Lemercier 45% – Review

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Lemercier ‘Abisinthe’ 45%

Lemercier Freres, Fougerolles, France

Reviewed: 10 February 2008

With/without sugar? 1 cube

Any absintheur familiar with other online absinthe review sites will be aware that, overall, the Lemercier 45% has not received the best of appraisals. Mind you, this is not to say that it has had bad reviews as such. Rather, it seems other reviewers have focussed on perceived short-comings of the 45%, most notably it’s colour and middling flavour profile. While your humble taster at absinthe.com.au cannot discount these observations, it remains that this absinthe is well made and quite obviously the product of a knowledgable hand. This is not, by any means, a bad absinthe. It’s just, well… a little bit yellow.

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Lemercier Abisinthe 45%, like it’s sister product the Lemercier 72%, is the product of Lemercer Freres distillery, Fougerolles France, and is packaged in an identical manner to the 72% (wide-shouldered peridot green bottle) albeit with green labelling rather than blue. Upon opening the scent of the raw absinthe is a sweet, even herbal mix, with a slightly citrus quality, a product (I believe) of the green anise and fennel in the nose. The scent blooms upon contact with the air, and is noticeable and quite pleasant upon entering the room after having poured a dose into the glass. This is undoubtedly a marker of a good absinthe, and goes against the somewhat ho-hum appraisals of this absinthe on other sites. Having said this, the raw colour of the Lemercier 45% is a straw yellow which, though distinct, is not what I would consider optimal. At least it is natural, and not La Fee ‘Soylent Green’, huh?

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The louche, as one would expect from a low-alcohol absinthe, is very thick, starting after only a few drops of water, and progressing quickly to a thick, opalescent milky white with a touch of buff-yellow. Barely a third of an absinthe spoon can be seen whern immersed in the fully louched absinthe – testament to the thickness of the 45% louche. Though low alcohol, after trying this absinthe with and without sugar, the Lemercier 45% does benefit from being taken with one sugar cube, as without it the overall flavour profile can be somewhat lifeless. However, with sugar this absinthe offers a very even and well balanced set of typically French flavours, and the mouth feel improves considerably. The wormwood content is noticeable yet not overpowering – offering the typical umami-like sensation at the periphery of the tongue. The main criticism one can level at this absinthe is that the formulation is slightly too even – in that although the herbs do not compete with one another on the tongue, they do not really accentuate one another either. This has caused the Lemercier 45% to be read as ‘bland’ or ‘flat’ by other reviewers and, though I cannot disagree, it is nonetheless an even and balanced formulation which is definitely preferable to an unbalanced formulation which highlights ingredients to the detriment of the overall experience.

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Overall this is a fair, middle-of-the-road absinthe which could be a good introduction to distilled French absinthe for the novice, or a very good cocktail mixer or standby tipple for the absintheur. The 45% offers a much thicker louche than the 72% variety, which is definitely a plus, and though it is a little lacking in ‘wow’ factor, it will provide an even and comfortable ride to your destination without any peripheral distractions… however, you probably won’t need your seatbelt.

This sample of Lemercier 45% was provided by Absinthesalon for the purposes of review and comment.

Robert Feb 10th 2008 05:37 pm Absinthe brands,Absinthe Reviews,Distilleries,Reviews No Comments yet Trackback URI

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