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Grande Absente

 
2.1 (2)
 
2.2 (12)
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User reviews

12 reviews

5 stars
 
(0)
4 stars
 
(0)
 
(1)
 
(11)
1 star
 
(0)
Overall rating 
 
2.2
Appearance 
 
2.1  (12)
Louche 
 
3.1  (12)
Aroma 
 
1.8  (12)
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
2.1  (12)
Finish 
 
2.1  (12)
Overall 
 
1.8  (12)
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12 results - showing 1 - 5
1 2 3
Ordering
Artificial color, mediocre flavor hold this back..
Overall rating 
 
2.3
Appearance 
 
1.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
2.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
2.0
Finish 
 
3.0
Overall 
 
2.0
Presentation (no points): This review is based upon a brand new bottle of Grande Absente. Bottle is clear, which would be concerning for a naturally colored absinthe as it would let unfettered light in and break down the chlorophyll rapidly. Unfortunately, Grande Absente is not naturally colored, so this was not a concern for them.



Color (1 point): The label proudly proclaims, "To recall this glorious time [Belle Époque era], Grande Absente, Absinthe Originale is one of the oldest traditional Absinthe recipes from the south of France." And then at the bottom of the label it clearly reads, "Contains FD&C Yellow #5 and Blue #1." This upset me, because clearly that is not part of any traditional absinthe recipe and made me feel as if the producer was attempting to mislead me already. For this reason, Grande Absente gets a 1. I was tempted to give a 2 since it is devoid of sediment and is bright and clear, but the artificial color and misleading statements from the producer made me angrily choose a 1.



Louche (4 points): Grande Absente louches reasonably well, it took about 100 medium-speed droplets to get it going, but it then filled the glass in a pleasant opalescent color that is far more appealing than the artificial green in the bottle.



Aroma (2 points): I was a bit disappointed in the aroma, really only could smell alcohol and a bit of anise. No wormwood, and even upon louching the aroma did not bloom very well.



Flavor (2 points): I was torn between a 2 and a 3 on flavor, I can't say it's appropriate for an absinthe as it's really a straight-forward candy licorice flavor. It's not as sickly sweet as La Fee Parisian, and if I had to choose between the two I would most definitely pick Grande Absente, but if any more traditional absinthe was available I would have it over either in a heartbeat.



Finish (3 points): The finish is not bad, slightest numbing of the tongue, mouthfeel is a touch watery, flavor profile is still very simple and uninspiring.



Overall (2 points): Despite being put off by the artificial color, I really tried to give Grande Absente a fair shake. But between the simplistic flavor, lack of aroma, an unnecessary use of artificial coloring, I can't give it any more than a 2 overall. Additionally, I would challenge the classification of this as a verte unless it can be verified that there is indeed a secondary maceration process for flavoring/coloring. If there is, I sure as heck can't taste it. This tastes more like a simplistic blanche to me. I'd rather have a glass of Kübler. In fact I think I will.
DL
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I'll never drink it again
Overall rating 
 
2.2
Appearance 
 
2.0
Louche 
 
3.0
Aroma 
 
2.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
2.0
Finish 
 
2.0
Overall 
 
2.0
Since it was on the menu I thought I'd get a glass so that I could review it. The bartender told me it was "the best absinthe" on the market; he must have read that on their bottle or something.

Color: fake. Not even trying to masquerade as natural. This is the color club kids think absinthe ought to be.

Louche: it took so long I started to worry it wasn't ever going to happen at all. Not particularly thrilling once it go going either, but at least there was something happening.

Aroma: n/a

Flavor: pre-sweetened which I should have remembered so that I could have saved myself a sugar cube. Cloying with it's "fake licorice" star anise flavor and precious little else. I tasted none of the wormwood they taut so annoyingly in the marketing, nor any other herbs.

Finish: it's already been said, but black licorice jelly beans are the nearest thing to come to mind. I finished the glass, but I feel no need to ever revisit it.

Overall: it sets a very bad example and is sure to turn off many casual imbibers. Honestly I would recommend Pernod over this in a heart beat if nothing better was on hand.
R
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Grande Absente - Not Very Grande At All
(Updated: June 18, 2008)
Overall rating 
 
2.1
Appearance 
 
2.0
Louche 
 
3.0
Aroma 
 
2.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
2.0
Finish 
 
1.0
Overall 
 
2.0
*Color Before Water*

From reading posts in the forum, I knew before hand that the color was artificial. However seeing a bottle up close and personal, which in itself I find tasteless and silly with it's bloated and comical type fonts. However the color is a bit brighter then expected, perfectly translucent with zero sediment.



*Aroma Before Water*

Weak and one dimensional. The heat of alcohol is strong and up front and there's a vague nose of Anise. This alone seemed strange to me as I usually find Anise and fennel to be up front and bold, regardless of brand. I was hard pressed to detect any Fennel whatsoever. I found no trace of floral and or herbal tones.



