La Maison Fontaine - Reviewed by Experts and Consumers at The Wormwood Society

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4.3 (7)

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Overall rating
The absinthe is clear with no sediment or haze. Barest tinge of straw, only detectable against white computer paper. The aroma is wormwood-heavy, with anise beneath. Fruity, round.

The louche is a bit on the thin side, but very nice. Pearly with shades of blue. With water the anise comes forward and balances well with the minty wormwood. Some spice.

The flavour is sweet, wormwoody. Soft. Nice anise. Earthy with citrus notes. A tad powdery in texture, but not in taste. There's a hint of a medicinal flavour that is well matched with the rest of the package.

The finish is fruity and lasting, fading to slight bitterness with fennel peaking through. Leaves a creamy coating on the tongue.

This is a fantastic blanche. Nothing really stands out as unique about it but it's immaculately crafted. As a sheer matter of taste I'd like to bring that great wormwood forward even more, but that's just me.
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Starry, "Starry" Night
(Updated: June 18, 2012)
Overall rating
Perfectly clear and bright with the ever so slightest gold tint, however, nearly colorless. Louched, a fairly opaque white with a slight golden undertone and some light bluish-grey and violet-blue at the edges and meniscus.

Almost pearl-like under the right light, but unfortunately a little frustrating, because it is only so close. The weight of this louche is right at the limit. I'd like to see a little more translucence and I think it would be very pearl-like and pretty. I believe another reviewer mentioned the inclusion of star anise here, and I believe that to be true, based on palate and finish impressions. Dialing it back a bit would probably help the louche and the palate.

A much more herbal initial impression than most blanches. Nice! Anise and fennel are in good support, with a quite complicated herbal profile. Great wormwood, chamomile, hay, straw, and flowers. A slight earthy, rooty tinge. Nothing "off", at all. Very balanced. A great "full frequency" range of impressions. As it warms I get the tiniest hint of powderiness.

Tasty. Nice trinity. All the herbal stuff having their say... wormwood, pontica, chamomile, mint. The entry is very round, but moments later the coriander and Artemisias start to chisel away at the tongue, reinforced by a tingliness, almost bordering on prickliness. That's star anise showing it's hand, and I'd like to see it reduced for this reason. More water helps, but I've found star anise to be quite resistant to being tamed. All in all, though, quite nicely balanced. This new guy at Pernod has mouthfeel down to a science. Nice and smooth like a clean dry hand on wrapping tissue, and just the right weight.

Long, minty, fresh, and tingly. The tingliness immediately springs up over the entire palate, accompanied by some drying and salivation, all riding on the wormwood express. The star anise is apparent as the finish wears on, becoming a dominating brightness and just slightly over-drying. A little fatiguing, as a result.

Right up with the top blanches I have experienced. Beautiful, balanced, herbal. Aromas and flavors encompass the entire spectrum, from base to top notes. Wonderful immediacy to all impressions. A very defined personality, and consistent in attitude with the other recent E. Pernot offerings. Really, my only nit to pick is the mild aggression of the star anise. That said, my favorite dilution is as much water as I can stand, without it falling apart, somewhere in the 4:1 - 4.2:1 area. My man, Sly, said "Everybody Is A Star"... absinthes too, I suppose, and this one is shining brightly. Dial back that "star" from supernova to dwarf, and I'll bet you'd really have something here.

Done with a 1 ounce dose, diluted 3.5:1, 4:1, and 4.2:1 and no sugar.

La Maison Fontaine 11/06/10, 11/20/10, 11/27/10, 11/28/10.
All evaluations had consistent notes.
Top 10 Reviewer 53 reviews
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My kind of blanche!
(Updated: July 09, 2010)
Overall rating
Color: Clear with no visible sediment. The bottle presentation is very nice as well. Sophisticated.

Louche: The louche forms very nicely, with a vivid layering effect, ending milky white with touches of iridescent blue. Very inviting. Not too thick and not too thin.

Aroma: Before water, there is a subtle anise aroma that is dominated by the unmistakable aroma of Pontarlier wormwood. Very inviting. After water, the wormwood is still there, but the anise comes out more and is balanced out with the slight earthiness of fennel.

Flavor: Anise at the forefront, followed by a velvet-gloved slap of Pontarlier wormwood. While the sweetness is there, it's not cloying, like how I find a lot of blanche style absinthes. The bitterness and enjoyable astringency of the wormwood is right up my alley, and is much more a feature of the flavor map than with other comparable absinthes. Aside from Blanchette, I can't think of another blanche that has as refreshing of a flavor.

Finish: Velvety and smooth with lingering wormwood and just a touch of anise. I even get hints of violet and baby powder. Very enjoyable.

Overall: Try as I might (I don't like to be overly complimentary!), I can't find anything complain about unless I really want to nitpick. This is a very well made absinthe. For those of you who like blanches, but are looking for one that's a little less sweet, with a more forward wormwood profile, this is for you. This ranks in my top two favorite blanches. Well done.
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