When I first got it I found it difficult to drink, it smelled industrial chemical to me and did not taste much better. I put it away for a few months until I had ran out of my other absinthes (7 other varieties) On re opening it it the aroma had improved and so had the taste, I have no explanation for why but I now find it OK, especially with Sirop de gomme rather than a sugar cube.
I've provided my background and experience at the end of this review, so you might weigh my comments to others on the site.
I really wish I could've given this 3.5 stars, but alas....I'd rather rate under than over. MOST IMPORTANTLY: This Is Not Your Standard Absinthe By Any Means! Extremely Musky, to the point of smelling like a musk sample from the Nuz du Vin sommelier training kits! Having said that, it's uniqueness allows for some GRAND creativity with food pairing and provides an excellent departure if you need a break from Anise and Fennel doing all the work for an absinthe. It's an absinthe that doesn't taste or smell like an absinthe, buy hey let's do it by the breakdown-
Eyes: You instantly notice the orangish hue, which I believe comes from barrel aging the bottle (though I forget if this is the case). The louche is thin and slightly disappointing given the other unique characteristics of this bottle, you'd hope for more despite the minimal anise and fennel use preventing that.
Nose: Your Grandfather's Cologne. Musk. Sweaty Horse covered in sugar. It sounds terrible. It's fantastic and amazing, but again, completely un-absinthe like
Mouth-feel: Medium-creamy, slight oil-like residue sensation on the finish., yet pleasant.
Palette: Sweet Earthy Musk with a hint of fennel and anise. It's ridiculously wild, and requires a SLIGHT sugar addition (Czech style / caramelized sugar is best).
Overall : WOW. I gave it 3 stars because it's not the greatest example of absinthe in any style, yet it is a wonderful experience.....in the right conditions. For an absinthe dinner, I took the wild and out of control musk sensation in this bottle and played it as a strength, pairing it with a handmade vegan pumpkin pie ice-cream from a place in Long Beach, California called Paradis. Apparently, they have 1 other shop and it's somewhere in Europe. If you can find them, ask the owners to make you a batch (they take requests), and bring along a bottle of Libertine. It's a mind blowing 5 star pairing, but the bottle on it's own? Its not an absinthe I'd care to drink without a unique setting and stellar food pairing. On it's own, it certainly doesn't stand up, despite the distiller's best intentions.
2006 - Tasted my 1st Absinthe (All European)
2007 - Tasted 6 Absinthes new to me (All European)
2008 - Tasted 6 Absinthes new to me (All European)
2009 - Tasted 2 Absinthes new to me (US Only)
2010 - Tasted 5 Absinthes new to me (4 Euro, 1US)
2011 - Tasted 12 Absinthes new to me (All European)
I'm also a level-1 graduate from the Mastercourt of Sommeliers, worked in the wine industry from 2001-2008, and run an independent cellar-stocking business, where my palette is trusted by high-end clients to purchase wines matching their tastes and expectations of quality. Additionally, since 2010 I've hosted a semi-annual Absinthe Dinner for party sizes of 35-70 guests. Each course is paired with a dish developed uniquely to match the absinthe ordered for the event. Each event usually fills up more quickly with reservations than the previous one, due to the patrons enjoying the pairings and bottle choices to such a significant degree.
Anybody who likes quality absinthe, would have to agree that this stuff is nearly undrinkable. No flavor to savor, except for the sugar you add to help mask the bitterness of this 'spirit.' Not the worst, but far from a desirable absinthe.