Traditional Absinthe

La Clandestine http://www.wormwoodsociety.org/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/300x300s/8f/32/b4/14_bugnon1_1180368741.jpg

 
3.9 (2)
 
4.4 (16)
 

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Editor reviews

Average editor rating from: 2 user(s)

Overall rating 
 
3.9
Appearance 
 
4.0  (2)
Louche 
 
3.5  (2)
Aroma 
 
4.0  (2)
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0  (2)
Finish 
 
4.0  (2)
Overall 
 
4.0  (2)

Color
Unlouched, it is perfectly clear, really sparkling clarity like crystal vs. glass. Louched, very milky white, and I mean white white. Early in the dilution, some bluish highlights, final color has just the slightest bluish-gray highlights.

Louche
Really nice swirling thick trails initially, clouds at the bottom with unlouched layer at the top. This all changes real fast, though. Cloudiness comes on pretty quickly starting around .5:1 and drink is pretty much opaque by 1:1. And then it's just drip, drip, drip. Consistency looks very correct, and in color, it has a nice vibrancy.

Aroma
Nice! Not the anise bomb that the "K" brand presents. Initial nose is more fennel forward with good support from the wormwood. Anise is there, of course, in nice balance. No alcohol heat on the nose, either neat or louched. Very clean, fresh, and natural... the more herbal and floral notes appear on the nose after going to palate.

Flavor
Again, very nice! Terrific balance of the trinity. Great fresh herbal impression. Everything about the ingredients here just seems less "dried" than the "K" brand. Creamy attack, nice balance mid-palate, and a subtle burst of spice on the back palate. Yummy!

Finish
Follows aromas and palate very accurately. This is really enjoyable, great balance, nice and satisfying wormwood "pull" on the palate. Ever so slight tongue numbing. Clean.

Overall
This one ratchets up the blanche category for me. Substantial quality, really nice balance, reasonable complexity. I hate to keep referring to the "K" brand, but it was my first blanche, and while I still think it has plenty of charms, this offering clearly has a higher level of raw material and refinement. A fine blanche.

7/06/09 Revisit - This evaluation is right in line with the evaluations done in November 2008. None of the original text is altered. A couple of observations... Even though I would still rate the louche a 3 because it is so fast, I must say that with a slow drip, it is really entertaining while it lasts. Also, my initial evaluations were both done at a dilution of 3:1, and as I gain more experience with absinthe, I'm finding higher water levels to be desirable. Just the addition of an extra .5 part of water has a real controlling effect on the "pull" and "tongue numbing" I mention in my comments on finish. So don't be afraid to play around with dilution. You may just find it enlightening.

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

La Clandestine 11/15/08, 11/23/08, 7/06/09.
All evaluations had consistent notes.
Overall rating 
 
3.8
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
3.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0
Reviewed by Michael Meyers November 23, 2008
Last updated: September 12, 2012
Top 50 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (53)

Life After Kubler

Color
Unlouched, it is perfectly clear, really sparkling clarity like crystal vs. glass. Louched, very milky white, and I mean white white. Early in the dilution, some bluish highlights, final color has just the slightest bluish-gray highlights.

Louche
Really nice swirling thick trails initially, clouds at the bottom with unlouched layer at the top. This all changes real fast, though. Cloudiness comes on pretty quickly starting around .5:1 and drink is pretty much opaque by 1:1. And then it's just drip, drip, drip. Consistency looks very correct, and in color, it has a nice vibrancy.

Aroma
Nice! Not the anise bomb that the "K" brand presents. Initial nose is more fennel forward with good support from the wormwood. Anise is there, of course, in nice balance. No alcohol heat on the nose, either neat or louched. Very clean, fresh, and natural... the more herbal and floral notes appear on the nose after going to palate.

Flavor
Again, very nice! Terrific balance of the trinity. Great fresh herbal impression. Everything about the ingredients here just seems less "dried" than the "K" brand. Creamy attack, nice balance mid-palate, and a subtle burst of spice on the back palate. Yummy!

Finish
Follows aromas and palate very accurately. This is really enjoyable, great balance, nice and satisfying wormwood "pull" on the palate. Ever so slight tongue numbing. Clean.

Overall
This one ratchets up the blanche category for me. Substantial quality, really nice balance, reasonable complexity. I hate to keep referring to the "K" brand, but it was my first blanche, and while I still think it has plenty of charms, this offering clearly has a higher level of raw material and refinement. A fine blanche.

7/06/09 Revisit - This evaluation is right in line with the evaluations done in November 2008. None of the original text is altered. A couple of observations... Even though I would still rate the louche a 3 because it is so fast, I must say that with a slow drip, it is really entertaining while it lasts. Also, my initial evaluations were both done at a dilution of 3:1, and as I gain more experience with absinthe, I'm finding higher water levels to be desirable. Just the addition of an extra .5 part of water has a real controlling effect on the "pull" and "tongue numbing" I mention in my comments on finish. So don't be afraid to play around with dilution. You may just find it enlightening.

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

La Clandestine 11/15/08, 11/23/08, 7/06/09.
All evaluations had consistent notes.

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December 2009 update: The vinegary note I originally found in my bottle is no longer there. Aging must have helped it. Scores changed to reflect that.
Original aroma: 3 - New aroma: 4


------------
CLB was my first foray into blanches, and it was a great place to start.

The look was very bright and clear. It was very quick to louche, but it didn't leave a lot of nice oil trails, which is why I only gave it a 4. It did come out very nice in the end with a blue hued creaminess.

The initial smell had hints of something I couldn't put my finger on. Almost vinegary, but with water, that dissipated and ended with a wonderful woodsy scent with gentle hints of anis and fennel. I had to give a low score here mainly for the peculiar initial notes.

It had a very nice, milky mouth feel with lots of anise and wormwood and a clean finish. Very light.

Overall, a very enjoyable blanche.
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0
Reviewed by Brian Robinson June 24, 2007
Last updated: December 16, 2009
#1 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (165)

A wonderful blanche

December 2009 update: The vinegary note I originally found in my bottle is no longer there. Aging must have helped it. Scores changed to reflect that.
Original aroma: 3 - New aroma: 4


------------
CLB was my first foray into blanches, and it was a great place to start.

The look was very bright and clear. It was very quick to louche, but it didn't leave a lot of nice oil trails, which is why I only gave it a 4. It did come out very nice in the end with a blue hued creaminess.

The initial smell had hints of something I couldn't put my finger on. Almost vinegary, but with water, that dissipated and ended with a wonderful woodsy scent with gentle hints of anis and fennel. I had to give a low score here mainly for the peculiar initial notes.

It had a very nice, milky mouth feel with lots of anise and wormwood and a clean finish. Very light.

Overall, a very enjoyable blanche.

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Average user rating from: 16 user(s)

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Overall rating 
 
4.4
Appearance 
 
4.6  (16)
Louche 
 
4.1  (16)
Aroma 
 
4.2  (16)
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.5  (16)
Finish 
 
4.2  (16)
Overall 
 
4.4  (16)
I usually drink this around 3/4:1, no sugar. I first tried this before it was legal, when it was sold by Betty. Betty's La Bleue's. I now regularly keep this in stock, partly because it has been readily available in Quebec for the past several years.

Color: Perfectly Clear

Louche: Opalescent white with blue around the edges. Finishes quickly

Aroma: Anise, spice, white pepper, herbs, wormwood, a bit of earth, pine. Alpinely, crisp and cold. Very complex. Amazing.

Flavor: Matches aroma. Anise, white pepper, menthol. Crisp, clean and very refreshing. Sweetness and bitterness in perfect balance. A bit tongue-numbing

Finish: Excellent mouth feel, not thin at all, has some weight, but also not too thick. Sweetness fades fast, then long bitter tongue-numbing. Piney and bitter til the end. Lasts a long time. In no way unpleasant.

Overall: A top-notch absinthe. Sweet enough to not require sugar (I sugar most of my absinthes). The bitterness of the wormwood matches the sweetness perfectly. A perfect balance.
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Appearance 
 
5.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
5.0
Reviewed by Babel April 10, 2014
Top 50 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (6)

One of the Best

I usually drink this around 3/4:1, no sugar. I first tried this before it was legal, when it was sold by Betty. Betty's La Bleue's. I now regularly keep this in stock, partly because it has been readily available in Quebec for the past several years.

Color: Perfectly Clear

Louche: Opalescent white with blue around the edges. Finishes quickly

Aroma: Anise, spice, white pepper, herbs, wormwood, a bit of earth, pine. Alpinely, crisp and cold. Very complex. Amazing.

Flavor: Matches aroma. Anise, white pepper, menthol. Crisp, clean and very refreshing. Sweetness and bitterness in perfect balance. A bit tongue-numbing

Finish: Excellent mouth feel, not thin at all, has some weight, but also not too thick. Sweetness fades fast, then long bitter tongue-numbing. Piney and bitter til the end. Lasts a long time. In no way unpleasant.

Overall: A top-notch absinthe. Sweet enough to not require sugar (I sugar most of my absinthes). The bitterness of the wormwood matches the sweetness perfectly. A perfect balance.

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Wow - this absinthe is absolutely transparent unlouched. Looks like water with no particles present. Aromas are lovely, floral, balanced, and inviting. The louche consists of pretty trails which turn to a billowing fogbank! Quite exciting to watch. Very pure white when completely louched and noticing some bluish tints around the edges. Striking! Sweet, quality flavor and aroma. You can really tell the quality of ingredients and the mastery of the distillation process in this absinthe.

With this being a blanche - some of the normal flavorings of a verte are noticeably absent... but this is such a great product that it truly makes up for anything which might be considered "lost" by working so well with what *is* there. An absolutely beautifully crafted spirit.
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
4.5
Aroma 
 
4.5
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
4.5
Overall 
 
4.5
Reviewed by josephlabrecque November 10, 2013
Top 50 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (21)

Sneaky Blanche!

