La Fée Absinthe Parisienne
Distiller Score 93
The color before adding water is a pale yellow green and with water you get a louche with the end result being pale yellow green and semi-translucent. There's a very aromatic nose that is pleasant with the coriander and hyssop to balance the anise and fennel. This continues on the palate where you'll find a good balance of earthy, bitter, sweet, and spicy. (Reviewed with water/absinthe ratio of 4:1)
Distiller Score 87
The aroma has a solid anise aroma on the nose. It's pleasantly sweet as is and not especially bitter on the mid-palate. Really soft and full and not overly complex. Anise stays with you from beginning to end. The finish is the best part of the experience. Just mildly bitter on the finish and a touch of mint. (Reviewed with water/absinthe ratio at 4:1)
SG Shochu Mugi
Distiller Score 89
A slightly grassy nose is tinged with jasmine and cooked plums. The palate reveals toasted cereal notes spiced with clove and sage. A savory root vegetable note hits the midpalate along with black tea tannins. The finish is fairly soft with a hint of sweetness and a touch of heat.
Vieux Carré Absinthe
Distiller Score 85
The aroma isn't one note, rather there's more going on here than just anise. More of a fresh herbs than bitter roots here. As you taste, there's a decent amount of complexity here with a gentle anise note. More bitter and earthy on the finish. (Reviewed with water/absinthe ratio 4:1)
SG Shochu Imo
Distiller Score 88
The nose is like freshly harvested root vegetables pulled from the earth next to a blossoming jasmine tree. The florals are more subtle on the palate, with a persistent flavor, skins and all, of sweet potatoes and parsnips, along with green tea-like tannins. The finish is earthy with a hint of sweetness and subtle florality and a tinge of heat.
SG Shochu Kome
Distiller Score 86
The nose has a sweet aroma of plum jam mixed with jasmine and steamed white rice. The palate starts out sweet and a touch fruity, but gets a bit hot midpalate as the flavor also turns more earthy. As it's intended for mixing in cocktails, this isn't much of a neat sipper, but with the addition of ice and other ingredients it will hold up.