Belle Amie http://www.wormwoodsociety.org/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/300x300s/a5/a8/91/375_belleamiebottle_1196013072.jpg

 
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4.4 (14)
 

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Average editor rating from: 4 user(s)

Overall rating 
 
4.1
Appearance 
 
4.0  (4)
Louche 
 
3.5  (4)
Aroma 
 
4.8  (4)
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.3  (4)
Finish 
 
4.0  (4)
Overall 
 
4.0  (4)

Color: nice green olive with an amber shade, a little too deep for a modern absinthe imo.



Louche: not opalescent but still nicely formed. But pay attention, you have to stop the water drip quickly, otherwise the louche is ruined (see 'Overall' below).



Aroma: Typical wormwood/green anise from the Emile Pernot distillery in Pontarlier. Then I smell a good fennel hidden behind spiciness. Overall pleasant and floral, Belle Amie strength.



Flavor: This is mainly where I'm disappointed, the flavor doesn't follow the great aroma. Ok it's good but quickly monotonous, a bit one-dimensional.



Finish: good but a little too biting, the coriander takes the podium here.



Overall: I would say "too well balanced", it's missing some punch, a true character, something that would make say "wow! let's have another one".

Also, if you're not tasting it at different louching steps (I've tried many), or if you're used to a higher ratio from your past 'vertes' experiences, then you're taking the risk of drinking an absinthe-perfumed water glass. Start tasting it at 3:1 or just before that, do not wait for the usual undiluted layer to disappear before drinking it!
Overall rating 
 
3.5
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
3.0
Finish 
 
3.0
Overall 
 
3.0
Reviewed by mthuilli July 11, 2008
Last updated: July 11, 2008
Top 500 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (9)

A bit monotonous...

Color: nice green olive with an amber shade, a little too deep for a modern absinthe imo.



Louche: not opalescent but still nicely formed. But pay attention, you have to stop the water drip quickly, otherwise the louche is ruined (see 'Overall' below).



Aroma: Typical wormwood/green anise from the Emile Pernot distillery in Pontarlier. Then I smell a good fennel hidden behind spiciness. Overall pleasant and floral, Belle Amie strength.



Flavor: This is mainly where I'm disappointed, the flavor doesn't follow the great aroma. Ok it's good but quickly monotonous, a bit one-dimensional.



Finish: good but a little too biting, the coriander takes the podium here.



Overall: I would say "too well balanced", it's missing some punch, a true character, something that would make say "wow! let's have another one".

Also, if you're not tasting it at different louching steps (I've tried many), or if you're used to a higher ratio from your past 'vertes' experiences, then you're taking the risk of drinking an absinthe-perfumed water glass. Start tasting it at 3:1 or just before that, do not wait for the usual undiluted layer to disappear before drinking it!

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Bottom line: this absinthe is great.

Color is a very attractive fuille morte which really reminds one more of a vintage brand than a currently available brand.

The louche is the only drawback to this absinthe. I myself enjoy a well formed, thick louche, but Belle Amie tends to be a bit weak, and subject to very easy overwatering. You have to use VERY cold water and a slow drip to be able to coax it out. At full dilution, the louche is a relatively opaque greenish brown, but not opalescent.

The aroma is stunning. It's got such a fresh, spicy herbal quality to it with strong scents of high quality wormwood. It's light on the anise but makes up for that with a boquet of floral essenses.

The taste is very refreshing. Lots of herbal character with high quality wormwood mintiness and great vegetal undertones. The coriander adds a great depth of flavor.

The finish is long and lovely. It will stay with you for a long long time and makes you want more.

Overall, this absinthe was a welcome addition to my collection. Although there are potential problems with overwatering, when it's done just right, it's one of the most memorable CO absinthes out there.
Overall rating 
 
4.2
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
3.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0
Reviewed by Brian Robinson January 17, 2008
Last updated: May 13, 2009
#1 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (167)

One of my favorites

Bottom line: this absinthe is great.

Color is a very attractive fuille morte which really reminds one more of a vintage brand than a currently available brand.

The louche is the only drawback to this absinthe. I myself enjoy a well formed, thick louche, but Belle Amie tends to be a bit weak, and subject to very easy overwatering. You have to use VERY cold water and a slow drip to be able to coax it out. At full dilution, the louche is a relatively opaque greenish brown, but not opalescent.

The aroma is stunning. It's got such a fresh, spicy herbal quality to it with strong scents of high quality wormwood. It's light on the anise but makes up for that with a boquet of floral essenses.

The taste is very refreshing. Lots of herbal character with high quality wormwood mintiness and great vegetal undertones. The coriander adds a great depth of flavor.

The finish is long and lovely. It will stay with you for a long long time and makes you want more.

Overall, this absinthe was a welcome addition to my collection. Although there are potential problems with overwatering, when it's done just right, it's one of the most memorable CO absinthes out there.

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Belle Amie is good but...

Color: A bit of olive that's not very pretty but quite dull and even a little hazy. If it had some age to it, I might forgive it but it's new.

Louche: Temperamental, demands very cold water and a slow drip to get a thick louche. As in other areas, it is too delicate to be consistent.

Aroma: Excellent...don't over-water, not even a drop.

Flavor: Very good flavor, nice herbal qualities that are sustained well after the drink has been swallowed. If even slightly over-watered, the flavor profile falls apart. Under-watered and there is a distinct medicinal quality.

Finish: Here Belle Amie shines.

Overall: Belle Amie is good but the delicate temperament is a real distraction.



