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> Absinthe Suisse - La Bleue Clandestine, Reviewed
Artemis
post Apr 11 2005, 02:00 PM
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According to http://www.alandia.de/:

"Switzerland can be considered as the birthplace of Absinthe. In the Valley Val de Travers in the Swiss Jura the Pernod distillery was located and now, almost 100 years after the prohibition, the Green Fairy will return. The Valley is known for its various clandestine Absinthes which were produced by bootleggers in the Swiss Jura after the Absinthe Prohibition. These Absinthes are known under the name La Bleue. In comparison to commercialized Absinthes, La Bleues are produced with only the finest herbs, grown by local farmers. They are distilled using traditional artisan methods and colouring or any artificial additives would never find its way into a Genuine La Bleue. Sipping this very special elixir is a sensory experience, the scent of honey and flowers, and the complexity of the first sip introduces you into a fascinating world of taste and the first quality herbs guarantee an inspiration you will never forget."


AVERAGE SCORE 82


Reviewed by Lord Stanley 3/6/2005

COLOR BEFORE WATER 10/10
Well, it's absolutely clear. No sediment, no haze.

LOUCHE ACTION 7/10
Gradient lines noted during the first few drops with light hazing at the bottom of the glass. Louches heavily opaque after about one part water. Likely star anise influence at work here.

COLOR AFTER WATER 7/10
Milky white color. Nothing out of the ordinary for better or worse for a La Bleue with star anise in the mix.

AROMA 26/30
Definitely the strong suit of this absinthe. Nice fennel/anise balance with lovely floral underpinning. While adding water, the aroma blossoms to fill the room with honey sweetness and wider floral bouquet.

MOUTH-FEEL 7/10
Moderately oily texture with mild tongue numbing from the star anise. Oily trails noted along the sides of the glass after sipping. Minimal alcoholic bite due to the low 106 proof of the liquor.

TASTE 16/20
Very refreshing taste with predominant anise, fennel and a mere hint of wormwood. A light licorice aftertaste lingers on the palate. This La Bleue does not leave a sense of tails behind as other commercial Swiss absinthes have. In the end, the taste is more than satisfactory but does not entirely live up to the wonderful aroma.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 8/10
The La Bleue Clandestine may be the best commercially available non-colored absinthe that I've tasted. While not as complex as the Blanche de Fougerolles, it smells wonderful and goes down very smoothly (as evidenced by my nearly empty bottle).

Lord Stanley scores La Bleue Clandestine 81 out of 100


Reviewed by Artemis 8/13/2005

COLOR BEFORE WATER 10/10
It's perfectly clear.

LOUCHE ACTION 10/10
Immediate cumulus clouds of thick white louche rise from the horizon to the zenith.

COLOR AFTER WATER 9/10
Classic La Bleue - thick and white - might be a blue nuance in different light.

AROMA 20/30
Smells like La Bleue - simple and raw. Wormwoody and anise (a tad too much) and alcohol sniffed raw. After louche, the alcohol goes away, otherwise, it smells the same.

MOUTH-FEEL 8/10
Thick and smooth at 3:1

TASTE 10/20
Here's where it falls down - not enough wormwood and too much anise, especially in the finish. With an absinthe this simple, it has to be wormwoody, otherwise I could just choose an anise drink.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 7/10
I've tasted better La Bleue.

Artemis scores La Bleue Clandestine 74 out of 100


Reviewed by Gordon 9/1/05

COLOR BEFORE WATER 10/10
It's perfectly clear.

LOUCHE ACTION 10/10
It has a nice louche that lasts. I pulled a glass out of the fridge after eight hours, the louche was still there.

COLOR AFTER LOUCHE 10/10
It turns a beautiful opaque white with oils coming to the surface.

AROMA 25/30
Beautiful anise and floral aromas that I could smell from the other room, but just as sweet up close.

MOUTH-FEEL 8/10
A slight numbing sensation on the tongue.

TASTE 15/20
At a dilution of one to three parts water not to bitter and not to sweet, just perfect and bright .

OVERALL IMPRESSION 10/10
This was everything I heard the best La Bleues were supposed to be. I will buy this again.

Gordon scores La Bleue Clandestine 88 out of 100


Reviewed by precenphix 2/11/2006

COLOR BEFORE WATER 10/10
Clear as clear can be. A good blanche.

