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Duplais Balance

dbalance.jpg

Average Score: 80
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Country of Origin: Switzerland
Type: Distilled
Alcohol Level: 60 %
Vendors: ♣ Absinthes.com

Description: From the manufacturer: Absinthe Duplais Balance is the third and last in the Duplais series. The basis is the same as the other Duplais (Verte and Blanche) a formula from the well known book of P.Duplais from the 19th century, which was slightly adjusted. Meaningless to mention that we use the same high quality herbs that we use for the other Duplais products.
Absinthe Duplais Balance at Absinthes.com

Review:

Reviewed by Donnie Darko 1/19/2007

COLOR BEFORE WATER 10/10
Beautiful luminous peridot that is free from debris. Flawless. I have no idea if it is natural or not, given the low-ish alcohol content (60%), but it looks ideal.

LOUCHE ACTION 8/10
It fogs up uniformly as opposed to possessing the entrancing layering effect seen in some absinthes, but it louches well enough.

COLOR AFTER WATER 9/10
More green post-louche than is typical of many absinthes. Quite pretty.

AROMA 26/30
Clean and flowery with a lot of coriander, but clean coriander, not stinky or soapy smelling coriander. Very little alcohol heat, in fact it smells more "cool" than "hot". Usually coriander smells somewhere in between sharp and toasty. This smells more like soft smoke supported by rich fruit. No other absinthe smells anything like this one. The only critique is the aroma stays in the glass, it doesn't fill the room.

MOUTH-FEEL 9/10
Smoothe satin, with a delicate balance between sweet and dry.

TASTE 17/20
This absinthe is all about the Coriander. It's powerful, but finessed surprisingly well with decent fennel and a fruity wormwood you don't notice until the end. The taste is not seamless by a long shot, nor is it similar to traditional vintage absinthe. This is a modern reinterpretation of absinthe, with an entirely unique and surprising taste. Perhaps what makes it impressive is the dichotomy between the smoky coriander in the beginning and the fruity persistent aftertaste. In a word, complex. The Yin-Yang symbol on the label makes a lot of sense when you taste it. Where something like Pernod Fils is one seamless shade of rich grey, this is black on one side, white on the other, but each side has a bit of the other that pokes through.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 9/10
This is a well crafted absinthe. It's clean. It's fruity. It's floral AND it's smoky. It's entirely original and memorable. The colour is so pretty I'm not positive that it's entirely natural, but it looks similar enough to Jade Edouard to give it the benefit of the doubt. The one peculiar thing about it is the alcohol content, which is only 60%, weaker than other quality Vertes. I think a boost in the the alcohol content might concentrate the herbal aromas a little more, and thicken up the taste a little, but that's the only thing I can find wrong with it. I'm impressed.

PERSONAL NOTES
The artwork by Peter Christopherson (the bandmate/partner of the late Coil frontman John Balance) is distinctive. It features a robed electrified Eraserhead-baby looking character on what appears to be a throne, and to his right is a radio tower with a yin-yang symbol.

Donnie Darko scores Absinthe Duplais Balance 88 out of 100


Reviewed by Hartsmar 1/20/2007

COLOR BEFORE WATER 10/10
A wonderful green. Absolutely stunning with no flaws to be found.

LOUCHE ACTION 8/10
Very nice and makes a thick fine louche.

COLOR AFTER WATER 8/10
It keeps its green color in the louche but without being unnaturally neon green. I would have expected it to turn a bit more white but it's very nice.

AROMA 27/30
An excellent aroma. The lower alcohol level keeps most of the alcohol bite away and lets the aroma bloom in full.
Nice touch of coriander mixed with fine wormwood.

MOUTH-FEEL 8/10
Really smooth and actually quite creamy even though the main character of the drink isn't really thick or creamy at all but rather clean and... balanced.