Belle Amie's real problems develop when slightly over-watered and it begins to fall apart in the glass. At that point, it goes from a good glass of absinthe to absolutely undrinkable. This is a real Jekyll and Hyde in a bottle. The real issue is over-watering but not in the usual sense if the drinker should become distracted and water at 5-to-1 but only slightly over-watered at a very common 4-to-1. In my mind, this is not a little thing but a real concern. If the drinker can find that very shallow "sweet spot," it's a good beverage but not close to any of the Jades or Marteau or even Eichelberger Limitee Verte.
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Appearance 
 
3.0
Louche 
 
3.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
5.0
Overall 
 
4.0
Reviewed by Joe Legate December 23, 2007
Top 50 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (26)

I'll pass on this bandwagon.

Belle Amie is good but...

Color: A bit of olive that's not very pretty but quite dull and even a little hazy. If it had some age to it, I might forgive it but it's new.

Louche: Temperamental, demands very cold water and a slow drip to get a thick louche. As in other areas, it is too delicate to be consistent.

Aroma: Excellent...don't over-water, not even a drop.

Flavor: Very good flavor, nice herbal qualities that are sustained well after the drink has been swallowed. If even slightly over-watered, the flavor profile falls apart. Under-watered and there is a distinct medicinal quality.

Finish: Here Belle Amie shines.

Overall: Belle Amie is good but the delicate temperament is a real distraction.



Belle Amie's real problems develop when slightly over-watered and it begins to fall apart in the glass. At that point, it goes from a good glass of absinthe to absolutely undrinkable. This is a real Jekyll and Hyde in a bottle. The real issue is over-watering but not in the usual sense if the drinker should become distracted and water at 5-to-1 but only slightly over-watered at a very common 4-to-1. In my mind, this is not a little thing but a real concern. If the drinker can find that very shallow "sweet spot," it's a good beverage but not close to any of the Jades or Marteau or even Eichelberger Limitee Verte.

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Belle Amie pours clear, bright gold with a hint of green, a colour I've only seen in absinthe that has been aged for at least a few years. The louche is very slow and theatrical, dancing back and forth. The louched spirit is slightly thin and a bit more green than before adding water.



The aroma reminds me strongly of preban Pernod Fils, but is spicier and not as sweet. The anise is deceptive; it's light in intensity but stands out so strongly in character that it seems more intense than it is. Coriander, pontica, and hyssop, all of excellent quality, mingle in more of a homophonic theme than counterpoint. However, all of it is backed up by a wormwood so gorgeous it's like listening to music where the bassist steals the show.



And boy, does that carry over to the flavour, plus some. The wormwood is fantastic; definitely that same juicy, floral, and simply luscious wormwood that was used in L'Artisanale. Here it's used a tad more sparingly but to no less spectacular effect. Anise is hardly noticeable to me on the palate, and instead fennel and coriander provide most of the accompaniment. I disagree with some of my peers on the colouring herb flavour being too strong or vegetal... but that may just be because I enjoy a prominent pontica profile.



The one area where I think Belle Amie could use adjusting (as opposed to minor tweaking) is the mouth-feel. It could stand to be a good deal creamier. The finish is long and dominated by wormwood. This is one of the dryer absinthes I've had, with a respectable bitterness that lingers pleasantly on the palate. The juxtaposition of the somewhat wild bitterness with the extremely sophisticated flavour is pure joy, not entirely unlike the experience of sipping a very good, well-aged bourbon.



It's wonderful.
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Appearance 
 
5.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
5.0
Reviewed by Andrew Young December 14, 2007
Last updated: December 14, 2007
Top 50 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (60)

Beautiful Belle Amie

Belle Amie pours clear, bright gold with a hint of green, a colour I've only seen in absinthe that has been aged for at least a few years. The louche is very slow and theatrical, dancing back and forth. The louched spirit is slightly thin and a bit more green than before adding water.



The aroma reminds me strongly of preban Pernod Fils, but is spicier and not as sweet. The anise is deceptive; it's light in intensity but stands out so strongly in character that it seems more intense than it is. Coriander, pontica, and hyssop, all of excellent quality, mingle in more of a homophonic theme than counterpoint. However, all of it is backed up by a wormwood so gorgeous it's like listening to music where the bassist steals the show.



And boy, does that carry over to the flavour, plus some. The wormwood is fantastic; definitely that same juicy, floral, and simply luscious wormwood that was used in L'Artisanale. Here it's used a tad more sparingly but to no less spectacular effect. Anise is hardly noticeable to me on the palate, and instead fennel and coriander provide most of the accompaniment. I disagree with some of my peers on the colouring herb flavour being too strong or vegetal... but that may just be because I enjoy a prominent pontica profile.



The one area where I think Belle Amie could use adjusting (as opposed to minor tweaking) is the mouth-feel. It could stand to be a good deal creamier. The finish is long and dominated by wormwood. This is one of the dryer absinthes I've had, with a respectable bitterness that lingers pleasantly on the palate. The juxtaposition of the somewhat wild bitterness with the extremely sophisticated flavour is pure joy, not entirely unlike the experience of sipping a very good, well-aged bourbon.



It's wonderful.

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Overall rating 
 
4.4
Appearance 
 
4.0  (14)
Louche 
 
3.8  (14)
Aroma 
 
4.4  (14)
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4.8  (14)
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4.5  (14)
Overall 
 
4.5  (14)
-2nd Distillation 2008 Bottle 558/640 - tasted in Oct 2010 -

Appearance: Goldish-Olive hue, probably due to Feuille Morte since I've aged this bottle over 2 years, and who knows how much the distiller aged it from completion to bottling periods.

Louche: Great louche that builds up with oily trails slowly and completes with billowy effect. Not extremely dense/milky however, which leads me to be careful not to add too much water.

