The absinthe used for this review was bottled on 3/2/2016, and is labeled as Batch #3 of this brand of absinthe overall. This is my first blanche, and tonight I'm drinking at a 3:1 ratio with half a teaspoon of sugar. Taking a sniff direct from the bottle, the unlouched and unpoured aroma is alcohol and cinnamon, with some anise-y sweetness.
APPEARANCE: Crystal clear, no haze or cloudiness at all, totally clean. Not a hint of color to be found; quite brilliant.
LOUCHE: Opaque in the body of the glass, lets light in at the very top and near the bottom. The louche itself is neither too thick nor too thin, nor are there other defects, save for the lack of opalescence. There's nothing wrong with it, but it's a bit ordinary.
AROMA: Complex - powdery, floral, almost "clean laundry" smell mixed with spice, citrus, anise and cinnamon, likely from the use of star anise. For the most part it is attractive and pleasant, though the merger of the different aromas does clash just a bit, forming a bit of an odd sensation. Depending on how I approach the glass (tilt or not) the aroma changes slightly. I enjoy it overall, but there is something that just seems somehow out of balance here.
FLAVOR/MOUTHFEEL: Very smooth, not oily or sticky/grainy, very pleasant to drink, perhaps a skosh on the light side.. The cinnamon in the nose does not translate to cinnamon in the taste; instead there is anise, some bitterness, though very much in balance. There are hints of flowers, oranges and mint, though not particularly strong ones. The flavor is pleasant, but less complex than the aroma.
FINISH: Some bitterness, some astringency, a lingering aftertaste of mint that is more prominent than when actually tasting the absinthe in my mouth. A touch of numbness on the tongue, though not at all what might be expected from using star anise, the finish lingers for awhile, and does so pleasantly.
OVERALL: I've never had a blanche before, but I can't help but feel like this is a bit of an odd one. It would not be an unusual thing from this distillery (and that is intended in a complimentary fashion). Overall, I enjoy this absinthe, and I think the distiller has made every effort to create a quality absinthe while adding a bit of their own take on the genre. Considering the exclusive use of star anise over green, it's clear it was used judiciously as most of the deleterious effects of the former are absent (no pun intended).