Absinthe tasting

Sepulchritude Forum: The Absinthe Forum Archives Thru July 2001: Topics Archived thru March 2001:Absinthe tasting
By Tabreaux on Friday, March 16, 2001 - 07:56 am: Edit

Like many other medicinal and culinary herbs, cardamom can be useful if properly employed and nasty if improperly employed. Personally, I like it in Arabic coffee.

By Wolfgang on Friday, March 16, 2001 - 07:45 am: Edit

Ok, 'hangover time'. For sure, it was a snaky drink. One need`s to be a wise drinker not to take too much of the stuff because at first, you don`t feel that drunk and 3-4 hour later your 'dead'(ok, I only weight about 145 pounds...;-)).

I agree with Ted about the sugar in Deva. For my first drink, I used sugar just for the fun of doing the ritual, especially for my first experience. After that first glass, I didn`t add sugar and put less water (maybe about 1:3 ratio + some big ice cubes.)

This morning I still have a bitter herbal taste on my tongue. I suspect it to come from the added Elixir de la Grande Chartreuse that I added in my absinthe. Not sure. Maybe not. From an analytical point of view, I know it was a bad idea to mix those stuff but it tasted great so why not.

I'm curious to see your first impression Magnusra...


By Ekmass on Friday, March 16, 2001 - 02:05 am: Edit

Speaking of pastis. I recently bought a bottle of psatis from Fauchon, an upscale gourmet store here in Paris. Unlike most this is very light on the anis flavor and has strong hints of cardamon and other herbs giving ita refreshing yet spicy character. Ted, do you use cardamon in any of your drinks? From my point of view it gives it a very interesting twist.

By Wolfgang on Friday, March 16, 2001 - 12:47 am: Edit

I got my first absinthe bottle tonight. It was a deva 70%. (I confess, I drank 1/2 bottle of wine and 1/2 Oz of chartreuse before opening my SC package of Deva70) The stuff is good but taste too much like black jellybeens. I first tasted my deva straight (1/2 Oz). Then I mized 1 1/2 Oz of this absinthe properly with wather and a small sugar cube + ice cubes. It was still tasting too much anis so I added a tea spoon of Elixir Chartreuse to it to add a more herbal taste to the drink (personal taste). Wonderfull! You can call me names, maybe I`m not a 'true beliver' but that mix was just wonderfull.

Effect after two glass like this one ? I feal like my body is realy drunk but my mind is 'talkative', even in english witch is not my primary language. I (probably make the mistake) wrote emails to friends, wrote on some forums...It`s almost 4 o clock in the morning and I`m still fealling good. Drunk but good. Tomorrow will be another story...Sickday they call it ?...

Next time I will make sure to drink only absinthe (with some Chartreuse enhencement) to be able to identify more easyly the effect of absinthe. For now, all I can say is that the drink is good (even if it taste too much licorice/anis) and that it`s a different kind of drunkness.

By the way, I should thanks SC. I placed my order on marsh 10 and got my package by mail on marsh 15 right here in Montréal Canada with this funny 'anis spice' description on the package ! ;-) Increadible, I was expecting it not before next weekend!

ho, and now for the Absinthe description... I used chilled water and it instantaly louche... Very nice looking. Next time I will chose an absinthe with less alcool and less anis but overall this first experience is fine. You can use sugar in it if you have realy small cubes but thats not necessary... My tongue is all numb now, is it normal ? .. I think I will go search for some poetry site now... Ciao!

By Timk on Friday, March 16, 2001 - 12:27 am: Edit

"In the old days, it had an entirely different meaning (i.e. the product was legit)."

Unless the louche was produced by the use of some poisonus metal salts then it would probably not have been considered 'legit' : - )


By Loucheliver on Thursday, March 15, 2001 - 11:52 pm: Edit

Just a reminder, you can taste darn near everything you are interested in, or have on order, at the AA of Pa soiree. There will be 9 absinthes, and hell, even another type of pastis. And looking in the fridge, there is some rare quad style beer too.

By Tabreaux on Thursday, March 15, 2001 - 06:54 pm: Edit

Absente and Deva both contain added sugar. Take away that sugar, and Deva is going to have a dark, somewhat bitter flavor to it. Absente would have a lighter flavor. This is why Absente tastes sweeter to you.

As far as the black jellybean flavor, that comes predominantly from star anise. Licorice root has a softer, sweeter flavor, but also carries a bitter principle with it. Modern pastis typically employs both.

By Heiko on Thursday, March 15, 2001 - 05:49 pm: Edit


you just said that star anise was the black jellybean flavor - I thought licorice produces this flavor (especially strong in Absente)?
Or is it the combination of both star anise and licorice?
As far as my palate tells me, I taste anise first, both in Deva and Absente, but then the Absente produces this extreme sweetish flavor, while the Deva does not and still tastes more "fresh"...something like this - difficult to describe for me, especially in English.

