Reviews written by Steve Williams

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Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by Steve Williams     February 13, 2012
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Appearance 
 
5.0
Louche 
 
5.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
5.0
Overall 
 
5.0

l'Ancienne 2011

I obtained a bottle directly from Martin Žufanek last fall when we met in Pontarlier. I finally opened it last night. I have tasted the previous versions of this absinthe, from 2 different HG batches of "vintage mysterysinthe" to the first small-scale commercial 2010 batch distilled at Žufanek's, and now this second small commercial batch. This is Stefano Rossoni's very successful attempt to create an absinthe that tastes like 100-year old vintage such as Pernod Fils or Edouard Pernod. I have done side by side tastings of the previous versions of this absinthe with 1914 Pernod Fils, and they compared quite favorably. If memory serves me, this new version is probably the most successful and closest to vintage PF, though I loved the other versions as well.

Color: Beautiful bright amber, completely clear with no absolutely no sediment.

Louche: Perfect. Not too quick, with beautiful layering, ending with a beautiful bright creamy opalescent amber-green.

Aroma: Intoxicating baby powder, leather, old money, "grandma's purse", balsamic, with a hint of dried pear or fig.

Flavor: Perfectly balanced. The herbs unify into something that is different from, and greater than the sum of the parts. It's hard to separate the flavors into individual herbs, which I find unique among modern commercial absinthes, but similar to vintage Pernod Fils. There is a wonderful sweetness from the anise, not a typical modern anise, but something you can taste in certain vintages. Sweet but not cloying. Overall, no herb predominates.

Finish: Delicious, creamy, very pleasant. The fragrant taste lingers on the palate a long time.

I simply love this absinthe. I find it a very good bargain, to be able to buy something that tastes quite similar to very pricey vintage (which you should taste too, on special occasions).

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