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gee13

Belle Amie

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Gents and Gentuesses

 

Im looking at possibly getting the 2011 or 2012, maybe 2013

 

I have read mixed reviews and ones mainly from 2007-8 around the 2nd batch?

 

Wondering if theres been much improvement in the recent releases of BA?

 

Or will I find that 2011 is not that far off to 2013?

 

Thanks

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Youre just a tease simon...

 

And I guess to to lack of response there may be not many folk who have had the privilege of trying diferent BA batches and reviewed/compared them as such. Oh well...

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Scott, which do you have 12 or 13 so have you tried the BA 11?

 

Im thinking that the 11 since its naturally bottle aged for 2 yrs even if identical to 2013 is going to taste better if opened now. Unless Luc has refined the process of the recent batch to be better at first release.

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And I guess to to lack of response there may be not many folk who have had the privilege of trying diferent BA batches and reviewed/compared them as such. Oh well...

You are correct in my case. I am a fan of Luc and his work. I am very greedily working through my sole bottle of Belle Amie. Age has not been a disservice to this absinthe.

Unfortunately, my expendable income has been directed elsewhere and I sincerely don't remember the last time I placed an order to Europe for absinthe. That is my loss, I know. :cheers:

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I am presently three States away from my bottles, so I can't answer that. I bought them in Paris, from Luc however, so they are from the most recent batches. I was sweating their safe arrival through the baggage monkeys, as the Abv limit is 70, and these are 72. my concerns were not needed, thankfully. Sebastian's gift-wrapping did the trick.

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Right I get in you folks in the US? are restricted in imports on ABV content - so European 72 ABV are technically 'illegal' ??

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Sorry, I wasn't explaining in detail...it's good info, so here it goes: I don't know about other airlines, but I'd expect the rule to be the same with others. Air France and Swiss Air set the ABV limit on bottles you place in your checked luggage, at a maximum of 70. Perhaps it's a rule they don't heavily enforce, or perhaps a bottle or two is assumed to simply be wine, when x-rayed.

Edited by Scott M.

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Right.. carrying on via flight /luggage as opposed to a mail order import item.So if you mail order to US does this ABV restriction apply?

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I leave the details to the flying monkeys.

 

Permit holders may have more info and/or license to import/export above residential shipping ABV.

 

Just my guess though.

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Regarding Belle Amie.

 

I have at least tasted almost all of the batches, lived through the painful time between BA II and BA III and have mine own opinion.

 

At a given time, whatever you may have heard about it, BA as always meant "trying to be the best", simply because its creator wants nothing less.

 

Much was said, good or bad about the first ones (BA I & BA II), and they are, IMHO, extremely different from the current ones. Golden and syruppy, they were extremely fruity and floral, much more so than the current ones. I would have to open one of my old bottles to know whether my memories are correct or Nostalgy-Enhanced , but as far as I remember, the only thing I found better at the time was a perfectly aged bottle of Verte Suisse 2006. So, there's that.

 

Now, for the recent batches : they are greener, and greener, proof that VdA have been working a lot on their product (which was yet a wonder), using for example some tricks allegedly found in such litterature as a Duplais authenticated as property of that Henry-Louis Pernod guy. Hipsters.

 

Whatever you like, let's talk objective features :

- It has a solid taste, not elusive, not overpowering, just solid

- The plants are fabulous

- The wine alcohol is perferctly chosen and handled

the basics are all there.

 

The recipe has not changed since the first batch. Only the methods around it have changed. Belle Amie changes. All the time. But the spirit is the same.

Some changes are drastic (2nd batch and 3rd batch are extremely different, and you have to notice it between 3rd and 4th)

Some less. But if you take a bottle every two year, you will notice it.

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The best would be for Luc to participate on that, I fear I must work only from memory nope, only for the first and other batches, the second one I had in my stash

 

Belle Amie first batch would be 2007

Second batch is 2008

Third "generation" starts, if I am not mistaken in 2010 because we used to talk about BA 2010 (and the bottle I have must be a distiller's proof)

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Well I finally got round to trying a sample of 2011 BA last night. (Thanks to Simon W, cheers mate)

 

Here was some of my tasting notes. Only used a very small 1/8 cube of sugar.

 

The louche was slightly average and thin, nice trails but took a while to really get going. At 3.5:1 its so thin you can see the spoon in the glass in pic. Sadly this came up way too thin for my liking in terms of body. I must say the aroma was magnificent. I give It nearly full points, alpine mintiness that filled the room. Mouthfeel was just above average not much bitterness, a tinge of slighly sweet feminine sweet taste. Balance was quite good, in the trinity wormwood is not too dominant, anise and fennel is present along with coriander and slight hyssop. Smoothness, well rather faultless really its smooth as water can be? Complexity was present but not quite wow factor that I was imagining. Overall this is a nice mild absinthe, but not a great one. Perhaps too feminine and soft for my liking.

