Reviews Directory All Product Reviews Vintage Absinthe Belgian vintage - unknown brand

Belgian vintage - unknown brand http://www.wormwoodsociety.org/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/300x300s/04/56/30/_l-absinthe208-1336870769.jpg

 
4.2
 
3.7 (3)
 

Product Details

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Style/Color
Year of Make (if known)
Distiller/Manufacturer
Wormwood Society Editor Comments
Very little is known about this absinthe, including whether or not is is indeed a vintage brand. The Wormwood Society was approached by a vintage spirits vendor who provided a complimentary sample for examination.

From the seller's website: These bottles where part of a consignment which stood in a Belgium cellar untill 1906. After the 1906 Belgium ban on Absinthe the bottles where send further to Germany where they where stored and consequently forgotten for over a century . All bottles seem to have been produced between 1840-1870 and are still sealed with the original corks


Editor reviews

Appearance: A deep amber. Almost like a cognac. Very attractive. No sediment, although it must be noted that this was from a decanted sample.

Louche: Fully louched within 1 1/2 measures of water. Fairly thick as well. My only complaint would be the post-louche color, which is almost like muddy water. Many vintage absinthes will see more greens and yellow hues come out, but this doesn't really. Almost as if the amber color came more from barrel aging than the breakdown of the coloring herbs.

Aroma: Pre-louche, you get a lot of caramel, port wine, anise, and cotton candy. It definitely seems very likely that this absinthe was aged or stored in wood for some time before being bottled. Post louche, huge caramel notes. The anise goes to the background while some minty wormwood aromas come forward. But the caramel and vanilla notes are the most apparent. Quite interesting.

Flavor: The wood notes (nutmeg, ginger, vanilla) play on the palate, but do so as a complimentary companion to sweet anise and astringent wormwood. It's tasty, but rather one-dimensional aside from the wood notes I mentioned. Although this was presented to me as a verte, I have a hunch that it might have actually been a barrel aged blanche instead, which would certainly explain some of the appearance, aroma, and flavor idiosyncracies. I'm going out on a limb, but based on the aromas and flavors, if this was indeed aged in barrels, the qualities seem to point to French Oak, which tends to lend flavors of baking spices and vanilla.

Finish: Mostly wormwood and a certain drying effect that could be attributable to the aforementioned theory of barrel aging/storage.

Overall: A very unique absinthe. I'd certainly love to get more of this for further study. Anyone who picks up a sample (or bottle) will not be upset that they spent the money to do so.
Overall rating 
 
4.2
Appearance 
 
5.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
4.5
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
3.5
Overall 
 
4.0
Reviewed by Brian Robinson May 13, 2012
Last updated: July 30, 2013
#1 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (165)

An intriguing absinthe and unique profile

Appearance: A deep amber. Almost like a cognac. Very attractive. No sediment, although it must be noted that this was from a decanted sample.

Louche: Fully louched within 1 1/2 measures of water. Fairly thick as well. My only complaint would be the post-louche color, which is almost like muddy water. Many vintage absinthes will see more greens and yellow hues come out, but this doesn't really. Almost as if the amber color came more from barrel aging than the breakdown of the coloring herbs.

Aroma: Pre-louche, you get a lot of caramel, port wine, anise, and cotton candy. It definitely seems very likely that this absinthe was aged or stored in wood for some time before being bottled. Post louche, huge caramel notes. The anise goes to the background while some minty wormwood aromas come forward. But the caramel and vanilla notes are the most apparent. Quite interesting.

Flavor: The wood notes (nutmeg, ginger, vanilla) play on the palate, but do so as a complimentary companion to sweet anise and astringent wormwood. It's tasty, but rather one-dimensional aside from the wood notes I mentioned. Although this was presented to me as a verte, I have a hunch that it might have actually been a barrel aged blanche instead, which would certainly explain some of the appearance, aroma, and flavor idiosyncracies. I'm going out on a limb, but based on the aromas and flavors, if this was indeed aged in barrels, the qualities seem to point to French Oak, which tends to lend flavors of baking spices and vanilla.

Finish: Mostly wormwood and a certain drying effect that could be attributable to the aforementioned theory of barrel aging/storage.

Overall: A very unique absinthe. I'd certainly love to get more of this for further study. Anyone who picks up a sample (or bottle) will not be upset that they spent the money to do so.

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User reviews

Average user rating from: 3 user(s)

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Overall rating 
 
3.7
Appearance 
 
4.3  (3)
Louche 
 
3.5  (3)
Aroma 
 
3.8  (3)
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
3.2  (3)
Finish 
 
3.7  (3)
Overall 
 
3.7  (3)
Appearance: A clear yet heavy and dark burnt umber color. Very pretty but also very colored. Natural and intentional. The yellow color speaks more of whiskey, cognac, and other brown spirits than a dead leaf, vintage absinthe.

