Having recently acquired a bottle of this interestingly red absinthe for myself, I was very excited to give it a try.
After spending several sessions with this offering from Honeoye Falls Distillery, I am happy to write Absinthe Fiend’s full review of La Cascade Rouge.
La Cascade Rouge Absinthe Review
La Cascade Rouge Absinthe is a red absinthe that prominently features notes of anise, citrus, and hibiscus flower. The result is a novel absinthe with an underlying complexity and sweet finish.
This is the first time that I have come across an absinthe that isn’t green in color and I was pleasantly surprised by how flavorful it was. La Cascade Rouge Absinthe has a lovely flavor profile with hints of citrus, herbs, and floral notes.
La Cascade Rouge (The Red Waterfall) represents a contemporary twist on the absinthe experience.
Honeoye Falls Distillery (who also make La Cascade Verte) incorporates herbal distillation elements such as grande wormwood, fennel, angelica root, added citrus, and coriander.
Infusing the spirit with hibiscus flower rounds out this absinthe with a floral character that is subtly sweet to the taste and responsible for the spirit’s red hue and distinct aroma.
What results is a marriage of the traditional styles of French and Swiss absinthes with a modern fusion of flavor.
La Cascade Rouge is a very anise forward absinthe, which is a good thing.
I was mildly concerned at first if the licorice flavor of the anise would overpower the hibiscus flower’s floral character. However, the anise flavor quickly paves way for the flavors of wormwood and citrus before concluding the journey with a light kiss of hibiscus.
While I’ve tried several herbal spirits that have tried to mix these elements together and failed to create something that expresses each individually as part of the whole, La Cascade Rouge has succeeded in creating a type of flavor journey within this absinthe.
Personally, I would prefer a slightly stronger contribution of citrus whether through orange or lemon balm. The citrus taste is there, but largely gets muddled between the anise beginning and hibiscus end. This is similarly the case with the angelica root, though coriander and wormwood still shine through.
The flavor’s finish is possibly one of the most “clean” feelings that I’ve tasted before. While I tend to be more fond of lingering flavors in absinthe, this was a pleasant surprise.
However, I am currently writing this review while enjoying a glass of La Cascade Rouge in the middle of a 98 degree Texas summer. The clean and refreshing feel of this absinthe is perfectly hitting the spot!
The louche present within a glass of La Cascade Rouge absinthe is clearly present.
Based on previous readings and the inclusion of hibiscus in the spirit, I had expected the louche to be less milky-white and have more of a pink tinge to it. While that’s not a complaint, it did prompt a disappointed mutter of “oh…” from me when first preparing this absinthe.
The louche is thin and delicate but provides a type of backdrop to the oils’ dance as they react. It’s one of the more interesting louches that I’ve seen in an absinthe. You’ll want to pay close attention to see the complexity in action.
Producer Honeoye Falls Distillery has created something truly interesting that is worth a try.
I’ve currently only tried preparing a glass of this in the traditional manner with pleasing results.
However, I could see the underlying complexity of La Cascade Rouge making for an interesting addition in cocktails such as the Corpse Reviver where the citrus can be brought forward, or Death in the Afternoon where the absinthe can play with the bubbles to create something entirely new.
While I wouldn’t consider this to be one of the best absinthes I’ve tried, I don’t plan on adding this “Red Waterfall” to the “shelf of shame.”
If you’re looking for a new take on absinthe with a solid anise flavor, notes of added citrus, and a sweet floral element, this is worth picking up.
I wouldn’t recommend this to be someone’s first taste of absinthe, but it is a great expression of how absinthes can keep the roots of their traditional styles while forging their own identity.
With this being my first exposure to this distillery, I was excited to try La Cascade Verte next. You can read that review by clicking here!
Edit: I have just learned that the makers of La Cascade Rouge have shut their doors due to the pandemic. In that case, I would see grab a bottle of this if you see it. Here’s hoping they are able to reopen, but this might be your last chance to give it a try!