These days, there’s no excuse for your backbar not to have at least one bottle of absinthe at your disposal. However, if you already have a few, there are some new styles on the market which push the boundaries of what defines an absinthe and at the same time encourage your creativity behind the stick.
Tabu absinth is made in Germany and although they make a quite traditional absinthe, they also have a few rather unusual products which are technically not absinthes, but rather infusions. The base for each of these is a grape based distillate, which they then infuse with a variety of nuts, citrus and herbs, depending on the style they are shooting for. It’s quite an experience.
Tabu Classic (110 proof)
Visual: Beautiful peridot green.
Nose: Delicate and fresh anise and natural licorice scent.
Taste: Strong and sweet with intense licorice and bitter herbal notes.
Finish: Long and lingering with a semi-sweet but somewhat dry finish.
Overall: A quite powerful absinthe which has a lot of traditional characteristics. Definitely recommended for use in cocktails.
GSN Rating: A
Tabu Dry (110 proof)
Visual: Golden yellow.
Nose: Loads of almond along with softer background spice.
Taste: An unusual bitter almond flavor that opens up when louched into something more akin to an almond liqueur.
Finish: The flavor lasts a fairly long time and leaves your mouth feeling dry with herbal flavors.
Overall: Not really an absinthe, but more of a high proof herbal/almond hybrid. This will be quite interesting to try in tiki and faux tropical drinks that call for orgeat.
GSN Rating: B
Tabu Red (110 proof)
Visual: Hyper-bright Lifesaver candy orange.
Nose: A lot of licorice along with a quiet orange background.
Taste: A lot of the usual anise and licorice flavoring the forefront while other bitter herbs play a supporting role. The orange flavor is more evident when louched, but is still quite subdued.
Finish: Long and bittersweet with orange peel.
Overall: Despite the odd color this is more like a typical absinthe than not. The orange lingers in the background but works quite well with the anise flavor. Again, a dry and clean finish.
GSN Rating: B+
Tabu Classic Strong (146 proof)
Visual: Dark crystal green.
Nose: Very intense anise and licorice scent.
Taste: Spicy, yet quite smooth considering how high the proof is. Very dry, almost tannic and with a heavy bitterness similar to strong amaros.
Finish: Not as sweet as the regular Tabu Classic. There’s almost a quality of sage in this.
Overall: As you would expect, quite strong, but an absinthe in the tradition of an olde style. This might be to the liking of someone who want their Absinthe Frappes less sweet. This also would work well in cocktails calling for an absinthe rinse.
GSN Rating: A-
Tabu is currently only available in Europe.
For more information go to: Tabu Absinth