Jade PF 1901 - Reviewed by Experts and Consumers at The Wormwood Society

4.6 (3)
4.5 (24)
Jade PF 1901 - Reviewed by Experts and Consumers at The Wormwood Society

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6 reviews
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A No Lose Argument
(Updated: June 19, 2012)
Overall rating
I have seen so many commentaries on the Jade absinthes, especially Edouard and PF 1901, and comparisons between the two, that I decided to wrap up my evaluations of both consecutively, in one afternoon. This review, and the review of the Edouard, dated the same, are intended as a pair, for comparison purposes. Everyone seems to have their favorite, and so do I, at least today.

Unlouched, totally peridot. On the light/medium side of things. Very jewel like and clear... beautiful. Louched, very pretty milky yellowish amber/green with yellow/amber highlights and bluish white at the edges and meniscus. Just the very, very slightest tinge of olive. Quite opaque even at 4/1. Looks like the absinthe in all the paintings. Just right.

One of the best louches I've seen. Thick, oily looking trails. Sometimes they just drop, sometimes they explode and fall in several trails. Nice yellow, gold, and green reflections. Great layering with expansive center section. Trails really thicken up mid-louche, beautifully agitating the cloudiness on the bottom. At about .8/1 it goes cloudy pretty quickly, and is opaque by 1/1.

Aroma neat, is anise first, followed by other herbals. No detectable heat, at all. Louched, the first impression is one of amazing balance. In fact, in one of the evaluations, I said "it is so balanced, that it is almost without character". Of course, this isn't literally true. The anise is up front just ever so slightly, and all other usual suspects are right there in almost equal measure. A little swirl brings out the wormwood, followed by florals and other herbals and mint. An ever present earthy note in the background. Everything is so harmonious. A dense, but very classy presence.

Holy crap! Mouthfeel is just right. Hard to imagine any better. Creamy, but not tubby... has real definition and balance. Like the nose, anise is up front, wormwood and fennel not far behind. Bright, almost dusty florals and a little spice on the back palate. There's just so much going on here, and it takes time to find it because the balance can actually obscure certain facets at times. A very high grade "pull" from the wormwood. This is very high grade stuff.

Finish follows nose and palate very accurately. A gentle measured astringency on the tongue, with very little numbing. Long and crisp. Once palate largely goes to rest, there is a nice creeping spiciness followed by a powdery mintiness that is just intriguing. Like all other areas, so much going on. And just when I think I have this figured out, something else pops up!

See all the above! Need I gush more? It's no wonder so many consider this to be the gold standard of modern Cos. At this point, I wouldn't want to be making a desert island choice, but... You could make the argument that this defines modern absinthe at the high end, and you may not win, but you're not going to lose.

7/18/09 Revisit - Well, it's funny what another eight months and 20 or so COs will do to your perspective. All text from the original review remains the same, but I have changed the score for "Aroma" to a 4. Although very pleasant and intriguing, it just doesn't exhibit the kind of delineated complexity that I would now award a score of 5. Also, I had considered awarding this a 5 in the category of "Overall". It is remaining a 4, since, at least for now, I would probably require all 5s in Aroma, Flavor, and Finish to consider a score of 5 in Overall.

Done with a 1 ounce dose, diluted 4/1, and no sugar.

Jade PF 1901 11/16/08, 11/23/08, 12/14/08, 12/20/08, 7/18/09.
All evaluations had consistent notes.

Some comparisons of Jade Edouard and Jade PF 1901

Ed is just a little pale.
1901 is classic peridot. I get a pair o' "doe eyes", just looking at it!

Ed shows me why the Jade louche is famous.
1901 shows me why the Jade louche is famous.

Ed is very highly complex.
1901 is highly complex.

Ed is more restrained, classy, distinctive.
1901 invokes a little muscle without being brash or clumsy.

Ed finish can usurp your attention for the rest of the evening.
1901 finish makes me feel like a puppy having it's tummy rubbed.

Ed, if you are a fan of Bordeaux.
1901, if you are a fan of California Cabernet.

