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MARTEAU Absinthe de la Belle Époque - Reviewed by Experts and Consumers at The Wormwood Society

 
4.4 (4)
 
4.4 (12)
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Editor reviews

Overall rating
 
4.4
 
4.5(4)
 
4.0(4)
 
4.3(4)
 
4.5(4)
 
4.5(4)
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4 results - showing 1 - 4
Ordering
The US brands just keep getting better!
(Updated: October 28, 2009)
Overall rating
 
4.4
Louche
 
5.0
Appearance
 
4.0
Aroma
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel
 
5.0
Finish
 
4.0
Overall
 
4.0
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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The Other Side Of The Argument
(Updated: June 19, 2012)
Overall rating
 
4.8
Louche
 
5.0
Appearance
 
4.0
Aroma
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel
 
5.0
Finish
 
5.0
Overall
 
5.0
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.
M
Top 10 Reviewer 53 reviews
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The Bar Has Been Raised.
(Updated: November 02, 2012)
Overall rating
 
4.7
Louche
 
5.0
Appearance
 
4.0
Aroma
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel
 
5.0
Finish
 
5.0
Overall
 
5.0
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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Chili peppers?
(Updated: July 14, 2011)
Overall rating
 
3.8
Louche
 
3.0
Appearance
 
4.0
Aroma
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel
 
4.0
Finish
 
4.0
Overall
 
4.0
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.
A
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