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MARTEAU Absinthe de la Belle Époque http://wormwoodsociety.org/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/300x300s/bd/d7/5a/482_marteaugreen_1228180279.jpg

 
4.4 (4)
 
4.4 (11)
 

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Degrees ABV (% alcohol)
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Editor reviews

Average editor rating from: 4 user(s)

Overall rating 
 
4.4
Appearance 
 
4.0  (4)
Louche 
 
4.5  (4)
Aroma 
 
4.3  (4)
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.8  (4)
Finish 
 
4.5  (4)
Overall 
 
4.5  (4)

Before water the colour is clear olivine. It's natural and attractive. The aroma has a spicy kick, very similar to chili peppers. Sweet, a bit pungeant and nose-burning. Fruity. Anise is present but obscured by the strange aromas.

The louche is attractive but a bit weak. Green or gold depending on the angle of light. Too thin to discern very many subtleties. With water the aroma is still full of chili pepper, with some wormwood peeking through.

The flavour is very strong and complex. Lots of minty wormwood and that peppery flavour upfront, followed by citrus notes and maybe pine. Anise sort of wraps around everything, not being too obtrusive. There's a very subtle cheesiness that I've never tasted before in an absinthe. It's very crisp and tasty but also tremendously strange. Leans toward sweet as opposed to bitter, but not too far.

It has a long, tasty finish with lots of wormwood, mellowing out to anise and fennel.

This is just about the weirdest absinthe I've had. Normally something this strange is also pretty unpleasant. It actually kind of reminds me of Pulparindo candies, but without the overly sweet-sour taste. My total numerical score, being based strictly on the guidelines, doesn't properly represent how much I enjoy this.
Overall rating 
 
3.8
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
3.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0
Reviewed by Andrew Young July 07, 2011
Last updated: July 14, 2011
Top 10 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (60)

Chili peppers?

Before water the colour is clear olivine. It's natural and attractive. The aroma has a spicy kick, very similar to chili peppers. Sweet, a bit pungeant and nose-burning. Fruity. Anise is present but obscured by the strange aromas.

The louche is attractive but a bit weak. Green or gold depending on the angle of light. Too thin to discern very many subtleties. With water the aroma is still full of chili pepper, with some wormwood peeking through.

The flavour is very strong and complex. Lots of minty wormwood and that peppery flavour upfront, followed by citrus notes and maybe pine. Anise sort of wraps around everything, not being too obtrusive. There's a very subtle cheesiness that I've never tasted before in an absinthe. It's very crisp and tasty but also tremendously strange. Leans toward sweet as opposed to bitter, but not too far.

It has a long, tasty finish with lots of wormwood, mellowing out to anise and fennel.

This is just about the weirdest absinthe I've had. Normally something this strange is also pretty unpleasant. It actually kind of reminds me of Pulparindo candies, but without the overly sweet-sour taste. My total numerical score, being based strictly on the guidelines, doesn't properly represent how much I enjoy this.

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After trying a few of the prototypes, I was extremely excited to see this hit the shelves!

Color: A shade lighter than emerald. Similar to an unripened pear. Very attractive.

Louche: I got some significant layering using ice cold water and the fountain. Fully louched around 2.5:1. Well formed and deep.

Aroma: Powerful blending of herbs, with anise and wormwood at the forefront, with hints of citrus and flowers. It's a calming aroma.

Flavor: As others have mentioned, the wormwood is top notch. It adds a wonderful Alpine spiciness and floral boquet. The bitterness is just right. Not over the top, and not too far in the background. The great thing about this absinthe is that you can 'explore' its depth because it doesn't fall apart easily with overwatering. I tasted different things at each ratio, with all of them being enjoyable.

Finish: Creamy and smooth with touches of anise and allspice.

Overall: While this brand is very deep and complex, I can see it winning favor both with experienced absintheurs and newcomers alike. There isn't as much of a chance of screwing up the dilution ratio, which will make this brand very user friendly for novices. Very well done!
Overall rating 
 
4.4
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
5.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0
Reviewed by Brian Robinson February 08, 2009
Last updated: October 28, 2009
#1 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (165)

The US brands just keep getting better!

After trying a few of the prototypes, I was extremely excited to see this hit the shelves!

Color: A shade lighter than emerald. Similar to an unripened pear. Very attractive.

Louche: I got some significant layering using ice cold water and the fountain. Fully louched around 2.5:1. Well formed and deep.

Aroma: Powerful blending of herbs, with anise and wormwood at the forefront, with hints of citrus and flowers. It's a calming aroma.

Flavor: As others have mentioned, the wormwood is top notch. It adds a wonderful Alpine spiciness and floral boquet. The bitterness is just right. Not over the top, and not too far in the background. The great thing about this absinthe is that you can 'explore' its depth because it doesn't fall apart easily with overwatering. I tasted different things at each ratio, with all of them being enjoyable.

Finish: Creamy and smooth with touches of anise and allspice.

Overall: While this brand is very deep and complex, I can see it winning favor both with experienced absintheurs and newcomers alike. There isn't as much of a chance of screwing up the dilution ratio, which will make this brand very user friendly for novices. Very well done!

