Review Detail

4.4 12 0.5
A Superb Beverage for Sippin' and Mixin'
Overall rating
Bottle purchased November 2008, sample(s) louched November & December 2008.

Marteau Absinthe de la Belle Epoque has been a long time in preparation, and the wait has been worth it! I picked up my first bottle at the distillery release party, when I had my first small sample served by the hand of Mr. Stone. It was alluring in small sips, and I couldn't wait to get home and try a full glass.

In the glass neat, Marteau is a beautiful green, somewhere between olive and emerald in color. The pre-louche aroma has notes of orange, cream, and coffee. I take my absinthe sugared, and cold water dripped over the spoon creates marvelous "oil trails" that start at the bottom of the glass and build slowly until a 2:1 dilution is achieved. There is a marked line of separation between the louched/unlouched alcohol, and it fills the room with a creamy, anise-y aroma.

Others have noted that Marteau is an absinthe that can be diluted with varying amounts of water to great effect. This very evening I have had a glass at 4:1 which was spicy and quite enjoyable. Afterwards, I louched up a glass at 5.5:1,. and it was even creamier on the tongue, with a bit less alcohol bite.

The first sip is very intriguing. The expected wormwood bitterness is apparent, yet it quickly recedes and fennel's sweetness moves to the forefront. Mid-palate is a delightful mintiness, while on the finish, I detect the wormwood again, backed by sweetness. There is no end to the flavors, and they work very well in concert.

This is one marvelous beverage to sip. It also is excellent as a rinse for Sazeracs and other absinthe cocktails. Highly recommended!
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