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« L'Artisanale | Main | Moulin Verte »

Blanchette


Average Score: 76
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Country of Origin: France
Type: Distilled
Alcohol Level: 60 %
Vendors: ♣ Absinthes.com

Description: According to Absintheonline.com: "Blanchette", the original absinthe produced by Distillerie Combier (Saumur, France) circa 1900. Blanchette is a Swiss-style, clear absinthe that yields a distinct aroma and flavor of anise and grande wormwood, with a background of alpine herbs. Like our other Jade absinthes, Blanchette is crafted entirely by hand in the antique copper absinthe stills in the Combier distillery. Absinthe Blanchette at Absinthes.com

Review:

Reviewed by Traineraz 2/5/2006

COLOR BEFORE WATER 1/10
It ain’t Old, but it sure is Yeller. Blanchette gets one point for clarity and a general lack of cloudiness, but it’s mighty yellow.

LOUCHE ACTION 7/10
Begins to louche at about 1:1. Fairly quick, bottom-up louche but with good separation and density. Nice to watch.

COLOR AFTER WATER 6/10
Dense louche, translucent, but loses points because it is slightly off-white. Good legs, almost as dense a residue as skim milk.

AROMA 15/30
Before water: ONLY 60% ABV? Alcohol scent (and nostril burn) is what I’d expect from something stronger. Fairly one-dimensional, smells a bit too sweet and/or slightly caramelized. I’m really not getting anything besides alcohol and caramelized (Burnt™) sweetness.

After water: Caramelized scent recedes somewhat but is still quite noticeable, and an assertive wormwood note is now present. Still simple, as befits a simple blanche.

Points reduced for strength of alcohol burn and caramelized scent.

MOUTH-FEEL 9/10
Milky and smooth, this certainly qualifies as rich. A bit too rich for my taste, in fact, hence the one-point reduction.

TASTE 17/20
The caramelized character is only present as a background flavor, and is not unpleasant in that capacity. Flavor strikes me as predominantly fennel rather than anise. Not much else comes forward until the pleasantly surprising wormwood kick at the end, which lingers for some time afterward.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 7/10
The actual tasting of this product, after reviewing its color and aromas, was a pleasant surprise. There’s something of a disconnect between the aroma and the flavor profile, as it smells sweeter than it tastes, and the final wormwood punch is stronger than anticipated. This one-two punch is what “makes” the Blanchette for me; it struck me as essentially a mid-grade arak until the wormwood kicked in. Correction of the caramelization, which I assume to be a distillation error, would likely eliminate this product’s shortcomings.

Traineraz scores Blanchette 62 out of 100


Reviewed by AndrewT 2/8/2006

COLOR BEFORE WATER 1/10
Yellow. No other flaws, though. It's clear with no sediment. But yellow.

LOUCHE ACTION 8/10
The oils swirl for a bit before the louche builds. A nice transparently layer forms on top. Final product is quite opauqe, although not the most that I've ever seen. Would be a nice pearly white if it weren't for the yellow tint.

COLOR AFTER WATER 2/10
The color sticks around after louche more than some vertes I've known. This would be a good thing if it weren't supposed to be clear.

AROMA 25/30
Before water- A hint of tails. The wormwood is strong and flowery. The smell is very thick and sweet. The wine base is appareny and very fruity. If it weren't for the tiny bit of tails, this would be a superb smelling absinthe.
After water- The tails smell is more prominent when watered. The other aromas are a bit more muted

MOUTH-FEEL 8/10
Very thick. A slight bitterness in the aftertaste, but not unpleasant. The usual crispness of a blanche is there upon swallowing.

TASTE 14/20
Overall the taste is fairly nice. A nice flowery taste throughout. The wormwood is a bit subued from what one would expect from the smell. Unfortunately, the taste of tails is still noticable, especially after inhaling.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 6/10
There's an awful lot of potential here. With a few adjustments, this could be a really superb absinthe.

AndrewT scores Blanchette 64 out of 100


Reviewed by Sixela 3/27/2006

COLOUR BEFORE WATER 6/10
The colour is a bit yellow, but at least with this batch I wonder what all the fuss was about - it's only a slight straw tinge.

LOUCHE ACTION 9/10
Louches quite early and with beautiful swirls. Doesn't stand a fast drip, though, or it louches almost instantaneously. Use a fountain or a brouille.

