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A Lopsided Pair

One of our co-conspirators at brought back a cache of ‘less’ commercial absinthes, in that they are not brands you typically find turning up on the international market.

So while you are not going to find them in Australia, it is never a bad thing to increase ones awareness to what is out there on the broader international market, just in case one should find oneself physically in the right place to try the local artisan creations.

L’en Joleuse 72% alc/vol

Looking all “Olde Worldly” with vintage sepia presentation, this first number was a glum olive colour that was not overly inspiring. To top it off it was a hyssop bomb, as opposed to the anise bomb’s usually dropped on the exploratory connoisseur.

It was also quick off the mark to louche, just to reinforce the lack of subtlety. Probably most disappointing, there was agreement this absinthe seemed to be all middle, but no tops and tails.While there was some nice tobacco aromas that bestowed a token level of complexity, it was definitely an absinthe for drinking about, but not for thinking about.

La Berthe De Joux. 56% alc/vol

Lower in alcohol and with higher expectations, this little number is out of the stables of the Emile Pernot Distillery, so we expect more than a completely unknown.

Pronounced peridot green, we feel things are off to a good start.  This absinthe was considerably more inviting to the nose – and while chocolate and coffee aromas wafted out of the bottle, it was the almond biscotti notes that really caught my attention.

Beautiful layers falling like sediment during the louche, a dance of relative densities and tantalising trails, visually it was just right.

Once to the taste, we couldn’t help but thinking there was some sort of wine-spirit funk which might have otherwise left us dispirited after such an excellent opening.

I was nearly going to conclude the real depth of this absinthe seemed to be missing, but then menthol and hidden back notes of flavour crept through with patience.Leather, but more like a suede boot than a Chesterfield. Youthful? Maybe.

This set is a good example that sometimes you need to take the good with the disappointing – but hopefully never the downright waste of time.

Posted by Jonathan on Oct 29th 2013 | Filed in Absinthe brands,Absinthe Reviews,Distilleries,Food,News,Reviews | Comments (0)