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St. George Absinthe


Average Score: 72
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Country of Origin: USA
Type: Distilled
Alcohol Level: 60 %
Vendors: ♣ Astor Wine and Spirits , ♣ DrinkUpNY

Description: St. George Spirits Absinthe Verte is made with fine brandy, star anise, mint, wormwood, lemon balm, hyssop, meadowsweet, basil, fennel, tarragon and stinging nettles. This infamous liquor reveals seductive flavors of anise complimented with sweet grassy tones, light citrus, white pepper, and light menthol notes.

Review:

Reviewed by Shabba53 12/21/2007

COLOR BEFORE WATER 9/10
Color is a deep peridot green. Quite appealing.

LOUCHE ACTION 8/10
The addition of ice cold water via dripper brought about a quick forming louche. The trails were quite nice. The color after louche is a milky greenish white. Very nice.


COLOR AFTER WATER 7/10
The color after louche is a milky greenish white. Pretty, but maybe just a tad thin.

AROMA 27/30
The aroma is one of the nicest things about this absinthe. Extremely crisp and clean. Lots of floral notes. The lemon balm comes through quite clearly. The basil adds a nice depth as well.

MOUTH-FEEL 7/10
Well rounded feel. I think the choice of anise takes away a bit from the thickness though.

TASTE 16/20
The flavor is extremely spicy. It's going to be a dividing factor I think. Those who enjoy unique flavored absinthes like Montmartre will really like this. Others may think its a bit overpowering, but sugaring will help even it out. There's a nice wormwood bitterness that's enhanced by the nettles and tarragon. It's quite intriguing. Although I don't add sugar to my absinthe, I do believe that this one will highly benefit from it.
The finish is a combination of light sweetness from the basil and just a touch of astringence from the wormwood. It's really a great aftertaste, although I'd like it to last a bit longer.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 9/10
Overall, this is a great start for US absinthes. It's certainly setting the bar high for other US based producers. I think the strength of flavors might drive a small few away, but I think it will garner a lot of attention from those with sophisticated palates. Have another? Yes please!

Shabba53 scores St. George Absinthe 83 out of 100


Reviewed by Spoon 12/31/2007

COLOR BEFORE WATER 8/10
Color is a natural looking, clear, amber/olive.

LOUCHE ACTION 7/10
A thick louche develops very quickly. It was fully opaque at somewhere between (estimated) 0.5 - 1 volumes of water. I penalized it because it was too quick and not as attractive as it could be.

COLOR AFTER WATER 6/10
The color after louche is reminiscent of pond algae. It is rather dull and dirty looking, not at all bright. It sort of makes sense to me, though, because of the organic taste.

AROMA 26/30
The aroma is lovely. Before water, it smells heavily of the unusual coloring herbs, which have a vegetal quality. The alcohol is not at all sharp. After addition of water the smell is very sweet, bright and pleasant. The herbal notes are unfamiliar in an absinthe but very nice.

MOUTH-FEEL 8/10
Surprisingly creamy for something lacking green anise. The texture is very nice.

TASTE 17/20
Overall I would say it is clean, crisp and refreshing. I didn't add sugar, and I tend to not dilute my drink as much as most people. The alcohol has dissipated and is not at all intrusive. The taste is unusual and very different because of the herbs chosen. Up front, I taste something sweet which is really nice, then comes the thick vegetal taste (I know I am using the word vegetal too much but it seems the most appropriate word.), then a little bite of star anise and finally the pleasant bitterness of the wormwood. The star anise is relatively restrained but does eventually somewhat overwhelm the wormwood after the first 1/4 of the drink. Despite this, I love the taste. It's definitely idiosyncratic but it's a good flavor profile for me. One thing that we both noticed last night, and I am finding tonight also is, this stuff cries out to be drunk with food. For starters, it pairs really well with salami and cheese, and I think it will be nice with lots of other food as well.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 9/10
To me, this stuff is very tasty. I'm sure it won't be to everyone's liking, but I think it's damn good. I can't help but wonder how it would taste with a bunch of green anise substituted for the small amount of star anise; it would probably be amazing. But even with the star anise, of which I am not a fan, I am very much looking forward to the next availability, and I will certainly buy at least two bottles. Drink it!

Spoon scores St. George Absinthe 81 out of 100


Reviewed by Donnie Darko 2/11/2008

COLOR BEFORE WATER 7/10
Drab olive, no debris.

LOUCHE ACTION 8/10
Very thick louche, but the "action" part of it consists of a thick white wall gradually rising until the unlouched layer is gone, which happens by 2:1.

COLOR AFTER WATER 8/10
The green becomes brighter once water is added, and is opaque as mud. Holds light fairly well.

AROMA 16/30
Neat, the aroma is oddly reminiscent of moth balls. There is a nutmeg/cinnamon like aroma behind that, not sure what that's from since it contains neither. There are also some candy notes reminiscent of Eichelberger Verte. The upside is the aroma is pretty large, fairly room filling. The downside is the aroma is strangely un-absinthe like.

MOUTH-FEEL 8/10
Creamy smooth at first with a subtle spicy bite underneath, but then all is penetrated by a greasy smear which I assume is due to the overuse of Star Anise.