COLOR AFTER WATER 7/10
Not the merest hint of yellow remaining. Luminous, but a bit thin, certainly diluted more than 3:1.

AROMA 22/30
I'll give it good marks though it's idiosyncratic and because of the wormwood - there's a lot of anise and wormwood, and little else (almost no fennel presence), with the usual interesting difference in the wormwood smell before louching and after louching.

A blanche, in my opinion, can afford to be more simple, but there are more flowery noses than the one from this absinthe, even just looking at blanches.

I wouldn't want to have to identify the "secret" herbs in addition to the anise and wormwood (and the hint of fennel) - they're barely present in the smell.

MOUTH-FEEL 7/10
Not harsh at 3:1, but then you'd expect it from a 60% absinthe. I do subtract a point for the tongue-numbing at the end (is there some star anise?).

TASTE 18/20
*Very* idiosyncratic. For a blanche, there's little fennel and an *enormous* wormwood presence (very different from the smell). A hint of caramel, but it isn't tails. Your breath actually smells of freshly cut absinthe a few moments after you've drunk this.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 9/10
I wouldn't want this as my *only* absinthe.
But if you're looking for an absinthe that strays a little from the beaten path, to complement others and to have a range of very different absinthes (together with classical blanches that are typically fennel-rich and some vertes), you can't afford not to have this in your cupboard, if only because this one has WORMWOOD written all over it, and that's one of the essential herbs, isn't it?

It's different and wants to be, and for that it's almost perfect (though it could do with some extra floral and fruity notes).

Sixela scores Blanchette 78 out of 100


Reviewed by Ari 10/9/2006

COLOR BEFORE WATER 7/10
A pale yellow color in bottle, an error but it isn't anything horrible. The yellow isn't as noticeable when in the glass.

LOUCHE ACTION 9/10
Defined oil trails that slowly become thicker eventually turning into clouds and fill the drink.

COLOR AFTER WATER 10/10
An opaque, but not thick, white opalescent louche with no notice of the original yellow color. I'm hesitant to give this 10/10 but I'm not sure how it could be improved.

AROMA 24/30
Before water a sweet earthen aroma with anise in the background. As water is added the aroma blossoms. After water the anise pushes its way closer to the front and mixes well.

MOUTH-FEEL 6/10
lightly creamy. Not horribly tongue numbing but a lot more than is to be expected with the lighter anise approach.

TASTE 18/20
Reasonably balanced leaning away from the anise and fennel compared to other blanches. A nice amount of wormwood with a sweetish flavor, a good presence of anise and a nice soft bitter finish.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 9/10
I quite like this.

PERSONAL NOTES
For me this doesn't need sugar and it only serves to muddle the flavors.

Ari scores Blanchette 83 out of 100


Reviewed by eric and Joalco 2/17/2007

COLOR BEFORE WATER 9/10
Clear with a slight yellow tint. Deduct one point

LOUCHE ACTION 9/10
Gets thick quickly, gradient lines developing into a nice turbulence

COLOR AFTER WATER 8/10
Dense, opaque opalescences with a touch of amber and blue hues.

AROMA 23/30
Before water: Soft alcohol with some nut and honey overtones. Some slight woodiness is evident. After water: The aroma really opens up with a complex array of floral notes. Wormwood comes to the front along with the persistant nuttiness.


MOUTH-FEEL 8/10
Smooth and full bodied. Very soft with little sharpness. No tongue numbing whatsoever.

TASTE 13/20
Pleasant and complex but a bit on the sweet side even w/o sugar. This does have some very nice flavors. Especially the wormwood. Would like it to be a bit drier and cleaner tasting. Does not seem to be as floral as some of the better Lablues we have tasted.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 7/10
We feel that this is indeed a quality product. We also believe that it could be improved. Having said all of that, it is still among the best of the Absinthe Blanche's currently available.

eric and Joalco scores Blanchette Combier 77 out of 100


Reviewed by EdouardPerneau 5/8/2008

COLOR BEFORE WATER 8/10
yellowish clear

LOUCHE ACTION 9/10
oily and fast and thick

COLOR AFTER WATER 9/10
milky white

AROMA 13/30
funk and fennel

MOUTH-FEEL 8/10
Thick and creamy very nice

TASTE 13/20
Very Nice french blanche not very complex at all

OVERALL IMPRESSION 8/10
A very great blanche and cheap also great to beginner

EdouardPerneau scores Blanchette 68 out of 100


Reviewed by Donnie Darko 9/3/2008

COLOR BEFORE WATER 10/10
Clear and glassy

LOUCHE ACTION 8/10
The show is over pretty quickly, but what's there is fun to watch, with a blooming cloud and swirly oil trails that continue on top even after fully louched.

