Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Georges Meliès

Jumping into the pre-ban pool

Recommended Posts

Why would you be skeptical? If it wasn't barrel aged as Brian commented,and it was bottled clear,then shouldn't it remain clear over time?I'm not being argumentative,I just didn't a clear spirit could change color in the bottle with aging.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Because I would expect it to have been barrel aged as were many preban absinthes. Besides, before making a BIG purchase, I would do my research which would have shown this absinthe to be amber in color AND being said to maybe be a blanche. I would have then asked why the color? Anyway. If I am spending big bucks on a vintage absinthe, it better taste and look vintage and not look or taste like something recently distilled and bottled. Not to say everything that looks and tastes old is surely vintage.

 

 

The Maestro, Stefano, did an awesome job of replicating a vintage Marque.

Edited by greytail

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pre-ban, Part III:

 

On Christmas Eve I opened another sample. This was truly an indulgence: I've been tasting half-size servings from 50ml bottles in order to have the opportunity to go back to retaste one or two more times down the road. This sample was 30ml of Gempp-Pernod and I chose to go for broke and enjoy a full dose. Extravagant, but hey, it's Christmas.

 

I was too lazy to document the experience with pictures this time, something that in retrospect I sort of wish I'd done. Suffice it to say, this was by far the most exciting of the few pre-bans I have tasted to date. The color was a lovely feuille-morte with no sign of green at all, and the aroma was clean and fresh, with all the right herbal notes. It louched very quickly -- astonishingly so -- and to my surprise showed a great deal of greenish tint as it fully formed. (I used an antique Yvonne glass, which is great for getting a very good look at the louche.)

 

The flavors were sublime. Not a single off-note, just exquisitely balanced, creamy, and mouthfilling. The resemblance to Esprit d'Edouard was astonishing. A touch more bitterness in the finish, but very similar body and balance. This was perhaps appropriate inasmuch as Gempp-Pernod was the successor to Edouard's distillery in Lunel. Gempp was his son-in-law, and took over that distillery in 1880 while Edouard continued to operate his other distilleries in Couvet and Pontarlier. It would seem likely that Charles Gempp would continue to use his father-in-law's old recipe when he took charge.

 

Interestingly, it began to decline in the glass as I savored it over a 45 minute period. I am very used to that effect with bottles of very old wines, but I had not seen it with the previous pre-ban absinthes, probably because I had such small glasses that I consumed them much more quickly. The last sip was still wonderful, but it had lost a bit of depth and complexity by then.

 

In any event, it was certainly a very memorable experience, and it will be hard to top. But I'm hoping that the 1914 Pernod Fils sample I'm reserving until next year will raise the bar even higher. And I do still have more Georges Pernod and A. Junod to retry. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bravo! Im looking forward to trying my Gemmp too. So you reckon better than Comoz? What about a comparison with the Georges Pernod?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's been a while since I've tasted any vintage absinthe. I did have a 60s Tarragona a few months ago and enjoyed it but it wasn't in the same league as the few pre-bans I've tried and posted about in this thread.

 

But tonight I decided it was time to try the 1914 Pernod that I've been holding back. This is the one discussed in an old Fée Verte post: http://www.feeverte.net/guide/historic-absinthe-brands/pernod_fils_1914/

 

I was too lazy to take pictures. Next time I will because everything about it was amazing. I couldn't believe how lively the color was, and the stunning gold rim as it louched. But mostly I was struck by the impeccable balance. This ancient comment from a tasting note in the link above sums it up perfectly: "How can it be this thick and creamy and feel so light in the mouth?"

 

Pure perfection. By far the best absinthe I have tasted, and I've had some good ones. I truly couldn't believe how fantastic it was. I think I'm spoiled for life... Fortunately I have 3 more chances to drink it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am acquiring some Pernod 1914 soon as well, in addition to the Edouard 1914. I'm extremely excited. :) Thank you for posting your experiences with pre-ban here, they were great to read, even if through a green fog of jealousy haha. I must admit however, I'm shocked by the amount of sugar that your pics showed! I would think that it gets in the way of tasting the subtleties of such exquisite samples.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please don't sugar it. Give that sample to someone else before sugaring.

 

I tasted both. They do NOT need it. Enjoy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pure perfection. By far the best absinthe I have tasted, and I've had some good ones. I truly couldn't believe how fantastic it was. I think I'm spoiled for life....

