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Belle Amie

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OK, Absomphe, I was really stoked to give the Belle Amie a go. Ready, willing and salivating!

 

No sugar. At 2 1/2-to-1, a bit strong but beautiful louche, creamy mouth-feel, wonderful taste! Damn! It needs no sugar! I think I'm on to a new favorite!

 

3-to-1: Same thing. Still a tad strong but a solid :thumbup:

 

4-to-1: The louche begins to totally wash out and with it goes the mouth-feel and flavor. The aroma turns to dishwater. I don't remember anything becoming over-watered so quickly and turning from drinkable to sinkable in one fell swoop. An extraordinary transformation and not a good one.

 

Lesson: Do NOT over-water Belle Amie. At 3-to-1, it is excellent. Over-water just a little and it is dreck.

 

I'll run this little experiment again this weekend, just to be sure before I add my review to the main site. If it falls apart again, you can have my share, Absomphe. ;)

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I'll be more than happy to take your word for the failure of Belle Amie to gracefully survive overwatering, T, since that particular inclination has never been a proclivity of mine...I'd also be more than happy to take the dreck off your hands, should it fall apart again. :yahoo:

 

Call me easy, everbody does.

 

I'm guessing your review will be conducted at 3:1, though. :cheers:

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You guys are going to be disappointed. An extraordinary WS member who shall remain anonymous (but his initials are LeRoy) was kind enough to send me a generous taste. You are welcome to buy my share. ;)

 

Don't get me wrong, my initial reaction was very positive and I want to give it another try before I render a final (personal) judgment. Usually, I add water at about a 4-to-1 ratio but on this initial drink, this absinthe was much too delicate.

 

I will say very conclusively, Belle Amie over-watered is as bad as Belle Amie is good under-watered.

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4-to-1: The louche begins to totally wash out and with it goes the mouth-feel and flavor. The aroma turns to dishwater. I don't remember anything becoming over-watered so quickly and turning from drinkable to sinkable in one fell swoop. An extraordinary transformation and not a good one.

I noticed the same thing on friday, I over-watered it too and it was 'sinkable'.

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I got a grand pontarlier glass with my bottle and ended up over-watering too. I didn't understand why absomphe was raving about it when I read his review, so I went back and had it in the smaller pontarlier glass and yes, I agreed with everything. I've since switched to diluting by taste after the 'band' disappears.

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Okay, so at 3:1, I actually dared to do a side=by-side comparison of 1914, and Belle Amie...

 

Here goes...

 

Nose: 1914 was incredibly herbal/floral, with a strong aged cognac component. (that Rolls Royce leather thing).

 

Belle Amie was, by comparison, slightly vegetal (pontica), and also herbal/floral, but not as lively (somewhat muted).

 

The colors, unlouched, were nearly identical, however louched, the 1914 was a vivid amber/yellow, whereas the Belle Amie was a similar shade, but with an olive greenish cast, that wasn't quite as attractive.

 

The mouthfeel of the 1914 PF was thick, velvet-y, and luxurious whereas the mouthfeel of the Belle Amie was comparatively thinner, but still respectable, with just a hint of creaminess.

 

The taste of the 1914 included a decided Cognac-like component with impeccably interwoven anise, fennel, and wormwood, and an incredibly long aftertaste, while the Belle Amie was more spicy than herbal/floral, with a noticeable pontica twang, and a really nice big kiss of wormwood in its almost ( but not quite) equally long finish.

 

To summarize, the 1914 won this tasteoff hands down, but the fact that I was able to enjoy both of these absinthes side-by-side without being even slightly tempted to sink the Belle Amie says a lot for how much progress the best absinthe revival distillers have made.

 

At the tail-end of this tasting, I actually combined the two absinthes into a half'n half, and the resulting drink was very kopacetic, and enjoyable!

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To summarize, the 1914 won this tasteoff hands down, but the fact that I was able to enjoy both of these absinthes side-by-side without being even slightly tempted to sink the Belle Amie says a lot for how much progress the best absinthe revival distillers have made.

On that, we agree.

 

I very cautiously added very cold water at a very slow drip to the Belle Amie. I slowly tasted it at 2 1/2-to-1, 3-to-1 and 3 1/2-to-1. I think it rates a resounding, "It's kinda ok, I guess." 3 glasses in 3 different evenings and I really wanted to like it more. I do like it just, well, no big deal. Add to that, it's unforgiving as hell when adding your water. It is not the pinnacle of modern COs. For me, it doesn't break into the top ten. :no2:

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I think it may be worthwhile to do another thread listing members' top te favorite COs.

 

However, based on how hard it may be to categorize each position, maybe we should start with listing what we each believe to be in the top ten, but not in any particular order.

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It is not the pinnacle of modern COs.

I finally have had the chance to try it, and I find my opinion mirrors yours. It's good, but not spectacular. It seems to have much in common with the Verte de Fougerolles: they both are very herbal and leafy, but not nearly as refined as the Jades, for example.