Wow - this absinthe is absolutely transparent unlouched. Looks like water with no particles present. Aromas are lovely, floral, balanced, and inviting. The louche consists of pretty trails which turn to a billowing fogbank! Quite exciting to watch. Very pure white when completely louched and noticing some bluish tints around the edges. Striking! Sweet, quality flavor and aroma. You can really tell the quality of ingredients and the mastery of the distillation process in this absinthe.

With this being a blanche - some of the normal flavorings of a verte are noticeably absent... but this is such a great product that it truly makes up for anything which might be considered "lost" by working so well with what *is* there. An absolutely beautifully crafted spirit.

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Appearance: absolutely clear, almost invisible

Louche: Beautiful, but it's over pretty quickly. Pearly white with a few blue overtones.

Aroma: No-nonsense, unadorned absinthe goodness. Nothing stands out, but that's not a complaint. Everything harmonizes into a nice bouquet.

Flavor: Wow. I'm partial to vertes, but if all the blanches were this good, I wouldn't be so biased. Rock-solid blend of the trinity, slightly bitter (but not too much), seductively spicy (but not overpowering), and a hint of numbing that just begs for another sip.

Finish: Slightly dry, slightly bitter, a hint of anise, a dose of pepper... long after the last sip.

Overall: This will absolutely be my go-to brand when I want to introduce someone to absinthe. It's not edgy, it's not unusual, it's not trying to be anything other than a really, REALLY good absinthe, and it hits the mark almost perfectly. I'll definitely have this on hand all the time.
Overall rating 
 
4.6
Appearance 
 
5.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
4.5
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.5
Reviewed by coasterguy June 08, 2013
Top 500 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (5)

It's a keeper

Appearance: absolutely clear, almost invisible

Louche: Beautiful, but it's over pretty quickly. Pearly white with a few blue overtones.

Aroma: No-nonsense, unadorned absinthe goodness. Nothing stands out, but that's not a complaint. Everything harmonizes into a nice bouquet.

Flavor: Wow. I'm partial to vertes, but if all the blanches were this good, I wouldn't be so biased. Rock-solid blend of the trinity, slightly bitter (but not too much), seductively spicy (but not overpowering), and a hint of numbing that just begs for another sip.

Finish: Slightly dry, slightly bitter, a hint of anise, a dose of pepper... long after the last sip.

Overall: This will absolutely be my go-to brand when I want to introduce someone to absinthe. It's not edgy, it's not unusual, it's not trying to be anything other than a really, REALLY good absinthe, and it hits the mark almost perfectly. I'll definitely have this on hand all the time.

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Appearance: It always pains me to give full points for a blanche, but it looked as though there wasn't anything in my reservoir glass when I poured it in.

Louche: Quite milky and ever so barely pink-toned, along with iridescent blues.

Aroma: Big smell while louching, peppery and sweet, with a slight musk and soil aroma. Really nice.

Flavor: Creamy and sweet, with a tangy sourness, very fruity fennel, and a sneaky wormwood floralness.

Finish: More tangy sour, and is pleasingly mouth-watering long after sipping.

Overall: Where this absinthe isn't perfect, I think it'd be damn near impossible to improve upon it. I enjoy it a good deal every time I drink it.
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Appearance 
 
5.0
Louche 
 
4.5
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.5
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.5
Reviewed by Amber Peter May 29, 2012
Top 50 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (58)

The Bleue Standard

Appearance: It always pains me to give full points for a blanche, but it looked as though there wasn't anything in my reservoir glass when I poured it in.

Louche: Quite milky and ever so barely pink-toned, along with iridescent blues.

Aroma: Big smell while louching, peppery and sweet, with a slight musk and soil aroma. Really nice.

Flavor: Creamy and sweet, with a tangy sourness, very fruity fennel, and a sneaky wormwood floralness.

Finish: More tangy sour, and is pleasingly mouth-watering long after sipping.

Overall: Where this absinthe isn't perfect, I think it'd be damn near impossible to improve upon it. I enjoy it a good deal every time I drink it.

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Appearance: Clearer than water with a hint of nothingness. This is seriously clean and clear. The glass ads the only imperfection that I can see. Almost surreal to an extent.

Louche: Surprisingly thick louche. The louche was quick to form and stands strong. The final result is a milky white with blue hued edges.

Aroma: Wormwood floral tones mesh with an anise sweetness, earthen herbs, and a fruit scent similar to apple. I'm betting on Chamomile usage. A bit of pepper tone is there to add depth, just a bit.

Flavor: A soft creamy texture is very noticeable along with a very sweet taste, to the degree that I would suggest sugar users try this one without sugar first. Wormwood rushes in first followed quickly by anise. Every background note that was detectable in the aroma is present in the taste. A very well balanced and deeply flavored blanche.

