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Review Detail

3.5 3 0.5
Less Than The Sum Of Its Parts
(Updated: September 12, 2012)
Overall rating
Flavor / Mouthfeel
Unlouched, amber/green, a little on the olive side. Very clear. Reminds me of La Coquette with a little more vivid yellow element. In seven weeks the color has shifted more toward yellow/amber/olive tones. Louched, yellowish olive/green with whitish/olive meniscus in the early evaluations, frighteningly similar in tone to Gatorade lemon lime. In later evaluations, greenish/amber with lighter yellow/gold/green at the edges and meniscus. Substantial level of coloration.

Good average louche action at first, but then everything starts happening real fast. Totally opaque with a green line by .8/1, and green line gone by 1/1. If you like the final color, it has plenty of heft to it, but the entire louche process provides little entertainment.

Initial louched nose is citrusy, piquant, and bright. And then I become aware of what I think is this absinthes biggest Achilles' heel. There is an overarching aroma of wax/lanolin/exotic floral to this that I find very acrid, challenging, and distracting... Musky, like a lot of the decorative lilies used in floral arrangements. Behind this, wormwood is quite evident. The anise and fennel are there in the background, and more apparent as the drink warms. A little better at a minimum 4/1 dilution. Some of the highly condensed florals seem to have the breathing space they need at this level.

That wax/lanolin/floral thing right up front, followed by a lot of wormwood, a little anise, more florals and herbals, and citrus. An almost waxy combination of star and kiwi fruit recurred throughout these evaluations. There's a bit of spice and a slight wormwood "pull" on the palate. The first time I tasted this, I said "Wow!" On subsequent tastings, I just found it to be schizophrenic and tiresome.

Finish is a focused and crisp fade of all the nose and palate impressions. A little additional bloom of spice. The only long element of this finish is that waxy fruity/floral sensation, which leaves me in a place I don't want to be.

I tasted Taboo Gold for the initial review five times. That's because I kept trying to really like it. It does, after all, have its share of complexities, and a singular personality. Pressed to sum this up in a statement, I would say it is exotic, but rustic, peculiar and unrefined. If you want to try to enjoy this one, I would recommend a dilution of 4 - 5 to 1, and let it warm up. That's where I thought it showed its best. I get the impression that it is made of quality ingredients, but it just doesn't seem to come together right. Having tasted this multiple times, it just seems like it is far less than the sum of it's parts.

9/20/09 Revisit - First, most of my original text in this review remains unaltered. Most changes are to ratios, and a word or two has been added or deleted here and there. Next, I must say that this has actually improved since my first evaluation. And a good thing too, since if it had remained the same, I probably would have lowered scores for Aroma, Flavor, Finish, and Overall even more than I have. The most prominent improvement is that the musky/waxy aromas and flavors to which I referred in the original review have subsided some, although they are still present and still unattractive, in my opinion.

Changes to my initial scoring are:
Flavor - Changed from 3 to 2.
Overall - Changed from 3 to 2.
Overall Rating - Changed from 3.2 to 2.8.

Taboo Gold 11/21/08, 11/28/08, 12/01/08, 12/27/08, 1/11/09, 7/19/09, 9/20/09
The final six evaluations had consistent notes.

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