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I just got my bottle and some other stuff today and had my first glass. I will have to post a formal review later today, however my thoughts after having had a glass: Beautiful dark amber-green color, great aroma, however the louche is slightly thin, and adding water doesn't enhance the aroma a whole lot (i.e. not extremely room filling). The taste is very nice, wormwood and hyssop(?) seem to stand out a lot in this, with a very nice compliment of anise in the background. The taste is very well balanced. All in all it is very delicious, and not having had anything better I can't say this isn't the top of my list so far. I do feel there is potential room for improvement (if it can happen without compromising taste).

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So I am about to post my review, but had a note I thought I would post first. Having made DITA's the other night, my girlfriend asked if we could try one with Belle Amie. I figured why not, and she ran to the store and bought some Canti Asti and we made her one. Anyway, with about half a cube of sugar and 3/4 a normal dose of BA, it was better than I had expected. I would even venture to say it was better than the blanche and Asti I had the other night. I don't think this would be my preferred method of drinking Belle Amie, mostly because I don't have much of a sweet tooth. I think she is in love however haha. Just a note to anyone who had a reservation about trying this!

:cheers:

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Absomphe, thank you for that excellent post comparing 1914 and Belle Amie.

I have a Marteau and a Belle Amie en route, and you have really piqued my

interest in the 1914. This is the line that made it irresistible. I'm all about

quality, you know:

Nose: 1914 was incredibly herbal/floral, with a strong aged cognac component. (that Rolls Royce leather thing).

 

edit: Oh crap. You're talking pre-ban. Shucks. Never mind.

 

My budget: Earth

Pre-Ban: Alpha Centauri

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Does anybody pick up a very soft coconut taste?

 

Now that you mention it, one of the subtle components that I couldn't quite place might be coconut.

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It’s there, paired just slightly with that artificial flavor I remember in banana taffy. I only detect it with stronger ratios, say 2.5-3:1, while "chewing" the sip to mix in air.

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Except you can't get any of the 1914.

 

Exactly. So why even discuss it?

Sure, it's fabulous if you have some, but I'll never taste it.

Might as well admire the sparkles of moon rocks.

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Exactly. So why even discuss it?

Sure, it's fabulous if you have some, but I'll never taste it.

 

Please forgive my impertinence, I momentarily forgot that it's all about you, Swat. :worshippy: ;)

 

On behalf of all of us who have been fortunate enough. to try it, I'm sorry I ever mentioned the stuff :tongue:

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Exactly. So why even discuss it?

Sure, it's fabulous if you have some, but I'll never taste it.

Because one of the things that many of us is interested in is modern absinthe developing to the point that it's on par with preban absinthe. Belle Amie is interesting because a few of us have taken a whiff of its aroma and found it to bear a surprising similarity to preban Pernod. Absomphe and I agree in Belle Amie's similarities to vintage absinthe but for different reasons. His opinion is that no modern absinthe is as good as vintage but Belle Amie does an admirable job of trying. My opinion is that there's no reason to think that the best modern absinthes aren't as good as preban and that much of the awesomeness, especially the Rolls Royce leather character, comes from 100 years of aging. I actually think Belle Amie does a fair job in simulating some of these aged qualities in appearance, aroma, and flavour while also having a very modern, spicy flair.

 

So it's worth a comparison. If someone can't get preban Pernod we can say "here's something you can get and this is how close it tastes and where it falls short."

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Exactly. So why even discuss it?

Sure, it's fabulous if you have some, but I'll never taste it.

 

Please forgive my impertinence, I momentarily forgot that it's all about you, Swat. :worshippy: ;)

 

On behalf of all of us who have been fortunate enough. to try it, I'm sorry I ever mentioned the stuff :tongue:

 

I'm sorry I offended you. Please forgive me.

 

Thanks for explaining, Peridot. I get it now.

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All's well, except we must clarify: You CAN get PF1914. It's easy as pie. The only obstacle would be the person owning it wanting to part with it. And that HAS been known to happen, onacuz if it didn't I wouldn't be in possession of any right now.

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Pernod 1914 will do a good job thinning your wallet or making your credit card scream! I bought a sample once but I'm afraid to drink it. When it's gone, it's time to sell another kidney. ;)

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Swa, people talk about the 1914 because it was an incredible cache of pre-Ban. Certainly never to happen again. And for many people pre-Ban PF is the cat's pajamas.

 

I've been fortunate to try the 1914. It is very good. A really beautiful louche (lacking the the Belle Amie I hear). Excellent flavor. It is very special.

 

But I believe there are absinthes that are just as good.

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Now I understand why the taste of these rare dusty gems is examined here in detail.

These comparisons are the final analyses of how accurate chemists like Ted are in recreating the 100

year old tastes.

I see the big picture now, but I'm afraid I really pissed off Absomphe.

I think he went to get his shotgun.

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