Aroma: Fantastic 'powdery' scent with floral/fresh fruit notes in the forefront with a bitter wormwood spice balanced well in the background. When water is added, things seem even more balanced, with that floral aspect blending in a bit.

Taste: Nearly a perfectly balanced taste, just like the aroma, that leads somewhat with the sweeter notes. I prefer a little sugar in this one, but it is not bad without, either.

Finish: Medium mouth feel with a slight numbing - the final aftertaste is that of the wormwood. I really enjoy the flowery aroma/sweet start and a more herbal bitter finish.

Overall: Definitely in my top 5 and worth the hype. The archetype of what good absinthe tastes like. You can definitely taste a huge difference when going from this to a bottle in a lower price range, like my everyday absinthe choices. Other reviewers have stated quite agreeably that this is one of the best COs out there, with only minor criticisms such as the mouth feel & louche.

Overall rating 
 
4.6
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
4.5
Overall 
 
5.0
Reviewed by Neorebel January 27, 2013
Top 50 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (11)

Belle Amie: One of the best commercial offerings

-2nd Distillation 2008 Bottle 558/640 - tasted in Oct 2010 -

Appearance: Goldish-Olive hue, probably due to Feuille Morte since I've aged this bottle over 2 years, and who knows how much the distiller aged it from completion to bottling periods.

Louche: Great louche that builds up with oily trails slowly and completes with billowy effect. Not extremely dense/milky however, which leads me to be careful not to add too much water.

Aroma: Fantastic 'powdery' scent with floral/fresh fruit notes in the forefront with a bitter wormwood spice balanced well in the background. When water is added, things seem even more balanced, with that floral aspect blending in a bit.

Taste: Nearly a perfectly balanced taste, just like the aroma, that leads somewhat with the sweeter notes. I prefer a little sugar in this one, but it is not bad without, either.

Finish: Medium mouth feel with a slight numbing - the final aftertaste is that of the wormwood. I really enjoy the flowery aroma/sweet start and a more herbal bitter finish.

Overall: Definitely in my top 5 and worth the hype. The archetype of what good absinthe tastes like. You can definitely taste a huge difference when going from this to a bottle in a lower price range, like my everyday absinthe choices. Other reviewers have stated quite agreeably that this is one of the best COs out there, with only minor criticisms such as the mouth feel & louche.

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Three years after writing the first review, I'm tweaking this a bit, as the latest batch is simply so good, that I felt the time was right to amend my old review of an earlier batch.

sampled at 3.5:1 with one sugar

Color: A lovely natural sparkling medium green. Natural and clear.

Louche: This latest version has a thicker louche than the ones I've had before. It is not a particularly thick louche, but is substantial enough. It is just thin enough at the edges for flashes of copper to peek thru, and play nicely with light. The build is slow and steady, taking its time to develop. I like absinthe that takes its time to develop this way.

Aroma: The aroma is very inviting; a warm anise, Pontarlier wormwood, and rich fennel are enhanced by complex herbal edges. I found myself inhaling the aroma from the bottle several times before pouring...A good sign!

Flavor: Very very nice. What a delicious wormwood! It is warm and inviting, with a classic French verte personality.

Finish: It follows the flavor, lingers nicely and fades slowly leaving a light pepper and citrus. The mouthfeel is really nice...not too thin, not too thick.

Overall: This is a fine absinthe. I would consider this a must-try, as I do all the Parisienne series absinthes.
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Appearance 
 
4.5
Louche 
 
4.5
Aroma 
 
4.5
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.5
Finish 
 
4.5
Overall 
 
4.5
Reviewed by Scott M. May 10, 2010
Last updated: August 26, 2013
Top 10 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (64)

Belle Amie Est Mon Amie!

Three years after writing the first review, I'm tweaking this a bit, as the latest batch is simply so good, that I felt the time was right to amend my old review of an earlier batch.

sampled at 3.5:1 with one sugar

Color: A lovely natural sparkling medium green. Natural and clear.

Louche: This latest version has a thicker louche than the ones I've had before. It is not a particularly thick louche, but is substantial enough. It is just thin enough at the edges for flashes of copper to peek thru, and play nicely with light. The build is slow and steady, taking its time to develop. I like absinthe that takes its time to develop this way.

Aroma: The aroma is very inviting; a warm anise, Pontarlier wormwood, and rich fennel are enhanced by complex herbal edges. I found myself inhaling the aroma from the bottle several times before pouring...A good sign!

Flavor: Very very nice. What a delicious wormwood! It is warm and inviting, with a classic French verte personality.

Finish: It follows the flavor, lingers nicely and fades slowly leaving a light pepper and citrus. The mouthfeel is really nice...not too thin, not too thick.

Overall: This is a fine absinthe. I would consider this a must-try, as I do all the Parisienne series absinthes.

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A green tinged amber shade with the green being very faint. The louche is slow forming with gradient clouds, nicely formed. The color after water is a translucent tinged green. The aroma is of anise with a alcohol presence but not overbearing, with herbal notes…angelica, and hyssop, I believe. Louched a herbal mix with very present wormwood. The mouth feel is clean and velvety. The taste is an anise, herbal complexity with an excellent wormwood finish, which is lingering in nature. This will be a very good addition to my absinthe collection.
Overall rating 
 
3.8
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
3.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0
Reviewed by oglala56 November 21, 2009
Top 100 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (17)

Second Belle Amie

A green tinged amber shade with the green being very faint. The louche is slow forming with gradient clouds, nicely formed. The color after water is a translucent tinged green. The aroma is of anise with a alcohol presence but not overbearing, with herbal notes…angelica, and hyssop, I believe. Louched a herbal mix with very present wormwood. The mouth feel is clean and velvety. The taste is an anise, herbal complexity with an excellent wormwood finish, which is lingering in nature. This will be a very good addition to my absinthe collection.

