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I don't have much to say quite yet... but I did like it...

 

First sip was a bit intense, and rather bitter. I was actually detecting some off flavours, but they quickly developed into a rich, leathery, oaky complexity. There is definitely a lot going on in this glass, and I think beginners to absinthe might be turned off. I offered a taste to someone who likes anise drinks, and just tried absinthe for the first time, and she didnt like it at all. She said it was the overwhelming bitterness that turned her off it. She called it an "off flavour"

 

I, however, grew quite fond of the fullness as I drank my first full glass. 4.5:1 and no sugar is all I have tried thus far.

 

To be entirely honest, after my first sip, I was a bit disappointed. I couldn't shake that it could be cork contamination or something, but as I continued to drink it, it blossomed into something that one could look into rather than just taste and drink. And now, after my first full glass I cant wait to have another :thumbup:

 

I want to let it open up a bit before I give it a more thorough review. But so far Im happy I have 2 bottles of this stuff. Its going to take me a bit of time to get to know this one. Again, so much going on in the glass.

 

:cheers:

 

I would never argue with personal perception of flavors, even when quite absurd (I read on the French forum some people saying that L'Ancienne is too perfumery and floral, however hyssop's/moldavian melissa's are the only flowers in the recipe so what they are tasting is beyond my comprehension), but that you taste bitterness is very odd.

 

I would strongly suggest leaving the bottle uncorked for a couple of minutes, put the cork back on, give it a good shake and then let it rest in a cool, dark place for a week and then taste it again.

 

I doubt there can be cork contamination so my guess would be some shipping shock, I also don't know how it is there in BC, but here in NY is pretty hot, and that can be involved too.

 

If after resting for a week you taste it again and it's consistently off and bitter you might want to drop an email to the distributor because very likely something is wrong.

Please keep me updated,

Stefano

Edited by Conte d'Ugenta

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but here in NY is pretty hot, and that can be involved too.

 

Florida ain't no winter wonderland either right now. :arrr:

Edited by greytail

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Hot as hell in TX, and nothing wrong with my bottle. Definitely not bitter to my palate, and I'm not a friend of bitter tastes.

 

AFO, maybe you tried it after eating sweets? I've noticed all absinthes taste terribly bitter after eating sweets.

Edited by Miguel

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Well of course we can't compete with Texas or Florida, but you never know, sometimes absinthe is weird, even though I have to say that shipping shock is much more common with small samples compared to full bottles...

 

It's interesting the thing about absinthe tasting bitter after you eat sweets. I'm not much of a sweet tooth so I never had the chance to try, but I know sometimes if I drink/eat something very sour then plain water tastes kind of sweet for a second.

Edited by Conte d'Ugenta

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Asbinthe when hungry taste sweeter, and it substitutes as dessert for me just nicely. But after my tongue has been overwheeled by some very sweet conction, even the sweetest absinthe taste bitter, something to do with my 'sweet' taste buds being temporarily numbed by the over exposure. Same reason why a second slice of cake is always inferiior to the first.

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I just received my latest order that I place several weeks ago when Absinthes.com stated on Facebook that they got in the last bottles of L'Anciene. It might be my imagination, but it doesn't seem to have the exact same aroma and flavor as when I got my first bottles several months ago. Don't get me wrong, it's still great, but doesn't seem the same. Then today I got their newsletter that says they have just got the last bottles of it in. And there was one line that said due to the herbal content, ect. every batch is slightly different. I thought that there was only one batch in 2010, and one batch in 2011. I don't want to start any controvery, but it seems to me that because of the tremendous call for this fine absinthe that they might be whipping up new batches to satisfy the demand. Brian, have you tried the latest bottles, and if so, what are your thoughts. Once again, it's an excellent absinthe, but my latest bottles don't seem quite as good as when I first got it.

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The last thing a true craftsman would ever do is cut corners. I'd bet it may just need a bit of time.

 

This from a guy that missed it all together. *grumble grumble grumble* :cheers:

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. Brian, have you tried the latest bottles, and if so, what are your thoughts. Once again, it's an excellent absinthe, but my latest bottles don't seem quite as good as when I first got it.

