Vieux Pontarlier - Reviewed by Experts and Consumers at The Wormwood Society

4.1 (4)
3.8 (20)

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Another enjoyable verte
Overall rating
Color: A very nice, vibrant peridot green.

Louche: Great louche build. Completely louched by about 2:1. Deep, opalescent and vibrant with tints of green still showing through. Very nice.

Aroma: an appetizing blend of ansie sweetness with some earthiness and a bit of peppery spice.

Flavor: Quite sweet, even without sugar. A nice dose of white pepper spice at the back of the tongue. Nice wormwood, but I'd like it to be a tad bit more prominant.

Finish: I pick up the wormwood a bit more on the finish as it plays nicely witht he anise. Some definite anethole numbing, with some warmth going down the throat.

Overall: Quite enjoyable! Definitely a keeper. A smart buy for anyone looking for a traditional absinthe profile.
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Pretty Good Stuff
Overall rating
After three glasses on three different days, I think this is a very good absinthe. I don't think it is particularly remarkable but it is quite pleasing. It is pretty in glass both before and after adding water. The louche is pleasant. The mouth feel is a little thin but certainly nice enough. The Wormwood jumps to the forefront but it's not the most pleasing flavor, more bitter than floral. The finish instead of lingering, fades away quickly and it doesn't really beckon for another sip.

Certainly it is a well-made absinthe and deserving of consideration. It's very good, just not really remarkable.
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A Winning Traditional Verte!
(Updated: September 12, 2012)
Overall rating
Beautiful lighter (but not pale) golden-green with flawless clarity. Very jewel-like and breathtaking in how natural a "new leaf" essence it exhibits.

Very nice initial louche. Great oily looking trails. Clear delineation of layers... Cloudiness on bottom, roiling trails in the middle, and clear unlouched layer on top. Very entertaining and pretty. At 1:1, things start happening more quickly, and drink is mostly opaque by 2:1. Very creamy looking louche. Final color is a very pearlescent yellowish-green with yellow highlights and milky white at the meniscus.

First impression is clean and fresh. A hint of citrus, florals, creamy, fruity (yes, I finally get that fruity thing!) wormwood, and a slight hint of vanillins. A little swirl brings the anise/fennel duo into play in excellent balance. This absinthe doesn't feature one herb in a starring role with a great supporting cast. It is a perfect ensemble performance, yet each herb is clearly identifiable. Now that's a neat trick! The aromas of each component are very fresh, herbal, floral and immediate, but not heavy handed, and together are brought into focus by a slight hint of lemon curd and mint.

First of all, just creamy mouth-feel with a nice tension created by the "pull" and drying of the wormwood and hyssop. Everything the nose tells me is present in the palate. Anise leads the charge by an iota, but all other herbs are clearly present and accounted for. As with the nose, the flavors are very immediate and fresh. Nothing timid here, however this absinthe is not trying to make it's impression by horsepower alone. There is a nice spice and a beautiful very high grade drying impression from the wormwood. As I review my notes for all evaluations, three things are a recurrent theme... finesse, complexity, and balance.

Beautiful and satisfying gentle wormwood "pinch" on the palate to wrap up the whole package. The finish, as a whole, follows the nose and palate perfectly, with very good length and just a little additional burst of spice. Again, nothing about this is heavy handed or clumsy. The word "fine" keeps coming to mind. Do I want another sip?... Sorry, already took it!

So much to like and admire here. This goes down way too easily. I guess now I'm going to have to order the Jades just to dial some perspective in to this end of the spectrum. This is everything any great beverage is made of... high quality, balanced, distinctive. Has a real artisanal presence. In my third evaluation, at one point I got up and left the room. On my way back to my desk, I couldn't help but notice (from 6 feet away) how extraordinary just the color was. That's what I'm talking about. Artful from every angle. This is a fine traditional offering.

7/05/09 Revisit - While most of my initial impressions persist, well... I did order the Jades, and several other elite-tier absinthes since my initial review of VP. An additional eight months as an absinthe taster, and experience with a broader range of offerings has demonstrated to me that my initial scores of 5s for Aroma, Flavor, and Finish here were not warranted, so I have changed them to 4s. No offense to VP, it is still a well above average offering and provides plenty of bang for the buck. Overall a real winner!

Done with a 1 ounce dose, diluted 3:1, 4:1, and no sugar.

Vieux Pontarlier 10/31/08, 11/03/08, 11/09/08, 7/05/09.
All evaluations had consistent notes.
Top 10 Reviewer 53 reviews
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New set of strings.
Overall rating
The colour out of the bottle is a perfect peridot with no debris or haze. It smells alcoholic. A bit minty with some anise, some perfume. Grassy.

The louche starts slow and then explodes. Thick, opalescent green. Beautiful. I expected the aroma to really open up with water but it didn't. It's relatively light. Fruity anise with minty wormwood in a good balance. Sweet but earthy.

It has a much stronger flavour than expected. Fruity and almost too bright (jangly in fact), yet creamy in texture. Very numbing. Loads of citrus. Wormwood is hard-hitting but tasty.

I'm not finding the finish as quick to recede as others have, but rather that it's unremarkable and indistinctive. More of the same, just paler and thinner. As it fades the wormwood sort of begins to taste like dill.

I'm enjoying this but it's like playing guitar on a brand new set of strings. Some people like that but I find it irritating, buzzy, and piercing. It's not a deal-breaker but it definitely impacts my ability to enjoy its best attributes.
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