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Philippe Lasala, a Vrai Absinthe

lasala01_th.jpg

Average Score: 52
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Country of Origin: Spain
Type: Mixed & Macerated
Alcohol Level: 50 %
Vendors: ♣ Absinthes.com

Description: Typical spanish style absenta with pronounced citrus notes.
Absinthe Philippe Lasala at Absinthes.com

Review:

Reviewed by BlackHit 12/15/2005

COLOR BEFORE WATER 3/10
Very pale straw color, not really green and not really brown, could definitely be improved, but since this absinthe is not distilled it would need to be artificially colored to achieve a richer coloration.

LOUCHE ACTION 4/10
Lasala louched very quickly with the addition of about 1 part water, indicating that presence of star anise and probably a bit of badiane (hartsmar ed.: Badiane is star anise...). Not bad to look at if you’ve never seen a proper louche, but nothing to write home about.

COLOR AFTER WATER 5/10
The color transforms from pale yellow to a translucent white color. Nice to look at but nothing out of the ordinary. This absinthe could be a bit whiter after the addition of water.

AROMA 12/30
The main scent is that of alcohol, followed quickly by the scents of anise and faintly in the background, wormwood. Not at all herbal, but not entirely off-putting upon the first whiff.

MOUTH-FEEL 4/10
The mouth-feel for this absinthe is slightly oily at 3:1 dilution, where adding more water gives it a slightly creamier mouth-feel. However once you add more water the taste is significantly affected making a weaker tasting drink (duh!)

TASTE 10/20
Upon the first sip of Lasala one immediately tastes alcohol. The next thing you will taste is anise. The final notes before swallowing are a mixture of some “citrus” tasting ingredient and a slight bitterness from wormwood. I would like this absinthe more if there were more herbal flavors there, but alas this is not the case.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 5/10
This would be a good absinthe for those who are new to the drink. While it contains many flaws that are inherent in an un-distilled absinthe such as a lack of a good herbal flavor profile and weak coloration, this drink would be enjoyed by someone who may be shopping on a budget, or who has never tried or only sampled a few other brands of (similar Spanish) absinthe. I would recommend this to those classes of buyers, but not to someone who is looking for a complex herbal drink.

BlackHit scores Lasala Absinthe 43 out of 100


Reviewed by Ari 2/23/2006

COLOR BEFORE WATER 4/10
A natural clear pastel yellow. With the hint that at one point during the production it might have been slightly green.

LOUCHE ACTION 5/10
No oil trails and a bit fast but there are some swilling clouds that sink to the bottom. Not the best but not instantaneous.

COLOR AFTER WATER 5/10
Mildly opal, semi thick and yellowish. Nothing amazing but not weak.

AROMA 15/30
Before water the Melissa stands out quite a bit more than after. Overall a crisp but simple aroma.

MOUTH-FEEL 5/10
thin but not watery. Lacks the creamy feeling better quality absinthe has.

TASTE 11/20
As far as I can tell not much wormwood comes through but the Melissa is upfront I also think I taste a little bit of licorice. Like the aroma it's crisp but simple.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 5/10
Nothing glaring bad and reasonable for an oil-mix. overall it seem mediocre, nothing bad about it but nothing that made it stand out besides the lemon, which you must like to enjoy this drink. Probably best called an anise liquor with lemon zest than absinthe.

Ari scores Lasala 50 out of 100


Reviewed by whizz 10/9/2006

COLOR BEFORE WATER 6/10
Light straw yellow with a very pale greenish tint. Clear with no haziness. Nothing artificial about it. Reminds me of a cut Bytownite.

LOUCHE ACTION 6/10
Contrary to what I have heard before about PL the louche rises nice and swirling from the bottom and a clear layer stays on top. When the dilution reaches +1:1 it reaches its opacity peak.

COLOR AFTER WATER 5/10
The final louche is slightly translucent, greyish white with a yellow overtone.

AROMA 15/30
Soft citrusy sweetness with a hint of vanilla ending with a sharp and biting wormwoody bitterness. Anise and wormwood clearly detectable. No particular complexity.

