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Belle Amie

 
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4.4 (14)
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14 reviews

 
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(6)
3 stars
 
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2 stars
 
(0)
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(0)
Overall rating 
 
4.4
Appearance 
 
4.0  (14)
Louche 
 
3.8  (14)
Aroma 
 
4.4  (14)
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.8  (14)
Finish 
 
4.5  (14)
Overall 
 
4.5  (14)
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14 results - showing 1 - 5
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Belle Amie: One of the best commercial offerings
Overall rating 
 
4.6
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
4.5
Overall 
 
5.0
-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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Belle Amie Est Mon Amie!
(Updated: August 26, 2013)
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Appearance 
 
4.5
Louche 
 
4.5
Aroma 
 
4.5
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.5
Finish 
 
4.5
Overall 
 
4.5
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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Second Belle Amie
Overall rating 
 
3.8
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
3.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0
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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Elegantly bitter
(Updated: August 11, 2009)
Overall rating 
 
3.8
Appearance 
 
3.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0
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.
J
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Belle Amie, 2nd edition
Overall rating 
 
4.2
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
5.0
Aroma 
 
3.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0
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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