Finish: Anise and peppery coriander come out and dominate the lengthy finish changing the creamy texture into a sharp and slightly bitter finish. Very refreshing.

Overall: It is obvious to me why this is the gold standard blanche absinthe. This is well crafted and complex enough to keep one guessing. A very good place to start heading if you are looking for a good blanche.
Overall rating 
 
4.2
Appearance 
 
5.0
Louche 
 
3.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0
Reviewed by Evan Camomile May 21, 2012
Top 10 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (67)

Hallmark of the Bleue Tradition

Appearance: Clearer than water with a hint of nothingness. This is seriously clean and clear. The glass ads the only imperfection that I can see. Almost surreal to an extent.

Louche: Surprisingly thick louche. The louche was quick to form and stands strong. The final result is a milky white with blue hued edges.

Aroma: Wormwood floral tones mesh with an anise sweetness, earthen herbs, and a fruit scent similar to apple. I'm betting on Chamomile usage. A bit of pepper tone is there to add depth, just a bit.

Flavor: A soft creamy texture is very noticeable along with a very sweet taste, to the degree that I would suggest sugar users try this one without sugar first. Wormwood rushes in first followed quickly by anise. Every background note that was detectable in the aroma is present in the taste. A very well balanced and deeply flavored blanche.

Finish: Anise and peppery coriander come out and dominate the lengthy finish changing the creamy texture into a sharp and slightly bitter finish. Very refreshing.

Overall: It is obvious to me why this is the gold standard blanche absinthe. This is well crafted and complex enough to keep one guessing. A very good place to start heading if you are looking for a good blanche.

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Prepared 1:4 with small "dot"-sized sugar cube. Pontalier-style glass with matching brouilleur (dripper)

Color: Perfectly crystal clear pre-louche; after louche I would not consider this particularly creamy, but very nice opalescence and blue tints are impressive.

Louche: Great oil trails, but it doesn't last long. It's better to start with quite a slow drip to catch the "show." A billowing cloud appears in center of liquid after some time, and it's an impressive development.

Aroma: Very nice balance of the "trinity" with clear floral notes. Quite a fresh, natural aroma of mountain herbs and flowers. No alcohol odor present in bottle or glass.

Flavor: Fresh floral notes shine through the "trinity" superbly. Some vanilla notes, but nothing like Absinthe Duplais Blanche. Not too sweet, excellent balance of flavor. Hints of rose petals?

Finish: Flavors linger fresh with no bitter aftertaste. Grain alcohol quality is fine (no hangover after five glasses), wonderful fresh mountain floral complex stays with you. Different than Absinthe Duplais Blanche, better than Kübler.

Overall: Very, very good. Another one I must always have in my liquor cabinet.

Next day note (April 17, 2010): Sugar is not a must for La Clandestine. The natural balance of sweetness and bitter notes is wonderful. Sweeten only if you must.
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
5.0
Overall 
 
4.0
Reviewed by Anstis LaPointe April 17, 2010
Last updated: April 17, 2010
Top 100 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (8)

No Blues with 'Clandestine La Bleue'

Prepared 1:4 with small "dot"-sized sugar cube. Pontalier-style glass with matching brouilleur (dripper)

Color: Perfectly crystal clear pre-louche; after louche I would not consider this particularly creamy, but very nice opalescence and blue tints are impressive.

Louche: Great oil trails, but it doesn't last long. It's better to start with quite a slow drip to catch the "show." A billowing cloud appears in center of liquid after some time, and it's an impressive development.

Aroma: Very nice balance of the "trinity" with clear floral notes. Quite a fresh, natural aroma of mountain herbs and flowers. No alcohol odor present in bottle or glass.

Flavor: Fresh floral notes shine through the "trinity" superbly. Some vanilla notes, but nothing like Absinthe Duplais Blanche. Not too sweet, excellent balance of flavor. Hints of rose petals?

Finish: Flavors linger fresh with no bitter aftertaste. Grain alcohol quality is fine (no hangover after five glasses), wonderful fresh mountain floral complex stays with you. Different than Absinthe Duplais Blanche, better than Kübler.

Overall: Very, very good. Another one I must always have in my liquor cabinet.

Next day note (April 17, 2010): Sugar is not a must for La Clandestine. The natural balance of sweetness and bitter notes is wonderful. Sweeten only if you must.

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This review is based on several glasses of LCB from between September os 2009 and March of 2010.

When it comes to blanches, it makes more sense to speak of clarity rather than color, and the clarity of Clandestine is fairly sharp, with a little bit of opalescence. But it's the aroma of this one which caught my attention -- it is one of a pleasant, spicy mintiness that outshiness any of the other three blanches I've tried to date.

As hinted at by the aroma, taste was just as spicy, but not overwhelming or too intense. In fact, the minty sharpness of the wormwood was very well balanced. The finish is equally pleasant, although I had expected it to last a little bit longer. Admittedly, I prefer my vertes, but this is an exceptional blanche and I would never refuse a glass.

