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JakeBarnes

Introducing... Reverie

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Hi everyone, I've been meaning to post on this since I first tried it a month or so back at Absinthe Salon but have been a little slack. On the plus side, I've been able to try this several more times since then, so I'm a bit more confident in my opinions.

 

Anyway, Reverie is a new Australian absinthe and, I would argue, the first credible commercial absinthe to be produced here (since previous attempts have involved artificial colours and novelty names - ie Moulin Rooz). As such, i think its quite an accomplishment. I should say I have no involvement with the product aside from being a regular visitor to the salon so I've got nothing to gain from plugging it.

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From what I've read online or been told from Gaye and Joop at the salon, Reverie is produced by Distillery Botanica on the New South Wales Central Coast, just north of Sydney, in a partnership between the owner distiller and a former scientist with the CSIRO (Australia's top science body), though the production of this first commercial batch hit a bump when one half of the team (the scientist) needed to have heart surgery.

 

Anyway, it went on to win a silver medal at the IWS - not a bad effort for a first time absinthe maker from a country without the great absinthe histories of France or Switzerland or even the US. The distiller and Absinthe Salon recommends a ratio of 2:1 water with no sugar because the tastes here are very subtle. I've found its definitely a drink to start with because its very difficult to pick up some of the complexities after a glass of something stronger. Personally I prefer it with a little more water 2.5:1 or thereabouts with just the slightest hint of sugar, but that's a personal thing. Here are my tasting notes from a couple of nights ago:


Aroma: mild, hints of wormwood


Louche: Develops to a good medium thickness


Taste: Wormwood hits the palate first but slowly gives way to anise. Fantastic length

 

Mouthfeel: nice and thick, not surprising given the low water ratio

 

Overall impression: wonderful. Very delicate and nuanced, definitely a "first" drink - would be hard to taste the subtleties after having something stronger.

Here's a news article on it: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/news/distillery-botanica-picks-up-award-for-best-australian-absinthe/story-fngr8gwi-1226710588646

 

For anyone in Australia wanting to pick up a bottle, its available here: http://www.absinthesalon.com.au/cat/index.cgi/shopfront/view_product_details?category_id=55670&product_id=5374612

 

 

Anyway, I hope this is of interest to some of you. Cheers

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Thanks for that Louchey, that was interesting. I did a search after watching the video and found the following blurb online:



"Over the last 40 years many people have visited the Erina site of Distillery Botanica in its incarnation as The Fragrant Garden. In keeping with its past the gardens have been totally transformed into garden of fragrant flowering plants, herbs, Australian natives and botanicals, which is distiller parlance for plants used in our distillery.



The property was purchased in 2005 by the distiller Philip Moore. Philip is the founder of Renaissance Herbs, Australia’s largest wholesale herb nursery. As such Philip brings a wealth of knowledge on plant aromas and flavours to his new passion of faithfully and accurately transforming botanicals into luscious spirits and liqueurs."



So I guess it makes sense that he knows a bit about herbs. Apparently he grows most of his own stuff. I'll have to take a trip up there one day and check it out.

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Hmm, its difficult to compare in outright terms because its different to anything I've tastes (The guys at absinthe salon have compared it to the Brevans Spare and the Angelique but i'm yet to try either of those) but I would say this absinthe would be one I would put into regular rotation at home. So when I'm in the mood for something with a masculine profile I'm most likely to reach for a bdJ and if I'm in the mood for something classic its the PF01, Reverie is the one I'd go to when I want something more delicate. But I'd rate it very highly, especially for its length/finish - which is a trait I really enjoy. Also $90 bucks including delivery is pretty good given these guys have to pay those ridiculously high Australian taxes

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Just wanted to revive this thread to see if I can get some insight from the wiser heads on here. I've been having a glass of this every two to three weeks on average over the past few months (whenever I can make it into the salon basically) and I've noticed a pronounced change in the way it tastes. Wheras previously it was a very subtle herbal-dominant, almost elegegant drink it now seems to have taken on a more overt, masculine profile. I've had it enough times to more or less rule out possible contributing factors like having eaten a particular type of food etc before hand. So I'm curious to know if such major changes have been known to occur in the space of a few months. Also note this can't be a simple result of oxidisation and the glasses I've had have come from different bottles, some half full, some just opened and some almost empty and the trend has been clear in spite of that. So I'd be curious to hear if anyone has any insight into what may be going on?

