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Artemis
AVERAGE SCORE 25


Reviewed by Brucer 9/15/2005

COLOR BEFORE WATER 8/10
A nice color, a sort of bottle olive green. Not artificial at all, but not brilliant either. Similar to Pernod 68 but stronger.

LOUCHE ACTION 3/10
No louche, or hardly any. I considered this not to be too terrible because it means that it is not overloaded with star anise. A weak or barely existent louche is thus preferable to a vicious, immediate, and too strong louche. So I give it 3 for not being fake.

COLOR AFTER WATER 4/10
Poor. Without a louche it cannot score on this.

AROMA 12/30
Big letdown. 12 is generous. This is NOT absinthe. This is an anise-based spirit, it smells like an anise-based spirit, it smells like a cheap, low quality, anise-based spirit. The only aroma is cheap alcohol and anise-like flavors. On the other hand, for what it is, it was pleasant and unobjectionable. I have smelled far worse spirits. As a cheap spirit it is passable, but it is not absinthe.

MOUTH-FEEL 5/10
None. Not unpleasant and quite drinkable, at first. I have had worse. But this is nothing like the mouthfeel of real absinthe. There was no proper mouthfeel at all, no "cream", no "raw silk", no "baby-powder". But as it was not rough or awful I gave it 5 out of 10. Perhaps that was too generous.

TASTE 7/20
The first taste was passable, but the aftertaste was horrific. The aftertaste was the only thing that gave this bad marks as a mere spirit as opposed to poor marks as an absinthe. The first taste was not absinthe but just an anise-based spirit, no Alpine herbs at all, but for that it was OK if you like that sort of thing, so I gave a neutral 7 out of 14 for that. The aftertaste was nasty, so I gave it zero out of 6 for that. One panelist shut his eyes and asked to be passed "those two" pointing at, as he thought, glasses B and C, what he was passed by mistake were A (this) and B, he sniffed, drank, bubbled, breathed, and then exploded "Urghh ! Errgh ! Wrong one. That was hideous, that was A".

OVERALL IMPRESSION 2/10
As an absinthe this was nothing, as an anise-based spirit it was passable. I actually scored it zero on this as I thought we were scoring absinthes, but the three other members of my panel each gave it 3/10, so the average was 2. Vaclav Havel, the hero of Czech liberation from Soviet occupation probably has many things named after him, so I don't suppose he minds too much that this swill, fit only for drunken underage binge drinkers, bears his name. It is better than Aftershock or alco-pops, but that's all.

NOTES
Havel Absinth from the Czech republic. The label says "Extra Added chop.gif". I was given two hipflask bottles, so I don't know what the regular bottle looks like. The bottle was not too bad, neither gimmicky nor a funny shape, it could be tequila, poteen, or whisky, at a first glance.

Brucer scores Havel Absinth 41 out of 100


Reviewed by Bruno Rygseck 2/21/2007

COLOR BEFORE WATER 4/10
Transparent vegetable/olive/pickled cucumber (vintage?) green tint.

LOUCHE ACTION 1/10
Very weak. More oily than snowflakey, turbulent but not enough so. Far from acceptable.

COLOR AFTER WATER 1/10
The cucumber is now behind a very thin veil of oily white smoke.

AROMA 1/30
Before water there is mostly macerated fennel and maybe even hyssop. After water the same but weaker.

MOUTH-FEEL 1/10
Like some diluted bitter schnapps.

TASTE 1/20
Bitter, not good.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 0/10
Not absinthe. Herbal bitter with very little anise.

Bruno Rygseck scores Havel Absinth 9 out of 100
hartsmar
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