I prefered this one mixed at a 4.5:1 ratio, with a teaspoon of light agave nectar. Others have noted that blanches tend to taste sweeter to them than vertes, but I didn't find this one to be so much sweeter as to warrant changing my normal amount of sugaring.
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
5.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
5.0
Reviewed by jaysthename April 06, 2010
Last updated: April 06, 2010
Top 100 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (19)

The Secret's Out

This review is based on several glasses of LCB from between September os 2009 and March of 2010.

When it comes to blanches, it makes more sense to speak of clarity rather than color, and the clarity of Clandestine is fairly sharp, with a little bit of opalescence. But it's the aroma of this one which caught my attention -- it is one of a pleasant, spicy mintiness that outshiness any of the other three blanches I've tried to date.

As hinted at by the aroma, taste was just as spicy, but not overwhelming or too intense. In fact, the minty sharpness of the wormwood was very well balanced. The finish is equally pleasant, although I had expected it to last a little bit longer. Admittedly, I prefer my vertes, but this is an exceptional blanche and I would never refuse a glass.

I prefered this one mixed at a 4.5:1 ratio, with a teaspoon of light agave nectar. Others have noted that blanches tend to taste sweeter to them than vertes, but I didn't find this one to be so much sweeter as to warrant changing my normal amount of sugaring.

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Revisited after almost a year of tasting. I modified the score up a tiny bit.

Sampled first at 3:1, with 1 sugar cube. A tiny bit of alcohol heat, Bringing it up to 4:1 was the key to lightening up this absinthe and bringing out it's softer elements. I like it best at 4:1. I no longer sugar blanches, and this is much better without sugar.

Color is perfectly water clear with no sediment.

Louche: Forms fairly quickly with distinct layering. Modest trails, but an evenly building billowy and smoky cloud from the bottom up. White tinged with blues and flashes of pinks while forming. A fairly thick milky louche.

Aroma, nice balanced anise and herbs. Fresh and clean.

Flavor was a tasty anise, a discreet yet quality wormwood and nice fennel are there, but it is a mellow and even ride, not one with a lot of spice and dazzle. A pleasant light white pepper edge. If you enjoy a rounded mellow blanche, you will certainly enjoy this.

Finish lingered nicely with anise and light peppery spice, with a slightly citrusy after-linger in the back of the mouth. Very creamy mouthfeel, even at 4:1.

Overall, this is a decent absinthe, and is safe intro into good blanches. I can see this would be a great absithe for mixing cocktails as well.










Overall rating 
 
4.0
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0
Reviewed by Scott M. February 28, 2010
Last updated: March 01, 2011
Top 10 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (64)

Solid Blanche Offering

Revisited after almost a year of tasting. I modified the score up a tiny bit.

Sampled first at 3:1, with 1 sugar cube. A tiny bit of alcohol heat, Bringing it up to 4:1 was the key to lightening up this absinthe and bringing out it's softer elements. I like it best at 4:1. I no longer sugar blanches, and this is much better without sugar.

Color is perfectly water clear with no sediment.

Louche: Forms fairly quickly with distinct layering. Modest trails, but an evenly building billowy and smoky cloud from the bottom up. White tinged with blues and flashes of pinks while forming. A fairly thick milky louche.

Aroma, nice balanced anise and herbs. Fresh and clean.

Flavor was a tasty anise, a discreet yet quality wormwood and nice fennel are there, but it is a mellow and even ride, not one with a lot of spice and dazzle. A pleasant light white pepper edge. If you enjoy a rounded mellow blanche, you will certainly enjoy this.

Finish lingered nicely with anise and light peppery spice, with a slightly citrusy after-linger in the back of the mouth. Very creamy mouthfeel, even at 4:1.

Overall, this is a decent absinthe, and is safe intro into good blanches. I can see this would be a great absithe for mixing cocktails as well.










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Color is crystal clear, no discoloration or sediment. The Louche builds from the bottom and clouds to a very thick billow with blue tints. The color after water is white opaque, with blue highlights. The aroma before water is very floral, and herbal, with sweet tones. After water it really blossoms with the alpine floral that many of the better La Bleue absinthe’s portray. Tones of hyssop are present, with wormwood and anise developing. The mouth feel is thick, creamy and smooth. The taste is overall very rich, with strong sweet anise and wormwood notes in the finish.
This is definitely one to try if you like the La Bleue style absinthe. La Clandestine is one of the better commercial La Bleue’s.
Overall rating 
 
4.2
Appearance 
 
5.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0
Reviewed by oglala56 November 13, 2009
Top 500 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (17)

Suisse La Clandestine

Color is crystal clear, no discoloration or sediment. The Louche builds from the bottom and clouds to a very thick billow with blue tints. The color after water is white opaque, with blue highlights. The aroma before water is very floral, and herbal, with sweet tones. After water it really blossoms with the alpine floral that many of the better La Bleue absinthe’s portray. Tones of hyssop are present, with wormwood and anise developing. The mouth feel is thick, creamy and smooth. The taste is overall very rich, with strong sweet anise and wormwood notes in the finish.
This is definitely one to try if you like the La Bleue style absinthe. La Clandestine is one of the better commercial La Bleue’s.