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NOTE: I was provided with a 1 oz blind sample of the 2008 2nd edition courtesy of bksmithey, and reviewed it as I would any other absinthe. However, my review was based entirely on a single glass rather than the three or more I normally have before posting my comments, so please keep that in mind.

COLOR: First of all, the unlouched color of this vert was gold, with the barest trace of green without quite making it to "light olive". After the louche, it was quite a pale yellow, again with the barest hint of green. [I have since been told that it was “quite green” when it was new, but turned to this color after a few months.]

AROMA: The aroma was pleasant and light, but not particularly complex. Anise and/or fennel was at the forefront (I'm still learning to differentiate these, but it seemed to be fairly fennel-heavy), although a strong streak of wormwood formed the backbone of the scent. There was a noticeable tinge of something that I couldn’t put my finger on (bksmithey compared it to baby powder, which is not far off) and thought perhaps it originated from the vial or packaging of the sample, so I didn’t mention it at first. I have since confirmed that it is from the absinthe itself. The aroma is not unpleasant (and is all but gone after loucheing) but it is odd.

LOUCHE: In spite of the experiences others have reported, I have to say that the louche was nicely active for me, with oily trails developing into a nice quilt of cirrus cloud-like formations. It didn’t last very long, but it was enjoyable. I do use very cold water by default, though, so that might be why I had better than average results.

FLAVOR: Once I tasted it, the wormwood came to the front and the anise/fennel took a backseat. The bitterness had a pleasant bite which was strong, but the fine quality of the wormwood used made it an enjoyable sip (and edged this from a 3 to a 4). Overall, the flavor came across as a bit simplistic, but elegantly done. I found that it could be pushed to 4.5:1 and still be good, but started getting noticeably weak at 5:1. Those with a bitter tooth would likely rate this one very highly.

FINISH: The mouthfeel was not thin, though not particularly creamy, but there was just the right amount of tongue-numbing. For such a high ABV (72%), the distiller did a fine job balancing everything.

OVERALL: While it might be near the upper limits of what I would find pleasantly bitter even after sweetening, I enjoyed this and would not refuse another glass.
Overall rating 
 
3.8
Appearance 
 
3.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0
Reviewed by jaysthename August 11, 2009
Last updated: August 11, 2009
Top 50 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (19)

Elegantly bitter

NOTE: I was provided with a 1 oz blind sample of the 2008 2nd edition courtesy of bksmithey, and reviewed it as I would any other absinthe. However, my review was based entirely on a single glass rather than the three or more I normally have before posting my comments, so please keep that in mind.

COLOR: First of all, the unlouched color of this vert was gold, with the barest trace of green without quite making it to "light olive". After the louche, it was quite a pale yellow, again with the barest hint of green. [I have since been told that it was “quite green” when it was new, but turned to this color after a few months.]

AROMA: The aroma was pleasant and light, but not particularly complex. Anise and/or fennel was at the forefront (I'm still learning to differentiate these, but it seemed to be fairly fennel-heavy), although a strong streak of wormwood formed the backbone of the scent. There was a noticeable tinge of something that I couldn’t put my finger on (bksmithey compared it to baby powder, which is not far off) and thought perhaps it originated from the vial or packaging of the sample, so I didn’t mention it at first. I have since confirmed that it is from the absinthe itself. The aroma is not unpleasant (and is all but gone after loucheing) but it is odd.

LOUCHE: In spite of the experiences others have reported, I have to say that the louche was nicely active for me, with oily trails developing into a nice quilt of cirrus cloud-like formations. It didn’t last very long, but it was enjoyable. I do use very cold water by default, though, so that might be why I had better than average results.

FLAVOR: Once I tasted it, the wormwood came to the front and the anise/fennel took a backseat. The bitterness had a pleasant bite which was strong, but the fine quality of the wormwood used made it an enjoyable sip (and edged this from a 3 to a 4). Overall, the flavor came across as a bit simplistic, but elegantly done. I found that it could be pushed to 4.5:1 and still be good, but started getting noticeably weak at 5:1. Those with a bitter tooth would likely rate this one very highly.

FINISH: The mouthfeel was not thin, though not particularly creamy, but there was just the right amount of tongue-numbing. For such a high ABV (72%), the distiller did a fine job balancing everything.

OVERALL: While it might be near the upper limits of what I would find pleasantly bitter even after sweetening, I enjoyed this and would not refuse another glass.

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This review is for the Belle Amie 2nd edition 2008. tasted at approx. 3:1, no sugar

color: very natural, nice peridot with hint of olive. maybe just the slightest hint of haze, or perhaps my glass isn't as crystal clear as I'd like.

nose (neat): good anise, but a pretty big hit of a musty aroma was hiding anything else. We'll see how it goes after the louche.

louche: very cold water drip. Very good louche, started with great trails and rolling threads and the high alc. allowed this to continue for some time before the clouding started. Quite surprising, obviously very different behavior from Belle Amie 1. Separated nicely, had a good clear layer on top until at least 2:1. Aroma is opening up some with the water, but not room filling. Finished color is very nice, maybe leaning slightly towards the brown but with nice almost blue-ish highlights at the surface rim. Fairly opaque, but some translucence when looking up through the glass at an angle. Very attractive.

nose: musty smell has mellowed and faded with water, but it's still there and more than I would like. There is more herbal character coming through now, and nicely balancing the anise, with anise still a bit more in the lead, the way I like it. Overall aroma is somewhat muted and restrained. Reduce or eliminate that musty character and bring everything else up a bit and I'd really like this.