MOUTH-FEEL 6/10
Mellow cottonish but in no way full.

TASTE 12/20
Starts with a bit sweet and citrusy tone which passes into a slightly bitter wormwoody bite. Unfortuately a tendency to excess in anise. A bit numbing. I kinda like it.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 6/10
A very drinkable spanish product and a bargain when comparing drinkability to price. A refreshing drink for the ordinary relaxation on a summer evening which actually can be had with a ice cube.

Whizz scores Lasala 56 of 100


Reviewed by Bruno Rygseck 11/5/2006

COLOR BEFORE WATER 5/10
More yellow than green. Somewhat pale but does not look artificial.

LOUCHE ACTION 5/10
Louches OK, without much effects and in the end it is a little thin.

COLOR AFTER WATER 5/10
Yellowish white and translucent, acceptable although completely unspectacular.

AROMA 14/30
Neat in glass: Exciting if you love lemon balm. There are loads of it in Lasala, I would guess. Also some anise and alcohol. Fennel I could not spot, wormwood is probably there somewhere. After water: Same but weaker, nothing new popped up.

MOUTH-FEEL 5/10
A little oily. No creaminess but on the other hand no stinginess or unpleasant sensations. Reminiscent of weak green tea (in a nice way however).

TASTE 11/20
Anise taste is accompanied with lemon balm aroma that distracts one from concentrating on the taste alone. Maybe there is wormwood, at least this is not bitter at all. All in all OK and drinkable what comes to the taste.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 6/10
There is something about Lasala that I like, every now and then. It is certainly a good alternative if you have to choose between it or some mediocre pastis in a bar, for example. Is it worth buying a whole (1 litre) bottle, I cannot say.

PERSONAL NOTES
This bottle was bought from Helsingor, Denmark in 2006. Date of manufacture is unknown.

Bruno Rygseck scores Philippe Lasala 51 out of 100


Reviewed by Bob Chong 11/05/06

COLOR BEFORE WATER 2/10
Pale/straw yellow. Looks like a cheap white wine.

LOUCHE ACTION 3/10
Nothing special.

COLOR AFTER WATER 2/10
Somewhere in between the gray water from the rinse cycle and a good homemade lemonade.

AROMA 10/30
The label claims AA, anis, fennel, and hyssop. Neat, the alcohol nose and the first three are apparent. With water, anise dominates with an off-smell. The Lemon Pledge scent that once made Lasala, Lasala is now gone completely. No hint of it. This is a different product.

MOUTH-FEEL 3/10
Thin up front, coating the sides of the tounge only. It doesn't roll over the palate as a good asbinthe would.

TASTE 6/20
Really just an unpleasant drink in so many ways. Tastes cheap. Anything more than a 6 would be too charitable here. Anise bomb with maybe AA underneath.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 3/10
Sad to see the lemon pledge version gone. Where it had been odd, it's now merely bad. There's really no reason to buy this under any circumstances. The score sheet says that absinthe should be refreshing, subtle, complex, and harmonious: Lasala is none of these.

Bob Chong scores Lasala 29 out of 100


Older reviews:
[Absintheur]

This absinthe comes in a blue-green bottle with a gold tin cap. The former label was very similar to modern Pernod, now it's just gray. Really ugly, with a tiny pegasus at the center of it. The absinthe is virtually a dark honey color. It, of all of the modern brands, probably tastes the most of wormwood. It has a very strong odor, that cuts through the anise, which is also at the forefront of the flavor. There is a slight acidity, and a very faint grittiness which I associate with high wormwood drinks. The louche is a muddy white opalescent.

[ARTEMIS]

La Sala - Topaz yellow, darker than Montana, but still yellow, leaning toward amber. Smell very strong. Way different scent from any of the others - almost chemical - lemon furniture polish? After louche, this smell still very apparent. Louched very similar to Montana, only slightly more opaque. Thicker on the tongue than Montana. Slightly more anise in the nose and on the tongue than Montana, but anise is by no means dominant. I find myself squinching up my eyes to get this stuff down; it's hard to get past that Lemon Pledge character. Throwing some sugar in improved the drinkability somewhat.

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