Review Detail

4.5 24 0.5
A No Lose Argument
(Updated: June 19, 2012)
Overall rating
Flavor / Mouthfeel
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".
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