flavor: Very nice anise, this is my preferred style. Nice bitter character, and other herbs there as well, but they're all letting the anise shine through nicely. Very good mouthfeel, not too heavy but not thin. There is an interesting flowery flavor that comes and goes, it is not difficult to pick out, it reminds me a bit of the smell of baby powder. That's a new flavor for me, so it seems slightly out of place to me, but it's actually kind of nice and something I wouldn't mind getting used to. DIfficult to decide whether to score 4 or 5 for this, but I think the only thing that would keep me from going a 5 is probably attributable to the aroma, so a 5 for flavor.

finish: anise and spice, and then replaced by mild, pleasant bitterness. The "baby powder" noted earlier makes a short appearance in the finish, quite unusual. Slightly tongue numbing but not heavy. It really had me wanting another sip.

overall: I really enjoyed this one. If that aromatic note that I didn't care for could be toned down a LOT, I'd probably have this up in my top few. Nicely balanced, learning towards the anise which is what I'm finding I prefer. I'll certainly enjoy drinking the rest of the bottle, but it's probably going to be one of those things that I'll always be thinking "if only for that smell ..."
Overall rating 
 
4.2
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
5.0
Aroma 
 
3.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0
Reviewed by bksmithey May 12, 2009
Top 1000 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (8)

Belle Amie, 2nd edition

This review is for the Belle Amie 2nd edition 2008. tasted at approx. 3:1, no sugar

color: very natural, nice peridot with hint of olive. maybe just the slightest hint of haze, or perhaps my glass isn't as crystal clear as I'd like.

nose (neat): good anise, but a pretty big hit of a musty aroma was hiding anything else. We'll see how it goes after the louche.

louche: very cold water drip. Very good louche, started with great trails and rolling threads and the high alc. allowed this to continue for some time before the clouding started. Quite surprising, obviously very different behavior from Belle Amie 1. Separated nicely, had a good clear layer on top until at least 2:1. Aroma is opening up some with the water, but not room filling. Finished color is very nice, maybe leaning slightly towards the brown but with nice almost blue-ish highlights at the surface rim. Fairly opaque, but some translucence when looking up through the glass at an angle. Very attractive.

nose: musty smell has mellowed and faded with water, but it's still there and more than I would like. There is more herbal character coming through now, and nicely balancing the anise, with anise still a bit more in the lead, the way I like it. Overall aroma is somewhat muted and restrained. Reduce or eliminate that musty character and bring everything else up a bit and I'd really like this.

flavor: Very nice anise, this is my preferred style. Nice bitter character, and other herbs there as well, but they're all letting the anise shine through nicely. Very good mouthfeel, not too heavy but not thin. There is an interesting flowery flavor that comes and goes, it is not difficult to pick out, it reminds me a bit of the smell of baby powder. That's a new flavor for me, so it seems slightly out of place to me, but it's actually kind of nice and something I wouldn't mind getting used to. DIfficult to decide whether to score 4 or 5 for this, but I think the only thing that would keep me from going a 5 is probably attributable to the aroma, so a 5 for flavor.

finish: anise and spice, and then replaced by mild, pleasant bitterness. The "baby powder" noted earlier makes a short appearance in the finish, quite unusual. Slightly tongue numbing but not heavy. It really had me wanting another sip.

overall: I really enjoyed this one. If that aromatic note that I didn't care for could be toned down a LOT, I'd probably have this up in my top few. Nicely balanced, learning towards the anise which is what I'm finding I prefer. I'll certainly enjoy drinking the rest of the bottle, but it's probably going to be one of those things that I'll always be thinking "if only for that smell ..."

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The review of Belle Amie 2:

Have just finished the tasting of the new Belle Amie. First of all, apart from that cork issue, there is another problem both I and my Mum concluded that aroma is very, very alcoholic, it smells like moonshine at 82%, not an elegant absinthe at just 72%.

However, from the beginning:

The colour-not bad but not as beautiful as previously. Louche has been enhanced, possibly with badiane as I am detecting its characteristical note but for the style it is still very nice, slowly forming, gradual, getting denser and denser, drop by drop.

Water is the solution to the harsh aroma (surprisingly the first edition had had a much better aroma) and the bad wine alcohol-the crappiest of allbase gets lost in the herbs’ symphony.

And here I have to admit these are top-notch ones, very bold, strong, bitter, decisive wormwood (much less discrete than in the previous offering), nice pontica, hyssop, balanced coriander and pleasant elacampane.
Finish is long lingering, complex and just as the style requires.

You want the perfect Belle Amie?-take its herb-bill from the second offering, badiane can stay-it is not that obtrusive and it helps absinthe louche well without the risk of being over-watered. Take the base of the first, or do as the wise people do and use grain alcohol. The absinthe should be perfumey not stinky!

Once all this is made, the perfect Belle Amie is accomplished


The review of Belle Amie 1

Gently open the bottle, or unscrew the sample, whatever you have at hand:) and inhale the scent of Arcadia, it is really what the guys back in the heyday might have sipped.

