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ABC Radio Segment on Absinthe

Australia’s Radio National show “Blueprint for Living” has done a suitably sympathetic piece on the absinthe revival in Australia.

Presenter Michael Williams  gets an education from Ben Luz at Bar Ampere in Melbourne over the history, markers of quality and proper ways of drinking absinthe – all over a nice glass of La Clandestine.

It’s worth checking out their Absinthe aperitif list – it is quite an impressive offering worth investigating should you find yourself in the area.

You can down the episode through this link.

 

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Posted by Jonathan on Jan 6th 2016 | Filed in Bars,Cocktails,Culture,Interviews,News | Comments (0)

Double Dutch Part 2 – Akveld Absinthe (Blanche)

 

One good turn deserves another – double your pleasure and double your fun – and insert your own witty proverb about twins.

It is a nice when an absinthe producer experiments with crafting both a Verte and a Blanche of an absinthe recipe, which are seldom just monozygotic twins minus the Roman wormwood –  often there are twists and turns to produce a different sort of fraternal sibling. With good luck, a dark seed.

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Akveld’s blanche offering comes in at 60% alc/vol, so a touch lighter than the predecessor reviewed. Popping the cork, the aroma didn’t quite leap out of the bottle as the Verte, I needed to really stick my nostrils close to inhale a very pleasant chamomile – reminding me a little of the style of Blanche De Fougerolle, however, whereas that absinthe is overtly floral, Akveld’s is very tight and secretive. Being unwilling to flaunt her wares, we need to explore deeper.

 

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I pour the crystal clear liquid into the glass- I’m presuming this used an eau de vie grape spirit in the production? As the alcoholic vapour is released, I get a firm sense of this foundation spirit. I try and detect the other botanicals, but it is not being very giving in the glass. (Note: as a postscript to this experience I have since returned to the absinthe and used a narrower tapered wine glass rather than the wide rimmed Pontarlier glass and got a totally different aromatic experience – rich mixed botanicals. the chamomile again supported on a sweet hyssop and fennel/anise bed.)

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Upon dilution through sugar, I am finding the louche is considerably in more of a rush compared to the Verte, which may be a factor arising from the lower alcohol content. The conversion has fully taken hold before I have even diluted halfway. It is, however, a much thicker louche than its predecessor, the spoon is completely shrouded within its mercurial veil.

Upon tasting, rather than the expected wormwood bitterness and anise front notes, I’m greeting by fresh alpine mint flavours, an unexpected, surprisingly dominant sapidity. A wash of Angelica, baby powder minerality in the middle, lingering back-of-the-tongue notes of Fennel after the ambrosia has been swallowed. Wormwood is there, but she plays second fiddle – holding the harmony together.

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Liquorice-phobes would well find this an absinthe to their liking. It does have a thinner mouthfeel, it doesn’t linger quite as long as the Verte, but attenuated in some well iced water this perhaps makes for a quenching long absinthe for a summers day. We have plenty of those ahead in Australia…..time to pull out the water fountain and assemble friends around this bottle.

 

 

Posted by Jonathan on Dec 27th 2015 | Filed in Absinthe brands,Absinthe Reviews,Distilleries,News,Reviews | Comments (0)

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