LOUCHE ACTION 7/10
Slow forming. Like cumulous clouds rolling into a clear sky.

COLOR AFTER WATER 8/10
A nice 80-90% opaque white with hints of blue around the edges.

AROMA 25/30
From the bottle.incredible. Anise, A. absinthium, flowers & honey. I had read that a good blanche (la bleue) would smell like as such. It has been proven true, here. While watering, the drink opens up to fill the room with these scents even more.

MOUTH-FEEL 6/10
Creamy, but light (if that makes sense). Numbing, but this fades more quickly than others.

TASTE 15/20
The flavor is on par with the aroma. There's a strong, lingering taste of wormwood here, but this is washed away when desired, as opposed to other absinthes that will stay with you for hours or overnight. More complex than other blanches, but the aroma outweighs the taste slightly. As far as sugar goes, back off a little bit & you'll taste more of what this drink has to offer.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 6/10
A quite tasty blanche. Tasting this one side-by-side with others would definitely improve this review.something I haven't had the chance to do with blanches as of this writing. Vertes are easier to remember different distinctions. Blanches, unless they're stellar or complete shit, are harder to pick apart, in my opinion.

precenphix scores La Bleue Clandestine 77 out of 100


Reviewed by Alyssa Dyane 11/6/2006

COLOR BEFORE WATER: 10/10
Very clean, no discoloration or sediment.

LOUCHE ACTION: 8/10
Nice louche. Builds from the bottom with pretty swirls. Louches very thick. As the drops fall into it, I am reminded of rain falling from clouds - only upside down. Clear ring on top, until after full loouche, then the surface seems to reflect a blue tint.

COLOR AFTER WATER: 7/10
Very opaque and thick. White with slight blue highlights. When held up to light, the edges of the glass hold a very slight golden glow, but mostly white with blue tints.

AROMA: 23/30
Before adding water, there is no hard alcohol smell. Very floral. Very sweet. You can really smell whiffs of hyssop and a chamomile scent. While louching, the wormwood and anise aroma start to come out. After louching, the anise really comes out. Very pleasant aroma.

MOUTH-FEEL: 8/10
Thick, rich, creamy, smooth.

TASTE: 17/20
Has a very creamy overall taste, most likely due to the hyssop. As the drink progresses, the anise comes out very strong, but in a pleasant way. Wormwood notes in the background, and aftertaste. This is a sweeter absinthe, but overall tastes very good.

OVERALL EXPERIENCE: 8/10
I really am enjoying this glass of absinthe. I really loved the richness and fullness of it. I am enjoying the feel of it in my mouth. This is one I would keep a supply of.

Alyssa Dyane scores Clandestine La Bleue 81 out of 100


Reviewed by Absinthesizer 11/19/2006

COLOR BEFORE WATER 10/10
Extra clear.

LOUCHE ACTION 7/10
Unremarkable and fairly quick, starting from the bottom. (It stands to reason that a lower-proof absinthe would louch more quickly.)

COLOR AFTER WATER 8/10
This is the most neutral-looking blanche I’ve seen: Almost chalk-white from the side, with a faint bluish tinge on the surface.

AROMA 22/30
Crisp, outdoorsy and room-fillingly strong. I was hoping to avoid ever using the “Alpine meadow” cliché, but it’s simply all I can think of when I smell this absinthe — even though I’ve never been in the Alps. Anise and fennel dominate, but they don’t overwhelm the other tones. Alcohol doesn’t intrude at all.

MOUTH-FEEL 8/10
Pleasantly astringent and sharp, leaving your mouth feeling clean and warm. The astringency is wormwood, and it increases as you drink; I don’t know the source of the sharpness, but it’s probably not alcohol. The warmth that begins in your mouth gradually spreads to the rest of your body.

TASTE 16/20
Very much in line with the aroma. It’s strong, more herbal than floral, and even a little medicinal, though I don’t mean that in a bad way at all. The astingency lingers, and the more you drink, the more it tastes like wormwood.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 8/10
Although there are more complex blanches, I enthusiastically recommend Clandestine. It's well-made, and there’s nothing fussy or fancy about it. If you don’t like Clandestine, you probably don’t like absinthe.

Absinthesizer scores Clandestine La Bleue 79 out of 100


Reviewed by Eden 1/8/2007

COLOR BEFORE WATER 10/10
Clear as spring water

LOUCHE ACTION 10/10
CLB has one of the most beautiful louche I have ever laid my eyes on, building in the center of the glass and dancing outwards to the rim.

