Absinthe - Mata Hari
Alt Weiner Schnapsmusum,Vienna, Austria
Mata Hari Absinthe
Alt Wiener Schnapsmuseum, Vienna, Austria
Importer : Fischer Schnapps, Manhasset, NY
PROOF: 120 (60%)
TYPE: Austrian, Macerated, 8-10 mg/kg*
PRICE: $49.00 750 ml
Note: This is a Austrian Absinthe in the Bohemian style of Absinthe- which means it does not use much ( or emphasize ) anisette. It is not however a Czech absinth many of which use the term Bohemian Absinth but in their case it means not only no anisette but very little beyond wormwood oil and cheap alcohol with nothing else added to moderate their corrosive taste.
First Impression: You can smell this Absinthe at a distance when you open the bottle. A deep herbal smell reminsiscent of Baerwurz (Bear Root), gentian, Angustora, with hints of basil, intertwined with coriander, mint and hyssop, alcohol is a bit spirity. Grassy smell overall with mint,bitter notes and earth.
Appearance: Clear, bright, faultless clarity, color is reminiscent of Paris Green- that being said they say they use all natural ingredients - which is a refreshing change for a Bohemian Absinthe.On swirling, leaves a thin coat on the glass with scalloping turning to droplets and thin legs developing. Louche is somewhat opalescent if a touch light as the Absinthe does not have a great deal of anise in it.
Taste: At full strength the tastes of anise, basil, wormwood, fennel, coriander, and a host of dry bitter herbs start first,while the wormwood goes for the middle and back puckering it with a bitter and drying sensation with the mint tickling the edges and hints of licorice. Finish is a bit hot ,herbal, and minty. Diluted down, it is much tamer with an interesting lighter style,very herbal in nature. While not as complex or layered as some, it has a unique profile and a alternative Absinthe for those who dislike the French style but can't stand the poison from the former Czech Republic.
Drinks: Mixes well with other ingredients in Absinthe cocktails without the overwhelming Pastis presence that some Absinthe can bring to a drink. If you want a intense herbal, almost bitters type intensity, this one is for you.
Other: Due to the relatively high proof I recommend a 3 to 4-1 dilution add water. Also it is a excellent (if slightly counterintuitive) digestif for a upset stomach-calms it right down. Did I mention that Absinthe was also considered a 19th-century version of viagra?
Bottle: Green cylindrical glass wine bottle shape - much in the style its forebears with a old style label and graphics ,dark red screw cap closure.
Final Thoughts: A authentic Bohemian Absinthe which is much more complex than the host of others who claim the name. A very intense spirit that should be a very interesting ingredient in a cocktail.
Quick-loading web page with some pictures and news articles - not a lot else.
*Tests for thujone have a wide margin for error (+/- 10 mg/kg) and more importantly we judge absinthe on taste- not hallucinogenic potential - which is a misnomer anyway. . ."