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Leopold Bros. Absinthe Verte


Average Score: 76
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Country of Origin: USA
Type: Distilled
Alcohol Level: 65 %
Vendors: ♣ DrinkUpNY , ♣ Astor Wine and Spirits

Description: According to Leopold Bros.: Our Handcrafted Absinthe Verte is prepared following the traditions of European Master Distillers of the 19th Century. We start with our aromatic eau-de-vie, placing it in our small 150 liter copper potstill, carefully adding the traditional Absinthe Verte herbs: Anise, Grande Wormwood, and Sweet Fennel, together with a number of proprietary botanicals.

Review:

Reviewed by Hemingway's Hangover 7/30/2008

COLOR BEFORE WATER 8/10
When viewed through the clear bottle this absinthe is the darkest, deepest olive I've seen in a commerical absinthe. It isn't quite as amber-hued as the Belle Amie and is as opaque as the Verte de Fougerolles and appears completely natural. When poured into a Portarlier-style glass the light helps bring a greener tint forward.

LOUCHE ACTION 5/10
The louche is disappointing. It starts suddenly at about 2.5:1 but never really takes form or manages to reach that lazy, clouded turbulence that makes superb absinthe such an impressive visual experience. The first time I watered this absinthe became an overpour because I kept waiting for the louche to flower.

COLOR AFTER WATER 4/10
The color after louche is the single weakest aspect of this absinthe. The liquid never reaches opacity and the fine before-louche color washes into a thin, yellowish haze with little nuance or luminescence.

AROMA 20/30
There is a noticeable alcohol tang when sniffed straight from the bottle but when resting in the glass before water the herbal qualities become more prominent. After the addition of water the scent thins a bit but retains a pleasant minty bitterness.

MOUTH-FEEL 7/10
This absinthe feels a bit too thin but is still pleasant and enjoyable. I would like it to coat the tongue a bit more than it does at present. It leaves a slight silken residue when swallowed.

TASTE 14/20
The predominant taste to this absinthe is wormwood; anise is present but far from the most prevalent flavor, other mountain herbs play minor supporting roles. There is a light, minty bitterness that lingers on the tongue after swallowing. I 'm sure that traditionalists would penalize this absinthe much more dramatically for the lack of anise but I find it very enjoyable. It's a fine addition to the swiftly-growing list of US-legal absinthes. I hope they don't add too much anise to future batches.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 6/10
Leopold Bros Absinthe Verte requires some fine tuning -- most notably to the louche and color -- but is really a fine, worthy entry to the pantheon with potential to become truly outstanding.

Hemingway's Hangover scores Leopold Bros Absinthe Verte 64 out of 100


Reviewed by Steyr850 8/27/2008

COLOR BEFORE WATER 6/10
As stated, the color is very dark green, but clear. This is not a sparkler. Light has a hard time penetrating. It is natural looking though, with no strange hues.

LOUCHE ACTION 7/10
The louche was solid in this sample. While a little slow, it was deliberate. Nothing really showed up until around 1:1, but it came in the form of a thickening rather than the usual plumes of smoke. Near 2:1, it was still building with a slight clear line finally becoming visible at the top giving reference to just how thick it is. Finished up, it's like custard.

COLOR AFTER WATER 6/10
Color holds dark green with no letting up well past 1:1. Only until around 2:1 does it begin to shift toward a lighter tone, but is still bold like split-pea soup. At around 3:1, the color/texture had finally shifted away from the darkness to a strong, yellow-green. Might be a little too strong for standard, but I liked it. This is not an opalescent absinthe, you will not see through it.

AROMA 25/30
The nose neat is quite herbal. Alcohol bite is detectable and there is a honey-molasses tone along with the usual bill. There's also an herbal oddity in there I couldn't put a finger on. A few whiffs mid-louche revealed an easing up of its presence and more of a balance with the others. However, nearing the end it had fallen back and there was now more of an unusual tropical fruit scent upfront. I kept smelling it over and over but couldn't pin it down. The closest I came was pineapple or mango. Overall, not as traditional as I expected, but quite interesting and likable.

MOUTH-FEEL 6/10
As I imagined, mouth feel was thick, full, and creamy. After a few sips a numbing began to set in though.