COLOR AFTER WATER 10/10
An opaque color resembling skimmed milk.

AROMA 25/30
A good and plenty aroma of sweet licorice candy, that my grandmother use to bring over from the Norse county.

MOUTH-FEEL 8/10
Initially A very warm and slight numbing sensation. After a few drinks a slight oily residue builds up on the roof of my mouth .

TASTE 18/20
A very sweet la blue needing no sugar for my taste, with the perfect balance of wormwood and anise. It is by far one of the best flavored absinthe I have indulged in.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 9/10
All I can say is if you have yet to experience Clandestine and La Bleue is your flavor, you should purchase a bottle. You will not be disappointed.

Eden scores Clandestine La Bleue 90 out of 100


Reviewed by Bruno Rygseck 1/28/2008

COLOR BEFORE WATER 10/10
Clear.

LOUCHE ACTION 8/10
Turbulent and a bit fast when poured. Cumulus-like cloud formations from the bottom. When prepared with a moderately fast drip, feathery anise clouds (cirrus?) started forming from bottom up, joining into a foggy layer with gradient.

COLOR AFTER WATER 7/10
White and opaque, oil trails and drops on the surface continue their play for quite long while after ending pour/drip.

AROMA 21/30
Neat in the glass at room temperature: quite fruity/herbal with just a slight alcohol aroma. During and after water, surprisingly "juicy" herbal aroma, from fennel I would guess.

MOUTH-FEEL 8/10
Creamy and astringent at the same time, giving a tingling yet not numbing feeling, in particular inside the lips (cool!). At review strength 1:3 maybe a bit too strong to drink just yet.

TASTE 16/20
Anise, chewy mild green, maybe with some peppery star anise; juicy herbal licorice-like taste (raw licorice not licorice candy). Quite rich and full and satisfying.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 8/10
The distinctive wormwood aroma and taste, turbulent louche, mouthwatering aroma and very satisfactory taste (for a la bleue) makes the Clandestine a very recommendable clear absinthe.

Bruno Rygseck scores Clandestine La Bleue 78 out of 100


Reviewed by Green Baron 9/12/2009

COLOR BEFORE WATER 10/10
Crystal clear. Pretty refractions.

LOUCHE ACTION 8/10
Nice trails and jellies. Quick compared to vertes of course, but a good pace for a blanche. Nice rolling fog bank and tendrils reach into the clear portion on top. Good show!

COLOR AFTER WATER 8/10
Good opalescence, catches the light well, has good glow with mostly grey, very slight copper-bronze highlights and a hints of blue.

AROMA 26/30
Before water- A lush, inviting concentrated herbal aroma of the main trinity. I don’t usually find the neat aroma for absinthe to be this pleasant.

After water- It actually loses a little of the lushness, but the notes are retained and become more delicate in a pleasing way.

MOUTH-FEEL 8/10
Nice creamy body, then quickly but smoothly transforms into a dryer wormwood finish with just a hint of alcohol heat.

TASTE 17/20
While many vertes may be bolder, the herbs in Clandestine have a nice richness and depth that puts up there with the best of either style absinthe. The anise leads of course; the wormwood is delicate, but definitely registers in the soft floral ranges that float above the light sweetness of the fennel. Subtle supporting herbal notes that might be hyssop and chamomile and even coriander, round out the overall flavor. The quality of the ingredients is apparent, and there’s a really nice crispy clean feel to the whole thing (instead of the Swiss cow pasture funk one sometimes gets in la bleues).

OVERALL IMPRESSION 9/10
Great la bleue, pretty much the best commercial offering of this style. I wish a little more of the lush herb power from the neat aroma stuck around after water, but that certainly doesn’t take away from flavorful quality ingredients and crystal clean flavor.

PERSONAL NOTES
Louched 3:1, fountain drip, no sugar.