I'm sorry, but no, I haven't tried the latest batch. I bought a few bottles of the first batch, so I havent needed to buy the newest batch.

 

I will say that I remember a very distinct difference between a sample I had sent to me (which seemed quite bitter and almost chemical-y), and what came out of a full bottle. Perhaps due to the proprietary techniques used to create the aged characteristics, transit and storage has a greater effect. That is quite a presumption though.

 

And I agree with Greytail about production.

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If you knew Stefano and Martin, this thought would never cross your mind. They had 18 bottles left.

18. The profits wouldn't put a dog through obedience school. I personally was happy that they decided to ship these to Absinthes.com, as it meant I could get another bottle. He easily could have used those for promotion or tastings, (especially with Bovaresse coming up at the time they decided to make these available) but decided to share them with us. 'Tis a good thing. :cheers:

Edited by Scott M.

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Stefano, thank you for you interest in helping me figure things out. I am letting it rest, and will try again in a couple days. Though if you re-read my post I came to like it, and now realize it may have been a traumatized palate (from something previously eaten)

 

My conundrum at the time was uncertainty of whether or not it was a feature of this particular absinthe, or in fact an "off flavour" . As the glass progressed, it came more across as a minerally earthiness, not a chemical type bitterness. It grew on me rather quickly. But just in case I was experiencing the "rave-reviews-so-I-must-like-it" syndrome, I am trying what you suggested, and will try again in a couple days.

 

:cheers:

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Point well taken, but they still don't taste the same as previous bottles. And, was there only one batch in 2011?

 

There is just one batch a year, distilled at once, bottled at once. So yes, there is just one batch of 2011 which was bottled in the same day. It is really a micro production, bellow 100 litres/batch.

 

New one will be hopefully distilled in September (again, less than 100) and bottled as we will be happy with ageing.

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I just received my latest order that I place several weeks ago when Absinthes.com stated on Facebook that they got in the last bottles of L'Anciene. It might be my imagination, but it doesn't seem to have the exact same aroma and flavor as when I got my first bottles several months ago. Don't get me wrong, it's still great, but doesn't seem the same. Then today I got their newsletter that says they have just got the last bottles of it in. And there was one line that said due to the herbal content, ect. every batch is slightly different. I thought that there was only one batch in 2010, and one batch in 2011. I don't want to start any controvery, but it seems to me that because of the tremendous call for this fine absinthe that they might be whipping up new batches to satisfy the demand. Brian, have you tried the latest bottles, and if so, what are your thoughts. Once again, it's an excellent absinthe, but my latest bottles don't seem quite as good as when I first got it.

 

 

I'm sorry to hear that the last bottles you received are somehow different than the ones you bought earlier in the year. I'm starting to wonder if something happened during the storage or shipping of the last 18 bottles to absinthes.com. I'd strongly advise you to follow the same suggestion I gave AFO (leave it open for two minutes, put cork back on, shake and rest for a week in a dark cool place) and then let me know.

 

Regarding your question, as already said by many there in only one batch of L'Ancienne per year, as shown by the "année" on the label. I understand your concern about someone "whipping up new batches" to satisfy the demand or lower the quality to increase the profit, as I know it happened before with some absinthes. This is, however, the whole reason behind my signature on the label: when designing the label I decided to put my signature on it not because it's cool or to mimic vintage labels, but as you can read on the back label because "the signature is to guarantee that every drop of absinthe in every bottle comes from Stefano's hands". I knew that this absinthe would have been pretty expensive because of the herbs and protocol used, and I was hoping it would be successful. So I came up with the signature idea and the sentence on the back to reassure my customers that they would never have to worry about me lowering the quality to increase the profit, or not following the production and let someone else do it to allow a larger amount to be distilled in case of a high demand.

 

You see I could let Martin distill L'Ancienne for me, as he does with the Grenouille; he's not a "someone", he's a knowledgeable and skilled distiller. Instead I don't and I never will; I prefer to plan a trip to Czech Republic every year during my summer vacation in Italy, buy the tickets, pay for the hotel, food, etc, and accept the fact that given the micro scale and the high cost of the production, these expenses eat up half of my profit, reducing it to a mere few hundred bucks.This is because no matter how good Martin is, I want L'Ancienne to have my hand, my signature, and to be the best it can possibly be, and I want my customers to know that.

