not much trails to speak of, but whisps that explode to full on louche by 1/1. At 4/1 still thick and quite opaque.

Aroma: 3

Neat was camphorous, rich and oakey. Louched nothing stands out but everything says hello.

Flavor: 3.3

Neat the flavor was freshly mowed hay in a cowfield. Something familiar also, but can't quite put my finger on it.
After adding water, the first sip was a pine box full of briars. Too green, some aging would help. And that "something familiar".
Further into the glass I taste sassafras, vanilla, grapefruit and sawdust. Now I know what the familiar thing is. The same thing I noticed in the Letherbee's, just more of it.
This has definitely spent some time in a barrel. Further into it, the barrel tone is overpowering everything else and is somewhat unpleasant. In no hurry to have another right now and will try it again in a few days.

Finish: 2

Not much to notice other than oak wood and a slight pricklyness that feels like, well, sawdust. And it sticks around just too long and is not exactly enjoyable to me.

Overall: 3.3
Personally,I would prefer it be left out of the barrel as I see it adds nothing to an absinthe other than with the base spirit, but not the finished product. Is this the same proto as before (which I haven't had) but with barrel aging?
I probably wouldn't buy a bottle as of yet based on this sample, but I know it is a work in progress and will more than likely be tweaked and improved upon because the maker is a serious lover of the art.
I know I shouldn't do reviews based on sample bottles alone, and I didn't much care for the L'Ancienne or the La Grenouille upon first tastings and now they are both sublime treats to me,
so I feel really bad about this review but that's just how it comes across to me right now.

Can I add another one later when my mind changes on it? Because it probably will.  :fork: ;)  


The room it smelled heavy of drinkin',  

and the sad silent song, made the hour twice as long,

as I waited for that sun to go sinkin'.


#6 Ambear

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 08:12 PM

Where the base spirit reminds me of the RZPR prototype, Songcatcher, they're definitely different. I didn't like the RZPR nearly as much as I like this one, for what it's worth (though I need to revisit that one...there was one flavor in particular that gave me pause and I haven't quite sorted it out yet). I too got a slight hint of woodiness...more of a fresh plant matter and less of a lumbery taste for me...though usually when I think of being aged in a barrel I tend to think of vanilla, caramel, and baking spices (which I didn't taste very much of)...sometimes other people only notice "wood".

 

I tried it probably a bit closer to 4.25/4.5:1 and 5:1...I liked it better a little less diluted (as Redwun noted).


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#7 greytail

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 05:42 AM

I don't know much about this absinthe, but I do know it was not aged in wood, so those flavors could be coming from something else.


If you want to know what a nice hyssop and wormwood forward absinthe would be like, this would be it. It might be that it is so far from the simple trinity absinthes that it is going to take a few glasses to make up your mind on. Then again, perhaps not.

I had mine around 4:1.
Nos adepto quis nos mereo. Nos mereo quis nos adepto.

#8 Songcatcher

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 06:47 AM

Understandable. It could have been the chainsaw I was running yesterday gave that impression. 


The room it smelled heavy of drinkin',  

and the sad silent song, made the hour twice as long,

as I waited for that sun to go sinkin'.


#9 Stefano Rossoni

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 08:22 AM

Thank you all guys for the feedback! I really appreciate it.

It's really interesting to see the wide array of flavors detected, and I can offer some insight:

The yellowish color is due to an above-average amount of hyssop in the coloration, as from good ol' Duplais hyssop releases a yellowish green, while lemonbalm a darker more brilliant green.

About the recipe, it's actually quite simple: WW, anise, fennel, hyssop, pontica, lemonbalm, and one extra herb which not exotic at all and is found in at least one of the best domestic absinthes. So yep, no coriander, no mint, the base is neutral grain, and no oak aging.

It is indeed very young, younger than I usually consider ready for consumption, and that was part of the experiment, which yielded very interesting results.

#10 Songcatcher

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 12:18 PM

See what I mean? I told ya I'm no expert. More like the uncommon denominator. Just a regular guy amongst a group of educated and knowledgeable folks who is very grateful to be included in this experiment. Thanks to those who made this possible for me and thank you Stefano for your love of and commitment to the art of absinthe. Am glad to be part of this wonderful community. Cheers and good wishes to all.

The room it smelled heavy of drinkin',  

and the sad silent song, made the hour twice as long,

as I waited for that sun to go sinkin'.


#11 Ambear

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 12:26 PM

I like your "I'm just an ordinary man" approach...it helps keep the snootiness in check (myself included).  :wave2:


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#12 Evan Camomile

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 01:27 PM

Seconded. Keep it up, after all absinthe is for all.


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#13 Absomphe

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 02:21 PM

What they said!


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

You got a problem with that?


