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Review Detail

Traditional Absinthe
The True Heir to Pernod Fils
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Appearance 
 
4.5
Louche 
 
5.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.5
Finish 
 
4.5
Overall 
 
4.5
PF 1901, 2013 Bottling

I had great expectations for the 1901 even before tasting it, but suffice to say that they were well and truly vindicated: It is truly the smoothest, most balanced modern absinthe I have ever tasted.

The louche and aroma are its strongest points, with the floral aroma filling the room and whetting the appetite. With the addition of ice cold water, the light greenish product starts to develop billowing clouds and swirls, eventually setting into a completely opaque, light greenish concoction. It seems to be just right at 1:4 to 1:4.5 dilution, with half a cube of sugar.

The PF 1901 is deceptively refreshing: it is far too easy to go through two to three glasses without feeling any alcohol heat - it is THAT smooth thanks to the superb quality of the marc base, it almost seems non-alcoholic - an incredible feat for a 68% ABV distillate. The mouthfeel is rounded, like drinking liquid silk. As for the taste, it is laced with moderate spice on the head, but rapidly mellows into anise and a particularly pronounced fennel body, segueing into slight bitterness of a distinctive wormwood finish. The perfect holy trinity, no one herb predominates; all key ingredients can be tasted in equal portion - it's nothing especially unorthodox, but goes back to the basics, albeit leaps and bounds better than any other marque today.

Although I have not yet had a sample of vintage Pernod Fils, the Jade, when judged by its own merits, is the contemporary iteration of a traditional absinthe par excellence, with everything as it should be. The paragon of refinement.
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