Actually drinkable – unusual for a Czech absinth.
Note: 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. It is also part of a series which includes La Fée Parisian Absinthe (made in France in 45 and 68%), La Fée X-S Francaise Absinthe, and La Fée X-S Suisse Absinthe. Feé, of course, is the French word for fairy.
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. Blue-green tint to it (think glass cleaner). 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- fennel with and somewhat spirity alcohol in background. Sweetish pastis/licorice under the mint/fennel- almost a mentholated smell
Taste: Whew! Almost frosty aromatics to this one.Heavy menthol and fennel blast then slightly drying finish. Sugared and watered down to the appropriate level, it takes more like a mentholated liqueur.
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 www.absintheium.com. 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.
George Rowley, the founder of this brand, is credited/blamed as the inventor of the Czech fire starter ritual.
Bottle: Tall clear glass with rounded shoulders and heavy decanter type bottom to it (makes for a nice presentation and balance). Rather simple paper label with the trademark green eye in a sunburst. Screw cap closure. Our tester sample came as a kit with metal absinthe spoon (with a Betty Page like lady printed on it), a sugar cube, and matches!
Final Thoughts: Better than a number of the regretable absinth(e) products, but there too mentholated for my personal taste. Decently made, but just an odd flavor profile.