Cottage Made Tongue Frottage – Eichelberger Verte 68 Review

Since the fine folk at Absinthesalon provided me this bottle during a recent imbibing over excellent tapas, I’ve been waiting for good spring weather to review this absinthe with some professional distance and concerted contemplation. I tasted something very special over my garlic prawns that night –  but I needed a clean palate and fresh air to re-evaluate my first impressions.

And as it is a cottage-industry made absinthe, what is more appropriate than to review it in the garden of a cottage?

Those of you more familiar with the modern commercial absinthe offerings may not have heard the term used in some absinthe circles – Hausgemacht. Homemade. Prior to the global re-legalisation there was a lot of clandestine Hausgemacht absinthe being made and shipped secretly amongst the global absinthe community. Some laid the foundations for new global enterprise. Some served as a substitute for draino.

Eichelberger (Acorn Mountain) Spezialitaten Vert 68 is a special artisan absinthe made in Germany with its origins amongst the then clandestine teuton community, who challenged themselves to arrive at a quality crafted brew worthy of larger commercial production. The distiller Michael Weinzierl, under the pseudonym of Deep Forest, paved the way for his peer-supported absinthe to undergo production at a family run distillery in Bavaria owned by Dr Lili and Rudolph Wild. Production is usually limited to a quite small but special 30 litres per batch.

While it may seem small scale on production size and presentation – it is big on impressions.

Popping the cork, the nose is greeted with a generous velvety choc-licorice aroma with tobacco box teases– very discernable even in an outside environment. But there is a crisp fresh herbal top note singing a distinctive melody above the tenored aromatic harmonies.  The undiluted colour was a naturally coloured clear yellow leading to the edge of the green spectrum.

The louche is quite surprisingly quick to develop – and it is thick and rich, the cascading water easily developing into waves and rolls of precipitation until a solid, pearlescent, pale green tinged opaqueness manifests. And it holds tightly throughout the imbibing, until the last drops.

Taken with sugar, the flavour exhibits a good balance between the anise & fennel. A rounded wormwood bitterness introduces itself prominently but does not outstay its welcome on the tongue, underpinned by a peek-a-boo of mint, the lingering taste characterised by citrus hints and pronounced but flavoursome mineral notes. I could not detect any trace of alcohol burn or any undesirable odours & flavours.

Already I am needing to be very careful to savour this glass absinthe and slow my rate of  consumption – it is positively quaffable, even refreshing. Combined with its aromatic appeal more reminiscent of alpine ‘Suisse’ absinthe products, highlighted by a visually impressive transformation under dilution  – I am going to rate this as something in a distinctly different class to most commercial absinthe.

For such a quality product, I believe it is quite competitively priced (~$125AUS) in order to be able to sample a decent artisan scale product that exhibits a complexity not typical of many commercial absinthe products currently finding popularity. There is little excuse not to investigate, you will be rewarded.

Eichelberger is distributed in Australia by Absinthesalon, who generously provided the sample for review.

Jonathan Nov 6th 2008 09:17 pm Absinthe brands,Absinthe Reviews,Distilleries,Food,News,Reviews No Comments yet Trackback URI

Comments are closed.