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Review Detail

4.4 4 0.5
A delicious blanche
(Updated: January 05, 2013)
Overall rating
Flavor / Mouthfeel
My initial review was written after 2 months of enjoying 6 or so glasses of Essai #5.
This edit is two years later, with my third bottle. What a delicious and interesting absinthe! Though the bottle is only 500 ml, the 81.5 % buys you a lot more glasses. I enjoyed this at 4.5:1, and 5:1 where it is delicate and delicious. I never sugar blanches.

Color: Crystal clear, no sediment. The glass looked empty when the reservoir was full.

Louche: Wonderful. Unlike the majority of blanches I've had, this louche was not in a hurry. Thick, curling, clear trails spun around, winding down, then reaching up from the bottom in smoky wisps with distinct layering above. Like all my favorite louches, I enjoyed the rolling thick cloud-tops just below the clear layer, until it all merged exactly at 4:1. Whites, flashes of light copper and blues swirled around as the louche formed into a lovely white, with the slightest kiss of blue. Just the right thickness, with nice light play filtering through.

Aroma: Due to the high proof, alcohol is clearly present pre-louche. A strong but very promising wormwood is in front, with fennel and anise behind. A quality, classic Swiss la bleue aroma. As water is added, the alcohol subsides giving way to florals and baking spices. The wonderful soft wormwood is always clear in the aroma. So delicate, yet strong and earthy. Nothing out of balance. Enticing and elegant.

Flavor: Superb. Sweet, strong, delicate and spicy at the same time.
Top-notch wormwood and green anise play together like old-friends, fennel is clear and tasty. The mouthfeel is perfect. Plenty of pepper and citrus appear in the mix as well.

Finish: Strong wormwood enters, unfolding to anise, which gives way to spice, lemon and fennel. A delicate slow build, which lingers, then slowly dwindles leaving a light citrus clinging to the back of the mouth. Very nice.

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