Review: Djabel and Green Fairy Absinthe

Review: Djabel and Green Fairy Absinthe

djabel-absinthe

Admiral Imports, which is bringing the incredibly controversial (based on the comments on this review, at least) Koruna Absinthe to the U.S. market, isn’t just quitting with one. It’s also bringing these two absinthes — Djabel and Green Fairy, both also from the Czech Republic — to the States.

green-fairy-absintheI’m lumping these two reviews together because Djabel (Czech for “devil” — also note some sources spell this product as “Djable”) and Green Fairy are pretty obviously close siblings. They use the same bottle. The labels are strikingly similar in design. The color is nearly the same — Djabel is a tiny bit darker — and both rely heavily on artificial coloration. The only obvious difference to the outside observer is the alcohol content: Green Fairy is 120 proof, while Djabel is a racier 140 proof. (Djabel is, somewhat expectedly, also $5 more expensive per bottle.)

And how do they taste? Without water, they both come across like unadulterated firewater — though Djabel is far stronger than Green Fairy thanks to that 10 percent bonus alcohol kick.

Add sugar and water and, like Koruna, neither louches at all, leaving you with a Scope-looking concoction that you can see straight through. The Djabel is again a little darker in hue, but otherwise they’re impossible to distinguish from one another.

The flavor? Very light and mild, minimally sweet (though saccharine in character), and barely flavored with licorice. Djabel has a slightly more herbal character — think cloves and allspice — but it lends an astringency to the drink where Green Fairy comes across as sweeter. Again, in the case of both absinthes (and I’ll let the absinthe geeks bicker in the comments over whether either spirit is truly absinthe at all), they’re very mild and mostly harmless experiences. And that’s really the problem: They’re drinkable, but just not very interesting. Whether you prefer a deeply anise-flavored absinthe or a more approachable, sweeter version, either way you’re going to be disappointed with these two spirits. Provocative labels aside, you can think of them both as the lite beers of the absinthe world.

Green Fairy Absinthe: C / $59
Djabel Absinthe: C- / $64

Djabel Absinthe

$64
4

Rating

4.0/10

13 Comments

  1. Todd Jackson on April 13, 2009 at 12:13 am

    Great review :-) Easy drinking Czech firewater from Palírna u Zeleného stromu – which has been around since 1518! At least you can now buy one of these controversial *rebel* absinths Stateside. Nothing wrong with that! The more choice the better I say. The famous absinthe drinker Rimbaud was a rebel, right? I like rebels and thats why I’ll give this one a try.

    http://palirna-u-zeleneho-stromu-starorezna-prostejov.czechtrade.us/

    http://palirna-u-zeleneho-stromu-starorezna-prostejov.czechtrade.us/foto_firma/41503813_1.jpg

  2. Christopher Null on April 13, 2009 at 7:18 am

    Todd – not sure I get the gist of what you’re saying, but I’m sure this recipe doesn’t date back to 1518. If nothing else, they didn’t have FD&C Blue #1 back then…

  3. Todd Jackson on April 13, 2009 at 7:30 am

    Christopher, Czech out the link, the distillery dates to 1518! I didn’t mean the absinth firewater :-) From what I have read they make a mean slivovice as well.

  4. Tim on April 15, 2009 at 9:14 am

    Speaking of Slivovitz, I haven’t seen a review of any on Drinkhacker.

  5. Brian Robinson on April 15, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    I’m a bit confused. Wasn’t Djabel supposed to be red? Did the coloring not get approved?

    I haven’t had Stromu’s slivovitz, but I’ve loved the other brands I’ve tried.

  6. Boggy on May 27, 2009 at 7:45 am

    The European version is indeed red as hell;).

    Stromu slivo as well as Stromu Merunkovice (apricot brandy) are nice and close to the finest, if “blended slivo” class, so are vodkas. And these quality products do not explain whatsoever why they had picked making absinth at all?

  7. Todd Jackson on June 2, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    That might be because of the law? When absinth was illegal elsewhere, it was not illegal in Czech.

  8. fitchy on December 7, 2009 at 9:03 pm

    Doesn’t contain wormwood at all,so in my opinion not worth trying.

  9. fitchy on December 7, 2009 at 9:07 pm

    Also compared 2 other absinthes its extremely harsh and tastes like metho basically.

  10. Kerry on December 24, 2009 at 6:42 pm

    Why is Djabel not sold in Australia?

  11. Tim Cape on November 16, 2010 at 5:24 am

    When I lived in Vienna nearly fifty years ago, a cheap fire water was called Kontrashowska – I think, though I’m not sure of the spelling. Although I drank quite a lot of it, I have no idea what it was made from. I can’t seem to find any reference to it on the net. Can any one help?

  12. Le Stryge on March 22, 2011 at 11:08 pm

    This so-called “absinth” is complete a fake! It’s basically artificially coloured vodka. It does nothing that the real stuff does, ….including “louching”. It tastes like cheap, sweet mouthwash, ..even sharing the same intense lurid green colour, ..which is TOTALLY fake too!
    If you want to try absinth, go out a buy some real stuff, containing both thujone and wormwood. You may not enjoy that either, but at least you’ll be trying the genuine article.

  13. Anonymous on September 22, 2011 at 10:57 am

    very very slowly, idont liked! in mexico are original RUSTIC absinthe with 35mg of tuyones, this is fake!

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