Green Baron scores Clandestine La Bleue 86 out of 100


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Gordon
post Sep 2 2005, 05:53 AM
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Reviewed by Gordon 9/1/05 COLOR BEFORE WATER 10/10 It's perfectly clear. LOUCHE ACTION 10/10 It has a nice louche that lasts. I pulled a glass out of the fridge after eight hours, the louche was still there. COLOR AFTER LOUCHE 10/10 It turns a beautiful opaque white with oils coming to the surface. AROMA 25/30 Beautiful anise and floral aromas that I could smell from the other room, but just as sweet up close. MOUTH-FEEL 8/10 A slight numbing sensation on the tongue. TASTE 15/20 At a dilution of one to three parts water not to bitter and not to sweet, just perfect and bright . OVERALL IMPRESSION 10/10 This was everything I heard the best La Bleues were supposed to be. I will buy this again. TOTAL 88


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BEER : It is the drink of men who think and feel no fear nor fetter - Who do not drink to senseless sink, but drink to think the better. Brew on a par with FAT TIRE Amber Ale, I won't just be happy..
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Zman
post Sep 2 2005, 07:03 AM
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100? I wouldn't even rate vintage pre-ban Pernod Fils a 100.


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Gordon
post Sep 2 2005, 07:10 AM
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Well ZMAN I rate things with my taste buds, my nose etc. I've never had vintage absinthe but I know what I like, you don't have to agree, we can still be friends harhar.gif


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BEER : It is the drink of men who think and feel no fear nor fetter - Who do not drink to senseless sink, but drink to think the better. Brew on a par with FAT TIRE Amber Ale, I won't just be happy..
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Zman
post Sep 2 2005, 09:14 AM
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That's all fine and well, but what happens when you encounter an absinthe that you like better than the one you rated a perfect score?


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hartsmar
post Sep 2 2005, 09:47 AM
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Gordon, that is what I meant with finding a reference...
There should always (almost always...) be room for improvement or a better absinthe (which will come along, I guarantee you that).

It is easy to be overwhelmed by something that you find to be very very good... Take your time and maybe do a little side-by-side comparison of the brands that you currently have at home. That way you can detect if there's actually something in the aroma or taste that is sticking out too much etc...

However much I like the Clandestine - it's not a perfect 100... Then again, it's your taste - not mine but I can promise that you will have better ones...


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Lord Stanley
post Sep 2 2005, 12:10 PM
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Yeah, I love the Clandestine but still rated it in the low 80's.


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Jaded Prole
post Sep 2 2005, 01:25 PM
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It is damn good






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Donnie Darko
post Sep 2 2005, 01:30 PM
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QUOTE (Gordon @ Sep 1 2005, 10:53 PM)
I pulled a glass out of the fridge after eight hours, the louche was still there.

I hope you didn't drink it after doing that, even if it still looked pretty. Louched Absinthe does not respond well to being left in the open for a long period of time, and responds even worse to refrigeration.

I did that to Kubler and La Fee once (since their only real use is for experimentation). Kubler had separated into two layers, one unlouched and the other semi louched, and it tasted like dirty gym socks, and La Fee had unlouched and solid green crystals had formed in the bottom of the glass, and tasted like a candy cane mixed with blue food colouring.

I've had about 3-4 absinthes I would rate as high as 95, and you're entitled to your opinion and can rate something 100 if you wish. However, from an objective POV, from what I know about how the Clandestine is manufactured and recipe, there's no way it could be 100.
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sea_of_lament
post Sep 2 2005, 05:37 PM
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100/100 ? blink.gif

Arn't we the eager beaver.

This La Bleue is one of the absinthes I enjoy the most but there is room for improvement. For one, if it numbs the tongue after only one glass then there is too much of something.


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Gordon
post Sep 2 2005, 09:29 PM
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Well guys, I didn't think I could improve on it's taste, that is why I rated it as such. I'm glad to hear you say I can do better in the future, that is exciting news. I would have rated the Edouard the same only for it's different and unique qualities. With that said, I guess it will look funny if I find something I like better. You've all made very good points. I'll go back and fix it abs-cheers.gif


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Fredie
post Oct 13 2005, 01:58 PM
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I liked it but I honestly got better La Bleue from…..
Betina!! shock.gif


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Deluge
post Oct 21 2005, 06:14 PM
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Word on the street is there will be a 72* La Bleue by Bugnon available at Alandia in a few weeks.

Save your pennies! abs-cheers.gif


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Donnie Darko
post Oct 21 2005, 07:01 PM
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Guess we'll have to make the review score totals allow for 110 points now, eh?
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Deluge
post Oct 21 2005, 07:06 PM
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"But… it goes to 11"

w00t2.gif


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