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Country of Origin: France
Type: Mixed & Macerated
Alcohol Level: 68 %
Description: According to the manufacturer: In the late 19th century during the Belle Époque era in Paris, the renowned Absinthe culture was at its height of infamy. Absinthe was the trademark drink of artists like Degas, Manet, Picasso, Van Gogh, Toulouse-Lautrec and Oscar Wilde. To recall this glorious time, Grande Absente, Absinthe Originale is one of the oldest traditional Absinthe recipes from the south of France. Hand crafted in Provence like it was from 1860-1912, Grande Absente is made exclusively with the highest quality spirits and select botanicals from the region, including the legendary botanical Wormwood, also known as Artemisia Absinthium. Grande Absente is 138 proof so please drink with extreme caution!
Reviewed by Green Baron 1/14/2009
COLOR BEFORE WATER 7/10
A nice yellow-green. Maybe ½ a degree too neon bright, but it might be natural (I am pretending that I haven’t read the label and don’t know it is really artificially colored). Basically correct and even attractive.
LOUCHE ACTION 8/10
Decent trails, entertaining, decently paced cloud layer formation.
COLOR AFTER WATER 7/10
Natural looking light greenish-yellow. Has opalescence and depth but could be better.
Before water: Unpleasantly harsh alcohol aroma with a black jelly bean underpinning.
After water: Simple star anise or green anise oil, whatever it is, it’s pretty flat. Along with this is a very unappetizing scent that smells to me almost like rubbing alcohol. I ended up sinking the first glass because of this. I had another glass from my large sample bottle a few months later, and this was more subdued- but still slightly off-putting.
Not harsh in any way, moderate tongue numbing, not much body or creaminess. Neither compliments, nor detracts.
A bit o’ the ol’ black jelly bean taste here. Very simple star anise type (possibly green anise also, but it doesn't seem to make a difference). I think I might taste a little fennel and some basic wormwood in the finish. Overall, it’s much flatter and more one dimensional as I’d like it to be, as well as the significant minus of being presweetened (as we know authentic absinthe is not). The funny thing is, the flavor and aroma are actually a bit better after 6 months of aging, which is likely due in part to the producer not having aged it all.
OVERALL IMPRESSION 3/10
It’s true that there’s worse tasting and less authentic out there (though that's not saying much). But I think the fact that this product is retailed at around the same price point as real absinthe superieurs, and that their big money marketing machine touts it as a high quality offering is really irritating. If they got rid of the added sugar and set the price at around $10 a bottle, I might be persuaded to get a bottle in hard times (to be consumed mostly in cocktails and only after aging). But as it is, no way I could recommend wasting the money they’re asking for on this.
Louched 3:1 with medium fountain drip, no sugar.
Green Baron scores Grande Absente 44 out of 100