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hartsmar
St. George Spirits Absinthe Verte is made with fine brandy, star anise, mint, wormwood, lemon balm, hyssop, meadowsweet, basil, fennel, tarragon and stinging nettles. This infamous liquor reveals seductive flavors of anise complimented with sweet grassy tones, light citrus, white pepper, and light menthol notes.

AVERAGE SCORE 71.5


Reviewed by Shabba53 12/21/2007

COLOR BEFORE WATER 9/10
Color is a deep peridot green. Quite appealing.

LOUCHE ACTION 8/10
The addition of ice cold water via dripper brought about a quick forming louche. The trails were quite nice. The color after louche is a milky greenish white. Very nice.


COLOR AFTER WATER 7/10
The color after louche is a milky greenish white. Pretty, but maybe just a tad thin.

AROMA 27/30
The aroma is one of the nicest things about this absinthe. Extremely crisp and clean. Lots of floral notes. The lemon balm comes through quite clearly. The basil adds a nice depth as well.

MOUTH-FEEL 7/10
Well rounded feel. I think the choice of anise takes away a bit from the thickness though.

TASTE 16/20
The flavor is extremely spicy. It's going to be a dividing factor I think. Those who enjoy unique flavored absinthes like Montmartre will really like this. Others may think its a bit overpowering, but sugaring will help even it out. There's a nice wormwood bitterness that's enhanced by the nettles and tarragon. It's quite intriguing. Although I don't add sugar to my absinthe, I do believe that this one will highly benefit from it.
The finish is a combination of light sweetness from the basil and just a touch of astringence from the wormwood. It's really a great aftertaste, although I'd like it to last a bit longer.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 9/10
Overall, this is a great start for US absinthes. It's certainly setting the bar high for other US based producers. I think the strength of flavors might drive a small few away, but I think it will garner a lot of attention from those with sophisticated palates. Have another? Yes please!

Shabba53 scores St. George Absinthe 83 out of 100


Reviewed by Spoon 12/31/2007

COLOR BEFORE WATER 8/10
Color is a natural looking, clear, amber/olive.

LOUCHE ACTION 7/10
A thick louche develops very quickly. It was fully opaque at somewhere between (estimated) 0.5 - 1 volumes of water. I penalized it because it was too quick and not as attractive as it could be.

COLOR AFTER WATER 6/10
The color after louche is reminiscent of pond algae. It is rather dull and dirty looking, not at all bright. It sort of makes sense to me, though, because of the organic taste.

AROMA 26/30
The aroma is lovely. Before water, it smells heavily of the unusual coloring herbs, which have a vegetal quality. The alcohol is not at all sharp. After addition of water the smell is very sweet, bright and pleasant. The herbal notes are unfamiliar in an absinthe but very nice.

MOUTH-FEEL 8/10
Surprisingly creamy for something lacking green anise. The texture is very nice.

TASTE 17/20
Overall I would say it is clean, crisp and refreshing. I didn't add sugar, and I tend to not dilute my drink as much as most people. The alcohol has dissipated and is not at all intrusive. The taste is unusual and very different because of the herbs chosen. Up front, I taste something sweet which is really nice, then comes the thick vegetal taste (I know I am using the word vegetal too much but it seems the most appropriate word.), then a little bite of star anise and finally the pleasant bitterness of the wormwood. The star anise is relatively restrained but does eventually somewhat overwhelm the wormwood after the first 1/4 of the drink. Despite this, I love the taste. It's definitely idiosyncratic but it's a good flavor profile for me. One thing that we both noticed last night, and I am finding tonight also is, this stuff cries out to be drunk with food. For starters, it pairs really well with salami and cheese, and I think it will be nice with lots of other food as well.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 9/10
To me, this stuff is very tasty. I'm sure it won't be to everyone's liking, but I think it's damn good. I can't help but wonder how it would taste with a bunch of green anise substituted for the small amount of star anise; it would probably be amazing. But even with the star anise, of which I am not a fan, I am very much looking forward to the next availability, and I will certainly buy at least two bottles. Drink it!

