La Clandestine

La Clandestine

 
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 10 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 (171)

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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User reviews View all user reviews

Average user rating from: 16 user(s)

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)
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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 (12)

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 10 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (47)

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 50 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (6)

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 10 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 (70)

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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A Classic Cocktail

Cordova Cocktail

2/3 dry gin
1 dash absinthe
1 teaspoonful fresh cream
1/3 Italian vermouth
 

Shake with ice. Strain into cocktail glass.

Savoy Cocktail Book, 1930

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Absinthe Tasting Journal

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The WS Absinthe Tasting Journal

With room for over 200 tastings, provides novices and experts with a primer in absinthe history and facts, as well as instructions on how to conduct scorings and blind tastings.

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