 

PS I should say that the change in the drink hasn't by any stretch made it bad, just different. If anything its more appealing now

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Absinthe evolves. Some for better and some unfortunately for worse. I love watching an absinthe mature as the bottle slowly disappears. That's one reason, I always try to get two bottles: one to enjoy and one to enjoy later. The progress of Reverie seems normal to me. I wish I could share a few glasses with you. :cheers:

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Ive always found the optimal bottle level to be about the first 10-20%and then later at the last 10-20%. Theres definitely a factor. And time at rest for various levels. Are you checking what the bottle level is at the salon before your glass is louched? Then theres a wildcard factor which I cant pin down, sometimes your mood plays a part on the palate at the time...or am I just imagining things again?

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I don't think its just an oxidsation thing though, the last glass I had was from a freshly opened bottle and the previous glass was from a half empty bottle and both were similar to each other and very different from the previosu three glasses I'd tried. The difference seems to be purely a matter of time. I'd by far the most profound change I've seen since I got into absinthe early this year. Many of the things i wrote in the in the intial review above are no longer applicable but its still a very good, well made, drink.

 

 

And Joe, hopefulyl you'll be able to try some of the new batch. I'd love to hear your thoughts on it if and when you do

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The last sample I had was exquisite, and I rate it up there with the best I have tried - that was from their own herbs. Be very keen to try the new release with the herbs from Joe. Its not cheap at about $85 US equivalent for just 500ml.

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Just tried this at the salon the other night. It's a step up from the original batch (which I loved) and the Montana wormwood comes out very clearly - or at least I can notice some obvious similarities, especially in the smell, to the Ridge Verte. It's smoother and possibly better balanced than the original batch. I'd rate it up there with the very best absinthes on the market.

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I had a sip! By hook and crook and the work of an extraordinary gentleman, I managed a sip of Reverie! The aroma is magnificent. The color is absolutely lovely. Yes, yes of course the wormwood is wonderful (prejudice, I am) but everything else is there. This is an excellent, very authentic absinthe and deserving of proper attention. How I wish I had a full glass to savor for an hour.

 

The absinthe world just took another step forward. :clap:

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Its a double distilled process apparently. I remeber first batch being deadly smooth.. So Joe its great you got to try it and loved it...any thoughts on this unique process? I imagine its a little more of different to straight traditional distill process? Congrats that the Montana herbs had a good result with this latest batch...I need to bite the bullet and get some!

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I'm not sure what "double distilled" means. If they're making their own base, a second distillation might make the base more neutral, I guess. I can't imagine why you would do a double-distillation after the herbs have been macerated. If would only reduce the lovely flavors the distiller worked so hard to get into the distillate in the first place. Heck, maybe it's just making the base with the first distillation and rectifying after the maceration which would make sense.

 

Seriously, Julie and I only managed the smallest sample, perhaps a third of a cordial glass after louching. Enough to see a beautiful green, a lovely louche, an herbal wash across the tongue and wanting much, much more. It's good stuff but I couldn't possibly say more because I just don't know.

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Thanks to the esteemed Joe Legate, I was able to get a bottle of this and crack it open. After letting it 'breathe' for a day, I louched up a glass today. Damn, this is some fine stuff. If I didn't know, I'd be hard pressed to not think this was Ponty wormwood. Sweet, minty, and herbal with just a touch of bitterness. Really tasty.

 

As soon as I can access the review section, I'll be adding a page and a review. Pass along my regards to the distillers. Australia is lucky to have this available to them after being mired in fauxsinthe for so long.

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