Louche: Quick to louche and starts thick but ends up a bit thinner than expected at 3 to 1 and above. The typical blue-grey edge hues are present but the main color is a darkish pale yellow that somewhat reminds me of sewage water.

Aroma: A very interesting minty-camphor aroma hits me first. Fennel and wormwood dominant along with smoke, vanilla, and a sweet maple aroma. The smells ends with a nice floral tone as well. This is a very robust smelling absinthe and all aromas are present in force with nothing really shy or lurking in the background.

Flavor: Holy smokes! The first taste to show is like a campfire. The camphor dominant fennel and wormwood combo follow right up. The floral tones show up later along with some sweet vanilla notes. The texture is surprisingly smooth for the taste. This would not be an everyday sort of absinthe and one that requires the right mood. It somewhat reminds me of some of the alpine amaros out there.

Finish: The floral and smoke notes stay dominant throughout a finish that dries out. It sweetens up a bit with some oxygen and numbs slightly. Some pepper taste and a fruit characteristic show but just barely.

Overall: This strangely smoky and camphorous absinthe is for a particular taste and also the right setting. If you enjoy smoke monster style cocktails or traditional amaros then you might be a fan of this as I am. If you don't like such things then save that vintage money for another brand. I honestly wish that there was enough cheaply available to mix this and put this absinthe to some cocktail use.
Overall rating 
 
3.8
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
3.5
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
3.5
Finish 
 
3.5
Overall 
 
4.0
Reviewed by Evan Camomile August 06, 2012
Last updated: August 06, 2012
Top 10 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (67)

Medicinal Campfire

Appearance: A clear yet heavy and dark burnt umber color. Very pretty but also very colored. Natural and intentional. The yellow color speaks more of whiskey, cognac, and other brown spirits than a dead leaf, vintage absinthe.

Louche: Quick to louche and starts thick but ends up a bit thinner than expected at 3 to 1 and above. The typical blue-grey edge hues are present but the main color is a darkish pale yellow that somewhat reminds me of sewage water.

Aroma: A very interesting minty-camphor aroma hits me first. Fennel and wormwood dominant along with smoke, vanilla, and a sweet maple aroma. The smells ends with a nice floral tone as well. This is a very robust smelling absinthe and all aromas are present in force with nothing really shy or lurking in the background.

Flavor: Holy smokes! The first taste to show is like a campfire. The camphor dominant fennel and wormwood combo follow right up. The floral tones show up later along with some sweet vanilla notes. The texture is surprisingly smooth for the taste. This would not be an everyday sort of absinthe and one that requires the right mood. It somewhat reminds me of some of the alpine amaros out there.

Finish: The floral and smoke notes stay dominant throughout a finish that dries out. It sweetens up a bit with some oxygen and numbs slightly. Some pepper taste and a fruit characteristic show but just barely.

Overall: This strangely smoky and camphorous absinthe is for a particular taste and also the right setting. If you enjoy smoke monster style cocktails or traditional amaros then you might be a fan of this as I am. If you don't like such things then save that vintage money for another brand. I honestly wish that there was enough cheaply available to mix this and put this absinthe to some cocktail use.

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Appearance: The color is pleasantly mapley and definitely looks like a barrel-aged spirit in color...deep and butterscotch-like.

Louche: There's a lot of dimensions of color including blues, greens, yellows, and oranges. It's not particularly creamy or thick and quite translucent which occurs shortly before a 3:1 dilution, getting thinner and thinner with any higher dilutions.

Aroma: Heavily smoky and almost like a men's cologne, mildly mentholated providing a slight tingle in the nose, with some warm wormwood and violet notes.

Flavor: Extra smokey, and loads of charcoal. There's definitely some wormwood and it's fairly peppery and tickley on the tongue. I feel like perhaps it's just the smokiness, but it's somewhat tobacco-esque.

Finish: Oaky and warm, very lengthy and mouth-watering, which evolves into something slightly fruity.

Overall: It's hard for me to detect much of anything because of the overwhelming smokiness...it even makes it a little difficult to tell that it's absinthe.
Overall rating 
 
3.1
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
3.0
Aroma 
 
3.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
2.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
3.0
Reviewed by Amber Peter August 05, 2012
Last updated: August 06, 2012
Top 50 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (58)

Hesitant review...

Appearance: The color is pleasantly mapley and definitely looks like a barrel-aged spirit in color...deep and butterscotch-like.

Louche: There's a lot of dimensions of color including blues, greens, yellows, and oranges. It's not particularly creamy or thick and quite translucent which occurs shortly before a 3:1 dilution, getting thinner and thinner with any higher dilutions.

