La Clandestine. This absinthe must be one of the most popular absinthe brands available. Is it due to it’s interesting blue bottle, it’s charming distiller who always likes to wear his blue coat and Shepherd’s hat while distilling absinthe? Is it because this distiller chose to distill absinthe even while it was illegal in Switzerland? Perhaps, it may just be its exquisite taste – let’s see what Absinthe Expert Marc Thuillier thinks!
Color: crystal clear.
Aroma before water: floral, fresh and round. No noticeable fault.
Louche: faultless, progressive and in the end opaque without being too milky or oily.
Aroma after water: minty notes are now showing off, together with a well present fennel, while the anise is right behind.
Taste: round and smooth, very well balanced, no specific herb is taking control of the drink apart from the green anise, which is perfectly normal because let’s keep in mind that green anise has always been the main ingredient in period absinthes, with the fennel and the grand wormwood close behind. That’s what we call the “holy trinity”.
Finish: anise is taking control of the palate, in a very pleasant way, and then little minty notes are appearing again towards the end.
Conclusion: Claude-Alain Bugnon’s Absinthe La Clandestine does not change and will never change. This is one of the most stable absinthes in the world together with the François Guy. It’s all about the balance of herbs. An essential reference among the Bleues from the Val-de-Travers.
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See all of the Artemisia Bugnon absinthes here.