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As I'm writing this first review, I'm a bit excited. This night is a night of victory in revenge, there's music and chattering around me that makes me shake (at least, more thant normally) This is my first review, from my bi-mensual Clandestine and since I didn't tried other real absinthes (Pernod and Hill's doesn't count and I doesn't have the courage to retake them just for your reviews!) my comparison is very limited. I base myself a lot on your comments. But maybe I could rereview it when I'm more experienced. I also may be a bit rough since it's my new standard and my review is based on my current experience, as I'm sipping it. Anyway...

Color : All clear, no sediments... I suppose it's a 5, which is unfair for verte since there's more variety in them.. A white is always clear, and gets a 4-5, or is not, and get a 1! Maybe when louched you can see some details that I miss, but it's a nice white and the lights gives it some orange hue but it's the lights, so... A nice cloudy white!

Louche : Man, I did miss that part in a dumb way, by pouring to quickly my water in it. Maybe it was those damn hands, the excitation, or just the water jar they gave me... Anyway, it was a bit to quick so I'll give it a 3. But when fully louched, it is a nice, pale, milky white, with some transperency on the top. Very nice, with the lights...

Aroma : A lot of anise, makes me think of a pastis. When unlouched, it was a bit "spiky" (don't know if it's green or star anis but if it's the later it must be those star point getting at your nose!), but when you start louching it, the aroma develop slowly in a more floral scent. Cannot smell the details... A bit of alcohol, and something I have some difficulty to describe. Defnitiely flowery, I'll say!

Flavor : Taste like it smells but with a little amertume and a little crisp. Might be the wormwood. The fennel for the amertume? It's also creamy, in a way.

Finish : A little numbness, somewhat huggish, like the caress of a cruel women. A bit unpleasant, but saliva come in your mouth and you want to repeat. It lasts longly, hitting in the middle with some crispiness, then lowering itself on a more floral-I-don't-know-what note, with the amertume (fennel?) of the flavor.

Overall : I give it a 5 instead of a 4 because I assume to be to hard on her, ma belle bleue à moi, and because from what I saw, it's one of the best commercial brand of bleue.

P.S. : Was prepared with something like a 3.5 water, 2 little piece of sugar (equivalent of a cube) for 1 dose (30ml) of Clandestine. At a bar. In Mtl, Quebec... I will try it without sugar next time, it would surely farthers it away from pastis, since it's quite anisée. I like anis a lot, but I suppose to taste the subtilities it would be better to make it without sugar. Now the music is better, less loud, and my absinthe is nearly finished, I'm sad but happy at the same time, I don't want to finish it. Have to go but want another. To poor... The music is becoming louder, I should go away and leave with the souvenir of my bleue and of this night. Now.
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Appearance 
 
5.0
Louche 
 
3.0
Aroma 
 
3.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
5.0
Reviewed by Le Diable Bleu August 05, 2009
Last updated: August 05, 2009
Top 1000 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (5)

Le Diable Bleu Blue Night with Clandestine!

As I'm writing this first review, I'm a bit excited. This night is a night of victory in revenge, there's music and chattering around me that makes me shake (at least, more thant normally) This is my first review, from my bi-mensual Clandestine and since I didn't tried other real absinthes (Pernod and Hill's doesn't count and I doesn't have the courage to retake them just for your reviews!) my comparison is very limited. I base myself a lot on your comments. But maybe I could rereview it when I'm more experienced. I also may be a bit rough since it's my new standard and my review is based on my current experience, as I'm sipping it. Anyway...

Color : All clear, no sediments... I suppose it's a 5, which is unfair for verte since there's more variety in them.. A white is always clear, and gets a 4-5, or is not, and get a 1! Maybe when louched you can see some details that I miss, but it's a nice white and the lights gives it some orange hue but it's the lights, so... A nice cloudy white!

Louche : Man, I did miss that part in a dumb way, by pouring to quickly my water in it. Maybe it was those damn hands, the excitation, or just the water jar they gave me... Anyway, it was a bit to quick so I'll give it a 3. But when fully louched, it is a nice, pale, milky white, with some transperency on the top. Very nice, with the lights...

Aroma : A lot of anise, makes me think of a pastis. When unlouched, it was a bit "spiky" (don't know if it's green or star anis but if it's the later it must be those star point getting at your nose!), but when you start louching it, the aroma develop slowly in a more floral scent. Cannot smell the details... A bit of alcohol, and something I have some difficulty to describe. Defnitiely flowery, I'll say!

Flavor : Taste like it smells but with a little amertume and a little crisp. Might be the wormwood. The fennel for the amertume? It's also creamy, in a way.

