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Bairnsfather Bitter

bairnsfatherbitter_th.jpg

Average Score: 35
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Country of Origin: Czech Republic
Type: Mixed & Macerated
Alcohol Level: 66 %

Description: According to http://www.bairnsfather.net/: "Bairnsfather Absinth and Bitter are essentially the same product, a 100% natural herbal composition with 55% alcohol by volume, natural green colour and a lovely “louche” when ice water is added. The main difference is in the chop.gif content. Our Absinth as a maximum of 10 mg/ltr chop.gif, which the actual level between 9 and 10 mg/ltr . Our Bitter, in accordance with Czech and EU law, has a maximum of 35 mg/ltr of chop.gif with the actual level between 33 and 35 mg/ltr."

Review:

Reviewed by Artemis 5/5/2005


COLOR BEFORE WATER 9/10
Olive-toned green, darker than most. Clarity is good. Hard to fault it.

LOUCHE ACTION 2/10
I've never seen anything like it. Using 3:1 water, oily swirls develop in the green liquor that remind me of Celtic spirals, like on the big entrance stone at New Grange - very nice, but then, instead of turning white, or any other color, the stuff goes absolutely clear again, and you're right back where you started, green (lighter now) and clear!!

COLOR AFTER WATER 2/10
Same as before water - a first for me!

AROMA 18/30
Raw - quite pleasant, but not powerful - it has some slight resemblance to Absinthe Doubs - there could be a lot going on in this stuff in terms of herbs, but they really aren't getting much out of those herbs. After watering the scent is the same - more complex than just anise, but weak.

MOUTH-FEEL 5/10
Very thin, but I've had worse.

TASTE 10/20
Pleasant enough, but weak. Quite warming in the belly. Where is all this "bitterness"? It's NOT that bitter - ah, now I feel it, on the palate and in my throat after I've swallowed. Not pleasant.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 3/10
Lack of louche must be penalized. Otherwise, I can't say it's BAD, it's just, well, almost NOTHING- green liquor with a little bit of scent and a bitter finish.

Artemis scores Bairnsfather Bitter 49 out of 100


Reviewed by Gertz 5/06/2005

COLOR BEFORE WATER 8/10
A vivid green with a slightly yellowish tinge. Quite pretty, natural looking.

LOUCHE ACTION 1/10
With ice-cold water, a very slight haze develops reluctantly. Does hardly qualify as a louche.

COLOUR AFTER WATER 2/10
Paler, un-louched shade of the colour before water.

AROMA 10/30
Both before and after water is added, a rather harsh alcoholic aroma tend to overpower the few herbal tones.

MOUTHFEEL 4/10
A dry, slightly numbing feel. Somehow full, but uninteresting.

TASTE 6/20
A rather harsh bitterness. Some herbal complexity, but almost exclusively from the bitter notes; hardly a trace of anise. More like a Fernet Branca-style bitter than an absinthe, and not a very good bitter.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 3/10
Could be drunk as a bitter (unlike some czech brands that are utterly undrinkable), but why? There are better brands available. Does hardly qualify as an absinthe.

Gertz scores Bairnsfather Bitter 26 out of 100


Reviewed by Hartsmar 4/27/2005

COLOR BEFORE WATER 5/10
It's clear, natural, a dark kind of medicinal green.

LOUCHE ACTION 0/10
Zero louche. Nada, zip, nothing...

COLOR AFTER WATER 2/10
I don't know. I give it two points for at least showing a slight haze and a try in changing after adding water, as opposed to some other brands.

AROMA 11/30
Before adding water: It's mainly alcohol, a slight scent of anise and a disturbing smell of bitter oils from wormwood.
After adding water: For a second, while "louching" I actually smelled something that resembled fennel. It vanished quite quickly though, and returned to the same state as before. Boring, and nothing to rave about. A few points were actually added for the anise breaking through and the fact that there was, if even for just a second, something that tried linger out of the glass...

MOUTH-FEEL 3/10
No way. This is terribly flat, so one dimensional it's unbelievable and certainly quite harsh on the palate. My mouth has gone completely dry.

TASTE 3/20
This is wrong. It is bitter in every way. Honestly I can't find one single other taste in here than the overwhelming dry bitter. Nothing. I'm sorry.
Lemon burn.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 2/10
Not impressive. No louche, no complexity, no good taste to found anywhere. No thank you.

Hartsmar scores Bairnsfather Bitter 26 out of 100


Reviewed by Oxygenee 5/5/2005

COLOR BEFORE WATER 7/10
Acceptable. Clear, natural looking, a hint of the olive tone often found in Czech absinthes.

LOUCHE ACTION 0/10
For all practical purposes, this product doesn't louche at all.

COLOR AFTER WATER 2/10
A slight haze, but no other changes.

AROMA 15/30
Before adding water: Harshly alcoholic, with some wormwood noticable.

After adding water: Bland. Not offensive, but nothing of interest.

MOUTH-FEEL 5/10
Not completely thin, but flat, lacks richness.

TASTE 7/20
Not absinthe-like. A fleeting hint of anise sweetness initially, but no herbal interest at all. Astonishingly lingering bitterness on the aftertaste - like chewing dried wormwood leaves.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 4/10
Not as bad as the worst Czech and German products, but lacks most of the things that make absinthe interesting. No louche. No herbal variety. Medicinal in character, rather than refreshing or delicious. More akin to something like Jagermeister, than to classically made absinthe.

Oxygenee scores Bairnsfather Bitter 40 out of 100

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