May 13, 2009

Absinthe Mata Hari Review

Before we received our bottle of Absinthe Mata Hari, we had never heard of bohemian absinthe. We figured it was some kind of crazy libation people drank at poetry readings, sipping on it in between snapping their fingers in applause for the latest spoken word stylings. Hell, maybe that's exactly what it is.

All we know is we tried it, and yeah...maybe we did feel a bit more like Maynard G Krebs afterward.

absinthe_mata_hari_bottle.pngAbsinthe Mata Hari Bohemian Absinthe
Imported from Austria
120 Proof (60% ABV)
Typical Price: Around $50
Where to Buy Absinthe Mata Hari

The Look: Tall green bottle with a red cap, festooned with a colorful label featuring a smiling Mata Hari holding two glasses of absinthe. Hell, we'd be smiling too.

The Nose: According to the Mata Hari folks, bohemian absinthe features anise less dominantly than other absinthes. Considering the fact we didn't get even a whiff of the licorice-y smell we've come to associate with absinthe, we have to say they must be right. Absinthe Mata Hari smells more of cinnamon and other herbs, with a sweet and warm scent more akin to Goldschlager than any absinthe we've ever tried.

The Taste: Warming and bitter, the taste was once again lacking the characteristic anise flavor we expect in absinthe. They're obviously not going for that flavor, but we felt it was missed. The taste of cinnamon continued through, with a sharply bitter aftertaste that morphed into a sweeter back end.

The Verdict: Simply put, this stuff is not for us, but to be fair, we don't think this is a poor reflection on Mata Hari - we doubt any "bohemian" absinthe would tickle our fancy, the anise enthusiasts we are. We missed the licorice flavor, and the louche left something to be desired as well, with the liquor turning milkier but retaining an odd dark green color.

That being said, we can see a place for Mata Hari in cocktails, especially once we were able to separate ourselves from the absinthe connection. It added a nice complexity to some of the spicy cocktails we tried it in, and we liked it especially in a bastardized sazerac-style drink we dreamed up. Absinthe enthusiasts beware, but this might be right up your alley if you're just looking for something just a bit different, and maybe slightly dangerous.

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Posted by Jake Jamieson at May 13, 2009 8:48 PM
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