Brevans A. O. Spare - Reviewed by Experts and Consumers at The Wormwood Society

 
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4.2
 
4.0(2)
 
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4.0(2)
 
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Spare You The Details?... Me?
(Updated: September 29, 2012)
Overall rating
 
4.2
Louche
 
4.0
Appearance
 
4.0
Aroma
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel
 
4.0
Finish
 
4.0
Overall
 
4.0
Appearance
Unlouched, a nice medium peridot with just the slightest bluish undertone, perfectly clear and bright. The weight and tonal range is just right, however it is lacking in nuance. Once again, that “I can't quite believe it's all natural” Matter vibe. Louched,
limey green with nice moderate pastel opalescence.

Louche
A nice medium weight louche that takes its time to unfold. A clear green line is established at about 2:1. Final coloration is as described above... reminds me of the Mansinthe louche. Very pretty but the influence of the blue and the distinct pastels make it seem just a little synthetic.

Aroma
Unlouched, anise, herbs, vanilla, graham cracker, honey. Louched, nice bright dusty herbs and flowers amply backed by the anise and fennel. A little lemony. It also has a rooty/earthy element (I'm thinking angelica) that adds some real gravity. Wormwood is present, neither dominant nor submissive. Like the other Matter Brevans, the pontica is the most prevalent coloring herb on the nose, but it is much better mannered than in the Giger due to the balances of the other elements present. I must say, really quite a successful schnoz.

Flavor And Mouthfeel
A nice smooth mid-weight on entry. Bright like the nose, anise, fennel, some lemon and spicy coriander keeping the treble turned up. Wormwood and the earthy element fill in the bottom end making this quite impressive. The palate doesn't enjoy the myriad distinct details of the nose, but it is very nice indeed.

Finish
Initial finish is dominated by the pontica and a little burst of spice which then recedes. The trinity lingers nicely and as it slowly fades, the hyssop finally makes a clear appearance creating a moderate powderiness and pull. This all makes its impression for quite some time.

Overall Impression
Well, this is really quite nice, quality materials, balanced herb bill. Other than the now retired Marteau Verte Classique (which I had at 4.4), this scores as well as any other Matter absinthe I have reviewed (right with Duplais Balance and the also now retired Promethee, both of which I had at 4.2). I like it best right around 5:1 since it's got the stuffing to carry it at that dilution. The bottle reviewed is production from August, 2009.

Being the geek I am, I'm always reading about this stuff including other folks reviews. And I can recall Andrew's summation that while very nice, this offering doesn't quite live up to its namesake. I couldn't agree more wholeheartedly. And believe me, I would never ding a review just because the absinthe is misnamed. That being said, however, this A.O. Spare is more content than capricious, pleasant than pioneering, and safe than salient. It would have been nice, considering the name, to see something a little more adventurous and groundbreaking.

Done with a 1 ounce dose, diluted 4.5:1, 5:1 and no sugar.

Absinthe Brevans A.O. Spare, 08/18/12, 9/06/12, 9/08/12, 9/28/12.
All evaluations had consistent notes.
M
Top 10 Reviewer 53 reviews
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Lacks the trail blazing nature of its namesake
Overall rating
 
4.2
Louche
 
4.0
Appearance
 
5.0
Aroma
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel
 
4.0
Finish
 
4.0
Overall
 
4.0
Before water the absinthe is a vibrant, mossy green. Foresty. The aroma is rounded, honeyed. Anise is the only discernable herb. Purfumey.

The louche is a tad tin but nice. It ends a pale, opalescent sea green. With water the aroma becomes much more anise-heavy, but still has notes of honey. Not much wormwood.

The flavour is smooth and balanced, very sweet. Finally on the palate there's a good wormwood presence. Earthy with a cedar note or two, perhaps some powder. Not very complex but tasty.

The finish is long and sweet, but lacks complexity. A bit candyish.

I think there's room for improvement but it's a very enjoyable, albeit dark, absinthe. I did expect something a bit more idiosyncratic and adventurous based on its namesake but it's quite good anyway.
A
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