TASTE 17/20
Super nice. Wormwood and fennel is definitely noticeable, but only after you let the coriander sink in. Just as Donnie wrote. There's not reason for me to explain it again. Donnie said the perfect words for it.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 9/10
A very good absinthe indeed. The price range makes it a very attractive absinthe and is sure to be a success and a good one for newcomers to absinthe.
Personally I consider this a great "everyday" absinthe. Something that goes pretty well at most any occassion...


Hartsmar scores Absinthe Duplais Balance 87 out of 100


Reviewed by jmark 4/5/2007

COLOR BEFORE WATER 10/10
Perfect. Bright. Green. Clear.

LOUCHE ACTION 9/10
Late start, but what look like fairly weak tendrils add up to a pretty strong louche. This is certainly opalescent. Edges show multiple colors: blues, oranges, yellows, greens.

COLOR AFTER WATER 9/10
Nice opacity, lots of color play around the edges of the green-yellow body of the drink. Could be a tinge thicker?

AROMA 25/30
Before water: complex, not too much alcohol. a little bit of an aroma like steaming artichokes, though its a clean scent. Coriander? Very similar scent to the blanche, as if the coloring herbs were chosen to make as little impact on scent/taste as possible.

After water: similar to pre-water, anise steps forward a bit. light, herbal, pleasant but a lot going on at the same time. A lot of aroma disappears with the watering and doesn't really creep from the glass as is ideal for me, though it's one of the more interesting aromas I've encountered.

MOUTH-FEEL 8/10
Very creamy. Near-perfect but for some early numbing. Strange, because the star anise certainly doesn't sit forward in the flavors.

TASTE 18/20
A wonderful bitter end (and long-lasting) and LOTS of complexity in the flavor. A real puzzle. The wormwood is delicious and fresh.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 8/10
It's really good. If there's any criticism I think that the complexity of it would take it out of the running for something I would drink on a regular basis. It's a special occasion absinthe. Also, the tongue-numbing is pretty intense at the end of a glass. My tongue almost hurts right now.

jmark scores Duplis Balance 87 out of 100


Reviewed by peridot 4/12/2007

COLOR BEFORE WATER 10/10
Bright, clean green. Natural, haze-free, and no sediment. So nice it almost seems like it can't be natural. Almost.

LOUCHE ACTION 9/10
Very gorgeous. Remains three-tiered with sharply defined solid louche at the bottom, partial louche in the middle, and clear absinthe at the top for most of the process, then quickly blends all together. Dripping water scatters like droplets of white blood. My only issue is that it's a tad too fast.

COLOR AFTER WATER 9/10
About as close to perfect as I've seen. Beautiful jade. Very thick and complex but not opaque.

AROMA 23/30
Before water the aroma is fairly light. It's somewhat honeyed with noticeable coriander and some minty wormwood. Anise is hidden. Water unlocks a lot more anise and the wormwood becomes much stronger. The aroma grows quite a bit as water is added but doesn't quite fill the room.

MOUTH-FEEL 9/10
Very rich and velvety. Not numbing at all.

TASTE 19/20
First thing I taste is a good bit of wormwood, again more minty than floral, supported by anise and fennel in a slightly sweet, fruity blend. Coriander is strong. There's some noticeable citrus going on. The slightly bitter finish begins with that citrus, then shifts to fennel, and ends with a hint of wormwood.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 9/10
An outstanding commercial verte, especially for its price range.

peridot scores Duplais Balance 88 out of 100


Reviewed by Wilson 2/29/2008

COLOR BEFORE WATER 10/10
Beautiful peridot green. Not as dark as some, but absolutely clean and clear. I can't see how any absinthe can be better. Perfection.

LOUCHE ACTION 10/10
Perfect louche action. The green fairy dances and then she gives me nice layers and swirls of clouds. Very opaque and thickSome say it starts too quick, but at 60% abv, it has to. It is the alcohol that keeps the oils in suspension, so 60 will start to louche before 70 will.

COLOR AFTER WATER 10/10
I was pleased with the amount of color it held after the louche. I expected it to be white or very pale green, but it still had a beautiful green opalescence.