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Color
Unlouched, light medium lime green with amber glints. Louched, milky amber/green with really beautiful opalescence... blue, rose, corn-silk at the edges. Maybe a smidge on the lean side in color, but totally correct. Really good vibrancy to all colors.

Louche
Rockin' louche. Really thick oily looking trails... some of the thickest looking and slowest to fall I have seen. Great layering and everything visible till about 1.2/1 at which point everything becomes opaque. Just about as good as it gets. Rivals the Jades.

Aroma
Prelouche, anise, citrus, caramel, herbs. Louched, really fresh, really clean, no off anything. This stuff is just crazy! So complex yet so balanced that any one thing is hard to discern. Good wormwood, for sure, but not that Pontarlier fruity style... tighter and more elegant. Anise and fennel right there. No alcohol heat, neat or louched. Herbals, florals, mint, and a little citric edge. Unbelievably clean!

Flavor
I can't take the time to count the flavors here! Wildly complex but amazingly reserved. Creamy, but not overly creamy mouthfeel. All the expected impressions in really precise measures. A nice spice. Ever so slight tongue numbing. A touch of talc. Total palate impression is one of great finesse and balance. Very fresh, clean, and focused. Not muddled at all.

Finish
Gentle "pull" on the palate. Long, crisp, and clean. All aroma and palate impressions fade to anise and fennel, receding to a beautiful powderiness. There's a fine, fine spiciness that's like lying on a bed of pins! Tingly in the most nano sense. Gorgeous and classy, seamless nose and palate.

Overall
Coming from the wine world, I always think of "American" style as something that comes at you like a freight train. This ain't that. This is ultra classy and fine. Balanced, stylish, reserved. Outstanding and complex nose and palate further punctuated by a texture that is akin to a finely grained tapestry. And for all this finesse, it holds up to the boldest of ryes in a Sazerac. Sha-wing! Something like this not only takes the vision, but the most adroit hand of a skilled artist. I recently said in a review of Jade PF 1901, that "You could make the argument that this defines modern absinthe at the high end, and you may not win, but you're not going to loose." This is likely the other side of the argument.

01/28/10 Revisit - Every time I taste this absinthe I am astounded. I remember hearing Lance Winters say "It's taking a number of super loud ingredients, and making them all sing in harmony with one another." If that's the case, this should be nominated for a Grammy. There is nothing timid about this offering. In fact, many of the choices made here are very brave... certainly not a case of playing not to loose. And yet, the entire tone is tempered with a maturity that does not need to shout "Look at me, Look at me!" From the beautifully translucent louche, to the addition of orris, to the insanely high quality of ingredients that allows for any dilution within reason, MAdlBE is a portrait of competence. All original notes remain unaltered. All original scores remain the same, with one exception... I have changed the score for "Overall" from 4 to 5. Congrats Gwydion, I am so looking forward to your future offerings.

Done with a 1 ounce dose, diluted 3/1, 4/1, 5/1 and no sugar.

Marteau Absinthe de la Belle Epoque 12/10/08, 12/11/08, 1/07/09, 1/17/09, 1/28/10
All evaluations had consistent notes.
Overall rating 
 
4.8
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
5.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
5.0
Overall 
 
5.0
Reviewed by Michael Meyers January 31, 2009
Last updated: June 19, 2012
Top 10 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (53)

The Other Side Of The Argument

Color
Unlouched, light medium lime green with amber glints. Louched, milky amber/green with really beautiful opalescence... blue, rose, corn-silk at the edges. Maybe a smidge on the lean side in color, but totally correct. Really good vibrancy to all colors.

Louche
Rockin' louche. Really thick oily looking trails... some of the thickest looking and slowest to fall I have seen. Great layering and everything visible till about 1.2/1 at which point everything becomes opaque. Just about as good as it gets. Rivals the Jades.

Aroma
Prelouche, anise, citrus, caramel, herbs. Louched, really fresh, really clean, no off anything. This stuff is just crazy! So complex yet so balanced that any one thing is hard to discern. Good wormwood, for sure, but not that Pontarlier fruity style... tighter and more elegant. Anise and fennel right there. No alcohol heat, neat or louched. Herbals, florals, mint, and a little citric edge. Unbelievably clean!

Flavor
I can't take the time to count the flavors here! Wildly complex but amazingly reserved. Creamy, but not overly creamy mouthfeel. All the expected impressions in really precise measures. A nice spice. Ever so slight tongue numbing. A touch of talc. Total palate impression is one of great finesse and balance. Very fresh, clean, and focused. Not muddled at all.

Finish
Gentle "pull" on the palate. Long, crisp, and clean. All aroma and palate impressions fade to anise and fennel, receding to a beautiful powderiness. There's a fine, fine spiciness that's like lying on a bed of pins! Tingly in the most nano sense. Gorgeous and classy, seamless nose and palate.

