We’ve come to the last deck in the Prohibition series, Absinthe. The Absinthe deck is probably the “Flashiest” of the six decks in the series, covered in silver foil on the front and back of the tuck; it’s hard not to take a second look. Since we’ve brought up the tuck case, let’s start there.
The tuck has a matte black finish and the design elements and name are all in a silver foil that just pops off the black. The floral pattern used on the front, as well as the verbiage are very detailed and crisp and give the layout some really nice balance. The back design is mirrored onto the back of the tuck, but the detail you find on the actual card backs is lost in all the foil. Where the card back shows some really intricate detail, the attempt at reproducing that detail falls short and ends up a bit muddy. The fine lines end up very thick and end up bleeding together forming a much thicker line and element. It’s not terrible, but it does seem a bit overdone without the detail. The bottom, sides and tuck flap are a bit better balanced between foil and the matte black stock. The tuck case is finished off with a bright green seal that is also found on the spot and court cards.
The deck itself is on black paper, inverting the usual black suites to white and carrying the bright green from the seal to replace the standard Red suites. While the corner pips remain solid, the spot pips also have a nice pattern to match the rest of the deck and fit perfectly into the theme. The back design is all in white and has a beautifully intricate pattern and some nice mid tones to give it a bit of depth in the detail. Absinthe also features a nicely designed Ace of Spades that continues the floral theme, as well as two Jokers. The Absinthe Jokers are designated as such and also have some detailed “Framing” in the bright green. One of the two Jokers is “Blurred” almost as if it was spinning, oddly enough if you spin the card it does tend to look more in focus. Apply this feature as you see fit. Absinthe also includes the Prohibition “Ad Card” as well as the recipe card.
The Absinthe court cards are the most interesting of the Prohibitions series. They have this “Ghostly”, wispy, mirror design to them. The black suites show our characters in a grey tone, while the red suites continue in the green. The “Odd” detail on the courts is that over the images they have a stark white line pattern. Some looks like circuitry, while on others it’s a bit more organic matching the deck better. The Jack, Queen and King characters are the same in all four suites, but what does change is the stark white line “Overlay”. For most of the courts it comes across as a design element of some sort, but on a few, the element is so overwhelming you can’t make out the detail in the character design at all. I’m honestly not sure what the thought process or inspiration behind that choice was, but it seems to break away from the theme too drastically. Looking at the actual design of the court character under the bold lines, they actually look very nice and would have probably been better off without the line overlay and with a little clean up would have lent themselves better to the overall look and theme of the deck.
Absinthe is a nice deck, can you overlook the over foiled back and the bright white line overlay of the courts? Well, that’s for you to decide. The one question that kept creeping into my head was, why? And while sometimes I can assume the answer, I had nothing plausible for these two items. Prohibition as a set is definitely above average. I think the price point is a bit high based on the decks and the display case. The $125.00 price tag is hard to breakdown really well because the display case, while it does fit the concept really well, is hardly anything special. I would put it at about $20-25 of the total price, leaving your individual decks at about $15, give or take.