COLOR AFTER WATER 10/10
Cottony white.

AROMA 25/30
A mixture of heat, "bright" herbal tones and a subtle popcorn impression. An entirely unique aroma, that smelled toasty in the initial release of this absinthe, but is no longer "cooked" smelling and is quite appetizing. It doesn't fill the room but is noticeable a few feet away.

MOUTH-FEEL 7/10
A bit of alcohol bite propped up by some interesting anise/herbal combination that feels fluffy on the tongue.

TASTE 17/20
Simple but very drinkable, and entirely unique. The word that comes to mind again is "bright". The flavors in there pop to the forefront and are fairly seamless, with a bold quality wormwood presence that is more assertive than in other blanche absinthes, and it has a rich chewy fennel finish that lingers a few minutes past the first taste.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 9/10
This is a great summer absinthe. It's got a healthy portion of wormwood but still manages to be crisp and refreshing. I wasn't crazy about the initial release of blanchette, but with time all of the rough edges have been smoothed over, and this is an ideal blanche for anyone looking for something different from the generally monochromatic bunch that makes up most of the swiss la bleue offerings. It's evident the herbs used are of good quality, and one is not inclined to stop pouring after the first glass.

Donnie Darko scores Combier Blanchette 86 out of 100


Reviewed by Green Baron 9/7/2008

COLOR BEFORE WATER 8/10
Clear, with a very minor beige tint. I was expecting worse from older pictures. The tint that I experience is very subtle, but it’s present so I can’t give it a 10, like most other blanches get by default.

LOUCHE ACTION 8/10
Very nice thick blue-grey trails with classic instant “invisi-layer” towards the top. Could be a little bit more interesting weather patterns in the clouds, but it layers nicely and is fun to watch.

COLOR AFTER WATER 8/10
Nice glowing white with subtle blue and gold-brown highlights.

AROMA 26/30
Before water, a very interesting wormwood aroma, other herbs, what might be grape alcohol base. After water, an almost Sharpie-marker-like, yet floral scent from the A.a.; fennel and anise.

MOUTH-FEEL 7/10
Decent creaminess with a mild tongue numbing, but not as velvety and thick as other blanches I’ve sampled.

TASTE 18/20
Very floral wormwood, reminiscent of the really tasty Pontarlier stuff in Pernot beverages- yet, it’s more smooth and light here, rather than the more herby-earthy character I get from EP absinthes. Behind the A.a. is the anise and fennel, seemingly in equal measure, with some other very minor herbal notes in the background.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 8/10
Very tasty. However, when I first opened the bottle, I had little experience with A.a. forward absinthes, and the “black magic marker” note was more chemical than herbal tasting to me. I wasn’t a fan. However, as the weeks went by, it really opened up and I was able to appreciate its unique and floral character. This is definitely NOT a La Bleu style blanche. I think that this, along with a few Pernot absinthes, have really helped inform my palate were wormwood is concerned.

PERSONAL NOTES
No bottle date. Bottle opened Feb 2008, tasted Feb through Sept 2008. Louched 3:1 with medium fountain drip, no sugar.

Green Baron scores Combier Blanchette 83 out of 100


Reviewed by Brunswick Green 12/18/2008

COLOR BEFORE WATER 8/10
Clear.

LOUCHE ACTION 8/10
Subtle swirling, slow and even build-up.

COLOR AFTER WATER 8/10
Opaque and milky.

AROMA 25/30
Fragrant wormwood, creamy anise.

MOUTH-FEEL 9/10
Perfect balance.

TASTE 17/20
Balanced. Nothing sticks out. Soft and feminine and rounded but never boring, you can just keep drinking this forever. Candy but still very fresh and not too sweet.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 8/10
Harmony. Nothing fancy, yet so rewarding.

Brunswick Green scores Blanchette 83 out of 100

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