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JohnC

1914 Pernod Fils Cache

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Those of us who view the FV forum regularly or who are subscribers to Oxy's VAM mailings will be up to speed on his amazing discovery of 76 bottles of 1914 Pernod Fils. Those who haven't had details of the find of the century should visit the VAM website.

 

I'm picking up a bottle from the cache on Thursday and am planning to drink it over time rather than put it on a shelf.

 

I will share my experiences once my excitement has subsided.

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By the time I'm ever able to afford vintage absinthe it will probably all have been found and bought.

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It's worse for you because it's so close and yet so far. Being a musician I'll be lucky to be able to afford pre-ban when I'm 50... there's no agonising "man, why couldn't it be just a couple months later?" for me.

 

Yet it's worse for me because there probably won't be any left by the time I'm 50.

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I'm with ya on that one Peridot. I could never afford a whole bottle. I just don't even think about such things anymore. I've decided why get oneself all worked up or bummed out about something you can't have or won't ever have? It's a waste of energy.

 

It seems like we have a good selection of pretty nice absinthes available to us. Now if we didn't have to get dinged with Monkey charges good absinthe might even be kind of affordable for the likes of us.

 

:cheers:

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Still, I envy you. I'm a musician as well, but I'm not really going for it like I would want to. Instead I'm working full time for a company that pays me well enough not to leave, but each year I'm there (I'm going on 7 years) I feel is a year wasted. I have a really primitive home recording setup, so I do get to write stuff and record, just not as often as the inspiration hits me. The upside is that it stays fun.

Back on topic: If I ever can get a bottle someday, I'll send a sample your way.

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So, is it better to know that you cannot have something and therefore never pine for it, or to almost have something in your reach and long for what just exceeds your grasp?

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Back on topic: If I ever can get a bottle someday, I'll send a sample your way.

 

That's a mighty nice thing to say and do. I'll offer the same sentiment in return, though the chances are next to nil. :D

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A couple of points to consider for folks, and I dearly hope I am not giving up any inappropriate details or secrets.

 

From what I heard firsthand from a very reliable source, Oxy and co are 'very nearly' certain that these are Pernod Fils... but are not 100% certain. 90-95%. Because the bottles are not labeled whatsoever, and due to the circumstances around their creation, there is really no way to determine, for certain, that these are in fact what they are billed to be.

 

That said, I don't for one minute think that they are being in any way misleading if they say such in their ad. It just, to me at least, would make a difference if I knew for sure what I was getting (expensively) was exactly as billed.

 

It is, for sure, absinthe. It is, almost for certain, pre-ban absinthe. And I can tell you that it is... VERY darn good, ;).

 

I doubt for one moment anyone who were to buy a bottle, either for consumption or for collection, would be in the least disappointed by the quality. Me, I just think I would want (and perhaps I am asking too much as the limited supplies left dwindle year by year) a bottle with a label on it (shrug).

 

 

Still, the chance to get ones hands on ANY (let alone so darn much) vintage... my God, tempting to anyone.

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A few quick comments:

 

i. I'm absolutely 100% certain that this is pre-ban absinthe, and so are the other experts I've consulted.

 

ii. Aside from the categorical testimony of the original owner, the bottles are self-evidently old, they are absolutely untouched with their original wax seals, the contents look, smell, and taste like high quality vintage absinthe, and the alcohol content as measured by hydrometer is 65-66% (a degree of alcohol which, in itself, precludes any possible alternative identification).

 

As to whether the contents originate from Pernod Fils specifically:

 

i. The original owner has provided an oral history of the bottles, based on what his father had told him from boyhood. He had or has no reason to make this up, as it didn't effect the purchase price either way.

 

ii. I have seen a large part of the company archives, which document extensive dealings with Maison Pernod Fils, from the 1890's, right up to the time of the ban. I've purchased part of these archives, and will be including scans of some of these invoices and documents with the certificate of authenticity that buyers will receive.

 

iii. The flavour profile of the absinthe is, in my opinion, consistent with extremely well preserved pre-ban Pernod.

 

The bottles are priced at around half of what you'd expect to pay for the same absinthe in a branded and labelled Pernod Fils bottle, which seems to me fair in the circumstances.

 

One of the most interesting facts about this cache is how astonishingly well preserved it is - it's by some way, the freshest vintage absinthe I've tasted. In this, and in some other aspects, it promises to overturn some of the conventional wisdom regarding the long term aging of absinthe. I'll be posting detailed photos and some explanatory notes about this at a latter date at Fee Verte.

Edited by Oxygenee

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Thanks for the details. How long do you expect to have these rare gems (i.e. when do you expect the last bottle to be sold)?

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They go fast! Thanks for the scoop!

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Picked my bottle up this morning. I was in the happy posotion of being able to choose my preferred bottle out of ten, all were the antique St Raphael Quinquina bottles. I chose a bottle whose contents are perhaps atypical of what is the current norm for vintage absinthes.

 

I enjoyed a fabulous aperitif this evening. Opening the bottle presented immensely powerful anise, pouring a measure revealed, as promised, a completely limpid liquid of the palest possible green. Adding water the louche formed slowly, was very oily and at around 3:1 was completely opaque and an opalescent green/white. All trace of the anise disappeared and the bouquet was spicy and very floral. In the mouth total smoothness, no trace, either in taste or feel, of the underlying alcohol, profoundly mouthfilling with an amazingly subtle but powerful manifestation of grande absinthe whose taste has lingered for hours.

 

Worth every penny (or cent). The only problem is that it's likely to vanish far too quickly.

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I'm not much of a photographer .... though I maybe could prevail on my wife.

 

I hacked off the wax and uncorked it, no point in messing about. Oxy suggested that merely recorking it with a normal wine cork and keeping it in the dark would be enough to preserve it for a year or more, though it won't be around that long anyway.

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I'd seriously suggest you try to keep it around as long as you can. It takes years of experience to be able to discern all the flavors, as well as all the possible flaws. I'm just judging by your low post count that you're fairly new to absinthe, but I could be wrong. Either way, I think preban is best enjoyed in small quantities spaced out over long periods. There are enough members here who can truly appreciate that kind of quality, but can't afford it. The least you can do is to not let it go to waste on an uneducated pallete.

 

Which isn't to say you don't deserve it, I just hope you can get the best out of it, since many of us are drinking vicariously through you. :cheers:

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