TASTE 12/20
It tastes overwhelmingly of Star Anise, and the bubble-gum sweetness imparted by it is cloying. Underneath that are some other unorthodox flavors trying to poke through, and a few reminiscent of Ike Verte do poke through. Wormwood is difficult to detect. And there is that weird moth ball thing in the taste for a split second, though thankfully far less prominent than in the aroma. The Brandy alcohol base could also use another rectification, tastes a tad buttery.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 6/10
It's an interesting beverage, tastes so-so on its own right. But the cloying sweetness, the mothball tinge in the neat aroma, and the fact that it contains very few normal Absinthe tastes relegate this Absinthe to the realm of novelty rather than as a daily drinker you look forward to coming home to. The upside is that it is made competently. There are no evident distillation or coloration flaws, and it does smell very clean, with no hint of tails or empyreuma. St. George clearly could make something that might remind more of us of a great Absinthe, they just chose instead to stray very far off the beaten path with this one. It's worth noting that going off the beaten path is what this distillery does, with mixed results. I look forward to trying more of their work if they ever make an Absinthe other than just this one.

This tastes almost more like some bizarre holiday cordial than the gripping alpine refreshment that normal Absinthe is, maybe that's what attracts some people. It is seemingly popular, so maybe Lance is on to something in regards to American tastes. In regards to mine though, no thanks.

Donnie Darko scores St. George Absinthe Verte 65 out of 100


Reviewed by Jaded Prol 2/11/2008

COLOR BEFORE WATER 8/10
Dark green but flat. Definitely natural but a little heavy.

LOUCHE ACTION 7/10
Very thick, rapid and dense to opaque due to overuse of star anise.

COLOR AFTER WATER 8/10
Opaque white with green tint. Though I tried it at 3 to1, the opacity remained even at twice the water.

AROMA 15/30
Neat - sweet, with heavy citrus notes, almost camphory. With water, terribly sweet with a chlorophyll sharpness. The Melissa and Basil seem to overpower.

MOUTH-FEEL 7/10
It is admittedly thick but too thick in a way that coats your mouth and makes your filling rebel.

TASTE 8/20
Very sweet and sharp in an unpleasant in a medicinal way. The Melissa and Basil are overpowering and the later seems misplaced. The lingering flavor is the Basil which leaves me feeling like I ate some pesto. The sweetness of the Badiane and Basil combined with the sharpness of the Melissa are, in my opinion as a cook, an uncomplimentary combination. I could not taste any wormwood. Had the maker left out the basil and instead used that quantity of hyssop along with less Badiane, this might almost be drinkable.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 4/10
As I had stated previously, it saddens me that the first legally produced domestic absinthe of the 21st century had to be such an unpleasant brew, more so because it is my understanding that knowledgeable people like Grim made themselves available to the maker. It takes a skilled distiller and good ingredients to make a good classical absinthe and I believe this maker is a talented distiller, But to makes something original or eclectic that works, it takes a good cook with knowledge of what good absinthe is, what's been done, knowledge of herbal properties and the patience and humility to listen to those more experienced. That apparently is the missing ingredient here.

Jaded Prol scores St. George Absinthe Verte 57 out of 100


Reviewed by OCvertDe 3/20/2008

COLOR BEFORE WATER 6/10
Clear and bright, amber/gold. This would be acceptable in a vintage absinthe, but I’m not crazy about there being no green to speak of in one so young.

LOUCHE ACTION 8/10
This is one of the better louching absinthes I’ve had. Oil trails quickly give way to a small wispy cloud that starts in the center of the bottom of the glass, and gradually builds into a fantastic louche with timing you could set a clock by. It happens a little fast even on a slow drip, otherwise I would give it a perfect score.

COLOR AFTER WATER 6/10
I’m no crazier about the color after the water. There’s nice shading and layering of color, but it’s pretty much yellow and just doesn’t look right.

AROMA 24/30
Very strong, herbal and complex. I’m pretty sure most of what I’m smelling is the unique ingredients Lance decided to use, not the herbal essences you would expect to find in absinthe. Not as well balanced as the better Swiss or Pontarliers, but again, I suspect the odd recipe.

MOUTH-FEEL 9/10
Surprisingly smooth for one with such a turbulent aroma. Lightly creamy with a nice bite that is exceptionally well balanced and pleasant.

TASTE 15/20
Wow, this one really pops. Herbal and complex, without being overly medicinal. The taste is crisp and clean, with a nice long finish that makes me want another sip. Very unique and unusual, but it still tastes like absinthe to me and I like it. The second batch is allegedly better, and I can’t wait to try it.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 7/10
I really enjoyed this. I feel it’s well crafted in spite of its faults; and while the flavor is a ways out in left field, I’m still impressed with the first American commercial absinthe. If I’m able when the next batch is finished, I will definitely be getting myself a bottle. I’m sure it isn’t for everyone; the more traditional your tastes are, the less likely you are to like it. As for the imbibing of it though, I for one have no complaints.

PERSONAL NOTES
Based on one 30ml sample mixed 3:1

OCvertDe scores St. George Absinthe (first batch) 75 out of 100

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