Jade 1901 Review – 20 June 2010

While enjoying the afternoon at the Absinthesalon, I had the opportunity to partake in a sneaky glass of absinthe, and chose to indulge in the Jade PF 1901 – yet another creation of the master, Ted Breaux.

PF1901 is a tribute absinthe to perhaps the most famous of absinthe’s, Pernod Fils, with the date reflective of the year that the famous Pontarlier absinthe distillery caught fire and was destroyed.

from the Melbourne “Argus”, 15 August 1901

This verte absinthe comes in at 68% alc/vol, in an attractive amber bottle with a ornate label highlighted in gold leaf.  The liquid was clear and intense in a convincing natural peridot colour, leaning more towards the olive yellow end of the spectrum.

My first long inhale was something of a surprise – to be honest I did not get the usual herbaceous hit of many absinthes, rather this absinthe had some similarities to a fine Pinot Noir.  It was an integrated perfumed nose, touches of violet and other sweet floral notes. It actually initiated discussion about the use of wine as a spirit base and to what degree this can influence the taste of an absinthe. The other surprise was I could smell a certain pleasant minerality that usually I only taste and generally seek out as one of my benchmarks for quality.

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Taken with sugar under the dripping fountain, the louche was surprisingly slow to develop but when it made it’s dramatic debut, it was thick and creamy with hints of green, obscuring the spoon completely and continuing to retain this throughout the tasting.

The first sip was a rather intense experience – it was a rich solid earthiness, like a garden after rain. This should not be confused however with the ‘swampy funk’ you see some absinthe products getting described as having. This was pleasantly intriguing. I actually had some difficultly in separating the flavours initially – although this was probably more a reflection of a tight balance of flavours held in a colder medium after the fountain dilution.  A conundrum of complexity, not willing to give up its secrets all at once.  So slow down. Wait. As the glass warmed in my hand there was a rewarding release of the anise, fennel, spice and the wormwood in fragrance and palate – however the wormwood never seemed to dominate or steal the show, content to remain one of the cohort of tastes to savour.

The mouth feel is interesting and full, and contains a delicate tannic woodiness that lingers long after the tasting. A slight numbness to the tongue results, but not in any detrimental way that might dull the flavour from the next mouthful.

This absinthe has certainly raised the bar and certain personal expectations I hold for quality absinthe. It has opened a number of new sensory points I have not found in many absinthes to date, and might be a bit of a Jade signature moving forward.

Some repeat testing may be required in the near future to verify this of course – good scientists repeat their experiments for reproduceability.

Jonathan Jun 20th 2010 04:25 pm Absinthe brands,Absinthe Reviews,Distilleries,Food,News,People,Reviews No Comments yet Trackback URI

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