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Review Detail

3.4 22 0.5
Underrated — Different, Very Natural and Tasty
(Updated: April 26, 2010)
Overall rating
Flavor / Mouthfeel
Color: A nice greenish amber. Very nice. After louche, a thick completely opaque green, not the most attractive, but I am not bothered by this.

Louche: Some nice oil trails end quickly with a thick cloud-forming louche. Drink ends up quite opaque. Not as delightful as say, Pacifique or Absinthe Duplais Verte, but so what? The show is only a small part for me.

Aroma: Wonderfully complex. Peppery basil up front, some sweetness from a very high quality brandy. Non-offensive, classic brandy/alcohol odor, but it's clearly not overpowering.

Flavor: The very nice combination of the herbs listed on the label — "Star Anise, Mint, Wormwood, Lemon Balm, Hyssop, Meadowsweet, Basil, Fennel, Tarragon, and Stinging Nettles" — would seem to be all apparent; admittedly, I forget what Meadowsweet tastes like. This is an original recipe and I think it's very special. Certainly, the star anise, mint, lemon balm, basil and fennel are apparent, and the wormwood, which I tend to feel more than taste is certainly apparent. The fact that this is an original American recipe should be celebrated. What makes it sooooo American? The stinging nettles. It's native plant. (It's also native in other areas of the world, too). I consider St. George Absinthe Verte to be on a par with Pacifique, only different. Pacifique is an excellent American take on the classic French absinthe. It's the most "French" of the absinthes that I've tasted, even considering some supposedly authentic French ones. But this St. George has fine qualities, and would seem to go better with Italian food than anything I've tried. I'm not thinking red sauce, but perhaps sauteéd garlic, olive oil and then fresh Parmesan cheese over linguine, with a side arugula salad? It would be fab no doubt. St. George is a superior spirit in general — and it IS true absinthe!

Finish: One is not left with as intense of a wormwood numbness after imbibing St. George, as compared with some of the other higher rated brands. But sometimes such an overpowering feeling is not desired. The herbs are fresh and clean and leave no bad aftertaste. The brandy is quite fine. Very good, but could it possibly benefit from a bit more grand wormwood? Too much wormwood is not desirable for me!

Overall: What the heck, there is no 4.5 score here, so I'm going to give it a 5. It's just a very fine drink engineered apparently by a true master. Very clean and fresh, the herbs are all tasty, apparent and desirable. The brandy is absolutely fine. This is an American original! I'm much more impressed than I thought I would be based on the reviews of others. More grand wormwood might help it slightly, but it's debatable point. I am not complaining one bit! Thank you Mr. Winters.

Final note: Drink was prepared in an absinthe glass with brouillier at about 3:1 dilution. Two "dot" sugar cubes were used, but one might do. Sweeten to your own taste. St. George is not so good when it is over-diluted, and it needs at least some sugar to more fully bring out its unique and excellent flavors. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.
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