Spoon scores St. George Absinthe 81 out of 100


Reviewed by Donnie Darko 2/11/2008

COLOR BEFORE WATER 7/10
Drab olive, no debris.

LOUCHE ACTION 8/10
Very thick louche, but the "action" part of it consists of a thick white wall gradually rising until the unlouched layer is gone, which happens by 2:1.

COLOR AFTER WATER 8/10
The green becomes brighter once water is added, and is opaque as mud. Holds light fairly well.

AROMA 16/30
Neat, the aroma is oddly reminiscent of moth balls. There is a nutmeg/cinnamon like aroma behind that, not sure what that's from since it contains neither. There are also some candy notes reminiscent of Eichelberger Verte. The upside is the aroma is pretty large, fairly room filling. The downside is the aroma is strangely un-absinthe like.

MOUTH-FEEL 8/10
Creamy smooth at first with a subtle spicy bite underneath, but then all is penetrated by a greasy smear which I assume is due to the overuse of Star Anise.

TASTE 12/20
It tastes overwhelmingly of Star Anise, and the bubble-gum sweetness imparted by it is cloying. Underneath that are some other unorthodox flavors trying to poke through, and a few reminiscent of Ike Verte do poke through. Wormwood is difficult to detect. And there is that weird moth ball thing in the taste for a split second, though thankfully far less prominent than in the aroma. The Brandy alcohol base could also use another rectification, tastes a tad buttery.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 6/10
It's an interesting beverage, tastes so-so on its own right. But the cloying sweetness, the mothball tinge in the neat aroma, and the fact that it contains very few normal Absinthe tastes relegate this Absinthe to the realm of novelty rather than as a daily drinker you look forward to coming home to. The upside is that it is made competently. There are no evident distillation or coloration flaws, and it does smell very clean, with no hint of tails or empyreuma. St. George clearly could make something that might remind more of us of a great Absinthe, they just chose instead to stray very far off the beaten path with this one. It's worth noting that going off the beaten path is what this distillery does, with mixed results. I look forward to trying more of their work if they ever make an Absinthe other than just this one.

This tastes almost more like some bizarre holiday cordial than the gripping alpine refreshment that normal Absinthe is, maybe that's what attracts some people. It is seemingly popular, so maybe Lance is on to something in regards to American tastes. In regards to mine though, no thanks.

Donnie Darko scores St. George Absinthe Verte 65 out of 100


Reviewed by Jaded Prol 2/11/2008

COLOR BEFORE WATER 8/10
Dark green but flat. Definitely natural but a little heavy.

LOUCHE ACTION 7/10
Very thick, rapid and dense to opaque due to overuse of star anise.

COLOR AFTER WATER 8/10
Opaque white with green tint. Though I tried it at 3 to1, the opacity remained even at twice the water.

AROMA 15/30
Neat - sweet, with heavy citrus notes, almost camphory. With water, terribly sweet with a chlorophyll sharpness. The Melissa and Basil seem to overpower.

MOUTH-FEEL 7/10
It is admittedly thick but too thick in a way that coats your mouth and makes your filling rebel.

TASTE 8/20
Very sweet and sharp in an unpleasant in a medicinal way. The Melissa and Basil are overpowering and the later seems misplaced. The lingering flavor is the Basil which leaves me feeling like I ate some pesto. The sweetness of the Badiane and Basil combined with the sharpness of the Melissa are, in my opinion as a cook, an uncomplimentary combination. I could not taste any wormwood. Had the maker left out the basil and instead used that quantity of hyssop along with less Badiane, this might almost be drinkable.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 4/10
As I had stated previously, it saddens me that the first legally produced domestic absinthe of the 21st century had to be such an unpleasant brew, more so because it is my understanding that knowledgeable people like Grim made themselves available to the maker. It takes a skilled distiller and good ingredients to make a good classical absinthe and I believe this maker is a talented distiller, But to makes something original or eclectic that works, it takes a good cook with knowledge of what good absinthe is, what's been done, knowledge of herbal properties and the patience and humility to listen to those more experienced. That apparently is the missing ingredient here.

