anyone used to the more usual brands of Czech Absinth like Hills,
this expensive brand can be quite startling when first encountered.
In fact, a bottle of this stuff will probably put the fear of
God into Absinth virgins - and that's before you even open it.
with a portrait of a rather unstable Vincent Van Gogh on the
label and with the warning/come-on "For Experts Only' emblazoned
across the front, this looks rather different than most Absinth's.
Instead of the usual dayglo green, it has a lighter, more subtle
colour that is not unlike Olive Oil. But the thing that really
freaks people out is the layer of 'stuff' which floats in the
bottom of the bottle. Alcohol that has stuff floating in it
always sorts the men from the boys, and - in this case - the
Absitheur from the faker. The latter will possibly find this
too visually unnerving to drink, whilst the former will be preparing
to spank the credit card. Certainly, when I spotted this in
a Prague shop window, I knew instantly that I wouldn't be returning
home without a bottle.
that said, this is actually no stronger in alcohol than many
more conventional versions. It does contain the full amount
of EC-legal Thujon (there is also King of Spirits Gold which
contains a mind-bending 100/1 thujon and which cannot be sold
in Europe) and clocks in at a respectable 70%, but that in itself
is nothing overly remarkable. However, there is no doubt that
this is one of the more entertaining Absinth's on the market...
once you get past the initial shock of the taste.
this is one of the most bitter Absinth's ever. Prepared in the
Czech method (i.e. flames a go-go), it still seemed to taste
like paint stripper on the first sip. My initial reaction was
one of dismay - all that money for an undrinkable, toxic substance?
But then a funny thing happens. After a couple more mouthfuls,
it suddenly goes from horrendous to delicious - instantly! This
delayed reaction of taste was a genuine delight to experience
- after all, who doesn't enjoy a potential disappointment becoming
a cause for celebration? Notably too, this brand was potent
enough to hit you before you'd even managed to get it in your
mouth, the fumes rising up your nose to give you a sneak preview
hit before the taste kicks in.
effects? Well, it certainly made me feel quite chirpy, suggesting
that it would make a fine loosener before a night out. And with
such a unique vibe, it seems almost criminal to bury this particular
brand in a cocktail, so we suggest sticking simply to sugar
and water (it burns well, too!). Although costly, this is a
worthwhile investment for the Absinth lover, if only for scaring
your less committed chums with!