 

Now about the part "every batch is slightly different", that's something I wanted to put in the description and that I think was not phrased properly. What I mean is that with such a small production it's inevitable that there are some slight differences from batch to batch, and since we only distill one batch per year we have no way to blend different batches and get an average and consistent profile. I didn't want people to buy a bottle and expect it to taste exactly the same as the previous year's one, and be disappointed if it doesn't. Wine is always different every year (and we don't use an aggressive rectification for the base because we want to retain more flavors, but then the wine's character shows more than with say a 96% wine base spirit) so the new base we distilled (as shown in the pics some days ago) is gonna be different than the old base. Also the herbs being sourced by very small suppliers, or grown by us, show more differences from year to year than the ones you can buy from big suppliers. Let's be clear though: different doesn't mean worse; I always check the herbs supplies when scheduling the production, and always look for the best of the best. Last year, for example, I found that the Moldavian melissa we grew was slightly more fragrant than the one I bought from a trusted source the year before, so I used our instead.

 

I hope everything is clear and feel free to write me a PM or an e-mail at stefanorossoniabsinthe@gmail.com if you have any more doubts or questions.

Stefano

Edited by Conte d'Ugenta

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Stefano, thank you for you interest in helping me figure things out. I am letting it rest, and will try again in a couple days. Though if you re-read my post I came to like it, and now realize it may have been a traumatized palate (from something previously eaten)

 

My conundrum at the time was uncertainty of whether or not it was a feature of this particular absinthe, or in fact an "off flavour" . As the glass progressed, it came more across as a minerally earthiness, not a chemical type bitterness. It grew on me rather quickly. But just in case I was experiencing the "rave-reviews-so-I-must-like-it" syndrome, I am trying what you suggested, and will try again in a couple days.

 

:cheers:

 

You are very welcome, please keep me updated. I hope it was indeed because of a traumatized palate or shipping shock; as quite obvious from what I was saying in the previous post I don't make L'Ancienne for the money, and I care so much about customers' satisfaction because that is my reward :cheers:

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I am actually curious if anyone else here has anything to say about these newly acquired 18 bottles...

 

And Stefano, thank you for being so thorough! I am going to try another glass tonight, and I am actually very much looking forward to it! I will let you know how it goes.

 

Also just a quick question, if it is in fact something wrong with storage or shipment that caused the flavour change, do you feel time will correct this? I also have another unopened bottle, and wondering if just leaving it alone will help.

 

:cheers:

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Now about the part "every batch is slightly different", that's something I wanted to put in the description and that I think was not phrased properly.

 

I see this label a lot on craft products and it should be fairly familiar to everyone who's used to buying non-mass-produced products. I'm glad batches differ, as it's cool to see the evolution of great products and, like wine, means some batches may be more or less sought after than others because of their specific qualities. It makes things fun for the collector. :thumbup:

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Thanks for the info and suggestion Stefano. It sounds like a good and reasonable idea. I'll definately give it a try. I sincerely hope I didn't cause any offense with my questions or comments, as none was intended. Even though the new bottle tastes different, it's still one of my favorites. Cheers! :)

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I have one of these 18 bottles coming. What I will say is, I'd be surprised. This absinthe changes depending on water ratios quite a bit. The difference from 3:1 and 4:1 is substantial, as is 4:1 to 5:1 The flavor and impressions, smoothness, florals, herbal punch, the impression of leather, will all be modified by changes in water. This is true will all absinthe of course, but I find with the powerful profile absinthes, this is amplified. It might be worth doing a side by side, prepping the exact same way...same water, same ice cubes, etc.... Then see if they taste different. Of course if your other bottle is gone, we'll never know!

Edited by Scott M.

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I agree with scott on this one. I too would be greatly surprised if anything was wrong with these last bottles. If one thing is certain based off of preban vintage absinthe, it can last a long time in the bottle and still be fine.

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