Absinthe Again

The much-talked-about Le Tourment Verte.

I guess you all like your mystic, mythic spirits with the green glow.

Because when I posted about my first experience tasting absinthe (St. George Spirits’ Absinthe Verte, to be exact), boy, did you guys have a lot to say about it.

Quite a few of you wrote in, touting yet another absinthe — this one with the irresistible name of Le Tourment Verte (“The Green Torment”).  Maybe we should nickname it the “absinthe to the stars.” After all, it’s made the rounds of Oscar parties, the Sundance Film Festival, and Virgin America flights.

With that kind of cache, I had to try it. And what better day to partake of the Green Fairy than on a day made for green — St. Patrick’s Day?

Le Tourment Verte was kind enough to send me two tiny (airline-size) samples to try, packaged in pretty etched bottles. The regular 750ml bottle retails for about $47.

The color really grabs you. Unlike the St. George one with its green tea-like color, Le Tourment Verte is a bold emerald green. It’s only when you pour the contents into a glass, though, that you realize the bottle is tinted dark green. And it’s only on closer inspection when you read the label that you see the spirit contains artificial coloring, too. Hmmm….

Poured straight into a glass.

In a shot glass, this 100-proof spirit is almost the color of Scope mouthwash. My husband took a whiff and even declared that it smelled a little Aqua Velva-ish. Hmmm….

I tried it first just straight. It was definitely far sweeter than the St. George absinthe, so much so that I can’t even imagine adding a water-dripped-sugar-cube to it, which is the old-school method of enjoying absinthe. I don’t think I’d want it even sweeter than it already was.

The taste? Like licorice mixed with toothpaste. Yeah, not exactly a winning combination.

Next, I tried diluting it with a few ice cubes. The Le Tourment Verte turned a shade of seafoam green. Pretty if it were a summer frock. But a little odd for a beverage hue.

Diluted with ice.

I’d like to say that the ice made the spirit more pleasing to the palate. But try as I might, I couldn’t bring myself to drink beyond one more sip.

Consider this one Green Fairy that was far from magical. Hmmph.

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Date: Tuesday, 17. March 2009 5:05
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14 comments

  1. 1

    Re. “Quite a few of you wrote in, touting yet another absinthe.”

    You might be interested to read this:

    http://cocktailnerd.com/?p=1734/

    Many other bloggers seem to have experienced this “touting.”

  2. 2

    This Absynthe has such a pretty color! Strange flavor, though… Happy St. Paddy Day!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  3. 3

    That’s too bad about the taste, but I was really mesmerized by the green bottle packaging and then the seafoam tint after you added some ice cubes. Maybe it’s being touted because of the packaging, because it really is pretty.

  4. 4

    Yes I’d have to agree with the negative opinions expressed about this absinthe. Personally I’d rather drink straight shots of Aftershock Cinnamon Liqueur (yegh!) than this stuff. It’s another attempt at the douchebagization of alcohol via spiffy looking bottles.

    Trader Tiki recently had a rant about this absinthe which you may find relevant to the discussion: http://www.tradertiki.com/the-tormenters-green/

  5. 5

    it’s pretty, but I think I’d rather have a Midori.

  6. 6

    My husband & i call this one “scope” because it is so green & mediciney.
    Definitely we were glad we only had the small size, otherwise, we’d have felt ripped off.

    You should consider going to C. B. Hannigan’s in Los Gatos where they have Lucid Absinthe, at least the last time we went.

    Also, if you expand, you’ll find there are Swiss and French versions which have their own unique flavors.

    It’s a fun spirit to explore.

  7. 7

    I have been into absinthe for about a year now and so far I have tried about a half dozen of those available in The States. Unfortunately one of those was La Tourment. La Tourment is fairly heinous. It has a very weak louche – implying that it doesn’t have a lot of the good stuff present to be precipitated out for your tasting enjoyment. In retrospect maybe this is actually a positive, since the taste it *does* have is dominated by a bitter medicinal note that would be enough to drive most mouthwashes off the market in short order.

    St. George Spirit’s verte is a rather nice absinthe. If you are of a mind to try another nice absinthe to contrast against St. George, I would suggest trying Kubler – a La Bleu from Switzerland.

  8. 8

    Paystyle: The douchebagization?? I LOVE that!!

    Alan: Very sly of those marketing companies to post comments on blogs to tout the product. Sly, and unethical. For shame!

    Everyone: Thanks for the recommendations of other absinthe brands to try. I did really like the Absinthe Verte one. And let’s hope the Tourment Verte one is the worst tasting one out there, because I can’t imagine another one more vile than that.

  9. 9

    the bottle is beautiful! not sure i want absinthe that tastes like toothpaste though!!

  10. 10

    I haven’t tried absinthe yet but I must admit I’ve not yet heard anything that’s nudging me in that direction. Still, the colors are pretty . . .

  11. 11

    Dear Carolyn!
    Greetings!
    I see that Nate (from Nagoya) has already been here! LOL
    Next ime you have Absinthe (it was also called la Jument verte as a joke for Green Nightmare) pu a little on a sugar cube inside a small teaspoon, light it, and pour it into your half-filled glass. Mind you that could lead to all kinds of explosions! LOL
    Cheers,
    Robert-Gilles

  12. 12

    Sorry, made a mistake about Nate! It was another one!
    The one I mentioned can be found at Good Beer and Country Boys!
    Robert-Gilles

  13. 13

    Light a match?? Oh my!! I’m guessing I need to don my flame-retardant suit beforehand? ;)

  14. 14

    My Aunt and Uncle gave me some absinthe from a place near where they live (Portland) some special sugar cubes and absinthe glasses for Christmas. I think I need to have an absinthe party!

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