Absinthe - Obsello
Obsello Absinthe Verte
IMPORTER: Esmeralda Liquors, Manhasset, New York
PROOF: 100 (50%)
TYPE: Spanish, Green (Verte), Grape Base,10 mg/kg Thujone, Distilled
PRICE: $59.99 750 ML
Note: The only Spanish absinthe available in the U.S. with many unique points beyond that. First, it is one of the few grape spirits based absinthes (the original spirit used in absinthe), second, it distills all its different herbs - it does not make make the absinthe version of compound (think bathtub method) gin (using extracts,oils and chemicals added to a spirit base ).Third, it uses no dyes or coloring agents for its real green color again unlike many (read most) absinthe today). Double distilled in small alembic type copper pot stills (think cognac stills) with a Penedes wine stock brandy (marc, grappa, aquardiente as you will), Alicante Anise (one of the most highly prized varieties) and 7 other herbs, including of course Grand Wormwood.
First Impression: Alcohol very much in the background rather than foreground which is refreshing. Sweetish pastis/licorice, star anise, vanilla, orange, spice cake or 5 spice powder, aromatic herbs. A melange of goodness.
Appearance: Slightly hazy/opalescent chlorophyll green - like algae in a pond - which is would what it should look like.This is a natural product - it should look more like pond water than radiator fluid. On swirling, leaves a thin coat on the glass with a legs and droplets forming from it. Louche is excellent-(turns opalescent with some swirls, pools, etc. and turns various shades and colors according to proportion) and appears to be to historical standards in terms of color and depth (have an period Pernod Absinthe Ashtray as a color reference). Quite entertaining to watch!
Taste: Smooth and balanced at full strength ( a remarkable thing in itself).Nice anise and mint notes with hints of citrus and spice chase each other around with a thick almost soapy/glycerin/oily texture providing a wonderful heavy mouthfeel. Almost a bitter creamy honey in taste and texture. Understated wormwood bitter finish is long with anise, fennel, angelica, and spice aromatics. Could lead to trouble if you are not careful!
Drinks: One of the few absinthes I can highly recommend for cocktail use. Subtle and complex at the same time, this is the one to use for a fancy absinthe cocktail classic Sazerac or a Death in the Afternoon.
Other: Given the fact Obsello is 100 proof I recommend a 3 -1 max dilution. Also counter-intuitively- good to settle an upset stomach.
Bottle: Very dark green/brown glass champagne (or should I say Cava?) bottle shape - think Dom Perignon - with a simple but tasteful label. Dark color and thickness of glass protect the fragile natural chlorophyll that gives this absinthe its great color. Sealing wax seal and tight synthetic cork give great protection against oxidation.
Final Thoughts: One of the best absinthes out there at present. Price is about average but the quality is outstanding.The attention to detail,distillation, (and authenticity ) make for one of the best Absinthes currently available in the US
A quick-loading web page with a good amount of information about their absinthe.