What happens when an absinthe historian, a herb grower and artist and a blues musician - all equally knowledgable absinthe enthusiasts get together with the Delaware Phoenix Distillery in Walton, New York? Music is what happens. Sweet sweet music.
The bottle, a bulgy heavy clear bottle with a golden wax seal covering the cork holds a liquid with a light yellowish green color. A pale straw green, maybe a slight tinge too light for me but never the less very pretty. Cutting into the wax seal, just between the cork and the bottle top with the precision of an alcoholic surgeon I get the bottle open.
Already with the first drop entering the glass the Blues Cat opens up on the entire absinthe spectrum. With Fennel being on the absolute front, almost bordering on too much, it gradually moves on - presenting a nice touch of Wormwood, Coriander and Hyssop. Very floral, yet with a spicy herbal touch. In the end it's definitely not too much Fennel.
With the aroma showing off the finest notes of Fennel and Anise the louche has to be good - and it is. Slowly dripping ice cold water in the glass creates fine slow moving oily trails in the absinthe, slowly but steadily forming the most delicate cloudy patterns, building up to a fine opaque fully louched glass of aromatic absinthe.
During the build up of the louche the Blues Cat took the aroma to yet another level. It's like this absinthe has nine different lives through the entire process from the first opening of the bottle to remembering that last sip of a glass. The aroma after the water is added is very well balanced with a nice mixture of Fennel, minty freshness and a nice herbal spicyness. But still - it's wonderfully flowery.
Having a sip of the Blues Cat Absinthe Superieur is nothing but a pleasure. The very first taste I had of this was in a hotel room in New Orleans. I know, that sounds stranger than it is... The moment I tasted it, poured in an ordinary drinking glass, water dripped from a plastic bottle of spring water with the cap tightened just enough to let through a slow trickle, perfect for the purpose - my first thought was I had found a new favorite alongside the Vieux Pontarlier Absinthe. The mouthfeel is just to my liking. Rich and full, embracing every single tastebud and sensory point throughout the mouth, creamy but not too thick and finishing by leaving a slight tingling on the tongue from the Anethole. Just enough not to become numbing.
Letting the Blues Cat Absinthe fully coat the mouth the direction of the drink becomes very clear. The Blues Cat has one single very simple goal and gracefully moves towards it. It's goal is to be an absinthe as it should be. And it makes a damn good effort at reaching that goal. The one thing I think stops it a bit short of that goal though is that it needed time to develop into what it is today. That is not necessarily a bad thing, but most people who get a bottle of absinthe wants to open it and drink it right away. With the Blues Cat some people were really put off by the fact that it needed a little more time. After the first opening - it should be left to rest and develop for a few more months. After that - The Blues Cat Absinthe Superieur is without a doubt one of the finest modern day comercially available absinthes I've had.
So, was it absolutely perfect? The Jesus Christ God Almighty Moses on the mountain Jessica Alba of absinthes? Well, no. It still has its little dents here and there. The Fennel with its slight dominance, the color being maybe a little pale and then the fact that the maker, at least according to me, should've waited a bit more before bottling it. There are just little things that takes some real nit picking to get down to that could be enhanced.
Conclusion then - three amigos went on a road trip, with bags of herbs, a trunkload of knowledge and love for absinthe they helped create what is likely to be the finest American made absinthe in years to come. Let's just hope it will happen again. I have enough left of my bottle to last me maybe two glasses. I will need to remember them well. I will miss that Blues Cat for sure - and I normally hate cats. Really. Hate them.