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Review Detail

3.4 10 0.5
Kitschy Rouge Appeal
(Updated: August 31, 2012)
Overall rating
Flavor / Mouthfeel
Before Water: Vivid red with orange highlights. I actually find it quite attractive and technically it’s natural since it comes from cochineal bugs. But of course proper, traditional coloration is the product of a secondary infusion of herbs and flowers after distillation, so I’m thinking the most this gets is a 3.

After Water: Pinkish peachy orange.

I was entertained by the novel color, seeing an orange fog develop and rise up to overtake the clear red. End result is fairly quick and rather thick, as to be expected by a star anise-enabled louche.

Before Water: Powerful black jelly bean/star anise essence, subtropical fruit, alcohol heat…and, well, maybe just a hint of fresh grilled steak. No really.

After Water:
More of the almost-tropical fruit which is pretty close to- or maybe partly generated by- “juicyfruit” wormwood aromatics. The black jelly bean aroma is still present but is now thankfully secondary to the fruit.

-Flavor and Mouthfeel-
The almost-tropical fruity/wormwood, aroma is well represented in the flavor and is very enjoyable. Again can’t tell if the fruity is solely from the wormwood but I can also identify some good wormwood dusky/herbal nuance in the mid-low ranges. However, the black jellybean star anise co-dominates and contributes to a thick, tongue numbing mouthfeel ; if they used green anise (unlikely) it was wasted. Mid palate, a dose of spicyness followed by more savory wormwood bitter begin to kick in and are welcome allies to the good flavors vs. the star anise saturation.

The refreshing spice and wormwood briskness continue into the finish along with a fair amount of tongue tingling and a bit of star anise cloying.

I have to confess I find kitschy appeal with the Serpis 65. Its worst aspect is the aforementioned black jellybean flavor, which at times makes me not so eager to finish the glass. I’ve found that a few dashes of Peychaud’s bitters tends to help smooth it out and add a little nuance. Maybe not an everyday absinthe for me but the tropical-fruity-floral makes it a good one for hot weather or if I’m just in a cheesy Serpis kinda mood.

Notes: Multiple tastings averaging 3.5:1 ratio, no sugar.
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