A Cheeky Absinthe or Three @ Absinthesalon: Part 2 – Heritage

Now it appears I’m going to come into conflict with some of my peers, particularly over at the Wormwood Society, because I really liked this absinthe and my experience seems completely different to theirs.  Now, that may have something to do with the way my palate has changed after half a dozen years in the wine industry.

There are a lot of really good absinthes out of the market, many that have been important gateways for me, but that I would now class as ‘commercial grade’. They are consistent, dependable, maintain good drinkable quality batch after batch, but hardly a Magnum Opus.

In wine, a common fault is Brettanomyces which produces acetic acid and is a death knell for many wines. But.  There is a school of thought that for certain wines, at certain minimal levels, a bit of Brett can add complexity to a wine and is not necessarily a bad thing. But this is at the artisan end of wines, not for the average Joe. And even then the experts disagree as to who is sailing close to the wind and who is just making bad wines.

I give credit here to malcontent wine reviewer and protagonist Philip White who brought to my attention via his blog a pertinent proposition: “Taste is first and foremost distaste – disgust and visceral intolerance of the taste of others – Pierre Boudieu“.

Heritage, by Paul Devoille, is a hard green, a green of untamed wilderness and rolling unworked land, and the nose seemed only to reinforce this point.  After the pour had settled the most enticing aroma to hit me was a raw Elder Flower and Chamomile. Heady and harsh but then balanced by a delicate note of Honeysuckle.

As the louche unfolded it was brutally thick and creamy as King Island’s best. Delightfully, out of this arose a new savoury spice teaser touching my olfactory nerves, inviting me to explore further.

To the taste I immediately thought of Verte de Fougerolles as my nearest reference point, not inappropriate given the source. Only reinforces the artisan argument to me . Grassy fields, fresh herbs, certainly enough balanced bitterness for my taste and pronounced anise. But surprisingly throughout all of this, the Elder flower & Chamomile tango kept dancing on like it had just been poured, nothing was lost in the dilution.

Then at the very end of the contemplation, a nice chalky saltiness cuts through what would possibly be a cloying experience and lingers on the tongue.

This will not be to everyone tastes. Sure.

But this is an absinthe, I think, to the Bear Grylls of connoisseurs – who are willing to take a hard road to taste something challenging to others and finding some reward in the experience.

Jonathan Sep 23rd 2012 02:23 pm Absinthe brands,Absinthe Reviews,Bars,Culture,News,Reviews No Comments yet Trackback URI

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