Review Detail

 
All Product Reviews » Traditional Absinthe
Color
Unlouched, light medium lime green with amber glints. Louched, milky amber/green with really beautiful opalescence... blue, rose, corn-silk at the edges. Maybe a smidge on the lean side in color, but totally correct. Really good vibrancy to all colors.

Louche
Rockin' louche. Really thick oily looking trails... some of the thickest looking and slowest to fall I have seen. Great layering and everything visible till about 1.2/1 at which point everything becomes opaque. Just about as good as it gets. Rivals the Jades.

Aroma
Prelouche, anise, citrus, caramel, herbs. Louched, really fresh, really clean, no off anything. This stuff is just crazy! So complex yet so balanced that any one thing is hard to discern. Good wormwood, for sure, but not that Pontarlier fruity style... tighter and more elegant. Anise and fennel right there. No alcohol heat, neat or louched. Herbals, florals, mint, and a little citric edge. Unbelievably clean!

Flavor
I can't take the time to count the flavors here! Wildly complex but amazingly reserved. Creamy, but not overly creamy mouthfeel. All the expected impressions in really precise measures. A nice spice. Ever so slight tongue numbing. A touch of talc. Total palate impression is one of great finesse and balance. Very fresh, clean, and focused. Not muddled at all.

Finish
Gentle "pull" on the palate. Long, crisp, and clean. All aroma and palate impressions fade to anise and fennel, receding to a beautiful powderiness. There's a fine, fine spiciness that's like lying on a bed of pins! Tingly in the most nano sense. Gorgeous and classy, seamless nose and palate.

Overall
Coming from the wine world, I always think of "American" style as something that comes at you like a freight train. This ain't that. This is ultra classy and fine. Balanced, stylish, reserved. Outstanding and complex nose and palate further punctuated by a texture that is akin to a finely grained tapestry. And for all this finesse, it holds up to the boldest of ryes in a Sazerac. Sha-wing! Something like this not only takes the vision, but the most adroit hand of a skilled artist. I recently said in a review of Jade PF 1901, that "You could make the argument that this defines modern absinthe at the high end, and you may not win, but you're not going to loose." This is likely the other side of the argument.

01/28/10 Revisit - Every time I taste this absinthe I am astounded. I remember hearing Lance Winters say "It's taking a number of super loud ingredients, and making them all sing in harmony with one another." If that's the case, this should be nominated for a Grammy. There is nothing timid about this offering. In fact, many of the choices made here are very brave... certainly not a case of playing not to loose. And yet, the entire tone is tempered with a maturity that does not need to shout "Look at me, Look at me!" From the beautifully translucent louche, to the addition of orris, to the insanely high quality of ingredients that allows for any dilution within reason, MAdlBE is a portrait of competence. All original notes remain unaltered. All original scores remain the same, with one exception... I have changed the score for "Overall" from 4 to 5. Congrats Gwydion, I am so looking forward to your future offerings.

Done with a 1 ounce dose, diluted 3/1, 4/1, 5/1 and no sugar.

Marteau Absinthe de la Belle Epoque 12/10/08, 12/11/08, 1/07/09, 1/17/09, 1/28/10
All evaluations had consistent notes.
Overall rating 
 
4.8
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
5.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
5.0
Overall 
 
5.0
Reviewed by Michael Meyers January 31, 2009
Last updated: June 19, 2012
Top 50 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (53)

The Other Side Of The Argument

Color
Unlouched, light medium lime green with amber glints. Louched, milky amber/green with really beautiful opalescence... blue, rose, corn-silk at the edges. Maybe a smidge on the lean side in color, but totally correct. Really good vibrancy to all colors.

Louche
Rockin' louche. Really thick oily looking trails... some of the thickest looking and slowest to fall I have seen. Great layering and everything visible till about 1.2/1 at which point everything becomes opaque. Just about as good as it gets. Rivals the Jades.

Aroma
Prelouche, anise, citrus, caramel, herbs. Louched, really fresh, really clean, no off anything. This stuff is just crazy! So complex yet so balanced that any one thing is hard to discern. Good wormwood, for sure, but not that Pontarlier fruity style... tighter and more elegant. Anise and fennel right there. No alcohol heat, neat or louched. Herbals, florals, mint, and a little citric edge. Unbelievably clean!

Flavor
I can't take the time to count the flavors here! Wildly complex but amazingly reserved. Creamy, but not overly creamy mouthfeel. All the expected impressions in really precise measures. A nice spice. Ever so slight tongue numbing. A touch of talc. Total palate impression is one of great finesse and balance. Very fresh, clean, and focused. Not muddled at all.

Finish
Gentle "pull" on the palate. Long, crisp, and clean. All aroma and palate impressions fade to anise and fennel, receding to a beautiful powderiness. There's a fine, fine spiciness that's like lying on a bed of pins! Tingly in the most nano sense. Gorgeous and classy, seamless nose and palate.

Overall
Coming from the wine world, I always think of "American" style as something that comes at you like a freight train. This ain't that. This is ultra classy and fine. Balanced, stylish, reserved. Outstanding and complex nose and palate further punctuated by a texture that is akin to a finely grained tapestry. And for all this finesse, it holds up to the boldest of ryes in a Sazerac. Sha-wing! Something like this not only takes the vision, but the most adroit hand of a skilled artist. I recently said in a review of Jade PF 1901, that "You could make the argument that this defines modern absinthe at the high end, and you may not win, but you're not going to loose." This is likely the other side of the argument.

01/28/10 Revisit - Every time I taste this absinthe I am astounded. I remember hearing Lance Winters say "It's taking a number of super loud ingredients, and making them all sing in harmony with one another." If that's the case, this should be nominated for a Grammy. There is nothing timid about this offering. In fact, many of the choices made here are very brave... certainly not a case of playing not to loose. And yet, the entire tone is tempered with a maturity that does not need to shout "Look at me, Look at me!" From the beautifully translucent louche, to the addition of orris, to the insanely high quality of ingredients that allows for any dilution within reason, MAdlBE is a portrait of competence. All original notes remain unaltered. All original scores remain the same, with one exception... I have changed the score for "Overall" from 4 to 5. Congrats Gwydion, I am so looking forward to your future offerings.

Done with a 1 ounce dose, diluted 3/1, 4/1, 5/1 and no sugar.

Marteau Absinthe de la Belle Epoque 12/10/08, 12/11/08, 1/07/09, 1/17/09, 1/28/10
All evaluations had consistent notes.

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