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hartsmar
AVERAGE SCORE 90

Reviewed by spoon 4/26/2008

COLOR BEFORE WATER 9/10
Very beautiful clear vibrant golden color with maybe a hint of olive. I poured a small sample of an earlier prototype for comparison, and it was the same color.

LOUCHE ACTION 9/10
Perfect, not too fast, slowly building from the bottom, becoming very thick. Line of clear yellow above the thick louche disappears when fully louched.

COLOR AFTER WATER 9/10
Beautiful opaque creamy color, very delicious looking.

AROMA 30/30
The fragrance is amazing. Smelling it neat, you don’t smell alcohol at all, but a very flowery fragrance. While louching, it becomes room filling and is quite astonishing: perfumy, seductive, delicious. There was no way I could justify deducting even a single point. As I finish up this review the glass has been empty for at least 10 minutes, I’m sniffing the glass and it still smells amazing.

MOUTH-FEEL 8/10
Very nice mouth-feel. Not super tongue-coating but very nice creamy feel.

TASTE 18/20
The taste is quite harmonious, and almost as delicious as the fragrance. I know from what Stefano said (when we met in Paris) that there are a large number of herbs here, and they blend extremely well. I believe that a number of them aren’t found in any other commercial absinthes but there is definitely nothing anyone would find out of place. The herbs are obviously of stellar quality, full of Italian sunshine and bursting with perfumy goodness. On a hot day like today it is very refreshing.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 10/10
I first tasted two early low-volume prototypes last year when we met Stefano in Paris. I was a huge fan of what Stefano was doing with those prototypes, and I’m very happy that he has been able to bring it from that small scale to nearing commercial reality. This one is a home run for me, easily my favorite (soon-to-be) commercial absinthe.

spoon scores l’Italienne (prototype #2) 93 out of 100


Reviewed by Donnie Darko 8/16/2008

COLOR BEFORE WATER 6/10
Copperish yellow with a slight green suggestion.

LOUCHE ACTION 7/10
Super cold water coaxes some beautiful swirly tendrils that gradually form an almost-louche. Anything less than iced water dripped slow from a fountain will not produce as much of a louche.

COLOR AFTER WATER 7/10
An 3/4 opaque flat yellow green.

AROMA 27/30
Neat, the aroma is floral heaven. The feminine perfumes in here before one adds water are found in no other absinthe. Once water is added, the aroma disappointingly stays mostly in the glass and lacks "pop", but what is in there is enticing and entirely unique. It says "drink me" with authority.

MOUTH-FEEL 8/10
Though not a creamy absinthe, it doesn't burn, is smooth, and has a flower petal-like touch on your tongue. Unique and very drinkable.

TASTE 19/20
Fresh honeysuckle, lavender and other edible flowers that escape me. Very feminine, with a seamless fusion of all ingredients into one very pleasant whole. The wormwood in here is unlike other cultivars I have tasted, and I suspect it is the key to the fusion of all other flavors in there. And I have no idea what herb might be causing that honey-suckle taste and aroma, but it's awesome and no other absinthe has it.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 9/10
A delightful feminine drink. Light but sexy. Floral but assertive. The weak points are indifferent color and a lackadaisical louche, but once I taste it I can't bring myself to penalize it too harshly for those shortcomings. I can't help but think a slight boost to the anise and fennel would make this absinthe a blockbuster, but what's there is attention grabbing and balanced with surgical precision. In spite of the lack of creamy "pop", it is distinctive and confident enough to warrant quickly emptying and refilling glasses. It evokes memories of unrequited high school crushes on girls too pretty to notice me, but who I could still steal looks at from across the room and swoon. Maybe all I got from them was their perfume as they walked past, but it was enough to make me happy and empty headed.

Donnie Darko scores L'Italienne 83 out of 100


Reviewed by absinthist 2/6/2009

COLOR BEFORE WATER 10/10
Very inviting and beautiful slighltly pale yellow green. One of the minority of current absinthes that are coloured properly and with adherence to the tradition.

LOUCHE ACTION 10/10
Gradual, very slowly-forming, leaving a delicate unlouched layer on top. At 1:2.5 gets fully louched and that is the best ratio IMO.

COLOR AFTER WATER 10/10
Pleasantly opalescent but not too thick; greenish at edges.

AROMA 26/30
Very intense and herbal, smells divinely in the vein of less assertive yet bold absinthes of the heyday.

MOUTH-FEEL 9/10
Spicy but in a subtle way, rounded but not overanisated or too heavy. Still, not too fragile or light, either.

TASTE 19/20
Very good balance with a prominent wormwood note. Due to the perfect marriage of herbs, it is difficult to pin them down that easily, however some of them have their discrete say-the taste is built slowly with wormwood and stronger aromatic nuances leading the front, some growing fennel and anise and the rest giving a sublime, green tea-like finish with a zesty-fruity kick from within.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 10/10
Haven't had the previous batches (proto with Ponty worm and L'Italienne #1) but in that particular batch I would advise: change nothing, everything knows its place and knows it very well.

absinthist scores L'Italienne (second batch) 94 out of 100
hartsmar
Updated...
Bruno Rygseck
I received my L'Italienne yesterday, opened it now and poured a dose…

QUOTE


AROMA 30/30
The fragrance is amazing. Smelling it neat, you don’t smell alcohol at all, but a very flowery fragrance.
[…]
As I finish up this review the glass has been empty for at least 10 minutes, I’m sniffing the glass and it still smells amazing.


