I'll be describing from the perspective of the PF 1901 vs. the pre-ban 1914.
This came very close, and is a respectful homage to the pre-ban Pernod Fils. I'd say the area where they nailed it was the louche. It formed exactly the same way, at the same pace, clouded and layered exactly the same way...In the end even the color was the same, despite the pf 1901 being greener than the light gold/amber pre-louche color of the pre-ban. The louche was a tiny bit denser in the PF 1901, but so very very close.
The aroma and flavor shared the same judgement from me...close, but heavier and a bit earthier than the pre-ban, which was just so balanced and rounded it was amazing. This could be due to 96 years of aging, I suppose we'll never know for sure unless we can REALLY go back in time. (The closet we get to doing that is looking up at stars, turning pages in old books, watching great old films, and drinking vintage spirits!) I found the PF 1901 to have the same big warm wormwood in the flavor, but it was a bit more pungent ... not as refined. I may not have felt this way were I not comparing the two side by side. It also had a tad of alcohol heat, where I noticed none in the pre-ban.
The finish was fairly close...I'd say this was 2nd best homage after the louche took 1st place. Again, a heavier hand across the board, and perhaps aging would lessen this. It did however have the same refined, powdery finish and light tang on the tongue at the very end that I noticed with the 1914 Pernod Fils.
Final word, this new bottle gets about an 85% success rating from me as a tribute to the benchmark pre-ban. My hunch is if I went 4:1 with the PF 1901, and kept the pre-ban at 3:1, that it would have been about 90% match in spirit! I'll never know, as I plan on honoring/enjoying/savoring the rest of the pre-ban sample I have on its own. Who knows, with a bit of aging, the Jade may slide up even a bit more. Nonetheless, a noble and well thought out effort!
Edited by sbmac, 28 February 2010 - 10:43 AM.