Colour which is a perfect feuille morte, achieved thanks to recommended aging and only natural botanicals, of which veronica seems to be very prominent invites you to partake in the spirit of Belle Epoque. (5)

The louche is slowly forming and typical of de Nimes style so that you just have to sit back and relax while watching the mesmerizing oil trails which finish up being not too thin not to thick a glass of pearl opalescence with a nice, very tiny green tinge. 1:4 ratio seems to be enough. (4)

Once louched, the aromes or angelica, elecampane root and wormwood are filling the room and taking the first sip from the glass leaves a bold, decisive and strongly herbaceous sensation, anethole buddies are not the main players here and stay at the back, if could have their say that very moment. (4) (5)

The finish is sublime with long lingering coriander note that hurries the wormwoodiness. Here, wormwood needs little enhancement. (4)

Of all the absinthes that have been released in the recent time, that shall be considered the real extrait d'absinthe on par with Bazinet or Pernod, if not better. Chapeaux bas! (4)

Overall rating 
 
3.9
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
5.0
Aroma 
 
1.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
5.0
Overall 
 
4.0
Reviewed by absinthist May 14, 2008
Last updated: March 02, 2009
Top 10 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (60)

c'est l'heure, but the clockmaster needs a lesson

The review of Belle Amie 2:

Have just finished the tasting of the new Belle Amie. First of all, apart from that cork issue, there is another problem both I and my Mum concluded that aroma is very, very alcoholic, it smells like moonshine at 82%, not an elegant absinthe at just 72%.

However, from the beginning:

The colour-not bad but not as beautiful as previously. Louche has been enhanced, possibly with badiane as I am detecting its characteristical note but for the style it is still very nice, slowly forming, gradual, getting denser and denser, drop by drop.

Water is the solution to the harsh aroma (surprisingly the first edition had had a much better aroma) and the bad wine alcohol-the crappiest of allbase gets lost in the herbs’ symphony.

And here I have to admit these are top-notch ones, very bold, strong, bitter, decisive wormwood (much less discrete than in the previous offering), nice pontica, hyssop, balanced coriander and pleasant elacampane.
Finish is long lingering, complex and just as the style requires.

You want the perfect Belle Amie?-take its herb-bill from the second offering, badiane can stay-it is not that obtrusive and it helps absinthe louche well without the risk of being over-watered. Take the base of the first, or do as the wise people do and use grain alcohol. The absinthe should be perfumey not stinky!

Once all this is made, the perfect Belle Amie is accomplished


The review of Belle Amie 1

Gently open the bottle, or unscrew the sample, whatever you have at hand:) and inhale the scent of Arcadia, it is really what the guys back in the heyday might have sipped.

Colour which is a perfect feuille morte, achieved thanks to recommended aging and only natural botanicals, of which veronica seems to be very prominent invites you to partake in the spirit of Belle Epoque. (5)

The louche is slowly forming and typical of de Nimes style so that you just have to sit back and relax while watching the mesmerizing oil trails which finish up being not too thin not to thick a glass of pearl opalescence with a nice, very tiny green tinge. 1:4 ratio seems to be enough. (4)

Once louched, the aromes or angelica, elecampane root and wormwood are filling the room and taking the first sip from the glass leaves a bold, decisive and strongly herbaceous sensation, anethole buddies are not the main players here and stay at the back, if could have their say that very moment. (4) (5)

The finish is sublime with long lingering coriander note that hurries the wormwoodiness. Here, wormwood needs little enhancement. (4)

Of all the absinthes that have been released in the recent time, that shall be considered the real extrait d'absinthe on par with Bazinet or Pernod, if not better. Chapeaux bas! (4)

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The deep olive color appears a bit inappropriate. The louche is very slow in developing, and does eventually reach a three tiered effect, though briefly. Very appealing and inviting aroma with a well balanced and complex taste. Beautiful opalesence, yet has some thinness apparent. Finish is inviting and beckons for more. A most enjoyable absinthe, delicious.
Overall rating 
 
4.4
Appearance 
 
3.0
Louche 
 
3.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
5.0
Overall 
 
5.0
Reviewed by techdiver March 19, 2008
Last updated: October 15, 2009
Top 1000 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (8)

Great in most respects

The deep olive color appears a bit inappropriate. The louche is very slow in developing, and does eventually reach a three tiered effect, though briefly. Very appealing and inviting aroma with a well balanced and complex taste. Beautiful opalesence, yet has some thinness apparent. Finish is inviting and beckons for more. A most enjoyable absinthe, delicious.

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I believe this is as close to pre-ban as you can get in a modern absinthe. This will be my favorite for quite some time.
Overall rating 
 
4.8
Appearance 
 
5.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
5.0
Overall 
 
5.0
Reviewed by Derrick January 17, 2008
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Belle Amie Review

I believe this is as close to pre-ban as you can get in a modern absinthe. This will be my favorite for quite some time.

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Overall, this absinthe is delicious. My favorite things about it are its complex aroma and great flavor. The only bad things in my very humble opinion are that the louche is slightly too thin and subsequently the mouth feel is not quite there. The only reason I can see for the mouth feel not being there is because of its stout herb aroma/taste. The finish is not quite what I would like it to be because of its thin louche. Is it one of the best COs right now? Potentially. Would I hesitate to drink it or buy it again? Absolutely not. There is still some room for work, but this is definitely a great absinthe.



Color: Amber green, very attractive.

Louche: Retains some of its original color, good until around 4:1. I drank my second glass at 3:1 and liked that the best. Slightly thin.

Aroma: Strong smell of wormwood, very herbal, appealing.

Flavor: Strongest point of this absinthe IMO. Good till the last drop (as long as it isn't over watered).

Finish: Does not quite stick as long as I would like, yet still substantial. Maybe this will improve over time?
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
3.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
5.0
Overall 
 
5.0
Reviewed by existone January 06, 2008
  -   View all my reviews (1)

Refreshingly Delicious

Overall, this absinthe is delicious. My favorite things about it are its complex aroma and great flavor. The only bad things in my very humble opinion are that the louche is slightly too thin and subsequently the mouth feel is not quite there. The only reason I can see for the mouth feel not being there is because of its stout herb aroma/taste. The finish is not quite what I would like it to be because of its thin louche. Is it one of the best COs right now? Potentially. Would I hesitate to drink it or buy it again? Absolutely not. There is still some room for work, but this is definitely a great absinthe.



