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bentleye

St. George Absinthe

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I don't like St. George. I'm not saying that it is bad. I'm only saying that I don't like it. I returned a bottle to Bevmo and brought home a Kübler in its place. I think Kübler is reasonably good and reasonably priced. But St. George has an overpowering bouquet, to me, of artificial cinnamon. It is very distracting, such that I can't enjoy it. Maybe it is good. But to me it is not absinthe. Maybe just a matter of expectation. It is like picking up orange juice thinking it is milk. Both are good. But it is jarring to get orange juice when you expect milk. Maybe if I were given it as a non absinthe beverage, I'd appreciate it for itself. But I doubt it. I would not recommend it to any person just discovering absinthe.

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Funny you should mention it. Just the other night I posted about it in the 'what are you drinking' thread:

 

 

Over a year ago I bought a 20cl bottle of St. Georges (local to me) and wasn't very impressed. I drank it a few times and was surprised by the deep feuille morte color, and not excited by the flavor. I can't remember the last time I had it, but tonight I pulled out the bottle, with barely two glasses worth left, and tried it. I don't know if the aeration did it, or my palate has changed, but whatever: I seriously enjoyed it. Not the greatest absinthe I've had by any stretch. But damn good, which I very definitely would never have said before. I really can't believe it's the same bottle.

 

Despite the feuille morte color it louches well and green, and has (at least tonight) very complex and balanced flavors. Who knows? I may actually end up buying more, after previously having written it off.

 

Maybe I was just in the right frame of mind tonight, but for the first time ever I truly enjoyed it.

 

I was really surprised by my positive reaction. I have barely enough left for one more glass but now I'm curious. Was it aging/aeration? Just my mood? I don't know. But for the only time in a year I actually liked it. A lot. I sure didn't feel that way the first several times.

 

Of course, it's also entirely possible that the batch I have has nothing to do with what you bought, or what I might buy if I go to BevMo tomorrow.......... I'm not strongly inclined to buy more, despite one pleasant experience, when so many absolutely great absinthes are available through absinthes.com with minimal effort, at similar price.

 

Jade Terminus, anyone?

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Cinnamon?

 

I thought it was cumin overtones. I may need to indulge in a glass soon.

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I have a feeling that the basil they use is actually cinnamon basil. I have an old bottle of it around here somewhere, maybe a re-review is in order (for many of my early reviews not just St. George).

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I've always found the flavor of St. George to be very un-absinthe-like. It seems they don't even use aniseed either... casting some doubt as to whether it actually is absinthe at all!

 

http://www.stgeorgespirits.com/spirit/absinthe/

On the website it says "we perform a secondary infusion of mint, tarragon, opal basil, lemon balm, hyssop, meadowsweet, and stinging nettles." Opal basil and tarragon might add up to something reminiscent of cinnamon. In any case they are strongly flavored herbs that seem to me to be inappropriate in traditional absinthe, and not an appealing innovation. Just my opinion. I know there are plenty of people who like it and taste is an individual thing.

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I also purchased a 200ml St. George at Bevmo because I was out of absinthe and too impatient to wait for shipping. I found it to be very disagreeable in the context of absinthe. On the positive side I found 4 bottles of Ridge Verte on the shelves of a local liquor store. Score!!! That stuff is epic!!!

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I bought a bottle of St. George earlier in the year. (It was the 3rd brand of absinthe out of 4 that I tried, so I don't have much of an "educated pallet".)

I didn't completely hate it, but I do think it has a bit of a strange taste, possibly because of this:

On the website it says "we perform a secondary infusion of mint, tarragon, opal basil, lemon balm, hyssop, meadowsweet, and stinging nettles."

It also mentions these herbs on the label, and it seemed like they messed around with adding to many herbs. I prefer to just get a bottle of Vieux Pontarlier for the same price.

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Bevmo will take an open bottle back? That's a great policy. No wonder their prices are so high.

 

I can't think of a thinner tasting absinthe than Kübler or a more complex, full-bodied absinthe than St. George. I personally really like St. George, but I can understand why others don't. I don't taste cinnamon though...

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Prior to discovering the Jade 5 (which now dominate my absinthe bar), St. George was my favorite absinthe. I really liked its complexity, even preferring it to other highly regarded bottles such as Pacifique, Vieux Carre, and Vieux Pontarlier. As to whether it does or does not taste like absinthe, I lack the foundation to comment. I just liked all that was going on with it flavor-wise.

 

Kübler to me is almost an anti-George, its taste so flat and one dimensional. And at 53%, it's hard for me to take it seriously.

 

Having said all that, these are just my impressions in a moment in time. My preferences are always shifting. I did not come close to finishing my last glass of George because it had followed a glass of Jade NO (I think it was NO, may have been Terminus), but the George was so inferior by comparison that I poured it out.

 

So in sum, I do like the George as a good readily available and reasonably priced American absinthe, but I don't recommend drinking it (or any other absinthe) immediately after any of the Jades.

Edited by Hedonist

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I enjoy the offbeat characteristics of St. George, as a kind of counterpoint to more traditional styles when I want to shake things up a bit...It's definitely not the norm.

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