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Review Detail

Traditional Absinthe
Cream of the Blanche Crop?
Overall rating 
 
4.2
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
5.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0
Bottle purchased October 2008, review sample louched December 2008.

The presentation of CLB is absolutely top-notch. The blue bottle is distinctive, the label is beautiful, and from the first impression you begin to think this will be a wonderful glass to share with friends.

Neat, CLB presents pine forest with a bit of alcohol heat. Upon introducing the water drip (I sugared mine), I began to smell caramel and juniper. This aroma remained until about 2.5-3:1, after which the caramel dropped into the background and the forest aroma reasserted itself. I finished at a 4.5:1 ratio, which produced a room-filling aroma.

The first sip is full in the mouth, almost creamy, with tastes of juniper and a tangy something that borders on shoyu soy sauce - a marvelous, full flavor that makes your tongue ask, "Hey! What the hell is that!" Subsequent sips taste different each time, as the slight numbing effect begins to build. This is a pleasant experience that intrigues as much as it intoxicates.

The finish is long - tangy, ever-so-slightly bitter, and, again, numbing. CLB doesn't just disappear. It stays for a while.

I must say, with only Kubler and some Spanish absentas to compare, the Clandestine is heads-and-shoulders above the blanches I've tried. Well worth the investment, this bottle will make a worthy compliment to any Absintheur's collection.
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