Color: Amber green, very attractive.

Louche: Retains some of its original color, good until around 4:1. I drank my second glass at 3:1 and liked that the best. Slightly thin.

Aroma: Strong smell of wormwood, very herbal, appealing.

Flavor: Strongest point of this absinthe IMO. Good till the last drop (as long as it isn't over watered).

Finish: Does not quite stick as long as I would like, yet still substantial. Maybe this will improve over time?

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Beautiful amber/olive green goes pale green. The first taste was extremely mouthfilling. Seems to get better by the week.
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
3.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
5.0
Overall 
 
5.0
Reviewed by cowbwoy January 03, 2008
Top 500 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (5)

Wonderful

Beautiful amber/olive green goes pale green. The first taste was extremely mouthfilling. Seems to get better by the week.

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The color was like a mid 70's furniture greenish gold. Totally natural in my opinion but not as green as I'd expect of a new release. I really did like it though.

The louche was slower to start than I was looking for but came on smooth and thick.

Ahh, the aroma. My first impression of this was very pleasant almost floral.

At about 3:1 I found it sweet on the tip of my tongue and working towards a neat bitter as it sat there. Quite tasty with no "off" flavors. Balanced nicely.

The finish lingered a spell and was pretty satisfying.

Overall, I found this to be a very nice drink. I would certainly buy more and I wish I had. Quite comfortable without being brash. I was in the mood for something to curl up by the fireplace and sip. This works well for that. I had read the discussions regarding it's comparison to pre-ban absinthe and I don't think it's an unreasonable comparison and that in itself is a compliment.
Overall rating 
 
4.6
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
5.0
Reviewed by OMG_Bill December 28, 2007
Last updated: December 28, 2007
Top 500 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (4)

Belle Amie, Very nice indeed.

The color was like a mid 70's furniture greenish gold. Totally natural in my opinion but not as green as I'd expect of a new release. I really did like it though.

The louche was slower to start than I was looking for but came on smooth and thick.

Ahh, the aroma. My first impression of this was very pleasant almost floral.

At about 3:1 I found it sweet on the tip of my tongue and working towards a neat bitter as it sat there. Quite tasty with no "off" flavors. Balanced nicely.

The finish lingered a spell and was pretty satisfying.

Overall, I found this to be a very nice drink. I would certainly buy more and I wish I had. Quite comfortable without being brash. I was in the mood for something to curl up by the fireplace and sip. This works well for that. I had read the discussions regarding it's comparison to pre-ban absinthe and I don't think it's an unreasonable comparison and that in itself is a compliment.

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I had heard a lot about the Belle Amie and was expecting "wonderful things," but I found that while good, this absinthe left me wanting more. The color seemed natural but was an unremarkable olive green, and although I slowly added very cold water in a 3:1 ratio, the louche seemed a bit on the thin side. The color after water was a transluscent, yellowish jade, but there was a certain lack of uniformity that surprised me. Nevertheless, the Belle Amie does get points for aroma and flavor, both of which were very good. In particular, the scent was delightfully clean and refined. The flavor was a pleasing mix of spice and herbal bitterness. To me, the finish seemed a bit off...not unpleasant, but the bitterness almost reaches the point of being obtrusive as one swallows a mouthful. Perhaps it will smooth out with age?

So, overall I like it, but I would not rate it in the top tier.
Overall rating 
 
3.6
Appearance 
 
3.0
Louche 
 
3.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
3.0
Overall 
 
3.0
Reviewed by marlow December 24, 2007
Last updated: January 04, 2009
Top 50 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (37)

Good, but not great...

I had heard a lot about the Belle Amie and was expecting "wonderful things," but I found that while good, this absinthe left me wanting more. The color seemed natural but was an unremarkable olive green, and although I slowly added very cold water in a 3:1 ratio, the louche seemed a bit on the thin side. The color after water was a transluscent, yellowish jade, but there was a certain lack of uniformity that surprised me. Nevertheless, the Belle Amie does get points for aroma and flavor, both of which were very good. In particular, the scent was delightfully clean and refined. The flavor was a pleasing mix of spice and herbal bitterness. To me, the finish seemed a bit off...not unpleasant, but the bitterness almost reaches the point of being obtrusive as one swallows a mouthful. Perhaps it will smooth out with age?

So, overall I like it, but I would not rate it in the top tier.

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I was quite taken by this offering. It is without any doubts the best absinthe I've had to date. I haven't had the pleasure of tasting pre-ban Berger, but from how I've heard it described there are similarities. Even the color resembles that of a pre-ban. I can imagine that over time it would acquire an almost identical dead leaf brown hue.



A nice louche, but not spectacular. It builds slowly from the bottom up. It could certainly be thicker.



The aroma is just amazing, the best I've ever experienced. Upon first opening the bottle the anise & fennel stood out, but after ample breathing time a ton of other notes made their way to the forefront, none overpowering the other. I really recommend preparing this absinthe in the traditional manner, not with a dripper. It allows the wonderful aromas to slowly unleash themselves without being blocked. It was like standing in an alpine garden in mid spring. Not "quite" room filling, but it certainly jumps out. As far as modern commercial absinthe goes, I'm not sure it has an equal in this regard.



They say taste is 2/3 smell (or something like that)... it's no surprise then that this stuff is absolutely delicious. Wonderful balance. Crisp, refreshing, clean, herbaecous, and that wonderful Pontarlier wormwood leaves you begging for another glass. I agree with Abs that the flavors that are there could perhaps be a "bit" more robust.