Overall
Coming from the wine world, I always think of "American" style as something that comes at you like a freight train. This ain't that. This is ultra classy and fine. Balanced, stylish, reserved. Outstanding and complex nose and palate further punctuated by a texture that is akin to a finely grained tapestry. And for all this finesse, it holds up to the boldest of ryes in a Sazerac. Sha-wing! Something like this not only takes the vision, but the most adroit hand of a skilled artist. I recently said in a review of Jade PF 1901, that "You could make the argument that this defines modern absinthe at the high end, and you may not win, but you're not going to loose." This is likely the other side of the argument.

01/28/10 Revisit - Every time I taste this absinthe I am astounded. I remember hearing Lance Winters say "It's taking a number of super loud ingredients, and making them all sing in harmony with one another." If that's the case, this should be nominated for a Grammy. There is nothing timid about this offering. In fact, many of the choices made here are very brave... certainly not a case of playing not to loose. And yet, the entire tone is tempered with a maturity that does not need to shout "Look at me, Look at me!" From the beautifully translucent louche, to the addition of orris, to the insanely high quality of ingredients that allows for any dilution within reason, MAdlBE is a portrait of competence. All original notes remain unaltered. All original scores remain the same, with one exception... I have changed the score for "Overall" from 4 to 5. Congrats Gwydion, I am so looking forward to your future offerings.

Done with a 1 ounce dose, diluted 3/1, 4/1, 5/1 and no sugar.

Marteau Absinthe de la Belle Epoque 12/10/08, 12/11/08, 1/07/09, 1/17/09, 1/28/10
All evaluations had consistent notes.

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The much anticipated release of Marteau de la Belle Epoque will very appropriately attract much attention from the absinthe community. Created by Gwydion Stone, founder of The Wormwood Society this absinthe will be the subject of world-wide scrutiny as Marteau finds its place among the best offerings of Europe. It is skillfully crafted, well-balanced and is a delight to the palate.

Overall rating 
 
4.7
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
5.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
5.0
Overall 
 
5.0
Reviewed by Joe Legate November 12, 2008
Last updated: November 02, 2012
Top 50 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (26)

The Bar Has Been Raised.

The much anticipated release of Marteau de la Belle Epoque will very appropriately attract much attention from the absinthe community. Created by Gwydion Stone, founder of The Wormwood Society this absinthe will be the subject of world-wide scrutiny as Marteau finds its place among the best offerings of Europe. It is skillfully crafted, well-balanced and is a delight to the palate.

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User reviews

Average user rating from: 11 user(s)

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Overall rating 
 
4.4
Appearance 
 
4.3  (11)
Louche 
 
4.3  (11)
Aroma 
 
4.5  (11)
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.7  (11)
Finish 
 
4.4  (11)
Overall 
 
4.3  (11)
Color is a very pretty peridot that really does present well in full sunlight. The aroma before water is interesting - balanced but something else is hiding in the shadows. Louching is very, *very* particular with this one. I find that if I don't use a very slow drip with very cold water that things turn out too thin and not only the louche but the mouthfeel and flavor is also impacted. With proper care... it louches quite nicely and brings out a complex assortment of flavours to enjoy! Using a bubble-glass, I can almost guarentee proper preparation so long as the water is cold enough. The finish is where those spicy notes really rise up and make themselves known - but they are present in the drink proper as well. Nice "coating" of the mouth and a well-rounded finish with slight numbing. Really well-rounded.

A particularly nice absinthe with all of the expected pieces falling into place along with a certain spiciness I cannot place, but enjoy nonetheless. Watch that louche!
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Appearance 
 
4.5
Louche 
 
3.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.5
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0
Reviewed by josephlabrecque December 06, 2013
Top 50 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (21)

Pretty Awesome

Color is a very pretty peridot that really does present well in full sunlight. The aroma before water is interesting - balanced but something else is hiding in the shadows. Louching is very, *very* particular with this one. I find that if I don't use a very slow drip with very cold water that things turn out too thin and not only the louche but the mouthfeel and flavor is also impacted. With proper care... it louches quite nicely and brings out a complex assortment of flavours to enjoy! Using a bubble-glass, I can almost guarentee proper preparation so long as the water is cold enough. The finish is where those spicy notes really rise up and make themselves known - but they are present in the drink proper as well. Nice "coating" of the mouth and a well-rounded finish with slight numbing. Really well-rounded.

A particularly nice absinthe with all of the expected pieces falling into place along with a certain spiciness I cannot place, but enjoy nonetheless. Watch that louche!

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Tasted with & without sugar, 3.5:1 water ratio

Color: A few shades darker than lime. A clean green hue, like a gemstone... beautiful.

Louche: Strong point in the perceived oiliness with trails visible right away. Very slow to turn with a visible band. Looking relatively thick at the end. Close to the best but not quite- It seems like the absinthe appears a little less 'milky' than what I would give a 5...

Aroma: Probably the most complex I have ever drawn in my nostrils! I can sense the classic alpine herb bill, a fresh talc scent, and strong citrus. There is something I pick up that is reminiscent of La Coquette & it's the Pdv. quality I like. It smells rich & strong neat. The aroma remains complex after the ice water is added, with the 'fresh' aspect dominating. I can't wait taste this!

Taste: Very balanced - Tastes just like the aroma - perfect! No one thing dominates, such as anise or wormwood, however their presence is noted. I actually prefer to have a little sugar in this one. There's a little heat & punch at the start... a good strong drink! I tried different amounts of water - it doesn't seem possible to ruin it!

