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Review Detail

 
Butterfly
Traditional Absinthe
Color
Unlouched, mossy green to olive drab with just some glints of peridot. Clear, bright, and natural looking. A heavy level of color. Any darker, and I would give it a "3". Louched, milky yellowish olive green, almost no gradients to the color.

Louche
Very thick, very opaque. The handle of a spoon in a Pontarlier glass is visible to only 1/4" in from the surface, and only the edges can be seen through the sides. No real opalescence. One must look hard and under very good light to see the slightest hint of orange at the bottom, and blue at the meniscus.

Aroma
Neat, a quite strong anise/fennel profile with an equally strong sense of finishing herbs, especially the pontica. Louched, somewhat of a balance, I suppose, but both sides (distillate and coloring) of this formula seem a little overdone to me. Lemony notes, some florals, mint, hyssop, and pontica become quite evident as it warms. I'm certain the wormwood is there, but the anise/fennel, and finishing herb overkill overshadows it.

Flavor
A lot of everything... really packed. Commercial American attitude ("bigger is better"), combined with anything but commercial execution. It's really quite deftly crafted, considering the loudness of all the ingredients. Strong anise/fennel, strong finishing herbs, strong spice and pepper, strong citrus, everything vying for front and center. Weighty mouthfeel (even at the 4.5:1 to 5:1 dilutions, which I preferred best), and not a very "spirity" impression. A little rough. Not a "3", not a strong "4".

Finish
Immediately goes astringent, drying, and quite numbing. A strong anise, fennel, and wormwood linger accompanied by strong spice and pepper. Some "graininess" on the palate... tingly, tingly... prickly, prickly. There's a lot going on without much real harmony. Doesn't leave me in a bad place, just not an elegant one. Satisfying in the same way as is scratching the same bug-bite over and over.

Overall
I rather enjoy this for what it is, but the way I see it, by the criteria, these are the scores. It's got lots of push in all departments without much style or finesse. Kind of a bulldozer, it gets the job done by brute force, and this is further complicated by the sense that every impression is fighting with all the others for attention. My score of "3" here is reflective of my opinion that the 4s in other categories are soft 4s. Nonetheless, I'm intrigued, and when I'm in the mood for a "whip me, whip me, beat me, beat me" absinthe experience, this will be one of the first to come to mind.

Done with a 1 ounce dose, diluted 4:1, 4.5:1, 4.8:1, and 5:1 and no sugar.

Absinthe Butterfly 7/04/11, 7/09/11, 7/17/11, 9/25/11, 10/08/11.
All evaluations had consistent notes.
Overall rating 
 
3.5
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
3.0
Aroma 
 
3.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
3.0
Reviewed by Michael Meyers October 08, 2011
Last updated: June 18, 2012
Top 10 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (53)

Hurts So Good

Color
Unlouched, mossy green to olive drab with just some glints of peridot. Clear, bright, and natural looking. A heavy level of color. Any darker, and I would give it a "3". Louched, milky yellowish olive green, almost no gradients to the color.

Louche
Very thick, very opaque. The handle of a spoon in a Pontarlier glass is visible to only 1/4" in from the surface, and only the edges can be seen through the sides. No real opalescence. One must look hard and under very good light to see the slightest hint of orange at the bottom, and blue at the meniscus.

Aroma
Neat, a quite strong anise/fennel profile with an equally strong sense of finishing herbs, especially the pontica. Louched, somewhat of a balance, I suppose, but both sides (distillate and coloring) of this formula seem a little overdone to me. Lemony notes, some florals, mint, hyssop, and pontica become quite evident as it warms. I'm certain the wormwood is there, but the anise/fennel, and finishing herb overkill overshadows it.

Flavor
A lot of everything... really packed. Commercial American attitude ("bigger is better"), combined with anything but commercial execution. It's really quite deftly crafted, considering the loudness of all the ingredients. Strong anise/fennel, strong finishing herbs, strong spice and pepper, strong citrus, everything vying for front and center. Weighty mouthfeel (even at the 4.5:1 to 5:1 dilutions, which I preferred best), and not a very "spirity" impression. A little rough. Not a "3", not a strong "4".

Finish
Immediately goes astringent, drying, and quite numbing. A strong anise, fennel, and wormwood linger accompanied by strong spice and pepper. Some "graininess" on the palate... tingly, tingly... prickly, prickly. There's a lot going on without much real harmony. Doesn't leave me in a bad place, just not an elegant one. Satisfying in the same way as is scratching the same bug-bite over and over.

Overall
I rather enjoy this for what it is, but the way I see it, by the criteria, these are the scores. It's got lots of push in all departments without much style or finesse. Kind of a bulldozer, it gets the job done by brute force, and this is further complicated by the sense that every impression is fighting with all the others for attention. My score of "3" here is reflective of my opinion that the 4s in other categories are soft 4s. Nonetheless, I'm intrigued, and when I'm in the mood for a "whip me, whip me, beat me, beat me" absinthe experience, this will be one of the first to come to mind.

Done with a 1 ounce dose, diluted 4:1, 4.5:1, 4.8:1, and 5:1 and no sugar.

Absinthe Butterfly 7/04/11, 7/09/11, 7/17/11, 9/25/11, 10/08/11.
All evaluations had consistent notes.

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