Finish : A little numbness, somewhat huggish, like the caress of a cruel women. A bit unpleasant, but saliva come in your mouth and you want to repeat. It lasts longly, hitting in the middle with some crispiness, then lowering itself on a more floral-I-don't-know-what note, with the amertume (fennel?) of the flavor.

Overall : I give it a 5 instead of a 4 because I assume to be to hard on her, ma belle bleue à moi, and because from what I saw, it's one of the best commercial brand of bleue.

P.S. : Was prepared with something like a 3.5 water, 2 little piece of sugar (equivalent of a cube) for 1 dose (30ml) of Clandestine. At a bar. In Mtl, Quebec... I will try it without sugar next time, it would surely farthers it away from pastis, since it's quite anisée. I like anis a lot, but I suppose to taste the subtilities it would be better to make it without sugar. Now the music is better, less loud, and my absinthe is nearly finished, I'm sad but happy at the same time, I don't want to finish it. Have to go but want another. To poor... The music is becoming louder, I should go away and leave with the souvenir of my bleue and of this night. Now.

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-Color-
Before Water: Crystal clear. Pretty refractions.

After Water: Good opalescence, catches the light well, has good glow with mostly grey, slight copper-bronze highlights, and hints of blue.

-Louche-
Nice trails and jellies. Quick compared to vertes of course, but a good pace for a blanche. Nice rolling fog bank and tendrils reach into the clear portion on top. Good show.

-Aroma-
Before Water: A lush, inviting concentrated herbal aroma of the main trinity. I don’t usually find the neat aroma for absinthe to be this pleasant.

After Water: It actually loses a little of the lushness, but the notes are retained and become more delicate and floral.

-Flavor-
While many vertes may be bolder, the herbs in Clandestine give it a very nice richness and depth. The anise leads of course; the wormwood is delicate, but definitely registers in the soft floral ranges, floating above the light sweetness of the fennel. Subtle supporting herbal notes that might be hyssop, chamomile, and even coriander round out the overall flavor. The quality of the ingredients is apparent, and there’s a really nice crispy clean feel to the whole thing.

-Finish-
The nice creamy body smoothly transforms into a dryer wormwood finish with just a hint of alcohol heat. Almost palate cleansing.

-Overall-
Excellent la bleue, easily one of the best that’s commercially available. I wish a little more of the lush herb power from the neat aroma stuck around after water, but that certainly doesn’t take away from the full crystal clean flavor. The immaculate character is what pushes the Flavor and Overall areas to a 5 for me.

Notes: Louched 3:1, fountain drip, no sugar. Both EU and US bottles tasted separately.
Overall rating 
 
4.6
Appearance 
 
5.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
5.0
Reviewed by Green Baron May 03, 2009
Last updated: May 03, 2009
Top 100 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (26)

Crystal Clean

-Color-
Before Water: Crystal clear. Pretty refractions.

After Water: Good opalescence, catches the light well, has good glow with mostly grey, slight copper-bronze highlights, and hints of blue.

-Louche-
Nice trails and jellies. Quick compared to vertes of course, but a good pace for a blanche. Nice rolling fog bank and tendrils reach into the clear portion on top. Good show.

-Aroma-
Before Water: A lush, inviting concentrated herbal aroma of the main trinity. I don’t usually find the neat aroma for absinthe to be this pleasant.

After Water: It actually loses a little of the lushness, but the notes are retained and become more delicate and floral.

-Flavor-
While many vertes may be bolder, the herbs in Clandestine give it a very nice richness and depth. The anise leads of course; the wormwood is delicate, but definitely registers in the soft floral ranges, floating above the light sweetness of the fennel. Subtle supporting herbal notes that might be hyssop, chamomile, and even coriander round out the overall flavor. The quality of the ingredients is apparent, and there’s a really nice crispy clean feel to the whole thing.

-Finish-
The nice creamy body smoothly transforms into a dryer wormwood finish with just a hint of alcohol heat. Almost palate cleansing.

-Overall-
Excellent la bleue, easily one of the best that’s commercially available. I wish a little more of the lush herb power from the neat aroma stuck around after water, but that certainly doesn’t take away from the full crystal clean flavor. The immaculate character is what pushes the Flavor and Overall areas to a 5 for me.

Notes: Louched 3:1, fountain drip, no sugar. Both EU and US bottles tasted separately.

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This is my blind tasting review from September, 2008. No sugar, carafe pour, tasted the same night as the blind sample of Siréne. Before that evening I had tasted Lucid, Kubler and Leopold Verte, #s 8 & 10.

Color: Clear. Shimmery crystal.

Louche: Started fast and finished fast, like Kübler.

Aroma: Fresh, a sweetness to it that I like.

Flavor: My notes from last night say the following: Having these two back-to-back shows me how much more I have to learn w/r/t describing flavor! More fresh overall than sample #1. A very nice balance to my palate. I can see why La Bleues are described as having that alpine meadow character, which I find myself preferring at the moment.

Finish: Some numbing, very little creaminess (due to a possible over-watering.) [Edit: The second glass from the sample was quite tasty, so it ended up being overwatering.]

