Corsair Red Absinthe Supérieure ( 112 proof / 56% ABV) is distilled in Bowling Green, Kentucky by high school friends and Nashville, Tennessee natives, Darek Bell and Andrew Webber. The two founded Corsair Distillery in 2008, starting with a traditional 1800’s recipe and herbs that gives their absinthe the clean notes of a classic blanche (clear absinthe). Ironically, Corsair is not clear, but red. It uses red Hibiscus to color and flavor the absinthe with floral overtones. The company produces small runs of 100 to 200 bottles of their absinthe made in a 50 gallon Vendome vapor basket pot still.
Historically, red absinthe was rare in the pre-ban era (before 1915), however, there are documented cases of Absinthe Rouge. Besides using red Hibiscus, Corsair also uses citrus, tarragon, grande wormwood (Artemisia absinthium), and its cousin - dragon wormwood (Artemisia dracunculus, AKA wild tarragon).
"If Toulouse Red is the new kid on the rouge block, Corsair Red is the veteran that everyone knows. An attractive deep peachy color out of the bottle, it has a light louche that is only slightly more than hazy. The fennel and what seems to be coriander come through on the nose the most. Anise establishes itself on the front of the palate; its sweetness helping to add a nice mouthfeel and preventing the citrus from dominating. Baby powder tortas de aceite (a wonderful anise flavored Spanish confection) on the finish. Not your typical absinthe, but a nice departure, especially on hot days."
- Reviewed by Brian Robinson. Click here to see Brian's bio.