*Louche*

Not bad at all, in fact interesting in it's own right. Swirls of trails dance down towards the bottom of the glass and the Louche although not turbulent nor awe inspiring spreads out evenly and dense. The resulting color is a very pale lime green. It lacks the opalescent quality I've seen with other brands and it appears thicker than it actually is. As the mouth feel is more watery than one might expect, considering the density of the completed Louche.



*Aroma After Water*

More heady with Anise and a sweet, slightly medicinal nose. Sadly it stops here. Any herbal or floral characteristics is pretty much non existent. On a positive note there's no "funk" or odd, off putting aroma.



*Flavor*

One dimensional at best and candy sweet. It would be insanity to use sugar with this Absinthe. Unless you were having a glass for desert - or have a ferocious sweet tooth. It is most definitely sticky sweet with absolutely no bite of Wormwood or any bitter tang in the background to offset or balance it's syrup sweet flavor.



*The Finish*

A nice numbing of the tongue but the sticky sweetness lingers - and it lingers too long.



*Final Impression*

Too sweet for me, but others may enjoy it. I think at it's price point of $70 you're better off with any number of US offerings. It's not a bad drink but it does fall terribly short of any delicate nuances, notes and tones of the lovely flavors anyone with a love and respect of fine Absinthe would look for.



At 138 proof, Grande Absente packs quite a punch. To their credit there's an advisory on the back warning to drink it with care and moderation. I experienced no secondary effect whatsoever, just a dull headed buzz and a headache to boot.
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More like absent than absinthe
(Updated: March 02, 2010)
Overall rating 
 
2.2
Appearance 
 
2.0
Louche 
 
3.0
Aroma 
 
2.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
2.0
Finish 
 
2.0
Overall 
 
2.0


Color: Artificially colored. Too bright a geen/yellow.

Louche: The closest thing this absinthe has to doing what it should. It does louche fairly well.

Aroma: Big alcohol bang. Anise in your face. Nothing subtle or quality.

Flavor: "Good 'n Plenty" licorice WITH the candy coating. No herbal qualities. Pre-sweetened, and a bit sickly sweet. I believe the pre-swetening officially makes this NOT a true absinthe.

Finish: Just not worth talking about.

For the high price of this stuff, you could buy real world-class absinthe. I suspect they may be using oils instead of real ingredients. Nuff said.
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Below Average
(Updated: May 16, 2009)
Overall rating 
 
2.1
Appearance 
 
3.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
1.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
2.0
Finish 
 
2.0
Overall 
 
1.0
-Color-
Before Water: A nice yellow-green. Maybe too yellow, and ½ a degree too neon bright, but it might be natural (I am pretending that I don't know that FD&C artificial coloring is used). Basically correct and even attractive.

After Water: Natural looking light greenish-yellow. Opalescence and depth could be better however.

-Louche-
Decent trails, entertaining, slowly forming cloud layer.

-Aroma-
Before water: Smells unfortunately like rubbing alcohol.

After water: Licorice and maybe star anise or green anise, whatever it is, it’s kind of flat. Along with this is a very unappetizing alcohol scent that smells to me almost like mint-accented rubbing alcohol. I ended up sinking the first glass. I had another glass from my large sample bottle a few months later, and this was more subdued- but still slightly off-putting.

-Flavor-
A bit o’ the ol’ black jelly bean taste here. Very simple. I’m not really sure if there's any green anise at all, probably just star anise essential oil. I think I might taste a little fennel and some basic wormwood as it moves toward the finish. Overall, it’s much flatter and one dimensional than I’d like it to be, as well as the significant minus of being pre-sweetened (as we know authentic absinthe is not). The funny thing is, it’s actually a bit better after a few months of aging, which is likely due in part to the producer not having aged it themselves.

-Finish-
Not harsh in any way, moderate tongue numbing, not much body or creaminess. The first glass kinda grossed me out, but after breathing the second glass actually had some acceptable wormwood and anethole notes. There is also some unpleasant cloying from pre-added sugar.

-Overall-
There are definitely worse products that are further removed from what absinthe actually is. But this is really NOT authentic absinthe, since it’s pre-sweetened and gets major negatives for taking all the producer shortcuts (star anise, oil mix, artificial color). When all is said and done, it’s a cheep imitation that mimics the real absinthe, but costs just as much.

The drink itself is a 2/5, but I dropped the Overall score to a 1 for the myriad unforgivable inaccuracies represented in the packaging and other marketing for this product. No reason at all to give these people my money. How unfortunate that many will try this and believe it's among the best the absinthe world has to offer.

Notes: 3:1 with medium fountain drip, no sugar.
GB
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