Jaded Prol scores St. George Absinthe Verte 57 out of 100


Reviewed by OCvertDe 3/20/2008

COLOR BEFORE WATER 6/10
Clear and bright, amber/gold. This would be acceptable in a vintage absinthe, but I’m not crazy about there being no green to speak of in one so young.

LOUCHE ACTION 8/10
This is one of the better louching absinthes I’ve had. Oil trails quickly give way to a small wispy cloud that starts in the center of the bottom of the glass, and gradually builds into a fantastic louche with timing you could set a clock by. It happens a little fast even on a slow drip, otherwise I would give it a perfect score.

COLOR AFTER WATER 6/10
I’m no crazier about the color after the water. There’s nice shading and layering of color, but it’s pretty much yellow and just doesn’t look right.

AROMA 24/30
Very strong, herbal and complex. I’m pretty sure most of what I’m smelling is the unique ingredients Lance decided to use, not the herbal essences you would expect to find in absinthe. Not as well balanced as the better Swiss or Pontarliers, but again, I suspect the odd recipe.

MOUTH-FEEL 9/10
Surprisingly smooth for one with such a turbulent aroma. Lightly creamy with a nice bite that is exceptionally well balanced and pleasant.

TASTE 15/20
Wow, this one really pops. Herbal and complex, without being overly medicinal. The taste is crisp and clean, with a nice long finish that makes me want another sip. Very unique and unusual, but it still tastes like absinthe to me and I like it. The second batch is allegedly better, and I can’t wait to try it.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 7/10
I really enjoyed this. I feel it’s well crafted in spite of its faults; and while the flavor is a ways out in left field, I’m still impressed with the first American commercial absinthe. If I’m able when the next batch is finished, I will definitely be getting myself a bottle. I’m sure it isn’t for everyone; the more traditional your tastes are, the less likely you are to like it. As for the imbibing of it though, I for one have no complaints.

PERSONAL NOTES
Based on one 30ml sample mixed 3:1

OCvertDe scores St. George Absinthe (first batch) 75 out of 100
Jaded Prole
You folks are waaay too generous. The sample I tasted was sharp and astringent. I don't know what stinging nettles taste like but the basil and meadowsweet were an unpleasant diversion from anything an absinthe should taste like.

I found it undrinkable.

QUOTE
Overall, this is a great start for US absinthes. It's certainly setting the bar high for other US based producers.


I feel it's just the opposite. Had this been my first "absinthe" it would be my last and I'd really miss out on something beautiful. Even Lucid or Kubler would be far better examples for the first timer.
Zman
I find myself in the uncomfortable position of agreeing with Prole. The other herbal flavors in it are just wierd, and don't get me going on the whole star anise stuff.
Donnie Darko
In addition to those comments, it would be beneficial to everyone here to have a full review of it from each of you, as both of you have informed tasting abilities. Otherwise, the average score stays 82, and people will think green anise isn't a necessary ingredient in Absinthe. I'm not going to bother paying for a bottle since I trust your tastes, but if anybody has a sample they'd like to donate for reviewing, I'll make it worth their while…

Also, Hartsmar, not trying to be a dick, but I reviewed the US Kubler a little bit ago here http://www.feeverte.net/forum/index.php?sh…mp;#entry144224
Perhaps it was overlooked?
Shabba53
QUOTE(Jaded Prol @ Jan 18 2008, 07:00 AM) *

You folks are waaay too generous.

Well, that's why we're different people. Each of us has our own preferences in taste and flavor.

I agree that it is a spicy, dry absinthe, but that's one of the reasons I liked it. It's a variation from the norm. Something new. It's obviously not an every day absinthe, and because of that, it won't be the one I go to when I'm in the mood for a traditional absinthe. But it will be something I turn to if I'm in the mood for something spicier, like a Monty first run, which I am very low on. this one will allow me to preserve some of that stash.

Notice my comment:
QUOTE
The flavor is extremely spicy. It's going to be a dividing factor I think.