Aroma: Heavily smoky and almost like a men's cologne, mildly mentholated providing a slight tingle in the nose, with some warm wormwood and violet notes.

Flavor: Extra smokey, and loads of charcoal. There's definitely some wormwood and it's fairly peppery and tickley on the tongue. I feel like perhaps it's just the smokiness, but it's somewhat tobacco-esque.

Finish: Oaky and warm, very lengthy and mouth-watering, which evolves into something slightly fruity.

Overall: It's hard for me to detect much of anything because of the overwhelming smokiness...it even makes it a little difficult to tell that it's absinthe.

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To start, I'm pretty bad with picking out specific flavors in any beverage I taste, but I'll do my best.

Prep: Ice cold fountain with an unnaturally slow drip. Hey, it's not every day I louche up a ~150 year old absinthe. No sugar of any type was added.

Appearance: Unlouched, it looks like an attractive scotch. A nice, pretty, feuille morte. No complaints.

Louche: Just a tad bit of water, and I already see a cloudy layer forming! Quickest louche I've yet seen. The final louche lacks some opalescence that I'd hoped to see, but still a strong, amber-colored louche.

Aroma: Ho boy. Very unique aroma coming out of this one. With an herbaceous baseline, the hints of medicinal iodine as well as a certain sweetness hit me. Quite interesting but not something that makes me want to magically turn the stuff into a candle and take it everywhere I go.

Flavor: It starts with a bit of butterscotch and then the herbs hit me. Wormwood and fennel. There's also some other herb playing around that I can't name. See? I told you I suck at this. While sipping this guy, there's something about it that made me put it down for a bit. I needed to take breaks from sipping it. Not sure why, I just suppose the flavor's appeal didn't last. There some absinthes that I need to constantly have near my face, but unfortunately, this isn't it. I also did note a tiny bit of a moldy flavor in there, but that may be just placebo effect. I really couldn't figure that out.

Finish: Oddly, a bit bitter. I didn't mind it, as it wasn't overwhelming. It had a bite to it, and I did feel the need to drink a bit of water after. It did also finish dry. By dry, I mean literally making my mouth dry (the effect didn't set in until about half way through the glass). I've never experienced that in an absinthe before, but I can recall quite a few cognacs and scotches that had a similar effect.


So yeah. It is nothing like a modern absinthe. It reminds me a bit of L'Ancienne mixed with a more traditional tasting absinthe (like MoL). This is by far the most interesting combination of flavor, aroma, and finish I've yet experienced in an absinthe.
Overall rating 
 
4.2
Appearance 
 
5.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
4.5
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
3.5
Overall 
 
4.0
Reviewed by optional July 31, 2012
Last updated: August 01, 2012
Top 1000 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (1)

Quite a unique absinthe

To start, I'm pretty bad with picking out specific flavors in any beverage I taste, but I'll do my best.

Prep: Ice cold fountain with an unnaturally slow drip. Hey, it's not every day I louche up a ~150 year old absinthe. No sugar of any type was added.

Appearance: Unlouched, it looks like an attractive scotch. A nice, pretty, feuille morte. No complaints.

Louche: Just a tad bit of water, and I already see a cloudy layer forming! Quickest louche I've yet seen. The final louche lacks some opalescence that I'd hoped to see, but still a strong, amber-colored louche.

Aroma: Ho boy. Very unique aroma coming out of this one. With an herbaceous baseline, the hints of medicinal iodine as well as a certain sweetness hit me. Quite interesting but not something that makes me want to magically turn the stuff into a candle and take it everywhere I go.

Flavor: It starts with a bit of butterscotch and then the herbs hit me. Wormwood and fennel. There's also some other herb playing around that I can't name. See? I told you I suck at this. While sipping this guy, there's something about it that made me put it down for a bit. I needed to take breaks from sipping it. Not sure why, I just suppose the flavor's appeal didn't last. There some absinthes that I need to constantly have near my face, but unfortunately, this isn't it. I also did note a tiny bit of a moldy flavor in there, but that may be just placebo effect. I really couldn't figure that out.

Finish: Oddly, a bit bitter. I didn't mind it, as it wasn't overwhelming. It had a bite to it, and I did feel the need to drink a bit of water after. It did also finish dry. By dry, I mean literally making my mouth dry (the effect didn't set in until about half way through the glass). I've never experienced that in an absinthe before, but I can recall quite a few cognacs and scotches that had a similar effect.


So yeah. It is nothing like a modern absinthe. It reminds me a bit of L'Ancienne mixed with a more traditional tasting absinthe (like MoL). This is by far the most interesting combination of flavor, aroma, and finish I've yet experienced in an absinthe.

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