Leopold Bros. Absinthe Verte
This American-made absinthe (Batch #48) is the product of using a Chilean pisco base spirit that is distilled with fennel, anise, grande wormwood, and other herbs then coloring it with even more herbs to give it a traditional absinthe tinge. The color is a dusty yellow in the bottle that becomes more of a pale, translucent mint green when poured. The aromas from the glass are bright and welcoming. The heat of alcohol doesn’t hit my nostrils until the very end of a sniff. There are classic absinthe licorice notes, of course, but there’s also an undercurrent of spearmint and green grape. I want to call it elegant.
When sipping it straight, the absinthe melts in my mouth like a large, soft piece of Laffy Taffy, not those small, hard ones. The liquor is creamy at first, then grape and subtle fennel flavors kick in. It’s surprisingly nice on its own, but the louche definitely improves it.
The mint ice cream impression lingers after the louche, although the pale color is closer to fresh mint ice cream at this point rather than the artificially colored type. The nose is the same, but the alcohol tickler has mellowed so the aromas come through more effortlessly. The taste is less creamy than when it was sipped straight. That base spirit of pisco makes a huge difference in the smoothness of this absinthe compared with others I’ve tried. It does not have a dominating grape flavor from the pisco, just a slight one so that the essence of the absinthe is preserved. Rather, it has a grassy vibrancy that makes it taste fresh and springy. The alcohol hits the side of my tongue only on the aftertaste.
Other bloggers’ thoughts:
Hands down, this is the best absinthe we’ve tried. It completely lacks bitterness and, in a traditional absinthe cocktail, it doesn’t even need sugar. The herbs stand out and the anise flavor is subdued by the variety. Leopold uses high quality wormwood and lots of it, from the effect. This absinthe results in a subtle, but immediate, effect that I call “a warm bath for your brain.” I find that, while many brands of absinthe make me drunk in order to get that feeling, Leopold Brothers does not. It provides that lovely, hypnotic feeling with minimal amounts, so you can maintain it for some time without becoming intoxicated.
Reviewed 23 Sept 12.
Posted: Thursday, October 4th, 2012 @ 10:51 am
Categories: Cocktails & Liquor.
Tags: absinthe, american absinthe, chilean, creamy, fennel, grape, grassy, green fairy, leopold bros, leopold brothers, louche, mint ice cream, pisco, review, small batch, verte, wormwood.
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