I'm sure there are at least a couple of absinthes that you like that I don't really don't prefer as well.

QUOTE
Had this been my first "absinthe" it would be my last and I'd really miss out on something beautiful.
Again, I appreciate your opinion, but I have several absinthe newbies who would beg to differ. Each of them preferred the St. George to the Lucid. There was a general concensus with them that it's a nice way to ease into the flavor of absinthe, since many Americans aren't used to anise all that much.
Wild Bill Turkey
Weirdly, I agree with everyone, a little.

When I saw these reviews, I was floored by the scores. The single glass I had of this product didn't appeal to me very much, and didn't really even taste like absinthe to me, but more like a related drink from another category. I finally managed to order one of the last bottles from the first run, but it hasn't gotten to me yet. When it gets here, I'll send a sample to Donnie, and post a review of my own.

In general, I like the idea of posting a countering review rather than arguing with the reviews of others. We'll get a better average that way, we'll all be better-informed, and anyone who is insecure about posting a review will feel less pressure if they don't worry they'll be contradicted or asked to defend their comments ( Not that that happened here, I'm just talking about the future ).

Of course, this is hard to do if you've tried a small sample at sometime in the past, and didn't care for it. I can see why Prol and Zman would have a hard time letting scores like that go without comment. But at the same time, they likely don't remember the taste well enough to post a review, and don't want to buy a bottle of it, either.
I'm such a geek that I'm buying a bottle of it even though it didn't do much for me. I figure I'll try it again under different conditions, and then give it a chance to age a little. ( I'll also send samples to Prol and Zman, if they have any interest in trying it again to post their own reviews )
Steve
I knew this was going to be controversial. I didn't expect to like it, and was very surprised that I did. I stand by my review, although I've only had it on two occasions: once on a social occassion when I had lots of other stuff to drink too, and one single glass that I reviewed.

It's definitely idiosyncratic, but in a way that appeals to me. It reminds me of a Berkeley farmers market, with tastes of microgreens grown by organic farmers for Alice Waters or something. It won't be something that I reach for when I'm in the mood for a classic absinthe, but I find it very enjoyable. Will I feel the same way after I've had it a few more times? Hard to say.

I don't like to diss products from producers who I like, but I will say I won't buy either of the other two US-legal absinthes again. For me, this one is better than the other two. As far as star anise goes, I think there's more in Kübler but I'll have to taste them side-by-side to be sure.
Zman
WBT, that sounds great. Thanks.
Steve
Zman, I thought you said at WS that you would never post an online review?
G&C
H5 is full of doublespeak.

He was just keeping up appearances.
absinthist
So, there will be at least two contradictory reviews, one fer each forum. Very helpful fer the newbies, indeed wink.gif
Donnie Darko
Thanks Bill. As with any absinthe, the more scores there are, the more likely they are to give a clearer picture of where the absinthe falls on the scale of popular taste.

I hope Zman posts a review. And Prol ain't chopped liver either.
Zman
QUOTE(Spoon @ Jan 18 2008, 02:11 PM) *

Zman, I thought you said at WS that you would never post an online review?


I will not post a detailed review online, using one of the review systems. I will speak in generalities as to if I like a product or not, think a product is well made and true to form, find value in it, etc.
If I'm communicating with someone in person, I'll hold nothing back.
Shabba53
Looks like Zman will have two samples to test then. abs-cheers.gif
Zman
w00t2.gif
hartsmar
QUOTE(Donnie Darko @ Jan 18 2008, 11:57 AM) *

Also, Hartsmar, not trying to be a dick, but I reviewed the US Kubler a little bit ago here http://www.feeverte.net/forum/index.php?sh…mp;#entry144224
Perhaps it was overlooked?


No no, not overlooked... I'm on it.
Jaded Prole
QUOTE
I find myself in the uncomfortable position of agreeing with Prole.


There, there, it's alright. An open mind isn't always painful and it won't necessarily blow your conservative credibility. evill.gif




QUOTE
Of course, this is hard to do if you've tried a small sample at sometime in the past, and didn't care for it.