Finish: Nice and lasting, very full, great feel. It has a subtle & seductive pull on my palate.

Overall: I approached this tasting with an impartial head - I did not want to have unrealistically high expectations about it just because G. Stone also happens to be the founder of the web's best forum for absinthe education. Group mentality would state that one has to love this absinthe. Well, with that out of the way, I can honestly and safely say I absolutely love it, it's worth every penny, and is one of the absolute best absinthes that I have ever had - that's saying a lot! I look forward to tasting the handiwork of other U.S. craft distillers as well!
Overall rating 
 
4.8
Appearance 
 
4.5
Louche 
 
4.5
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
5.0
Overall 
 
5.0
Reviewed by Neorebel January 27, 2013
Top 500 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (11)

I absolutely LOVE IT

Tasted with & without sugar, 3.5:1 water ratio

Color: A few shades darker than lime. A clean green hue, like a gemstone... beautiful.

Louche: Strong point in the perceived oiliness with trails visible right away. Very slow to turn with a visible band. Looking relatively thick at the end. Close to the best but not quite- It seems like the absinthe appears a little less 'milky' than what I would give a 5...

Aroma: Probably the most complex I have ever drawn in my nostrils! I can sense the classic alpine herb bill, a fresh talc scent, and strong citrus. There is something I pick up that is reminiscent of La Coquette & it's the Pdv. quality I like. It smells rich & strong neat. The aroma remains complex after the ice water is added, with the 'fresh' aspect dominating. I can't wait taste this!

Taste: Very balanced - Tastes just like the aroma - perfect! No one thing dominates, such as anise or wormwood, however their presence is noted. I actually prefer to have a little sugar in this one. There's a little heat & punch at the start... a good strong drink! I tried different amounts of water - it doesn't seem possible to ruin it!

Finish: Nice and lasting, very full, great feel. It has a subtle & seductive pull on my palate.

Overall: I approached this tasting with an impartial head - I did not want to have unrealistically high expectations about it just because G. Stone also happens to be the founder of the web's best forum for absinthe education. Group mentality would state that one has to love this absinthe. Well, with that out of the way, I can honestly and safely say I absolutely love it, it's worth every penny, and is one of the absolute best absinthes that I have ever had - that's saying a lot! I look forward to tasting the handiwork of other U.S. craft distillers as well!

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Color: Marteau starts off very beautiful. A deep yellow-green that is clear yet solid. A very nice almost precious stone look, as if it was jewelry in my glass.

Louche: The louche is wonderful when done properly with a slow cold drip. Anything other than that seemed to cause Marteau to be thin. It is also thin when a higher ratio is used. At 1:4 with an ice cold slow drip it louches like a dream though. Lots of oil trails dance around so it is wonderful to watch. One for sitting down and enjoying the experience, not a quick glass to pour.

Aroma: The aroma is nice, it can be smelled from a nice distance from the glass but doesn't fill the room. Marteau has a certain spice to it as well as the herbs. The aroma itself is complex which can be tasted later. Intentionally taking a whiff will get you some alcohol heat, but just letting the smell hit your nose is very pleasant.

Flavor: Wonderful flavor. This is herbal and spiced at the same time. With each sip I tried to pick out a new flavor, which is hard since it is so well balanced. At lower ratios it has some of that alcohol heat that you can smell which I prefer in my drinks. More water will bring out more flavors so adding more is not a bad idea for taste if you don't mind losing the alcohol flavor.

Finish: The finish is a cool finish with some dancing of the flavors but overall it is as complex as the initial flavor is and doesn't change much else. There is a nice numbing sensation just a bit. Not as much as some other absinthes but still nice.

Overall: This is a high quality absinthe with a wonderful taste and initial color. The louche is wonderful when done right but could use a bit more versatility. Aroma, Taste, and Finish are all done well which makes this absinthe a wonderful experience for the night.
Overall rating 
 
4.2
Appearance 
 
5.0
Louche 
 
3.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0
Reviewed by Evan Camomile May 27, 2011
Top 10 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (67)

Beautiful Belle

Color: Marteau starts off very beautiful. A deep yellow-green that is clear yet solid. A very nice almost precious stone look, as if it was jewelry in my glass.

Louche: The louche is wonderful when done properly with a slow cold drip. Anything other than that seemed to cause Marteau to be thin. It is also thin when a higher ratio is used. At 1:4 with an ice cold slow drip it louches like a dream though. Lots of oil trails dance around so it is wonderful to watch. One for sitting down and enjoying the experience, not a quick glass to pour.

Aroma: The aroma is nice, it can be smelled from a nice distance from the glass but doesn't fill the room. Marteau has a certain spice to it as well as the herbs. The aroma itself is complex which can be tasted later. Intentionally taking a whiff will get you some alcohol heat, but just letting the smell hit your nose is very pleasant.

Flavor: Wonderful flavor. This is herbal and spiced at the same time. With each sip I tried to pick out a new flavor, which is hard since it is so well balanced. At lower ratios it has some of that alcohol heat that you can smell which I prefer in my drinks. More water will bring out more flavors so adding more is not a bad idea for taste if you don't mind losing the alcohol flavor.