#14 redwun

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 05:06 PM

Interesting how everyone got something different from this absinthe.I almost wonder if we were all tasting the same thing. :laugh: 


You Know there ain't no Devil that's just God when he's drunk"...Tom Waits

#15 greytail

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 05:10 PM

Tastes are funny that way. One might detect a flavor which is only a recollection produced by the real culprit. I know I am not good enough to pick out many things, but having a bag of herbs on hand helps.
Nos adepto quis nos mereo. Nos mereo quis nos adepto.

#16 fingerpickinblue

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 05:22 PM

I will try this at least a couple more times and post impressions as I do, but for now I'm just going to post the impressions I think add to what has already been said.

 

Appearance - agree with most.

Louche - agree with most, however even though it is on the opaque side of acceptability, I love the very glassy, pearl-like sheen it exhibits.

Aroma - Neat - candied evergreen. Louched - finishing herbs up front, but very good anise/fennel support. Very bright, fresh, and immediate.

Flav/Mouth - Smooth entry, velvety mouthfeel. A very fresh style with a playful little bite.

Finish - A linear style finish with exceptional length. It becomes a little excessively drying as it wears on.

Overall - I like it a lot. Only neg is the drying on the finish, and overall it seems very "green" at this time.

 

If I were scoring this it would come in in the very upper 3s to 4. With appropriate age... who knows?


blind man see her, dumb man call her name - Ed Bell

#17 Absomphe

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 11:58 AM

Appearance: Not nearly as yellow as I was expecting, more of a bright, natural green with a tinge of gold. I find it to be a very pleasing shade.

 

Louche: MM hit it on the head; thick and nearly opaque, but exhibiting a nice opalescence, as well.

 

Aroma: Neat; I can easily detect anise, fennel, and wormwood. Louched; finishing herbs are prominent, particularly the lemon balm. I pick up lots of candied anise and fennel, but not much of a wormwood scent.

 

Flavor/ Mouthfeel: Creamy and soft in texture; the flavor is candied anise, fruity fennel, hyssop, and lemon balm  forward with the wormwood playing more of an ancillary role, although, there is certainly more than enough to keep this from becoming even slightly cloying.

 

Finish: Once again, I agree with MM; nice, and balanced, although, there is a a bit of an excessive dryness that builds on the palate.

 

Overall: I'm a fan. I would definitely stock this on a regular basis. I would have preferred a touch more wormwood, and a tad less lemon balm, but I would still give this a solid 4 overall.


Edited by Absomphe, 25 March 2014 - 12:13 PM.

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

You got a problem with that?


#18 Deluge

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Posted 29 March 2014 - 03:36 AM

When nosing the glass I get a bitof a lacquer note, fennel, pepper, anise, dusty hyssop, young spirit. Initially

it reminds me of something familiar.  New Herbsaint? If only in passing.

 

Vibrant greenish yellow in color.

 

Adding water and sugar, the louche happened very fast.  Nose - very bright, sweet floral scent, anise.  Fresh

green anise.  Wormwood and Hyssop play a strong supporting role.

 

Full water - I get a lot of candiedscents.  Reminiscent of black licorice.

 

Flavor.  Very sweet entry - bright - tight - fruity.  Wet fresh anise. 

 

Reminds me of a Spanish Absenta in a way, sans citrus, I do taste a bit of lemon balm, but it is quickly  replaced by the fruity sweetness of the fennel

and hyssop?.  

 

10 minutes after initial tastings-I am really reminded of a few Spanish absinthes that I've had.  

 

sitting down a few days later for aglass with out sugar.

 

Different experience all

together... Getting more of the dusty hyssop now and the fruitiness that I was
tasting before, is more likely coming from the wormwood. ...Juicy-Fruit... I am
still getting that fresh green anise flavor. Not using sugar was defiantly a
major improvement with this absinthe.  Not that it is a lightly flavored though;
the sugar just flattened my experience.  I am enjoying this as well made
every day absinthe. I've had a lot of HG's and there are many shared
similarities with this absinthe... Sources maybe?  Looking forward to
seeing it around. 

 

 

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Edited by Deluge, 29 March 2014 - 03:40 AM.


#19 Songcatcher

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 08:12 PM

Had another glass of this tonight, after a couple weeks of settling. Now to be certain, mine is no discerning palate by any means. And while the oakey flavor that stood out so prominently to me at first is pretty much gone, all I really find now in the taste and aroma, neat and louched is very similar to the Sapin liqueur from Emile Pernot. http://www.absinthes...products_id=840 Only without the added sugar. Which is mostly 

 

sapin_S.jpg

 

 


The room it smelled heavy of drinkin',  

and the sad silent song, made the hour twice as long,

as I waited for that sun to go sinkin'.



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