Pernod 1910 thanks to mister Brian!
Unlouched: Strongly amber, as you can guess. But there is still some vegetal green hues present.
Louched: I could have guessed that little water would be required to get a full louche out of this guy. I estimate roughly 1.5:1, but I did add a few more drops after the first taste so probably 2:1. The louched color has a murky amber-faint green color to it, a bit muddy looking similar to the other old bottles I've had. Louche is thick and opalescent.
Nose: Honestly, when I first smelled the absinthe unlouched, I was underwhelmed. It smelled like a generic absinthe with no real significant characteristics that I could point to as being unique to this preban. However, the second you add water, the aromas are released and fill the room. Louched, there is complexity abound. There's an oak barrel aroma, a bit musty, moldy plank smell that's first noticeable, and although that sounds horrifying, it's really not. It reminds me of going to my grandparents house as a kid. It's kind of like with sherry - the yeasty smell/taste sounds horrible on paper, but in reality, it's quite nice. There's also a cinnamon, cardamom scent that I can't seem to place exactly. It's not quite there but pretty close. Of course, I still get elements of the anise and wormwood, but compared most absinthes I've had, it's a relatively small part of the aroma.
Taste: I definitely taste that woody, musty barrel flavor too. And wow, my tongue immediately numbs up. I've never had an absinthe go to that level of numbness so quickly. I really enjoy the numbness, honestly. I wish this bottle was still made commercially...
There's sweetness, but it's mild. There is a mild toffee flavor, but at the forefront is the wormwood and green anise. There's definitely that iodine-medicinal-sweet flavor which is all too rare in production absinthes today. There's no bite and really easy to drink. Honestly, I don't have a good way to describe the flavor. It's just a really, really good absinthe, with woody notes and would be suitable as an alternative anesthetic before a root canal. And that's not a bad thing at all. This is the kind of thing you just relax with. You don't need to think, it does that for you.
I definitely now see what people meant when they said L'Ancienne is the closest thing to preban you can buy these days. But I can't help but wonder - what would fresh Pernod taste like? The years have definitely changed the absinthe. What I wouldn't give to know first hand.