A major American drinks blog has just reviewed two of our favourite absinthes. Extracts from the reviews follow:
We enjoyed the louche because it let us watch this clear liquid go suddenly opaque, traced with blue and what one intern called an "octopus fight" in the oils tracing the top. After the addition of the water, the absinthe was creamy white with a slight bluish tint in a halo around the top.
The scent before the louche was much more laced with fennel than anise .... Once we louched in the water, it opened up very nicely with a sweet wave of honey and a delicate floral back end. The smell became more balanced with the water as well, with both star anise and fennel making themselves known.
The mouth feel was .. without the oily roundness we've experienced in other absinthes ... it was silky smooth and warming on the tongue. The flavor maintained the delicate gentleness we got from the first whiff, along with the nice balance of anise and fennel flavors. There was less of the bitterness we'd have expected from wormwood, but it made for a nice smooth drink, and we're glad this fine absinthe is no longer the secret its name implies.
The louche .. had a nice bluish tint to it. The final product was an opaque bluish white, with a clear halo on top. Once we added the water, it opened up massively and had a similar scent to Clandestine, with a more herbal and even pepperminty smell.
The mouth feel was big and thick, with a solid, growing heat on the tongue that lasted for a surprisingly long time. The taste was largely anise up front, with a pepperminty finish. Or was it pepper? There was a spice we couldn't quite define, but we liked it nonetheless. We detected a bit more of the wormwood bitterness in this one, and all in all we found it to live up to its whimsical name.
One intern winked at us as he said "I can see myself sitting in a rocking chair on a Sunday afternoon, drinking this stuff and yelling at non-existent children to stay off my lawn." We're not sure exactly what he meant, but we're sure it was very profound as he spoke it.
We like both of these absinthes a lot, especially since they gave us a different experience than we had expected. Between the two, the Clandestine was the more popular, and as we tasted it we found we were much less inclined to set our glasses down to move on to the next bottle. We liked the Capricieuse for its minty back end and unpredictable nature, but we found we were returning to pour the Clandestine even after the official tasting was over.
The full review can be seen here. What do my readers think of the review?
As a foot note, it is interesting to see that Liquor Snob reviews Duplais too, and then finishes the week with an article about their favourite cocktail, the Sazerac. It is great for absinthe in general that such an influential trade blog should write so much about it!