Much more a absinthe liqueur than a full on Absinthe.Decent for what it is and cheap enough to serve as a gateway absinthe that can dispense with the sugar cube ritual.
Notes: Absinthe Ordinaire is a brand of absinthe from Distilleries et Domaines de Provence using one of the more accepted recipes for Absinthe. There are quite a few of these recipes – no one has an exact number of what could be considered historical recipes for absinthe – never mind the new ones ! As a historically correct recipe it uses more wormwood than some of the newer ones- something that make known on the back label. I have a slight issue with this as frankly while I am a fan of authenticity for a recipe, I think that making an issue of how much wormwood is in a given recipe borders on shady motivations and encouraging the wormwood/thujone as a drug myth for people seeking such things IMHO.
The other thing to be aware of is this is an Absinthe Liqueur – a presweetened absinthe (French law specifies 300 grams of sugar per liter for a liqueur )and the proof is lower than standard absinthe . Almost a absinthe RTD, it saves you the hassle of the spoon and sugar ritual, and many newbies will appreciate the approachability of this liqueur of a full on high proof and dry – not to say bitter- more traditional absinthe.An analogy could be made to a blended scotch rather than an Islay Single Malt. Sometimes it is better to start people off with less of a challenge .
To me the paramount question is of course, taste and quality of a distillate, other aspects can be amusing in their places, or add some endearing eccentricities, but should be considered footnotes to the overall character of a spirit.
Appearance: Clear green but obviously too clear to be a natural green.More a clear mouthwash green. Pretty for consumers but not correct for aficionados , again a somewhat minor point to some.
First Impression: Heavy anise, with mint, Angelica, coriander, and other herbs chiming in, with the wormwood in the background of the bouquet.Overall a slightly eucalyptus mint kind of smell, with the anise and mint somewhat overshadowing some of the other elements.
Taste: Anise forward with mint, Angelica,fennel,coming to the fore and the wormwood in the background as indicated by the bouquet. Rather sweet, no need to add sugar to this one at least.Wormwood asserts itself in the finish with a slight drying in the finish.
Drinks: For traditionalists of course a Absinthe Frappe – although since the proof is lower than many 94 proof instead of 120 +for most- adjust the ratio of water downwards say 2 or at most 3 to one rather than the standard 4.Great for Sazeracs or other cocktails calling for absinthe, but because of the lower proof add ⅓ more to any given recipe.
Bottle: Traditional looking no nonsense French Liquor bottle with period picture on label.Silver metal neck capsule ,real cork with plastic topper that looks like metal.Back label has short story of absinthe.
Other: Distillery makes a number of other Pastis and other distilled products.
Final Thoughts: Overall a decent starter absinthe and mixer.
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