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Review Detail

Absinthe Substitutes
THE Spirit of New Orleans
(Updated: February 27, 2008)
Overall rating 
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
Part of Herbsaint's attraction must be it rarity. I had to travel to New Orleans to get it. As I write, I am sitting with open bottles of Pernod, Ricard, and Kubler 53 and will try to draw comparisons. Go easy on me, this is my first review.

Color: Pernod-like, sort of a Prestone green. Bet it glows in the dark.

Louche: Slow, weak, not mysterious like the Kubler and not as opaque as any pastis I have had. In a 1 to 5 mix, it is cloudy but I can see all the way through it.

Aroma: Mediciney, like cough syrup. I can hardly smell Pernod and Ricard, but this has a strong alcohol smell to it. However, there is something else in this that is...very herbal and peppery. Yes, pastis by definition is herbal but this is NOTHING like Pernod and Ricard. Unlike any other drink I have had. It barely comes through the alcohol in smell, but it really shows through in the taste.

Taste: This is a pastis and I like pastis. That said, it is utterly unlike any pastis I have had. The herbal bouquet hinted at in the aroma is found in the taste. It's a wonderful woody, peppery flavor. Think of food in New Orleans, how unique the flavors are, even in common dishes. That is what this is like. Face it, a hamburger in a good New Orleans restaurant is not just a hamburger. This is like that...uncommon. I wish it was a bit richer, like the Kubler. It is not overpoweringly sweet like Pernod and the woody peppery touch is wonderful, but too thin. So much promise damn it, but just too thin. Oh what this could be...

Finish: Hot, dies out fairly quickly.

Overall: If you are looking for an absinthe replacement, this isn't it. If you are tired of Pernod, you will get a kick out of this, if you can get your hands on it.
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