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Review Detail

 
Valkyria
Traditional Absinthe
Appearance
Unlouched, a nice light-medium peridot with no discernible haze or sediment. Very natural looking. Louched, good green retention with little nuance or gradient in color.

Louche
Good green retention, however very monochromatic. The louche, on the border of opaque, displays gradients to just the slightest orange at the bottom and blue at the meniscus, hardly anything I would call opalescence. The surface appearance, while not chalky, exhibits no brilliance or sheen one expects to see in top offerings.

Aroma
Unlouched, a pleasant anise and herbal tone with a confectionery tinge. Louched, overall very dark, badiane (star anise) predominates. As a result, the nose is very monolithic in total character. Besides the star anise, I can detect some nice wormwoods (absinthium and pontica), but not much else (and I'm sure other things are there). On the whole, I wouldn't mistake this for anything other than absinthe, but it's really not distinguished in any way.

Flavor And Mouthfeel
A fairly big and heavy sense of weight on entry. The initial impression, much like the nose is very monolithic. Take the time to taste “hard” and it's detectable that other herbs besides the quality wormwoods and anise are present, but it's a lot of work. They're just getting walked all over by the star anise. The big and heavy theme continues throughout the glass with a building prickliness on the palate and not a trace of “spirity” sensation whatsoever, and this at a ratio of 5:1 (its best presentation, IMO).

Finish
A linear fade of most of the palate impressions leaving the entire mouth coated with a mid-grained powderiness, flavors, and drying redolent of Valentine's Day conversation hearts, backed by some wormwood bitterness. All in all a little better finish than many other absinthes with strong star anise profiles, probably a testament to the quality of the other underlying ingredients. Fair length.

Overall Impression
The way I see it, this Swedish verte is pretty average. However I'm rather charmed by it and I want to like it. Why, you might ask? Well, it's because of what I believe I can see in the intent of this effort. Because of the quality and balances of the herbs (other than the star anise) I am able to detect here, it is obvious to me that the people who produced this are making what they believe to be an honest and accurate representation of the beverage. That's a completely different thing than the somewhat similar (but inferior) offerings from some others (who know better, BTW) where it is obvious they are only in it to profiteer. I'll root for a less than par, but honorable, effort any day over a cynical one. Whether or not this has the potential to ever be great, who knows? That's up to its creators. But I think with some minor tweaking (mainly in the elimination of much of the star anise) it stands a chance of being solidly in the range of better mid-market products.

Valkyries... escorts of the damned or “escorts” of the “damned lucky”? I dunno... But if I were one, I'd make sure that Göran Bauerle and Henrik Larsson continue on their quest, and that Valkyria lives to fight another day.

Done with a 1 ounce dose, diluted 4.5:1, 5:1 and no sugar.

Absinthe Valkyria, 08/05/12, 8/12/12.
Both evaluations had consistent notes.

My most appreciative thanks to the generous WS member who provided the samples.
Overall rating 
 
3.2
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
3.0
Aroma 
 
3.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
3.0
Finish 
 
3.0
Overall 
 
3.0
Reviewed by Michael Meyers August 12, 2012
Last updated: August 13, 2012
Top 10 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (53)

Live To Fight Another Day

Appearance
Unlouched, a nice light-medium peridot with no discernible haze or sediment. Very natural looking. Louched, good green retention with little nuance or gradient in color.

Louche
Good green retention, however very monochromatic. The louche, on the border of opaque, displays gradients to just the slightest orange at the bottom and blue at the meniscus, hardly anything I would call opalescence. The surface appearance, while not chalky, exhibits no brilliance or sheen one expects to see in top offerings.

Aroma
Unlouched, a pleasant anise and herbal tone with a confectionery tinge. Louched, overall very dark, badiane (star anise) predominates. As a result, the nose is very monolithic in total character. Besides the star anise, I can detect some nice wormwoods (absinthium and pontica), but not much else (and I'm sure other things are there). On the whole, I wouldn't mistake this for anything other than absinthe, but it's really not distinguished in any way.

Flavor And Mouthfeel
A fairly big and heavy sense of weight on entry. The initial impression, much like the nose is very monolithic. Take the time to taste “hard” and it's detectable that other herbs besides the quality wormwoods and anise are present, but it's a lot of work. They're just getting walked all over by the star anise. The big and heavy theme continues throughout the glass with a building prickliness on the palate and not a trace of “spirity” sensation whatsoever, and this at a ratio of 5:1 (its best presentation, IMO).

Finish
A linear fade of most of the palate impressions leaving the entire mouth coated with a mid-grained powderiness, flavors, and drying redolent of Valentine's Day conversation hearts, backed by some wormwood bitterness. All in all a little better finish than many other absinthes with strong star anise profiles, probably a testament to the quality of the other underlying ingredients. Fair length.

Overall Impression
The way I see it, this Swedish verte is pretty average. However I'm rather charmed by it and I want to like it. Why, you might ask? Well, it's because of what I believe I can see in the intent of this effort. Because of the quality and balances of the herbs (other than the star anise) I am able to detect here, it is obvious to me that the people who produced this are making what they believe to be an honest and accurate representation of the beverage. That's a completely different thing than the somewhat similar (but inferior) offerings from some others (who know better, BTW) where it is obvious they are only in it to profiteer. I'll root for a less than par, but honorable, effort any day over a cynical one. Whether or not this has the potential to ever be great, who knows? That's up to its creators. But I think with some minor tweaking (mainly in the elimination of much of the star anise) it stands a chance of being solidly in the range of better mid-market products.

Valkyries... escorts of the damned or “escorts” of the “damned lucky”? I dunno... But if I were one, I'd make sure that Göran Bauerle and Henrik Larsson continue on their quest, and that Valkyria lives to fight another day.

Done with a 1 ounce dose, diluted 4.5:1, 5:1 and no sugar.

Absinthe Valkyria, 08/05/12, 8/12/12.
Both evaluations had consistent notes.

My most appreciative thanks to the generous WS member who provided the samples.

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