The most noticeable difference of the 2012 release is the addition of Cinnamon Bark. Here are some notes from the distiller about this 2012 release:
Taboo Gold is produced by macerating the herbs in a fine blend of our double distilled fruit and wine alcohols.
Kirsch (cherry alcohol) was an important contributor in the 2012 Taboo Gold. Herbs selected were Grand Wormwood, Anise, Fennel, Angelica, Coriander and a new glimpse of select Cinnamon Bark.
A separate collection of fine herbs added further aromas and were the base for the beautiful gold colour in the Absinthe. These were Lemon Balm, Hyssop, Roman Wormwood, and Veronica.
COLOR Feuille-mort. Dark golden brown like autumn leaves. This color is intentional and their goal has been fully achieved.
LOUCHE Light to dark golden hues with some light green. A bit thin. On their website they claim that the louche is not as dominant as their main Taboo absinthe. I believe there was less anise used in this batch.
AROMA Spicy, fruity and sweet. Cinnamon. Very nice.
FLAVOR Cinnamon and fruit on a bitter and spicy wormwood base. Very strong (aggressive?) flavor. A bit grassy. The fruit brandy base is not as sharp as the previous release. Overall the traditional absinthe flavors are there but with the cinnamon bark it becomes a different flavor. I enjoy it.
FINISH Fruity, spiciness lingers long. A bit soapy at the end.
OVERALL This is a different absinthe but it is enjoyable. The fruit brandy base is more subdued than their previous offerings. This is an improvement. I find it difficult to rate an absinthe that is very good but is different than a traditional absinthe. I have decided to choose my scoring based on a traditional absinthe. Because of this the scores are a bit low. Even though it has a low score it is still a good absinthe and worth a try.