Well put. I had a sample last week via the Louched Liver roadshow. Bad as the St. George was, it wasn't the worst stuff he brought! Send me a sample and I'll "take one for the team" and do a review.
Donnie Darko
Reviewed by Donnie Darko 2/11/2008

...

MOUTH-FEEL 8/10
Creamy smooth at first with a subtle spicy bite underneath, but then all is penetrated by a greasy smear which I assume is due to the overuse of Star Anise.


Thanks to Bill for saving me some bucks!


Editor's note: Review merged into main post.
G&C
Greasy smear mouth feel and you give 8/10?

Whatever.
Jaded Prole
Editor's note: Review merged into main post.
Nephrite
Looks like I'll be changing my avatar soon… Great to know it only gets better than this, without having tried a traditional absinthe in my life abs-cheers.gif

As far as medicinal notes go, I love Laphroaig for that very reason… some people hate it. Seems to be a dividing factor. I certainly agree on the basil but until I have tasted green anise again, star is all I know as an adult. I remember eating fresh green anise as a kid when we lived in Greece… I think that was green anise.

I'd love to see the reviews for the second batch. We can only hope Lance cruises forums like this and takes notes for batch 3. I agree with Donnie's Kubler review… I still like St. George a bit more… I suppose it's the head kick. Kubler did not help me stay up late at night and complete various software programming tasks. Lucid is in order next… if it lives up to it's name… literally. I am not looking for a head trip, just a clear head and a relaxed state of mind.

I'm more interested in Taboo for a traditional introduction to classic absinthe than Lucid from what I have gleaned here.
Donnie Darko
QUOTE(G&C @ Feb 11 2008, 09:11 PM) *

Greasy smear mouth feel and you give 8/10?

Whatever.


Thanks for your informative and incredibly detailed review, Statler. Or are you Waldorf?

IPB Image
Donnie Darko
QUOTE(ajunkie @ Feb 12 2008, 12:27 AM) *

but until I have tasted green anise again, star is all I know as an adult. I remember eating fresh green anise as a kid when we lived in Greece… I think that was green anise.


It's worth pointing out that Star Anise is not Anise at all, it's misnamed. Badiane is the proper term, I just tend to use the more common name. Go to an herb store and buy both and chew on them, you'll immediately see the difference.

If you were eating "fresh green anise" as a kid in Greece, that probably wasn't anise either, but rather fennel bulb which is mistakenly called anise all the time and is used a lot in mediterranean cuisine. "Green Anise" refers to the seeds of the Pimpinella Anisum plant.
Nephrite
Whatever I ate tasted a lot like liquorice which is what attracted me to certain scotches. You're right, I need to start ordering these herbs online and start educating my palate. We grow rosemary, basil and mint in our back yard.

Apparently we can grow anise and fennel here too. I have a funny feeling where this may be going in a few years. I would never dare try to make scotch but beer and absinthe sound like an idea… even if I gag on my own brew for a while. The virtual absinthe museum book shop and recipes section has peaked my interest.
dakini_painter
Absinthe is a distilled beverage. And home distilling is not a legal hobby. wink.gif
kaiser
het.gif
Nephrite
Sorry all and duly noted Shabba. I'll stick with beer.
Jaded Prole
You have the right to remain silent . . .
Shabba53
Per Forum Rules:

4) FORBIDDEN SUBJECTS: Discussions at Fee Verte are freewheeling and wide-ranging, and cover not just absinthe (and everything related to it) itself, but art, entertainment, politics, religion history and culture. Very few topics are off-limits, with the following noticeable exceptions:

In order to protect all members and forum participants from unwanted attention from such agencies as the ATF, please do not discuss clandestine or home distillation, or the products of such activities, which are illegal in the US.
G&C
The forum police have arrived!
Shabba53
Or just ratcheting up from the subtle hints that others have been giving. abs-cheers.gif
Marc
QUOTE(Donnie Darko @ Feb 25 2008, 03:11 PM) *

This thread is every bit as good as the liquor that is its topic.

