Not bad, maybe the best of the worst. Czech Absinth is a grim category generally speaking.
Notes: Czech Absinth(e) often does not use an “e” at the end (for the most part) so you can recognize them as a distinct variety almost immediately. This one is one of those exceptions, grammatically. It is also part of a series which includes Absinthe Original (higher proof) and Absinthe Original Bitter Spirit (spiced very differently than most).
Czech absinth, which is usually quite different from the French and Swiss varieties in both taste, strength and method of serving (see later in the review). They also usually do not contain anise and so do not louche (turn opalescent).
We usually evaluate French and Czech absinth(e) as two entirely different styles/expressions as they are two very distinct types in ingredients,flavor profile and philosophy (in regards to Thujone). In contrast to many Czech varieties of Absinth this one is drinkable. This one also boasts no chemicals or artificial coloring agents, which is more than most absinths from the Czech republic can say.
Appearance: Brilliantly clear, no separation, floaters, pools of oil, etc. Dark green slightly yellow/brown in bottle, in a glass it has a very nice green cast to it (indicator of the use of fresh, rather than dried wormwood). On swirling, leaves a thin coat on the glass with scalloping edge and very thin legs developing. Louche action is negligible as expected – kind of a glow rather than a louche in this case.First Impression: Mint, the distinctive bitter earthy smell of wormwood, spicy notes of angelica,hyssop and nutmeg,cardamom, layered with the the usual anise/licorice and with alcohol in background. Sweetish pastis/licorice under the mint, with no off-notes from distillation or other funky smells, which is refreshing given my past experience with some of the poisons from that area.
Taste: Quite a refreshing change from the usual Czech stuff – drinkable and pleasant ,even at full strength (for sampling purposes only- since it is a lower proof fiqure it should be diluted by 2-5 x with water for drinking). Complex (especially for a Czech absinth) with mint and some star anise notes, and a somewhat dissonant but interesting overlay of spice that could probably be attributed to the nutmeg with a definite but not overwhelming alcohol presence, and a definite drying bitter wormwood finish mixed with the mint and has a rather desiccating effect on your tongue (courtesy of the wormwood). It leaves one with no doubt there is a stiff dose of wormwood in this absinth.
Drinks: The French absinthe ritual involves water fountains, sugar, spoons, and you pour the absinthe in the glass then put the spoon over the glass put a sugar cube on it and drip water from a purpose built fountain over until it louches (opalesces,turns cloudy, etc.) and the right amount of dilution (to personal taste-variable) is reached.
The Czech absinth method is more fraught with danger (especially if you have had a few already) as it involves fire and highly combustible liquids. You put the spoon over an empty glass then place the sugar cube on the spoon, then pour the absinthe over the sugar,soaking it thoroughly and then torch the sugar cube, letting it burn down and caramelize the sugar, you then pour the water over the remains of the sugar cube and stir it in. Photos of this particular method are available on Absinthe Original . Caution must be exercised to avoid spilling the flaming liquid or having the glass shatter from the heat. Frankly I find the Czech method showy, dangerous, and tedious, all at once.
This one does have a definite difference in both proof and overall flavor profile that would make it an interesting one to use in a cocktail.
Bottle: Rectangular flask shaped bottle clear glass with rounded shoulders- sometimes referred to as a horse collar flask shape. Rather simple paper band label with “Absinthe Original” in diamond and “La Boheme” crest at top. Screw cap closure with anti-tamper seal.
Other: For those of you who are seeking a a higher dose thujone level than you can find in the U.S. currently – this one has it and is a damn sight better than the King of Spirits. Price is much less than King, much better taste too.
Final Thoughts: Most Czech absinth we have come across was a nasty hellbroth of wormwood, questionable dyes, and industrial alcohol. I am relieved to report this is not one of those. One of the better ones. Spicy in a odd but pleasantly different way. Interesting addition for your absinth(e) collection
Website: Home Page : http://www.originalabsinthe.com http://www.originalabsinthe.com/absinthe-original-innocent-p-69.html for the Absinthe Original Innocent.
Quick loading web page, easy ordering.
Evaluated against other Czech absinth in both quality and price: