Review: Vieux Carré Absinthe

It is fortunately far easier to drink Vieux Carré Absinthe than it is to type Vieux Carré Absinthe.

This absinthe is produced by Philadelphia Distilling (which also created the fine Bluecoat Gin) and is composed, as the bottle tells us, of “grain neutral spirits distilled with herbs with additional herbs added.” No mention of artificial color, and in the glass it indeed looks authentic, a deep yellow tinged with green.

At bottle strength (120 proof) it is extremely boozy but offers surprising depth of bittersweet anise character. When prepared traditionally, it creates a medium to strong louche, with a curious, thin foam-like film on top. Not at all unpleasant, but noteworthy and unusual.

The prepared absinthe is extremely easy-drinking and very pleasant, a licorice kick with gentle sweetness and a bittersweet finish. Difficult to pick out specific herbs that might be used in addition to classic wormwood, anise, and fennel, but there’s a faint muscular flavor to it — almost like hints of chimichurri sauce, which I happen to love.

As for the name, it’s drawn from the French phrase for the French Quarter in New Orleans. The bottle is also of note, a thick, heavy, and beautiful decanter that, when full, is completely illegible since it’s covered in an opaque, lacy green design, making the spirit inside look far darker than it actually is while wholly obscuring the label (the bottle shot below must have been lit with a hundred halogen lights). Luckily, you won’t need to read this one closely: You’ll know it when you see it. As absinthes go, it’s an excellent value too, by the way.

A- / $60 / vieuxcarreabsinthe.com (website is currently buggy)

vieux carre absinthe Review: Vieux Carré Absinthe

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6 Responses to Review: Vieux Carré Absinthe

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  2. Todd Jackson

    Strange bottle! I cannot decide if I like it or not….it looks a little 70s kitsch to me. Chimichurri is made from garlic,vinegar, and red pepper so I wonder what herbs are there giving Vieux Carré this muscular back note?

  3. Nice review! I believe there was some genepy upfront when I tasted it (though I was sort of drunk, so don’t hold me to this). I agree, it is rather difficult to pick out many herbs from this due to the subtle oily quality. It’s probably best served with a bit more water, but you could probably say better than I, as I only tasted it briefly last month and my bottle has not arrived yet.

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  6. I am surprised at the lack of enthusiasm for this drink. Vieux Carre is far from the traditional, or the strongest(effect) absinthe , but is the most pleasurable on the pallet, this is an amazing and complex drink. I think the overtones are strong with hissup and lemon flavors. Of course the desired anise and bitter wormwood are also pleasant. This is an every day drinker for the mellow yet refreshing flavor. By far one of my favorites, and a great introduction the fairy for the new drinker. If you have not tried this one, you owe it yourself – especially for the great price.

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