La Clandestine 53 Absinthe Review:
-53% abv, .75 litre
-Country of Origin:
-Winner of numerous
awards since its debut
-TARN recommends buying from Drink UP NY
****AGED La Clandestine
Comparison Notes: Aged about 15 months. Aroma was more harmonious
and had a faint fruity vibe. The hyssop had also developed
noticeably, but I missed the more intense wormwood from the
fresher batch, so I enjoyed it better consumed while still relatively
reviewed the long-awaited first verte from Claude-Alain Bugnon,
Angelique. Now, at long last, I evaluate the initial absinthe that
built the excitement for all releases to follow, La Clandestine 53 (also
referred to as Clandestine La Bleue. or CLB). Those seemingly endless
months of waiting for it to arrive in the US have not been for naught!
I composed this
review from three bottles: a fresh import bottle of CLB, a fresh US
bottle (then tasted again after two months, which is what the main body
of review is based on), and a 15 month old import CLB. I tasted the
first two bottles to confirm that the formula had remained unchanged,
which it has. I have since been given the official word confirming
Once cold water is
added, swarming layers promptly appear. Nice show, forms a little
quickly, but has great opacity.
Neat, the aroma is
mainly sweet fennel, hyssop and anise, and just enough wormwood to
balance things out. It's a sweet one, all right, but an absinthe you
just know is going to be a favourite from the moment it hits your lips.
Wormwood and fennel are central during mid-sip, with a lively fennel and
hyssop finish. It is very easy-drinking, with multitudes of flowery
aromas and flavours wisping about. You'll want to dilute just past the
3:1 mark as this avoids the numbing from stronger ratios and is the most
"refreshing" dilution. But I also think the hyssop gets lost when
diluted much further, so don't get carried away with that water, bucko.
Luscious consistency, absolutely no heat at all.
This absinthe does
not need additional sugar, and it should be illegal to do so. If
you insist on proceeding with such an atrocity, you will earn you a
voucher redeemable for one (1) thirty-minute beat down* from my close
To be honest, La
Clandestine doesn't really do anything groundbreaking to differentiate
itself from the ever-growing pack of la bleus...it just gets everything
RIGHT. Exceptional floral bouquet,
plenty of lively fennel, makes for a tour de force of delicate, but
masterfully balanced character; this is truly the current measuring
stick of all la bleue style absinthe. Like my pal Alan Moss said
to me recently, "It's going to be a white Christmas!" Though I usually
think immediately of cocaine when I hear that phrase, don't let me spoil
the mood for you; pour a glass, pass, and enjoy a wonderful Christmas,
Unmistakably better at room temperature.
date. Vouchers may be combined. **Tiny is not small.