Devil Inside the Bottle

Reviewing an alcoholic beverage is not an easy task, because besides the inevitably subjective point of view, certain beverages simply belong to the gutter (certainly NOT in our stomach), and absolutely nothing could redeem their horrible qualities. However, I subjected myself to such an experiment, hoping, obviously, to taste a product that would be an enjoyment to review. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Before I go into the details, I would like to outline why I bought the particular product, and the subsequent research I did on red absinthe. Because I did buy a bottle of Dabel red absinthe, for the following reasons: the bottle looked appealing; price was fairly low; I tried green and black absinthe before. Also, I like absinthe, good absinthe. Dabel was an obvious choice, and with high hopes I paid the 3500 forint. Little did I know that my hard earned money would be wasted in such a horrible fashion.

As promised, a little background on red absinthe. Absinthe, as is commonly known in the regularly drinking and maybe even the occasionally drinking communities, is green. The greenness results naturally from the green tint of anise, the main ingredient of absinthe. Redness is derived through various, natural or unnatural means. Traditionally, this redness was achieved through hibiscus or rose fermentation, but nowadays food coloring is a cheap, and sadly, often used alternative. Furthermore, the best absinthes are from its original country, France, whereas, Dabel is a product of the Czechs. This fact would upset any absinthe enthusiast, since Czech absinthes are generally terrible. Dabel was no exception.

Simply from its artificial looking colour, and smell of pure alcohol and chemicals, I was not expecting a good taste. Upon drinking my first shot, I immediately felt a burning sensation all across my throat. I did not feel any of the anise taste however, probably because there was none in this, but only pure alcohol watered down to around 70%, and of course, chemicals, sprinkled with artificial flavors and coloring. Mixing with ice water of course presented a quick and thick texture and also, during the pouring it holds a surprisingly fine thin, which I quite sure shouldn’t be there. I tried with the almost compulsory melted sugar – similarly awful experience.

However, I tried to save the savable, and after an hour break, I mixed absinthe with an assortment of juices, sparking water, and beer – and when I couldn’t care less, vodka. The last mixture was probably the worst cocktail I have ever tried, and will ever try, given that my liver survives this night. Regarding the side effects, and I attribute most of them to the vodka+absinth cocktail/poison: severe headache, dry and aching throat & no hunger the next day.

That’s all there is to this. Another pointless product. A Faux Absinthe. At least the manufacturers of this poison are nice enough to not charge an arm and a leg for something that can potentially kill you. A brief summary of this review, “no.” If you are looking for a quality absinthe, you will need to educate yourself first.


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