Finish: The finish is a cool finish with some dancing of the flavors but overall it is as complex as the initial flavor is and doesn't change much else. There is a nice numbing sensation just a bit. Not as much as some other absinthes but still nice.

Overall: This is a high quality absinthe with a wonderful taste and initial color. The louche is wonderful when done right but could use a bit more versatility. Aroma, Taste, and Finish are all done well which makes this absinthe a wonderful experience for the night.

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Color: Clean and deeply colored, a fairly dark green/yellow (perhaps a bit more yellow than green.) Very nice.

Louche: REALLY nice trails and swirling, having fully developed around 1:2. Beautifully multi-faceted. Sadly, I had difficulty keeping it from getting too thin when diluted to higher ratios, really wished it were a bit thicker. Finally got a great louche by using an *extremely* slow, cold drip.

Aroma: Spicy and peppery, and already has the sweet smell I associate with sugar-cubed absinthe, eventually rounding out, with new scents coming forward at different water ratios.

Flavor: Each sip is a new flavor: sometimes it's clean and fresh, sometimes it's sweet and heavy, bitter, spicy, flavorful green-ness, mouth-numbing mintiness, all with slight hints of alcohol at lower dilutions.

Finish: I can only describe it as filling my entire mouth...I feel like the flavor of most of the absinthes that I've tried only fill the front of my mouth. It's tingly and fresh, yet warm and smooth, with a (good) earthiness, and it's almost citrusy-sweet.

Overall: Complex, wonderful flavors. I like that there's a slight alcohol taste, enough to remind that it's an alcoholic drink but not in an overpowering way. At higher dilutions the thinness made it difficult to enjoy completely, even though the flavor and scent still held up very well. I felt like sometimes I had to sacrifice either toning down the alcohol flavor with thickness at times, but was much better when I carefully louched it, but still not ideal. Immediately after drinking my last glass of this, I made myself a glass of the absinthe I usually drink, and was hugely disappointed.
Overall rating 
 
4.6
Appearance 
 
5.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
5.0
Overall 
 
4.0
Reviewed by Amber Peter May 26, 2011
Top 50 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (58)

Has ruined other absinthes for me.

Color: Clean and deeply colored, a fairly dark green/yellow (perhaps a bit more yellow than green.) Very nice.

Louche: REALLY nice trails and swirling, having fully developed around 1:2. Beautifully multi-faceted. Sadly, I had difficulty keeping it from getting too thin when diluted to higher ratios, really wished it were a bit thicker. Finally got a great louche by using an *extremely* slow, cold drip.

Aroma: Spicy and peppery, and already has the sweet smell I associate with sugar-cubed absinthe, eventually rounding out, with new scents coming forward at different water ratios.

Flavor: Each sip is a new flavor: sometimes it's clean and fresh, sometimes it's sweet and heavy, bitter, spicy, flavorful green-ness, mouth-numbing mintiness, all with slight hints of alcohol at lower dilutions.

Finish: I can only describe it as filling my entire mouth...I feel like the flavor of most of the absinthes that I've tried only fill the front of my mouth. It's tingly and fresh, yet warm and smooth, with a (good) earthiness, and it's almost citrusy-sweet.

Overall: Complex, wonderful flavors. I like that there's a slight alcohol taste, enough to remind that it's an alcoholic drink but not in an overpowering way. At higher dilutions the thinness made it difficult to enjoy completely, even though the flavor and scent still held up very well. I felt like sometimes I had to sacrifice either toning down the alcohol flavor with thickness at times, but was much better when I carefully louched it, but still not ideal. Immediately after drinking my last glass of this, I made myself a glass of the absinthe I usually drink, and was hugely disappointed.

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*Edited after enjoying a new batch of Marteau, made in 2012. My first review was from a bottle made in 2008.

Served Initially at 3.5.1 with 1 sugar, I took this up to 4:1 with no sugar, which is how I enjoy it most.

Color: A clear, natural light green.

Louche: Developed slowly and evenly with thick swirling trails, smoky puffs and clouding, nice clear layering, ending in a wonderful translucent louche. Just the right thickness so light had fun as it bent through the glass. This new Marteau seems to have a slightly thicker louche, which I like.

Aroma: Clean, lovely and inviting. Fresh and crisp. Hints of baking spices. Some of the herbal punch has faded from the previous batch, which for me is an improvement. This aroma is more traditional and classic of a French verte.

Flavor: Herbaceous and balanced. Spice, light mint, herbals and citrus. It is tough to pull out all the elements one by one, as there is so much going on. The previous batch had a punchy powerful herbal edge that was a bit grassy and vegetal... Bottom line: New batch= balanced, more traditional, and quite tasty. I feel it is hands down an improvement in flavor.

Finish: Clean and soft. Tingly unfolding layers ending in a powdery spice and light citrus. Lasting linger. Satin-like mouthfeel. I also am finding a gentle pull and build that is more enjoyable in this new bottle.