Ed - "Call me Senator".
1901 - "Call me Bond... James Bond".
Top 10 Reviewer 53 reviews
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Consider the future
Overall rating
My personal favorite CO. If I could, I'd store away a case every year, knowing that I'd be giving my grandchildren a remarkable treasure. Another case I'd buy each year to celebrate the first good snow of fall, friends visiting or any other happy opportunity. This is a wonderful beverage that's near-perfect now and probably will be perfect in a only a decade or two.
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The best, bar none, of the Jade line
(Updated: May 13, 2009)
Overall rating
Color is a wonderful emerald/peridot green. Clear and natural.
Louche builds up slowly in layers with the characteristic great Jade oil trails until it turns into a fully opaque, opalescent greenish white.
The aroma brings a nice balance of the wormwood, anise and fennel with a bit of minty freshness.
The first taste, you notice the thickness and richness of the louche. The flavor is a well balanced display of the anise and fennel blending with a flowery freshness. Very nice crisp wormwood finish.
Overall, this is the best in the Jade line. It will be tough to buy any of the other three!
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24 reviews
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My Least Favorite Jade
Overall rating
Pours a very emerald green. Louches nicely, with a nice layering effect if you go slowly, before the whole drink becomes a nice greyish cloud (with subtle blues and yellow highlights). My bottle, I can barely smell anything from it. Even in the glass I'm mostly just picking up the alcohol, but there are hints of peppermint and cooking spices behind that. After louching I can barely smell anything, but there's maybe the ever so slight added hint of funky fruit.

Flavor- maybe my bottle just isn't very good. It's good, but I'm just not as impressed as everyone else seems to be, not even close. Everything about this is just way too subtle. I have to go with pretty low water ratios to get it to a point where I can even pick out flavors. Mainly I'm noticing the wormwood and anise, but everything is very balanced- maybe TOO balanced? It's really hard to pick anything out individually because everything is blended into one (kind of nondescript) profile, I think. The mouthfeel is nice. The finish to me seems a bit peppery and lasts a while, so at least that's a bit interesting.

Overall I think everything is too subtle. I like the nouvelle-orléans because it's more unique and also the flavors in that one stand out more. It's hard for me to even know what I'm experiencing while I'm drinking this (almost finished a 200ml bottle and every time I drink from it I feel the same way). I feel almost confused trying to figure it out. There's nothing offensive or bad about it, and I can definitely tell that high quality ingredients and distillation are at work here, and it is enjoyable. But compared to upper-tier absinthe it just doesn't leave a solid impression for me. Honestly I would rather have any other Jade, Walton Waters, or probably even a bottle of Vieux Pontarlier than this. But those are all great or very good absinthes, and this is still a high quality drink.
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My favorite of the Jades
Overall rating
A natural clear forest-green with hints of yellow. The louche is thick and "milky" but not one-dimensional at all, with blue highlights on the rim.

The aroma is rich and creamy, foreshadowing the mouthfeel (which is quite possibly the richest of any absinthe I've tried.) The flavors are creamy and darker-toned -- I can recall one review or forum post saying that the taste is somewhat reminiscent of warm chocolate chip cookies, and there's something uncannily spot on about that observation.

Not only my favorite of all the Jade absinthes, but one of my favorite absinthes of all time.
Top 50 Reviewer 6 reviews
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1901: Death of the Victorian Era
Overall rating
Color: Clear, olive green, dark, gold, amber, yellow highlights.

Louche: Dark milky green, olive and amber. Thick.

Aroma: Smells like what you’d imagine as an old apothecary elixir. Herbal, chartreuse, spicy, anise, wintergreen, spearmint, lemon zest, medicinal, spirity.

Flavor: Deep, dark and robust. Bitter and dry. Mildly astringent. Herbs are very well blended. Anise is there but does not stand out. There's definitely some wood ageing. Flavors of wood, leather, salt, gin, pine. A bit of juicy fruit when sugar is added. Full creamy mouth-feel.

Finish: Herbs dissipate and leave a zesty bitterness. Salty, leather taste remains. Tongue-numbing. Hint of cough medicine near the end.

Overall: A very complex and interesting absinthe. It is dark, robust and masculine. I really enjoy it but it’s quite intense, not an absinthe I would drink often. For me this is an absinthe I would drink late at night, with candlelight while watching a dark Victorian period piece such as Dracula or Penny Dreadful.
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PerFection 1901
(Updated: October 31, 2014)
Overall rating
So much has been said about this absinthe - and it's really that good. I'd give Eddy a nudge up on the PF for complexity... but she is still a stunner and deserves the 5 star sweep I'm providing. Serious perfection in a glass.

Mid-2013 bottling.

I had the opportunity to have a glass of this alongside ~1900 Pernod Fils and the similarities are spot on. Not exactly the same, of course... Take out the astringency and woodiness from the pre-ban and BOOM. Astounding.
Top 10 Reviewer 47 reviews
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The True Heir to Pernod Fils
Overall rating
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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