If this is what a Nimes style absinthe is, consider me a fan. I got an extra bottle to age and I have serious doubts that I'll have the will power to let that happen.



These "next gen" absinthes continue to impress me.
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
5.0
Overall 
 
5.0
Reviewed by Tally Ho December 13, 2007
Top 50 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (12)

Belle Amie Review

I was quite taken by this offering. It is without any doubts the best absinthe I've had to date. I haven't had the pleasure of tasting pre-ban Berger, but from how I've heard it described there are similarities. Even the color resembles that of a pre-ban. I can imagine that over time it would acquire an almost identical dead leaf brown hue.



A nice louche, but not spectacular. It builds slowly from the bottom up. It could certainly be thicker.



The aroma is just amazing, the best I've ever experienced. Upon first opening the bottle the anise & fennel stood out, but after ample breathing time a ton of other notes made their way to the forefront, none overpowering the other. I really recommend preparing this absinthe in the traditional manner, not with a dripper. It allows the wonderful aromas to slowly unleash themselves without being blocked. It was like standing in an alpine garden in mid spring. Not "quite" room filling, but it certainly jumps out. As far as modern commercial absinthe goes, I'm not sure it has an equal in this regard.



They say taste is 2/3 smell (or something like that)... it's no surprise then that this stuff is absolutely delicious. Wonderful balance. Crisp, refreshing, clean, herbaecous, and that wonderful Pontarlier wormwood leaves you begging for another glass. I agree with Abs that the flavors that are there could perhaps be a "bit" more robust.



If this is what a Nimes style absinthe is, consider me a fan. I got an extra bottle to age and I have serious doubts that I'll have the will power to let that happen.



These "next gen" absinthes continue to impress me.

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This is , bar none, the finest commercial offering from the modern era...it's a true Nimes style absinthe (the wormwood is outstanding)which is huge, and intense in aroma, and flavor, as well as remarkably complex. A melange of herbs wrap around the senses, and caress the palate with top quality anise, fennel, hyssop, coriander(bigtime), melissa, fruit juicy and incredibly floral wormwood (wonderfully fragrant in the finish), and other more exotic spices, which are difficult to place, although cardamom may be one of them. The only slight drawback is a very mild vegetal characteristic which may be the result of going a tad heavy on the coloration herbs, and the louche itself could be thicker...it's reasonably opaque at a bit less than 3:1, but at almost 4:1 it's a bit light.



The nose is as intense, and complex as the flavor, although it could be just a bit more room-filling...however,it is remarkably similar to, if just a tad less luxurious than the 1914 Pernod Fils aroma, which amazed me.



The color, neat, is identical to the beautiful golden-green hue of the 1914 Pernod Fils, which is remarkable considering it is a subtle feuille mort that usually takes quite some time to appear.



The flavor, yet again, bears a striking resemblance to the 1914, except for that slight vegetal character, and the base not adding quite the depth of flavor that one used in the Pernod Fils adds. Also, I think it could be just a tad richer (after sampling a few more glasses). If I had been sent a sample of this nectar as pre-ban, I would certainly have had no problem believing it was absolutely authentic.



The finish lives up to the initial flavor, and is propelled by that remarkably powerful, incredibly floral wormwood that lingers almost infinitely. This masterpiece is the best example of a Nimes style absinthe I've ever tried, including HGs, and I'd describe it as nothing less than groundbreaking!



Hats off to Heure Verte, Emile Pernot et cie., and LDF for being the first to bring us this wondrous libation.
Overall rating 
 
4.8
Appearance 
 
5.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
5.0
Overall 
 
5.0
Reviewed by Absomphe November 30, 2007
Last updated: March 23, 2008
Top 50 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (26)

Ma Belle Amie...Not Just a Song, Anymore, Folks!

This is , bar none, the finest commercial offering from the modern era...it's a true Nimes style absinthe (the wormwood is outstanding)which is huge, and intense in aroma, and flavor, as well as remarkably complex. A melange of herbs wrap around the senses, and caress the palate with top quality anise, fennel, hyssop, coriander(bigtime), melissa, fruit juicy and incredibly floral wormwood (wonderfully fragrant in the finish), and other more exotic spices, which are difficult to place, although cardamom may be one of them. The only slight drawback is a very mild vegetal characteristic which may be the result of going a tad heavy on the coloration herbs, and the louche itself could be thicker...it's reasonably opaque at a bit less than 3:1, but at almost 4:1 it's a bit light.



The nose is as intense, and complex as the flavor, although it could be just a bit more room-filling...however,it is remarkably similar to, if just a tad less luxurious than the 1914 Pernod Fils aroma, which amazed me.



The color, neat, is identical to the beautiful golden-green hue of the 1914 Pernod Fils, which is remarkable considering it is a subtle feuille mort that usually takes quite some time to appear.



The flavor, yet again, bears a striking resemblance to the 1914, except for that slight vegetal character, and the base not adding quite the depth of flavor that one used in the Pernod Fils adds. Also, I think it could be just a tad richer (after sampling a few more glasses). If I had been sent a sample of this nectar as pre-ban, I would certainly have had no problem believing it was absolutely authentic.



The finish lives up to the initial flavor, and is propelled by that remarkably powerful, incredibly floral wormwood that lingers almost infinitely. This masterpiece is the best example of a Nimes style absinthe I've ever tried, including HGs, and I'd describe it as nothing less than groundbreaking!



Hats off to Heure Verte, Emile Pernot et cie., and LDF for being the first to bring us this wondrous libation.

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