Overall rating 
 
4.5
Appearance 
 
4.5
Louche 
 
4.5
Aroma 
 
4.5
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.5
Finish 
 
4.5
Overall 
 
4.5
Reviewed by Scott M. February 25, 2010
Last updated: January 16, 2013
Top 10 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (64)

An herbal, sophisticated glass

*Edited after enjoying a new batch of Marteau, made in 2012. My first review was from a bottle made in 2008.

Served Initially at 3.5.1 with 1 sugar, I took this up to 4:1 with no sugar, which is how I enjoy it most.

Color: A clear, natural light green.

Louche: Developed slowly and evenly with thick swirling trails, smoky puffs and clouding, nice clear layering, ending in a wonderful translucent louche. Just the right thickness so light had fun as it bent through the glass. This new Marteau seems to have a slightly thicker louche, which I like.

Aroma: Clean, lovely and inviting. Fresh and crisp. Hints of baking spices. Some of the herbal punch has faded from the previous batch, which for me is an improvement. This aroma is more traditional and classic of a French verte.

Flavor: Herbaceous and balanced. Spice, light mint, herbals and citrus. It is tough to pull out all the elements one by one, as there is so much going on. The previous batch had a punchy powerful herbal edge that was a bit grassy and vegetal... Bottom line: New batch= balanced, more traditional, and quite tasty. I feel it is hands down an improvement in flavor.

Finish: Clean and soft. Tingly unfolding layers ending in a powdery spice and light citrus. Lasting linger. Satin-like mouthfeel. I also am finding a gentle pull and build that is more enjoyable in this new bottle.


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INTRODUCTORY NOTE: I found this Absinthe best experienced at 4.5:1 with no sugar. Thanks go out to the generous provider of this sample, for review purposes.


Color - 5/5 : Crystal clear, light, radiant peridot. No flaws, beautiful.

Louche - 4/5 : Started with a slow icy drip and watched oily bursts begin to pool at the bottom. Around .5:1, very beautiful snow-globe effect. Layering beginning at 1:1 and fully louched at 3-3.5:1. Louche is a tad thin (balancing the flavor w/ more water can exacerbate this thinness).

Aroma - 4/5 : While louching, alcoholy. Fennel on the front of the nose, alpiny-mint with a hint of a floral bouquet just behind that. Louched, very balanced, A.a. smells so good!

Flavor - 4/5 : Somewhat of a strong alcohol-heat presence, even at 4:1. As mentioned, balancing this out w/ more water is only deleterious to the louche and finish, so pick your poison. This is indeed a very spicy and complex drink, the flavors of the herbs are dancing round, here. Natural sweetness wraps things up.

Finish : 4/5 - Spicy, sweet/floral, spicy again, in that order. Nice, smooth sweetness after swallow, then a bitterness on the back of the tongue, and some peppery heat. Despite having a tad thin of a louche, the mouthfeel is excellent.


Overall : 4/5 - Very, very good drink. Drink this one only with the time to contemplate it. My only qualm is the amount of detectable heat, if that mellowed with some aging, this would be a top-shelf

Final weighted score: 4.16
Overall rating 
 
4.2
Appearance 
 
5.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0
Reviewed by GFee January 23, 2010
Top 1000 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (3)

A punch in the mouth, but a good one.

INTRODUCTORY NOTE: I found this Absinthe best experienced at 4.5:1 with no sugar. Thanks go out to the generous provider of this sample, for review purposes.


Color - 5/5 : Crystal clear, light, radiant peridot. No flaws, beautiful.

Louche - 4/5 : Started with a slow icy drip and watched oily bursts begin to pool at the bottom. Around .5:1, very beautiful snow-globe effect. Layering beginning at 1:1 and fully louched at 3-3.5:1. Louche is a tad thin (balancing the flavor w/ more water can exacerbate this thinness).

Aroma - 4/5 : While louching, alcoholy. Fennel on the front of the nose, alpiny-mint with a hint of a floral bouquet just behind that. Louched, very balanced, A.a. smells so good!

Flavor - 4/5 : Somewhat of a strong alcohol-heat presence, even at 4:1. As mentioned, balancing this out w/ more water is only deleterious to the louche and finish, so pick your poison. This is indeed a very spicy and complex drink, the flavors of the herbs are dancing round, here. Natural sweetness wraps things up.

Finish : 4/5 - Spicy, sweet/floral, spicy again, in that order. Nice, smooth sweetness after swallow, then a bitterness on the back of the tongue, and some peppery heat. Despite having a tad thin of a louche, the mouthfeel is excellent.