And it's getting worse.
absinthist
Could be that bad?
Zman
You haven't tasted St. George yet…
Shabba53
Bash it for not being a traditional absinthe, but I still enjoy it. I don't turn to it when I'm in the mood for traditional absinthe flavors, but when i'm in the mood for something spicier, I'm quite a fan. I do have second thoughts about buying another bottle though. That's not because I don't want to drink it, but because of the profiteers out there jacking up the price.
Zman
Yes, but when I want an absinthe, one of the "spicier" notes should be wormwood. With SG, it just ain't there. As Donnie said, it tastes like a pastis with wormwood in it you can't taste.
Jaded Prole
Angelica seed adds a nice spiciness. Basil is just out of place and lingers like pad pesto on the pallet.
Shabba53
As I said, when I am in the mood for a traditionally flavored absinthe, St. George isn't what I will turn to. If I want a spicier absinthe with wormwood notes, I'll turn to that specific type of absinthe.

Just because St. George isn't what people say absinthe should taste like, doesn't mean it isn't tasty in its own right. Sure, it doesn't conform to the concensus of what absinthe should be. Why should that preclude me from enjoying its flavor?

I appreciate your knowledge and expertise in absinthe, which I know you have a huge amount of both. I also appreciate your adherance to tradition in regards to absinthe.

But personal preference on what an absinthe should taste like in order to be considered spicy is different than an actual requirement to be considered absinthe. If there were an actual legal classification, then this conversation would be moot. I'm a huge proponent for such a classification, but until there actually IS one, it's just as difficult to say St. George isn't absinthe as it is to say that Montmartre or FG aren't because they use unique ingredients or leave out ingredients that are considered required.
Steyr850
I snagged a bottle of Farigoule a couple of months back. Never really took a liking to it.
Perhaps a splash of it and SG in my Ragoo.
Jaded Prole
I'm all for variety and I love complexity as well as the range of what is possible with "absinthe." I just don't think the St. George presents a pleasant flavor profile and as an absinthe, it leaves much to be desired.

Of course taste is relative and I appreciate that.
Donnie Darko
If they cut the star anise by 75%, and used the right ingredient in the first place, it might be better. The problem is, for all we know, maybe they used some OK wormwood, but you'll never know because of all the other wacky ingredients and the star anise sledgehammer. It would be like making a chocolate cake out of mostly white icing and pistachios with a little chocolate. Just doesn't work. Maybe it would taste OK if you're a big fan of icing and Pistachios, but for anybody who is looking for a good piece of chocolate cake, they're shit out of luck.

Of course the product selling out so quickly that they can't even age it doesn't bode well for them making many positive changes to it. It's a lost cause.
louched liver
It's like makin'
periwinkles out
of mollusks.
Donnie Darko
And you know your periwinkles!

louched liver
So do you now.
Shabba53
Mmmm… periwollusks….
louched liver
Um, mmmmm?

OCvertDe
QUOTE(Donnie Darko @ Feb 26 2008, 10:40 AM) *
Of course the product selling out so quickly that they can't even age it doesn't bode well for them making many positive changes to it. It's a lost cause.


Sad. Lances plain old H1 vodka is an exceptional representation of the genre, so I had high hopes that he might undertake making another absinthe to a more traditional recipe, since he has the setup and appears to have the skills. Oh well. Thanks to ajunkie, I should have a sample arriving in the not too distant future, after which I may actually have something worth saying. At this point my expectations are pretty low, which usually backfires on me when I'm pleasantly surprised to find things not as bad as I expected. We shall see.
Nephrite
He's just joking of course wink.gif
speedle
Oh now you're all about the law-abiding image?
hartsmar
So, I had the amazing pleasure of clicking 103 posts, one by one to move them the f*ck away from here. They are now neatly stored in the Corn Hole, here.

Please, have all the fun you want and post whatever you want but it would be nice to keep the review threads as clean from completely uninteresting and irrelevant bullshit and penis swinging as possible.

Relevant bullshit and penis swinging is still welcome though, which is why some of the posts are still here and weren't moved.

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