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Review Detail

 
Tenneyson Absinthe Royale
Traditional Absinthe
Color
Unlouched, a significant gold tint, about 1 shade lighter than my early bottle of Blanchette, but somehow not quite as interesting. Louched, chalky greyish white with a gold undertone. Some violet-pewter notes try to peek out at the edges.

Louche
The right weight, however, very fast. Fully louched by 1:1. I can see it trying to be opalescent, but the tint interferes. The result is somewhat chalky and flat, with a general "dirty water" look under all but the brightest light. A struggle with score here. Ultimately not a 3, so a "soft" 4.

Aroma
Nice, interesting. Clearly gin influenced absinthe, not absinthe influenced gin. Even neat, it is clearly identifiable as absinthe. The juniper and wormwood play nicely together along with the usual blanche suspects, but are backed by some rooty, funky undertones. I suspect it is the beet base talking, as it reminds me of the base in Lucid. Any more forward, and I would consider it a serious fault. The nose is absolutely the highpoint of this absinthe for me, and it shows where this idea could go.

Flavor
Big, round, weighty, and oily impression on the attack. On the mid-palate, is that aggressive prickly spiciness that only star anise can deliver. It tempts me to add more water, but at 3.5:1, I'm already clearly in the sweet spot for this abv. Otherwise, nice traditional elements plus the piney, mulberry influences of the juniper. The beet base continues to show on the palate. Other than the oily mouthfeel and "star", some nice ideas that might be very good with a little tweaking and refinement.

Finish
Prickly, powdery, astringent, and drying. Only the lingering mouth-coating oiliness keeps it from being harsh. As it wears on, the juniper shows, but with more time it becomes all star anise, and that "pink mint" thing. Not very clean. It makes me want to drink something else to cleanse my palate.

Overall
Well, it's a great idea, definitely heading in the right direction. There are some things about this that get me excited. However, it's a little rustic in its execution, and disjointed in its presentation, although not altogether bad. My scoring puts it in the range that I would consider "mid-market". If I were calling the shots on this one, I would say get a cleaner base, loose a lot of the star anise, and stay out of the tails. Also, I usually do not comment on packaging, but If one is going to employ such a strong, masculine geometry as this bottle has, great care should be exercised to make sure the label is affixed dead straight and level. A degree or two off (as on my bottle) greatly diminishes the effect.

I really want to like this absinthe. My hope is that with some future refinement, Tenneyson will become one of those products that successfully helps redefine the limits of what absinthe can be.

Done with a 1 ounce dose, diluted 3:1, 3.5:1 and no sugar.

Tenneyson Absinthe Royale 5/07/11, 5/14/11, 5/28/11.
All evaluations had consistent notes.
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Appearance 
 
3.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
3.0
Finish 
 
3.0
Overall 
 
3.0
Reviewed by Michael Meyers May 28, 2011
Last updated: July 04, 2012
Top 10 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (53)

Redefining Limits... Has Its Limits

Color
Unlouched, a significant gold tint, about 1 shade lighter than my early bottle of Blanchette, but somehow not quite as interesting. Louched, chalky greyish white with a gold undertone. Some violet-pewter notes try to peek out at the edges.

Louche
The right weight, however, very fast. Fully louched by 1:1. I can see it trying to be opalescent, but the tint interferes. The result is somewhat chalky and flat, with a general "dirty water" look under all but the brightest light. A struggle with score here. Ultimately not a 3, so a "soft" 4.

Aroma
Nice, interesting. Clearly gin influenced absinthe, not absinthe influenced gin. Even neat, it is clearly identifiable as absinthe. The juniper and wormwood play nicely together along with the usual blanche suspects, but are backed by some rooty, funky undertones. I suspect it is the beet base talking, as it reminds me of the base in Lucid. Any more forward, and I would consider it a serious fault. The nose is absolutely the highpoint of this absinthe for me, and it shows where this idea could go.

Flavor
Big, round, weighty, and oily impression on the attack. On the mid-palate, is that aggressive prickly spiciness that only star anise can deliver. It tempts me to add more water, but at 3.5:1, I'm already clearly in the sweet spot for this abv. Otherwise, nice traditional elements plus the piney, mulberry influences of the juniper. The beet base continues to show on the palate. Other than the oily mouthfeel and "star", some nice ideas that might be very good with a little tweaking and refinement.

Finish
Prickly, powdery, astringent, and drying. Only the lingering mouth-coating oiliness keeps it from being harsh. As it wears on, the juniper shows, but with more time it becomes all star anise, and that "pink mint" thing. Not very clean. It makes me want to drink something else to cleanse my palate.

Overall
Well, it's a great idea, definitely heading in the right direction. There are some things about this that get me excited. However, it's a little rustic in its execution, and disjointed in its presentation, although not altogether bad. My scoring puts it in the range that I would consider "mid-market". If I were calling the shots on this one, I would say get a cleaner base, loose a lot of the star anise, and stay out of the tails. Also, I usually do not comment on packaging, but If one is going to employ such a strong, masculine geometry as this bottle has, great care should be exercised to make sure the label is affixed dead straight and level. A degree or two off (as on my bottle) greatly diminishes the effect.

I really want to like this absinthe. My hope is that with some future refinement, Tenneyson will become one of those products that successfully helps redefine the limits of what absinthe can be.

Done with a 1 ounce dose, diluted 3:1, 3.5:1 and no sugar.

Tenneyson Absinthe Royale 5/07/11, 5/14/11, 5/28/11.
All evaluations had consistent notes.

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