TASTE 15/20
First sip supports that tropical fruit, but it plays out more in the nose than in taste. Anise is there, but seemed a little odd, almost like star. It was a little reminiscent of the taste and added sweetness it gives St. George minus the obvious Ragu. Not offensive though, and that fruitiness still held my attention. I will say that I’d like to see the wormwood take a more prominent role, as I found it a little difficult to place in both nose and taste. Again, a little different, but not unpleasantly so.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 7/10
Overall, a good absinthe. Color is a little darker than usual, louche is steady and solid even though a tad uneventful, taste borders on idiosyncratic but can still be identifiable as absinthe. It’d be interesting to sample this prior to the coloring step to see where things build, but maybe just a lighter coloring step might go along way in balancing most of these things out. I do think it shows a lot of promise. I like the uniqueness in this one and will definitely pick up a bottle when it becomes available in my area. Thanks Todd for the sample and keep up the good work.

PERSONAL NOTES
Not sure which version, but I'm assuming it’s more recent than Hemingway's review based on differences of opinion mainly with the louche action. Anyways…

Steyr850 scores Leo Bro's Verte 72 out of 100


Reviewed by absinthist 1/28/2009

COLOR BEFORE WATER 10/10
Natural green with a yellow edge. Pleasant to look at, so no complaints.

LOUCHE ACTION 7/10
Delicate, yet slightly hasty. At 1:1 leaves a nice unlouched layer on top, then gets muddy but in a positive sense.

COLOR AFTER WATER 10/10
Opalescence in its pure form. Neither too opaque nor too thin. Unlike the most of commercial brands, it has a beautiful green tinge, no chalkiness, no whitiness.

AROMA 26/30
Herbaceous with veronica and pontica notes, anise in the back. Something citrusy is apparent what I attribute to pisco. Still, inviting and not too overpowering.

MOUTH-FEEL 6/10
Definitely spicy with lots of herbal nuances. Balanced, however lacks the note that binds.

TASTE 18/20
Robust, as a grain advocate, I must admit pisco lends the boldness that marries well with herbacousness/spiciness and mitigates the citrusy flavour-that is very prevalent when you take Leopold neat. Cannot decide on the perfect water ratio but it seems to be 1:2-1:3.5, otherwise the herbs got lost.
Wormwood is perceptible so is pontica, fennel gets very subdued, but anise is discrete enough. A glass offers a wide array of tastes, nuances.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 7/10
Right direction. So far in the US Leopold rules the vertes' realm. However, some development is desired and welcomed.

absinthist scores Leopold verte 84 out of 100


Reviewed by Donnie Darko 2/7/2009

COLOR BEFORE WATER 6/10
Yellowish olive oil with precipitate from the coloring herbs visible. Were it not for the sea monkeys it would have scored a little higher.

LOUCHE ACTION 9/10
Clouds up dynamically and attractively with a nice layering effect that takes awhile to resolve into the full louched drink.

COLOR AFTER WATER 8/10
Greenish yellow with a little graying. Densely opaque.

AROMA 27/30
Neat one immediately notices the pisco alcohol base, which is very fruity and very clean. As it louches, what blooms out of the glass is a very unique creamy fruit smell that suggests orange creamsicle with some old book leather in the background. Unorthodox but appetizing. This is one of the more fragrant modern absinthes I've smelled. It almost smells a little too sweet, but it certainly is assertive.

MOUTH-FEEL 9/10
Up front, it's lighter on the tongue than I expected from the aroma, but pleasantly soft and smooth with barely any alcohol bite. While it starts on the airy side, a very satisfying rich creaminess settles in as the fennel shows up.

TASTE 17/20
The Leopold tastes unusual but quite good. The wormwood used seems to have a juicy-fruitish character which marries seamlessly with the pisco base. While I can't pick out many other herbs, I think that's more because they're well balanced than because of any under-use or lower quality. There is a lemony taste around the edges, and everything is nicely rounded out with the anise, and an excellent fennel aftertaste that shows up about 3 minutes after you swallow.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 8/10
The evaluation guidelines say it should be "refreshing, complex, subtle, harmonious". It is. The one criticism is I think it's just slightly on the wrong edge of sweet, making it slightly cloying, and could benefit from a little more verdant herbal contribution. The fruity aspect is lovely and executed with authority, but I would love to taste a little more coloring herb contribution than is currently in there. If those sea-monkeys can be removed and the fruit dialed down just a notch, this will earn a 9, easily.

PERSONAL NOTES
This is a marked improvement over the earlier Leopold I tasted, which I believe was #9. That was dark and muddled, this is bright and confident.

Donnie Darko scores Leopold Bros Absinthe Verte 84 out of 100

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