Very well put. My sentiments exactly.

And thank you for this awesome thread. Cheers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The older photo with sugar is a bit misleading in the sense that when I prepare a pre-ban I use a precisely measured dilution. By the time the water has passed through the brouilleur only a very small amount of sugar dissolves. I toss the remainder.

 

I like those irregular cubes since they have a suitably 'old' appearance but the sizes are irregular and usually far too big, and they shatter when you cut them. I've gone back to using the small wrapped cubes where I can use 1/2, which for a full glass (as opposed to a tasting sample) is more than enough.

 

Next time I try the 1914 I'll make it without sugar. I used a tiny bit since I normally use a small amount in my modern absinthes. It was definitely not excessively sweet at that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's no question that in some pre-bans, a tiny bit of sugar will enhance the flavors... anise, in particular. I've had a couple where a slight harsh edge, or an element that seemed lacking was rounded out nicely and accentuated a bit by a little sugar. Marc T. suggested this, and he was correct.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

indeed, very nice thread

About sugar, I only tasted a few pre-ban, but as scott I prefer to use a very little sugar with it ; not to feel too much the sugar taste but to enhance the flavors.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Time for the next round.

 

In honor of Bastille Day I decided to open a sample of a ca. 1900 Pernod Fils.

 

This picture looks more green than it did in real life. Interesting how the camera caught the light. It looked more amber in real life. The aroma of the undiluted absinthe was very herbaceous and a touch woody.

 

017.jpg

 

The louche was very quick to form and beautiful to watch.

 

018.jpg

 

019.jpg

 

As you can see, the greenish tinge really grew as the louche formed. The result was very pleasing to the eye.

 

023.jpg

 

The aromas continued with the highly herbaceous, somewhat woody tones. In the mouth it was rich, quite luscious, but very strong on the wormwood notes with much less evident other herbs. It struck me as particularly low in anise flavors. The finish, as with all other pre-bans I've tried, was incredibly long. Rather bitter but not unpleasant, extremely lingering. Amazingly so.

 

It was distinctly woody; it came from a fairly low-level bottle so clearly oxidation was an issue, but it was one time where I really felt I could taste barrel-aging -- in a way it reminded me of over-oaked Chardonnay.

 

My general impression was that it was a very interesting absinthe, but then again back when I was in the wine business we often used "interesting" as a description for a drink that was admirable for its history but not entirely enjoyable...... This one doesn't remotely come close to the 1914 Pernod I tasted recently, which was pure perfection. The flavors were integrated and enjoyable but in a word: incomplete. Again, the oxidation could be a major factor. But all in all it was the least enjoyable of the six pre-bans I've had to date. Not bad by any stretch, but it didn't live up to the others.

 

Fortunately I have more tastings awaiting in the wings. Including another chance to try this Pernod.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's been well over a year since I started this thread with a tasting of the pre-ban Georges Pernod. Since then I've had a few hundred more glasses of absinthes, including a few other pre-bans, so I figured it's time to go back and take another look at the Georges.

 

Originally my plan was to eke out 3 tastings from each 50ml sample. Which is what I did for the first 3 I tried. But then I realized that, just as with wine, a small sip really isn't the same as a decent glass. So I changed my battle plan and go for two reasonable 25ml servings per sample now.

 

But that means that my initial samples have about 32ml left. A very decent 1oz.+ pour. So I polished off the remaining Georges Pernod in style, in a single, final tasting.

 

All I can say is: wow. It's every bit as wonderful as the first time. If not better than I remembered. Even after trying many others, this still ranks in the top 2 or 3 I've been privileged to taste. I simply can't find one single aspect to critique. True perfection from start to finish. Such impeccable balance, such complexity, such length. Utterly sublime. Well above any modern absinthe I have tasted. It is evident that they took the greatest of care in every aspect of distilling this luscious elixir. Perfect ingredients in perfect proportion.

 

I'm glad that I was restrained in my first tasting. That was a good start. Today I'm better prepared to appreciate it, and indulging in a full glass was delightfully decadent.

 

Alas, that's the end of the Georges Pernod. But I still have more pre-ban samples to retaste, and a few to taste for the first time. Life is good!

 

But it makes me realize that today's producers, as good as many are, still have a way to go to match the best of the 19th century absinthes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×