A blend of Czech, French and Swiss recipes to arrive at something that approaches pleasant enough to think about buying.
Note: This is a Czech Absinthe which has added some sugar (5g/L) and uses natural extracts with high grade alcohol and no artificial coloring (a lot more than can be said about the bulk of its competitors). It uses a blend of Czech, French and Swiss recipes to arrive at the final product.
First Impression: Anise and mint – almost enough to curl your nose hairs, alcohol in background rather than foreground. Sweetish pastis/licorice, star anise smell overall.
Appearance: Clear, algae green (not to say pond scum) color – no attempts to color or dope it with dyes which to me is a good thing.The color is appropriate for a fresh absinthe extract (use of dried wormwood leads to a yellower color). On swirling, leaves a thin coat on the glass with scalloping and very thin legs developing. Louche is decent but not awe inspiring (turns opalescent but no swirls, pools,etc.).
Taste: Not overly complex- mint hits you first, with star anise on its heel coating your tongue.Very pastis-like ending (think Pernod). Decently made, if a somewhat unorthodox taste to it.
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 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.
Other: Due to the relatively high proof I recommend a 6-1 max dilution – if you must add water.
Bottle: Clear round flask glass bottle shape – looks and feels like a glass model of a tire off a childs wagon.
Final Thoughts: Pleasant enough, a trifle different taste. Distillation is good. A bit pricey for what it is, but not excessively so.