Overall : 4/5 - Very, very good drink. Drink this one only with the time to contemplate it. My only qualm is the amount of detectable heat, if that mellowed with some aging, this would be a top-shelf

Final weighted score: 4.16

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Light emerald green, a lovely color. The louche starts as a faint cloud and then gets denser, and then very dense, slow and exact layering. Color after water is a green with lighter green tints. The aroma is very clean with varied herbal alpine notes, anise and citrus. After louche, a pleasant alpine aroma with strong after hints of wormwood, faint citrus. The mouth feel is velvety and smooth with a slight numbing. The taste is herbal with a very pronounced presence of wormwood, with additional wormwood notes, minty, complex and floral. The after taste is lingering, soft and smooth, spicy presence with final wormwood. The wormwood is exceptional. Its contribution in combination with the anise is excellent. It is obvious that this is a very well made product.
Overall rating 
 
4.4
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
5.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0
Reviewed by oglala56 November 20, 2009
Top 500 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (17)

Delicious Marteau

Light emerald green, a lovely color. The louche starts as a faint cloud and then gets denser, and then very dense, slow and exact layering. Color after water is a green with lighter green tints. The aroma is very clean with varied herbal alpine notes, anise and citrus. After louche, a pleasant alpine aroma with strong after hints of wormwood, faint citrus. The mouth feel is velvety and smooth with a slight numbing. The taste is herbal with a very pronounced presence of wormwood, with additional wormwood notes, minty, complex and floral. The after taste is lingering, soft and smooth, spicy presence with final wormwood. The wormwood is exceptional. Its contribution in combination with the anise is excellent. It is obvious that this is a very well made product.

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Color: The pics show an olive green goodie that I would definitely score highly, the one I have is pale green. What is going on?

Louche: delicate, nice and natural. Could be thicker just a bit.

Aroma: intriguing, interesting is the word. Not off-putting. Something new and unique. It might be the orris root-something like woody/rooty veronica with a dash of melissa

Flavor: initially, it is a bit too heavy, but then opens up. Wormwood is accentuated enough, so is hyssop, anethole have their discrete say, so it is good that it is not anise bomb, after all.

Finish: spiciness, rounded, slowly developing.

Overall: Traditional Pontarlier it is not, but a Pontarlier with some intriguing enhancements. If that was Gwydion’s aspiration, then it has been achieved. Of course, people will appreciate of it more, when its price is not that prohibitive.


Overall rating 
 
3.8
Appearance 
 
3.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0
Reviewed by absinthist March 14, 2009
Last updated: March 14, 2009
Top 10 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (60)

enhanced Ponty

Color: The pics show an olive green goodie that I would definitely score highly, the one I have is pale green. What is going on?

Louche: delicate, nice and natural. Could be thicker just a bit.

Aroma: intriguing, interesting is the word. Not off-putting. Something new and unique. It might be the orris root-something like woody/rooty veronica with a dash of melissa

Flavor: initially, it is a bit too heavy, but then opens up. Wormwood is accentuated enough, so is hyssop, anethole have their discrete say, so it is good that it is not anise bomb, after all.

Finish: spiciness, rounded, slowly developing.

Overall: Traditional Pontarlier it is not, but a Pontarlier with some intriguing enhancements. If that was Gwydion’s aspiration, then it has been achieved. Of course, people will appreciate of it more, when its price is not that prohibitive.


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The Marteau is a very, very nice absinthe. It begins a natural olive green and louches to a very attractive jade, with golden undertones. The louche builds very gradually, with the expected heavy "oil trails" and associated visual effects. Before water, the aroma is surprisingly faint and indistinct, but as the louche forms the absinthe releases a wonderful and complex herbal fragrance. Indeed this may be the nicest scent from any glass I've ever louched.

The flavor is likewise very excellent, blending the herbal complexity of the aroma with an underlying bitterness that I found very enjoyable. There is also a spiciness there, but not too much. The finish is quite complex, lingering, and interesting, and I have learned that a little extra water (say 4:1 rather than my usual 3-3.5:1) eliminates most of the grassiness that occurs in the finish.

This absinthe ranks both at the top of US products and can stand up with anything coming from Europe as well. It is good just minutes out of the bottle, and I expect it will become even better with time.
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
5.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0
Reviewed by marlow January 29, 2009
Last updated: March 30, 2010
Top 50 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (34)

Stop! Hammer time!

The Marteau is a very, very nice absinthe. It begins a natural olive green and louches to a very attractive jade, with golden undertones. The louche builds very gradually, with the expected heavy "oil trails" and associated visual effects. Before water, the aroma is surprisingly faint and indistinct, but as the louche forms the absinthe releases a wonderful and complex herbal fragrance. Indeed this may be the nicest scent from any glass I've ever louched.

The flavor is likewise very excellent, blending the herbal complexity of the aroma with an underlying bitterness that I found very enjoyable. There is also a spiciness there, but not too much. The finish is quite complex, lingering, and interesting, and I have learned that a little extra water (say 4:1 rather than my usual 3-3.5:1) eliminates most of the grassiness that occurs in the finish.

This absinthe ranks both at the top of US products and can stand up with anything coming from Europe as well. It is good just minutes out of the bottle, and I expect it will become even better with time.

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Bottle purchased November 2008, sample(s) louched November & December 2008.

Marteau Absinthe de la Belle Epoque has been a long time in preparation, and the wait has been worth it! I picked up my first bottle at the distillery release party, when I had my first small sample served by the hand of Mr. Stone. It was alluring in small sips, and I couldn't wait to get home and try a full glass.