Overall: I look forward to having this one with sugar to compare experiences and see if/how the flavors become rounded. If this were a head-to-head tasting, I'd take this one over the verte. (And then be fascinated when a year from now I do just the opposite!)

Like with my Lucid review, I scored all the categories from my impressions at the time, and scored the overall with hindsight. I really enjoyed this drink then, and still do, though then my overall may have been a 5.
Overall rating 
 
4.1
Appearance 
 
5.0
Louche 
 
3.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
3.0
Overall 
 
4.0
Reviewed by scuto March 31, 2009
Last updated: March 31, 2009
Top 500 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (9)

More blanche, please!

This is my blind tasting review from September, 2008. No sugar, carafe pour, tasted the same night as the blind sample of Siréne. Before that evening I had tasted Lucid, Kubler and Leopold Verte, #s 8 & 10.

Color: Clear. Shimmery crystal.

Louche: Started fast and finished fast, like Kübler.

Aroma: Fresh, a sweetness to it that I like.

Flavor: My notes from last night say the following: Having these two back-to-back shows me how much more I have to learn w/r/t describing flavor! More fresh overall than sample #1. A very nice balance to my palate. I can see why La Bleues are described as having that alpine meadow character, which I find myself preferring at the moment.

Finish: Some numbing, very little creaminess (due to a possible over-watering.) [Edit: The second glass from the sample was quite tasty, so it ended up being overwatering.]

Overall: I look forward to having this one with sugar to compare experiences and see if/how the flavors become rounded. If this were a head-to-head tasting, I'd take this one over the verte. (And then be fascinated when a year from now I do just the opposite!)

Like with my Lucid review, I scored all the categories from my impressions at the time, and scored the overall with hindsight. I really enjoyed this drink then, and still do, though then my overall may have been a 5.

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I believe La Clandestine is the best blanche I've tried to date, just edging out the also excellent La P'tite. It begins perfectly clear and louches to a uniform (if slightly thin) milk white. The aroma is pleasant though very delicate.

In the tasting, La Clandestine really comes into its own. The flavor is surprisingly rich and spicy, with a controlled herbal bitterness and no hint of unwanted grassiness. The finish is truly delightful: long, lingering, spicy and unique. Full marks!
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Appearance 
 
5.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
5.0
Overall 
 
4.0
Reviewed by marlow March 23, 2009
Last updated: March 30, 2010
Top 50 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (34)

Hurrah for Moonshiners!

I believe La Clandestine is the best blanche I've tried to date, just edging out the also excellent La P'tite. It begins perfectly clear and louches to a uniform (if slightly thin) milk white. The aroma is pleasant though very delicate.

In the tasting, La Clandestine really comes into its own. The flavor is surprisingly rich and spicy, with a controlled herbal bitterness and no hint of unwanted grassiness. The finish is truly delightful: long, lingering, spicy and unique. Full marks!

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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.
Overall rating 
 
4.2
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
5.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0
Reviewed by khiddy December 15, 2008
Top 500 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (11)

Cream of the Blanche Crop?

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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If you like the Kubler product in the US, I believe you'll enjoy this one as much or even more. It has an aroma and taste that are ever so slightly better, in ways that I cannot describe.



The color is perfectly clear and the louche is patient, translucent, and a very fine combination of rumbling thunder clouds with small oily trails dancing on top. The aroma is complex and fills the room. It is definitely overpowering and non-fans might find it too much. I felt that in spite of its goodness, it wasn't perfect and taste seemed the most appropriate place to take the points away. The taste is very mellow and non-offensive. It is also complex, without any one flavor dominating. All these add up to a slight disappointment because there is almost nothing to talk about.



The finish cleans up well and leaves the mouth feeling like it did before the first sip. But the flavor from the aroma lingers, calling out for the next sip.



This is probably my favorite of all blanches and vertes combined and one I will definitely keep stocked.
Overall rating 
 
4.8
Appearance 
 
5.0
Louche 
 
5.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
5.0
Overall 
 
5.0
Reviewed by anthonw June 19, 2008
Last updated: August 12, 2008
Top 50 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (16)

Possibly My Favorite

If you like the Kubler product in the US, I believe you'll enjoy this one as much or even more. It has an aroma and taste that are ever so slightly better, in ways that I cannot describe.



The color is perfectly clear and the louche is patient, translucent, and a very fine combination of rumbling thunder clouds with small oily trails dancing on top. The aroma is complex and fills the room. It is definitely overpowering and non-fans might find it too much. I felt that in spite of its goodness, it wasn't perfect and taste seemed the most appropriate place to take the points away. The taste is very mellow and non-offensive. It is also complex, without any one flavor dominating. All these add up to a slight disappointment because there is almost nothing to talk about.



The finish cleans up well and leaves the mouth feeling like it did before the first sip. But the flavor from the aroma lingers, calling out for the next sip.



This is probably my favorite of all blanches and vertes combined and one I will definitely keep stocked.

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