While Derelict Airship Distillery may be one of the newer distilleries out there, they certainly know how to make an entrance!
As a Texan, it makes me incredibly proud to know that the folks behind Violet Crown Spirits are pushing forward to create a new absinthe legacy that is uniquely… well… Texan!
While it took a little extra tracking down compared to the distillery’s other offerings, I was excited to finally get my hands on Violet Crown’s Opal Absinthe.
As such, it’s time to get right into the good part.
This is the Absinthe Fiend review of Violet Crown Spirits’ Opal Absinthe!
What Is Violet Crown Opal Absinthe?
Hailing from Bastrop, Texas (just outside of Austin), Violet Crown Opal is one of two absinthes currently produced by Derelict Airship Distillery.
I’ve already reviewed Violet Crown Emerald (which you can read here), so it’s only fitting that we now look at the Opal.
Where the Emerald is a rich and incredibly strong absinthe, Opal is more like its delicate little sister.
While Opal certainly still has some bite to it (this is absinthe, after all), it does make for a more accessible experience for most.
Violet Crown Opal Absinthe is 110 proof and contains 55% ABV.
As with the Emerald, Opal is made with a grape spirit base in a 55-gallon custom-built still and freshly-grown herbs.
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Violet Crown Opal Absinthe has very subtle aromas with a distinct floral presence.
You will have to concentrate to fully pick up on what is being presented here. While there are enjoyable aromas to be had, they are very easy to miss.
Mint and citrus are the most dominant notes with an undercurrent of anise and fennel to round out the experience.
It can’t be stressed enough that “delicate” is certainly the name of the game here.
Color & Louche
Unlouched, Violet Crown Opal is crystal clear with an almost twinkling quality to it.
As with any true absinthe blanche, this absinthe is perfectly clear with no unexpected hues or particulate to worry about.
Pay careful attention when pouring it into your glass as it can be trickier to measure a blanche this clear!
True to the name, the louche is a beautiful opalescent hue with hints of blue, particularly right as the louche begins to form.
The louche begins immediately with striking blue hues that you’ll miss if you’re not paying attention. From there, it settles into a pale, milky opalescent color.
Feint oil swirls can be seen, though they are among the most delicate I’ve seen in a blanche. You will have to look closely, but they are there.
Bitter wormwood up front but quickly paves the way for the mint to shine. The mint dominates the flavor followed by fresh citrus and fennel notes. The anise is present but lighter than I would prefer.
Despite the lower alcohol content, there is a slight astringency that caught me by surprise. It’s not intolerable, but it was unexpected.
Each sip feels very fresh with the bitter wormwood at the front working well as a type of palate cleanse to better appreciate the flavors that follow.
I particularly enjoyed this absinthe while snacking on an orange.
I wish there was more of a texture to Violet Crown Opal Absinthe. The oils are present but are very light, even compared to other blanches.
As such, the flavors don’t linger on the palate for very long.
Conclusion – Violet Crown Opal Absinthe Review
Ultimately, I’m more in love with Violet Crown’s Emerald absinthe.
I just prefer absinthe that has more to offer in terms of texture and lingering flavors.
While I don’t want to drink absinthe that feels like I’m on the receiving end of an anise-fueled piledriver, I’m also not super fond of absinthe that is overly delicate.
The closest comparison that I can make here is with La Clandestine. Both are blanches and both offer an absinthe experience that feels very clean and refreshing.
However, I would still side with La Clandestine in a head-to-head. Violet Crown Opal doesn’t quite reach the same depth of flavor. (You can read my review of La Clandestine here.)
That said, though, this is not bad by any means. It’s certainly one worth trying despite slightly missing the mark for me!