…and I too spent about 10 minutes just sniffing the empty measuring cylinder: Lily-of-the-valley came to my mind. Just fabulous, as is its taste.

OK, this is the first glass from the bottle, I'll review it later after it has breathed somewhat.

Funny, I remember saying something like that before…
Wolfgang
I want a bottle of this.



Is there any distributor selling to Canada ?




If not, is there a distributor in Italy ? I would be able to get my thirsty hands on a bottle if I found an Italian source…


Conte d'Ugenta
QUOTE(Wolfgang @ Mar 19 2009, 09:49 PM) *

I want a bottle of this.



Is there any distributor selling to Canada ?




If not, is there a distributor in Italy ? I would be able to get my thirsty hands on a bottle if I found an Italian source…


I gave the exclusive to LdF, so that is the only distributor, I gave away some proto bottles here in Italy, but now LdF is buying the entire batch.
Sorry I can't help you…
Absomphe
Sounds delicious, but, an entire review of L'Italienne 2.0. and not one use of "perfume" as a descriptor, Boggster?

I hope those gentle tweaks haven't caused it to morph too much from the first run.
Donnie Darko
That seems odd to me also. The single most notable characteristic about L'Italienne is the flowery honeysuckle-like aroma and taste.

I do know Absinthist likes his absinthes more lightly watered than I do, but L'Italienne #1 is extremely sensitive to both dilution ratio and the rate of dilution, so I'm curious what changed between #1 and #2 to make 2.5:1 supposedly the optimal dilution. Anything less than a slow drip from a fountain with batch #1 produces thin and insipid results (I had undrinkable results from both a carafe and a brouiller), meanwhile a slow extremely cold drip produced excellent results between 3.5:1 and 4:1, but anything over 4:1 was again not very good. Meanwhile anything less than 3:1 had the problem of the alcohol being the most prominent thing one tasted. But L'Italienne #1 was super-sexy within that narrow 3.5-4 ratio. She's a picky girl, but if you get it right she's wonderful.
absinthist
Haven't had the first L'Italienne, so cannot say what might have been changed. I believe, Stefano can shed more light on the particular (if these were that tremendous) changes. The alcohol in L'Italienne #2 is very subtle and not obtrusive, even when louched. The perfume is there, but not like eau de toilette, it is more convincing of its natural origins. The most prominent thing at 1:2.5 is superb Italian fennel, that has an influence on diminishing the alcohol sensation.

The pics taken during the review:

IPB Image

IPB Image

IPB Image
Donnie Darko
That looks like the louche of L'Italienne #1, except that my L'Italienne is now a nice Fuielle Morte color. I'll have to try the #2 and see what's different.
Conte d'Ugenta
Relax guys, in batch #2 the recipe is unchanged and improvements have been made on the process only. The result in my opinion is a better louche and layering, better mouthfeel, and a cleaner taste (even tho the ageing has made batch #1 to lose the early "grassiness"). The honeysuckle note is there, maybe Boggy just focused on other aspects, or he is just not used to some of the southern Mediterranean herbs I used in the recipe, and doesn't pick them up that easily… Like I wouldn't ever been able to figure out the taste of bison grass in Zubrowka and Boggy's nice Zubrsinthe before tasting a sauce made with the pure herb in a typical Polish dish!
absinthist
Yup, that's the way it is. L'Italienne herb-bill is so chosen and thus so unique, that a person not familiar with certain herbs used in the Southern Italian cuisine, will easily mistake them for something else.

On a final note, that particular herb-bill Stefano had used, makes L'Italienne stand out as an absinthe one in a million. The herb-bill that you won't find in other, more conventional absinthes (I mean, striving to Pontarlier style or such). The Artist can make just another clone of this and that, but he can as well make something incomparable, unique, sovereign. I am inclined Stefano has chosen that second path-more demanding, more difficult, requiring more perseverance and zest for Art's creation, yet the one that can guarantee the most of fun!
Donnie Darko
QUOTE(absinthist @ Mar 23 2009, 10:19 AM) *

L'Italienne herb-bill is so chosen and thus so unique,


That's one of my favorite things about it. It's both well-made and wholly unique while avoiding being idiosyncratic.
Absomphe
I think its extreme (almost literal) perfuminess, as well as that honeysuckle nuance, do qualify the L'Italienne as idiosyncratic, (as did the color of version 1.0) but in a really positive sort of way.
Kirk
The perfume approaches the smell of money , or at least the way money used to smell , when women carried it in their purse . It tastes almost like the bottom of a ladies purse smells , but in a good way .
Green Baron
Damn Kirk, I didn't know you waz a gigolo.
Kirk
I was a kid , money doesn't smell like that anymore .
G&C
A child gigolo.
Interesting.
Absomphe
Yeah, Louis Malle coulda made him a star.
absinthist
Kirk dans le metro would be a hit harhar.gif . One of the finest Malle's masterpieces.
Kirk
All money used to smell this way , not just mine .
Today it smells of fresh ink .
Jaded Prole
and blood.
EdouardPerneau
QUOTE(Conte d'Ugenta @ Mar 21 2009, 12:23 PM) *


I gave the exclusive to LdF, so that is the only distributor, I gave away some proto bottles here in Italy, but now LdF is buying the entire batch.
Sorry I can't help you…



Saddly … :(
hartsmar
Updated...
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