 

What followed was I poured a glass of Roquette 1797 soon after, then followed up with Jade Eduoard. No match. These are in a different league. So unless the BA 2013 has changed drastically from the 2011 batch the BA line has much room for improvement. It sounds like the crafters have had to make a lot of changes in subsequent batches.

Overall score 3.5/5

 

I have a small amount left of this sample and will try 3:1, maybe even take a sip at 2.5:1. Unfortunately as others have reviewed theres no hope beyond becoming water over 3.5. This is not what Im looking for in a good absinthe.

post-4190-0-18463300-1377384657_thumb.jpg

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I have no problem developing a nice louche. I will say however, the earlier version I had a couple years ago was thinner. My guess is this new batch would impress you on many levels.

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Hey thanks Scott, looks like youre using a carafe there and a much quicker drip than my 1 drip per second from fountain, I think when I meant slow to louche it was more in context of a watery louche. Didnt seem to really get going.. Maybe a quicker drip makes it different perhaps. Anyway Id be curious for a sample of BA 2013 to compare. However I can get one without having to get a bottle with excessive shipping cost to oz is beyond me. So anyone that can offer an alternative or point me the right direction is much appreciated. :)

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Some absinthes seem to require a little more care to really develop. At first, I thought that always meant a slow drip. Then I noticed that sometimes the most stubborn absinthes responded better to short, rapid splashes, creating agitation. It is how most drinkers back in the day did it... with carafes. Some would develop a skill with incredible control and slow drips, others would just shake the water in with splashes or a steady stream. Then there's the power-louching that Joe sometimes talks about! I suspect then, as now, it was all a matter of choice and preference. They didn't have on-line forums, however, to drive each other nuts...they did that in person.

 

One thing we can say is that with the sweet tooth of the era, and their preference for sugar,

the spoons would often, depending on design, break up the water into a series of droplets or spattering raindrops... agitation being the key.

The photo you posted above, looks pretty typical for Belle Amie, actually. Nothing looks wrong about that louche to me! That Feuille D'Absinthe spoon, BTW, is great for that raindrop effect.

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I'm not crazy about this stuff.(yet) Maybe with some resting,but right now it's just too minty for me.I didn't love Sauvage at first either,but now I wish I had more than the one bottle in my cabinet.Hopefully I'll feel the same about Belle Amie down the road as well.

Edited by redwun

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Initially, those were my thoughts, too. The weaker louche wasn't my cup of tea but eventually, I came to a realization. It is well crafted and complex, not better or worse than other well-crafted absinthes, just different (from mine). Once that little glimmer of light pierced my tiny brain, I started appreciate BA for it's differences and subtleties.

Some absinthes seem to require a little more care to really develop. At first, I thought that always meant a slow drip. Then I noticed that sometimes the most stubborn absinthes responded better to short, rapid splashes, creating agitation. It is how most drinkers back in the day did it... with carafes. Some would develop a skill with incredible control and slow drips, others would just shake the water in with splashes or a steady stream. Then there's the power-louching that Joe sometimes talks about!

See? I'm not the guy to talk to here. I'm like a bull in a china shop, hosing every glass of absinthe with a fire hose. Difference is good! That's why we need to appreciate every well-made absinthe we can.

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Well hopefully I will revisit the BA 2011 when I receive my 2nd sample. It may be like the Berthe De Joux upon first tasting I didnt quite enjoy the strange aromas and flavour nuances but I have really acquired a taste of the BDJ now. Its quite irresistable now. Mind you I wans floored by the BDJ 11 when I tried it, the 2013 was more flavoursome and had a thicker better louche IMHO.

 

Id be very interested in sampling and reviewwing BA 2013.

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Mind you I wans floored by the BDJ 11 when I tried it, the 2013 was more flavoursome and had a thicker better louche IMHO.

Some of the evolutions are inspired from the evolution of the Belle Amie, Minette and Perroquet actually. Same trend : everytime VdA enhances their product, Dominique capitalizes. They have a good sinergy going there.

 

Another thing : the bottles for "les Parisiennes" are actually part of what make the products great, by design. I litteraly mean that a BA which would not be in its bottle may taste different.

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Sorry for the slight typo..I meant I *wasnt floored by the BDJ 11, to add to this I had similar notes to the BA 11 actually when I did a side by side tasting. But the BDJ 13 was a different beast altogether and in my mind was much bolder and better rounded resulting in more delicious for me. These were all had at 0.67 oz(20 ml) 3:1 and 1/8 sugarcubed. Relatively Slow drip rate of 2 p/s

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