In the glass neat, Marteau is a beautiful green, somewhere between olive and emerald in color. The pre-louche aroma has notes of orange, cream, and coffee. I take my absinthe sugared, and cold water dripped over the spoon creates marvelous "oil trails" that start at the bottom of the glass and build slowly until a 2:1 dilution is achieved. There is a marked line of separation between the louched/unlouched alcohol, and it fills the room with a creamy, anise-y aroma.

Others have noted that Marteau is an absinthe that can be diluted with varying amounts of water to great effect. This very evening I have had a glass at 4:1 which was spicy and quite enjoyable. Afterwards, I louched up a glass at 5.5:1,. and it was even creamier on the tongue, with a bit less alcohol bite.

The first sip is very intriguing. The expected wormwood bitterness is apparent, yet it quickly recedes and fennel's sweetness moves to the forefront. Mid-palate is a delightful mintiness, while on the finish, I detect the wormwood again, backed by sweetness. There is no end to the flavors, and they work very well in concert.

This is one marvelous beverage to sip. It also is excellent as a rinse for Sazeracs and other absinthe cocktails. Highly recommended!
Overall rating 
 
4.8
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
5.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
5.0
Overall 
 
5.0
Reviewed by khiddy December 24, 2008
Top 500 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (11)

A Superb Beverage for Sippin' and Mixin'

Bottle purchased November 2008, sample(s) louched November & December 2008.

Marteau Absinthe de la Belle Epoque has been a long time in preparation, and the wait has been worth it! I picked up my first bottle at the distillery release party, when I had my first small sample served by the hand of Mr. Stone. It was alluring in small sips, and I couldn't wait to get home and try a full glass.

In the glass neat, Marteau is a beautiful green, somewhere between olive and emerald in color. The pre-louche aroma has notes of orange, cream, and coffee. I take my absinthe sugared, and cold water dripped over the spoon creates marvelous "oil trails" that start at the bottom of the glass and build slowly until a 2:1 dilution is achieved. There is a marked line of separation between the louched/unlouched alcohol, and it fills the room with a creamy, anise-y aroma.

Others have noted that Marteau is an absinthe that can be diluted with varying amounts of water to great effect. This very evening I have had a glass at 4:1 which was spicy and quite enjoyable. Afterwards, I louched up a glass at 5.5:1,. and it was even creamier on the tongue, with a bit less alcohol bite.

The first sip is very intriguing. The expected wormwood bitterness is apparent, yet it quickly recedes and fennel's sweetness moves to the forefront. Mid-palate is a delightful mintiness, while on the finish, I detect the wormwood again, backed by sweetness. There is no end to the flavors, and they work very well in concert.

This is one marvelous beverage to sip. It also is excellent as a rinse for Sazeracs and other absinthe cocktails. Highly recommended!

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Okay, so I've been waiting, and waiting and..... Now I have died and gone to absinthe heaven. From my understanding, it wasn't easy to get this off the ground and on the shelves with all the government red tape. But good things come to those with patience, and there is already a loyal following, well at least here in New Orleans. It's hard for stores to get past that eighty dollar plus price tag. My store made me prepay, but they gladly ordered and got it in for me quickly.

Color. Is a remarkable resemblance to a peridot gemstome. A light green hue which is very appealing, and is that of a true naturaly colored absinthe.

Louche. Slowly building nice layers with a healthy oil trail. Nice opalescence, and when finished was slightly milky with a light jade color.

Aroma. Robust and very aromatic. Pleasantly fills the room and I can keep my nose away from the open bottle.

Taste. Okay, here's where it really got a hold of me. My first sip exploded on my taste buds like a million new flavors and I was so taken back by it that I couldn't even sort them all out! Very rich and spicy. The spices are explosive, and mind boggling, with different flavors coming out at different times from the first sip, to the after taste. Absolutly amazing.

Finish. I don't want to finish! Overall a wonderful "experience", standing apart from the others. Truly lagniappe!

Overall rating 
 
4.8
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
5.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
5.0
Overall 
 
5.0
Reviewed by Cajun Daddy December 24, 2008
Last updated: December 02, 2009
Top 1000 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (1)

Everyone move over, and let this one in!

Okay, so I've been waiting, and waiting and..... Now I have died and gone to absinthe heaven. From my understanding, it wasn't easy to get this off the ground and on the shelves with all the government red tape. But good things come to those with patience, and there is already a loyal following, well at least here in New Orleans. It's hard for stores to get past that eighty dollar plus price tag. My store made me prepay, but they gladly ordered and got it in for me quickly.

Color. Is a remarkable resemblance to a peridot gemstome. A light green hue which is very appealing, and is that of a true naturaly colored absinthe.

Louche. Slowly building nice layers with a healthy oil trail. Nice opalescence, and when finished was slightly milky with a light jade color.

Aroma. Robust and very aromatic. Pleasantly fills the room and I can keep my nose away from the open bottle.

Taste. Okay, here's where it really got a hold of me. My first sip exploded on my taste buds like a million new flavors and I was so taken back by it that I couldn't even sort them all out! Very rich and spicy. The spices are explosive, and mind boggling, with different flavors coming out at different times from the first sip, to the after taste. Absolutly amazing.

Finish. I don't want to finish! Overall a wonderful "experience", standing apart from the others. Truly lagniappe!

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