This review is a long time coming from me, given that I first started enjoying my bottle of Doubs Mystique in October of last year. Given that I've just finished it, I've decided it's high time to post my thoughts.
The only thing which I found lacking in the Mystique is the first category of the rating system - color. A lot of folks have essentially said that it's the appropriate greenish color with a bit of yellow, but my experience was reversed; I found it to be yellow-green with a flush of the appropriate peridot.
That being said, the Mystique was excellent in almost every other respect. The aroma is heavenly, and while the louche was a bit too oily to be perfect, I have to credit it with being active for a long time and finishing with a fine opalescence. The flavor itself is fantastic, with an exceptional wormwood taking front and center, yet balanced finely with fennel, anise, and a hint of lemon balm. The finish is likewise exceptional, hanging onto the best qualities of the flavor so well that you simply must have another sip.
In short, if this absinthe were more cost-effective, I'd gladly have a daily dose. I won't say that it's not worth every penny, because it is - but with more than a couple other absinthes which are just as worthy and are also a bit less expensive, it won't be able to claim my top spot for numero uno. Nonetheless, cost aside, the Mystique is definitely in my top five.
Mystique is one of the best absinthes I've tried to date. From the bottle, it pours a very pretty peridot green, clear and bright, with a rich element of gold in the green. The louche that follows is a beautiful jade, building gradually with all the expected visual, and ending with just the right degree of translucence.
Before water, the aroma is crisp and fresh, somewhat medicinal but not overwhelmingly so. After the louche forms, it opens to a lovely fresh herbal scent, with hints of spice floating on top. Although mild, the aroma is intriguing, with just the right balance of herbal and spicy notes. The flavor and finish meet the expectations raised by the aroma. The former is beautifully balanced: fresh, herbal but not grassy, and spicy without any of the distracting flavor spikes that sometime occur in other brands. Beneath it all runs a delicate bitterness, very subtle at first, but lingering into a long and very pleasing finish.
Perhaps the color before water could be a little more green, but I'll still give Mystique a five overall. Wonderful!
Aroma pre-louche: very well balanced. Sweet, almost juicy. No hint of alcohol present. Nothing overpowers anything else, leaving a very subdued complexity that leaves me not knowing what to expect. In the glass the aroma opens up allowing an almost lemony quality to ride along a gentle hint of heat.
Color: Crystal clear. Very bright peridot green. Very appropriate and very pleasing. Maybe the most beautiful green I've seen to date.
Louche: The most beautiful louche I've seen so far. Fantastic trails begin dancing around wildly with the first drop. This magical display lasts quite a while, but all of a sudden a cloud simple envelopes the dance as if trying to hide your eyes from something you shouldn't be seeing. The aroma is wonderful; full of fruit and candy notes. The color of the glass when finished is a brilliant emerald green, probably the darkest post louche coloration I've seen. But really quite something to behold.
Flavor: Delectable. Wormwood is the central figure here, but it is surrounded by a supporting cast of very subtle flavors that bring a balanced sweetness to the finish. The mouth feel is very nice, and a spiciness begins to display itself after each successive sip.
Overall: I'm not sure what else to say other than it may have just nudged above Viuex Pontarlier as my current favorite. This is definitely a wormwood forward drink, but there is plenty of other flavors there that make this, so far, the most balanced absinthe I've tried. Towards the end of the glass, the wormwood settles into the background and the more sweet hints of anise and fennel begin to give you a new experience. Very, very nice!
Very good clear green color. Louche is a bit slow developing and did not retain the layering for very long and appeared a bit thin. Great minty aroma, most inviting. Flavor is well balanced and very enjoyable. Finish leaves one wanting, for more. Overall a most enjoyable absinthe. Clearly one of my favorites.