AROMA 27/30
Smells like fresh cut hay on the first sniff of the bottle. Reminded me of the Brevans and gave me the same memory flash. Second sniff brought the wormwood to the front.

MOUTH-FEEL 7/10
Nice and thick and creamy. Finishes clean. Some tongue numbing but just slightly. Good wormwood bite. More bite than some may like, but I find it nice. No alcohol bite.

TASTE 18/20
More complex than the Duplais Verte. A taste of anise in the very beginning, then lot's of coriander and a bunch of wormwood. Finishes off with a peppery/fruity aftertaste and no alcohol heat. It's still 120 proof, but you would never know it.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 9/10
I love it. This is wonderful stuff. The price has nothing to do with the score I give this absinthe, but I can't believe it is so much cheaper than everything that is nearly as good. What a bargain. You can't go wrong with this one.

I am just hoping that we can get this in the U.S. soon. If we had to limit our selection to one, this would suffice.

Wilson scores Duplais Balance 91 out of 100


Reviewed by OCvertDe 3/17/2008

COLOR BEFORE WATER 8/10
Beautiful. Bright, clear, Peridot Green. Borderline natural, but not so questionable that I would call it a flaw. I’m giving it an 8 simply to leave room at the top for something else to wow me a lot more, which at this point I still feel is probable.
If this looks familiar, it’s exactly what I said about the Brevans.

LOUCHE ACTION 7/10
Turbulent oil trails immediately, with a thin cloud of louche that starts at the bottom and works it’s way to the top with nice layers. Fully opaque not long past 1:1. could be slower, but nicely done.

COLOR AFTER WATER 9/10
Also word for word from my score of Brevans: unquestionable green, pearly opaque with very nice shading in the sunlight. Lots of depth and character. This is a presentation that will definitely elicit curiosity from the uninitiated when they see it.
I would only mention that the Balance is perhaps a shade or two lighter, but all in all you’d be hard pressed to tell them apart unless they were side by side.

AROMA 26/30
Upon cracking the seal, Balance had the same faint trace of indescribable funk that I’ve noticed in other Swiss absinthes; but given a couple weeks to breathe it cleared up nicely, for the most part. What’s left is a nicely balanced spicy herbal aroma that isn’t especially complex, but better than most and quite appealing.

MOUTH-FEEL 7/10
I little thin, but smooth and pleasant. Light creaminess and gentle tongue numbing sensation that holds for minutes after the last sip. Not my favorite, but enjoyable.

TASTE 16/20
Good. Light, somewhat thin, lacking the body of many of it’s contemporaries. By no means bad, just different. I like it. It’s not really as in your face as I prefer, but worth trying. I’ll probably continue buying the Absinthe Duplais Verte instead, but if I hadn’t tried that then Balance would definitely be a repeat order for me.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 7/10
I like this, and there’s nothing wrong with it, but for the same money I’d rather drink Brevans or Duplais Verte. This is a well crafted, well balanced absinthe; and as far as I’m concerned it’s only failing is that it’s a little too unoffensive. This is by no means meant to imply mediocrity, only that those who don’t want an absinthe that will really shock the taste buds may find Balance is just the ticket.

OCvertDe scores Duplais Balance 80 out of 100


Reviewed by absinthist 3/29/2008

COLOR BEFORE WATER 2/10
Too green to be natural, and it stays for too long. I am too traditional in that facet, but I would like feuille morte after so much time.

LOUCHE ACTION 10/10
Typical of Duplais range. Here, no flaws, so I will be generous.

COLOR AFTER WATER 5/10
Greenish, nice looking, but lacks yellowishness and creaminess.

AROMA 17/30
Coriander and anise, too much of both. There is wormwood, but too discrete to be there in its glory.

MOUTH-FEEL 4/10
Sweetish, coriander is overwhelming, even if first taken neat.

TASTE 10/20
Coriander, coriander, lack of complexity and wormwood is treated as if the least important; very much in the back.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 4/10
Other products from Duplais range are definitely better in terms of wormwoodiness, creaminess and herbacousness.

absinthist scores Duplais Balance 52 out of 100


Reviewed by bob_chong 9/16/2008

COLOR BEFORE WATER 10/10
It’s green. Looks inviting.