By Magnusra on Thursday, March 15, 2001 - 05:34 pm: Edit

Thanks again Ted! I can't wait for my shipment to arrive! I also can't wait for the Jade's to arrive. I also seemed to have fixed my glass problem, my Aunt has some excellent wine glasses which I used in tasting the Pernod (Ack!). I also have a small glass pitcher from Seagrams to use as my water pitcher, it's actually quite cool (Wish I had a dig. camera). I will eventually attempt to purchase some antique articles, if nothing else I think it will add a little to the ritual and atmosphere. But for now I want to spend my money on the absinthe and try as many brands as possible. Any recommendations? So far I have Serpis, MM 55%, Deva 50%, and N.S. on the way. I will be adding Segarra to my next order, any others? I would also like to try some La Bleue's or La Fee soon, when I have more money. I would have bought a bottle for the first but I have a few friends who want to try it with me so I got 2 bottles for me & friends, and 2 for me:) Oh and no sugar for any of the ones I metioned? What about ratio of water to absinthe? I know it's a matter of personal taste but is there a common ground on where I should start? And I can always add more if needed, I just don't want to over do it. Thanks!

By Tabreaux on Thursday, March 15, 2001 - 05:19 pm: Edit

They all have a strong louche, but all that means these days is that the product contains a good deal of anise in some way shape or form. In the old days, it had an entirely different meaning (i.e. the product was legit).

Absente tastes a bit like Versinthe, but is not as aromatic. It tastes much more like a pastis than absinthe. It is priced to be reflective of the misleading, seductive marketing campaign behind it. Actually, the other pastis made by this firm (Henri Bardouin) is better and cheaper. Go figure. Neither of these products taste like absinthe.

By Magnusra on Thursday, March 15, 2001 - 05:12 pm: Edit

I thank you sir, as always your input is highly valued. I was hoping that the absinthe I have on order would not be so strong with the anise. I am sipping the pernod now. I say about a sip every 10 minutes thats about all I can handle. God even the scent is nearly insurmountable. I was going to buy the absente to use as a rough reference point but I've heard only bad things. Plus it was $15 more, although it did come with a spoon, which had me in deep thought for a few. Do I go for cheaper with almost no info about it or do I go for more expensive that has bad reviews but has a spoon, hmm. As far as louche is concerned, does the Pernod stand up well with the spanish brands? Thanks again!

By Tabreaux on Thursday, March 15, 2001 - 05:07 pm: Edit

BTW, you do not need to add sugar to any of these products. None of them bear much resemblence to the old stuff, and they are all too sweet as it is.

By Tabreaux on Thursday, March 15, 2001 - 05:03 pm: Edit

Modern day Pernod could be described as an assault with star anise. It has nothing in common with old Pernod absinthe. It is purported to contain several herbs (fennel, licorice and others), but the flavor is so strong, that it is hardly a connoisseur's drink. Quite honestly, it is not a very good reference point.

With MM, what you get is mostly star anise (the black jellybean flavor), but with a wee bit of something citrus. The flavor is strong, but not as pointed as Pernod.

Deva is not as pointed as the previous two, and has a bit of a darker, woody flavor.

It is difficult to positively identify herbs in these products simply because they all contain much star anise and added sugar, which causes the flavor of the herbs, oils, extracts, or whatever they used for flavoring to come across differently, or even be completely masked.

By Magnusra on Thursday, March 15, 2001 - 04:51 pm: Edit

My observations so far regarding Pernod.
Heavy on the licorice flavor (I believe it's anise from my previous readings.) Not a whole lot more I can say with such an untrained palate. Also, it louched quite well (At least in my opinion, but I don't have any reference) with just refrigerated water. I went about 1:3 maybe 1:4 with water. I don't have my spoon yet so I just added some sugar after the louche, but very little, as the anise? was a bit offensive at first. Eagerly awaiting input.

By Magnusra on Thursday, March 15, 2001 - 04:42 pm: Edit

Hey all,
I have a question for you guys/gals. As some of you are aware I am newbie to absinthe with not even a sip under my belt. I do have a shipment on the way though, very excited. Today I bought a bottle of Pernod to give me a clue as to what to expect. Can some one compare the taste of Pernod to that of most Spanish absinthes, say Deva, or MM for example. Also could someone break down the Pernod taste so I may have more informed palate when the absinthe arrives. I expect nothing but gospel from Ted, who seems to be one of the most experienced palates on the board (No offence to anyone :). Thanks!

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