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Tarragona

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is there a major difference between the 1950s and the pre 1914 stuff in terms of quality? also I see the 1940s through 70s vintages but I haven't seen any pre ban. I'm very interested in tasting the difference between then and now and would love to buy some pre ban PF samples. sorry if this is listed somewhere already and thanks in advance to anyone who can help-stef

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A very interesting question. I've had 1910, 1914 and 1950. I'd say the 1910 and the 1914 were about on par, though in different ways. The 1914 cache is known for being very well preserved while 1910 caches tend to be wonderfully aged. The 1950 was similar in freshness to the 1914 and was a superbly layered floral delight- though not quite as jaw-droppingly nuanced as the others. So I'd say the difference is notable but that doesn't stop the 50s Tarragona stuff from being an excellent and irreplaceable insight into what absinthe once was. There are definitely others here that can add their perspective on the subject.

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is there a major difference between the 1950s and the pre 1914 stuff in terms of quality?

 

Well in terms of recipe surely.

 

In the early 20s, Pernod bought the late Edouard Pernod distilleries in Spain (if my memory serves well) and the recipe evolved thereupon.

 

There you have it, a mix of two of the most acclaimed vintage absinthes : the sometimes bold and strong Tarragona (hum... actually it depends deeply on which bottle you have found... But Tarragona can definitely be very bold)

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I've heard that Tarragona production changed the recipe in 1935. I have no proof, this is just what I've heard.

 

The change being from Edouard Pernod to Pernod Fils if I recall correctly. If Clement is correct (and he's more likely to be than I am) it may have been a smoother transition and not so sudden.

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If Clement is correct (and he's more likely to be than I am)

Well don't be so sure, I did not have time to check my references before posting (and that's very not me). Anyway, I truly think you overall know as much as I am.

 

So, here's the deal : you were right, I was wrong :)

 

It happens that Marc has made a good report on the evolution of the Tarragona here. The gist is the following :

- Edouard Pernod was bought some time around the ban by Pernod SA

- When moving to Tarragona Pernod SA intially produced EP recipe

- In 1935 Pernod SA integrates the Pernod Group

- The recipe is changed to Pernod Fils

 

Here you have it, and sorry for the false story

Edited by Clement Arnoux (Aggelos)

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No problem. I was being cautious as my sources were the drunk ramblings of fellow absintheurs. Thanks for the run down, and the link is awesome for detailing the years of production by labels.

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