LOUCHE ACTION 8/10
Swirly, louchey, nice.

COLOR AFTER WATER 10/10
Green with slight yellow opalescence. Pretty.

AROMA 25/30
Herbal, flowery. I love the sweetness of the coriander.

MOUTH-FEEL 8/10
Creamy, rich, rolls over the tongue.

TASTE 17/20
Of the COs available, this is a good one. Lots of wormwood. The fennel and coriander notes are great.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 9/10
This is absinthe. Others have commented on the price, yet this is competitive at just about any price point for COs today. There may be a next tier in price, but it is arguable if there is a next tier up in quality. Want a great absinthe? Drink this. And be happy that it didn’t cost an arm and a leg.

bob_chong scores Duplais Balance 87 out of 100


Reviewed by Wolfgang 11/17/2008

COLOR BEFORE WATER 7/10
Light olive green. Lack some vibrancy to it. It’s clear, doesn’t look bad but I don’t understand why people gave it a 10 as there’s nothing special to it to deserve an exceptional rating. Nice, ok but no more. Of course maybe this is due to premature aging thanks to the “low” 60% alcohol as it is probably about 7 months old now.

LOUCHE ACTION 7/10
Nice thick but fast louche.

COLOR AFTER WATER 7/10
It was probably beautiful right out of the still but now it turns in a slightly muddy shade of green. It is not horrible but not very appealing.

AROMA 20/30
Neat: If I get past the raw alcohol base, what dominates this absinthe is coriander.
Louched : It gains points for the interesting notes of coriander but it lacks power. It is far from room filling. A bit shy I would say.

MOUTH-FEEL 7/10
Nice at low dilution but if you try to go up to 4:1, it gets thin and leaves a metallic impression at the back of your mouth (which I penalised in the taste).

TASTE 10/20
I just can’t stand the taste of raw alcohol. I know I’m very picky on the base alcohol in absinthe but it is for me almost more important than anything else. I like it when it’s smooth and blends well with the other aromas. This one doesn’t meet these standards. It still gets some points for achieving such a thick louche without completely numbing your tongue.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 5/10
Why they are bottling this verte at 60% and their blanche at 72% is beyond me. I’m even tempted to measure it myself just to make sure it’s not a mistake on the labels! Given the high rating I saw when it came out and the less than perfect ratings coming out now, I’m afraid this absinthe doesn’t age very well. The less than perfect alcohol base and quite dull overall balance leaves me bored to say the least. Finally, I think I prefer the Duplais Blanche, at least the blanche is not shy. At a rating of 63%, it passes but barely. It will be useful at the end of parties when nobody notice the quality anyway (I don’t go as low as the non-distilled kind of absinthe anymore).

Wolfgang scores Duplais Balance 63 out of 100


Reviewed by Brunswick Green 12/18/2008

COLOR BEFORE WATER 8/10
Very bright and clear green but still natural.

LOUCHE ACTION 8/10
Sweet oily swirls. lava lamp-style

COLOR AFTER WATER 7/10
Quite opaque, the typical yellow center, blue at the edges.

AROMA 22/30
Room-filling lemon over discrete wormwood. Nice and herby.

MOUTH-FEEL 7/10
You don't really notice it much. It's clean and I like it.

TASTE 16/20
Mostly subtle wormwood and anise. Right amount of water is key, it can easily be too strong or too weak. Sugar takes the edge off the alcohol bite.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 7/10
As a huge (HUGE!) fan of Coil, I know how nasty they are about their limited releases and shit. So I expect the insanely limited box this bottle also came in is just a load of toss designed not even to make money but rather take the piss out of us all. Well, this is about alcohol, and you can buy it w/o the bullshit arty thang. Balanced it is. With just a little bit of sugar, it reminds me of Jade esprit edouard, that can't be a bad thing.

Brunswick Green scores Duplais Balance 75/100

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