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Emile Pernot 68 - A Review

Sepulchritude Forum » The Absinthe Forum Archive thru January 2003 » Strictly Absinthe & Collectibles » Archive Thru July 2002 » Archive Thru July 2002 » Emile Pernot 68 - A Review « Previous Next »

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Posted on Saturday, June 22, 2002 - 1:37 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Right. The liquor business works like this: Make something that tastes OK, maybe crappy. You can do this pretty cheaply (relatively.) The point is it doesn't really matter to Joe Sixpack becuase he will believe your bullshit. So use cheap alchahol, and flavorings and some artificial color.

Now, add mystique. "ElBurro Turdo was a drink created by the ancient Indians of Mexico. When the Conquistadores came, they added to and advanced this magical formulation, and you hold in your hands the mystical distillation of the Pink Agave plant. The dead beetle in the bottom signifies rebirth, and is a sign of quality."

Now you are selling your cheapass booze, which is technically formulated no better than MD 20/20 but the bottle, man... that's what sells it.
Posted on Saturday, June 22, 2002 - 12:51 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Manufacturing and selling absinthe is a risky business. If Ted wanted to make a quick buck, I can think of more secure ways of doing it than
selling absinthe. Obviously, he has a passion for the Green Fairy. And let's not forget Don. Don is putting his money where his mighty mouth is.
This takes guts.
Posted on Saturday, June 22, 2002 - 12:37 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Listen- Ted has been around here, doing reviews and sharing his knowledge since long before he had any commercial interests in absinthe at all.

Then he got the chance to recreate the old stuff, and actually sell it, so the rest of us can eventually do more than just wonder about it.

If he wanted to do this just to make money, we would have all bought his stuff long ago, and it would have been no better than anything else. To verify this, look at the reviews of brands available, and read the reviews of Jade.

Having samled 25 or so brands (many to excess) as well as Jade, I can tell you he isn't fucking around or going for an easy paycheck.

That isn't, to all appearances, why he is doing this. He's doing it IMO because it's cool. He is bringing the Fairy from the tomb after three day's time, working a miracle of science, history and art, for it's own sake.

In any case, nothing will stand or fall on his words- we taste things around here. Even if nobody else likes them and we do, we buy them. So the only hope any commercial producer has is to make good shit.
Posted on Saturday, June 22, 2002 - 12:11 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Personally, I found Ted's review of E68 to be sufficiently positive to pony up $85 to try it myself . . . and his other reviews in the buyer's guide have always seemed quite balanced to me.

I'm the only one I know who consistently refers to a particular brand as "Nasty." I have never heard such a term from Ted.
Posted on Saturday, June 22, 2002 - 12:05 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

the distillery 'les fils d'émile pernot' continued to make anis liquors and other products after the doing so, tastes changed(they are in the process of eliminating a number of their products, because the french custom of 'aperitif' has changed from anis-based drinks and fruit/herbal liquors to port and whisky before a meal...i've seen it first-hand) herb suppliers changed or disappeared, new techniques and equipment have been introduced since the time of absinthe and bizarre french laws have slowly changed and forced the distillers to adjust their techniques and products for the good of the is not possible nor their intention to duplicate a turn-of-the century product, but to use their skills and equipment to make a traditional absinthe from their family recipe, in 2002, to exacting standards and quality…
ted has basically come up with techniques that are not part of the modern distiller’s protocols, since he has used actual samples of vintage absinthes to come up with his recipes, and normal techniques do not apply for him to create a modern product that can be reproduced with a vintage taste from natural ingredients...factor costs in and established distillers will most likely say no...but what is necessary when producing a product in your image?
many absinthes that were not blanches were not that green, either...check out old posters…the swiss, who proudly call their absinthe 'la bleue' and only make blanches, still refer to absinthe as the green fairy, she is the symbol of the val-de-travers...after all, the absinthe plant is green, isn't it? there is also recent information that may provide an historical reason why serpis is red!
the french and swiss(who typically use badiane) complain that un émile doesn't louche white enough, and the pernots reply, 'that's because it's absinthe!' it has an opaline louche that is quite satisfying and most un-pastis like, and it confuses those accustomed to absinthe’s mutated offspring.
the pernots have successfully created a real, distilled, commercial absinthe, one at 45°, legal in france, and another at 68°, which is not, due to confusing laws have now created monsters liars, and cheats (like pernod-ricard 68° which is made like a pastis, and therefore legal in france) instead of quality products, in direct opposition to the AOC and high quality food and beverage standards typical of the french...both products are excellent, but the 68° has something more to it, besides alcohol... try them side by side, if you can, which i suggest to those who go to the NYGT...
ted has by no means disparaged this product in his review, which I felt quite honest and straightforward … i enjoy the term ‘lacquer’, which brings to mind the smell of an old oriental chest...this, in particular, gives pernot a rounder style, different from françois guy, just down the street, just as those notes are noticeable in the anis…in the end, it’s still going to rely on the taste and preferences of the individual absintheur…
Posted on Saturday, June 22, 2002 - 11:10 am:   Edit PostPrint Post


I wish I could take credit for those reviews, but they were completely stolen from a larger article on the web.

I would have posted the link but I found the rest of the article distastefull as the author was making a little to much fun of the homeless.

Anyway, if you want to read the whole thing and decide for yourself, here it is:
Posted on Saturday, June 22, 2002 - 10:51 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I didn't perceive any "dig" against Emile 68 in Ted's review. It was one of the most positive riviews for a commercial product I've ever seen. When he was asked, specifically, to compare it to his own product, he did so, by comparing what he perceived to be the differences in the influences on behind the two product lines. He did this WITHOUT saying his way was BETTER. He was just clarifying that his aims in formulation were slightly different that Pernot's.
Posted on Saturday, June 22, 2002 - 10:25 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

mogan david,
your reviews are hilarious.
You're a better satirist than art critic.
Posted on Saturday, June 22, 2002 - 10:08 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Forgive me for being candid and brief:

First and foremost, I am an absinthe historian, researcher, and consumer (like yourself). Regardless of any pending commercial endeavors on my behalf, the absolute integrity of my opinions, reviews, and contributions, has been, and will always be unwavering, period. To do otherwise would be a public disservice, and is neither in my character, nor in my best interest.

Secondly, nowhere in my review did I speak inaccurately of Pernot 68, nor have I spoken inaccurately of *any* other product I've reviewed. My review of the product in question was accurate, thorough, and favorable.

It is apparent from reading the lengthy post by Emilesmileyguy that he has made specific presumptions that are not entirely accurate. He is assuming said presumptions to be factual, and is using them as a basis for judging my integrity. As a result, his conclusions are therefore in error.
Posted on Saturday, June 22, 2002 - 9:17 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Also I didn't say a thing about spanish brands being classic absinthes. I said Ted took a dig at Emile Pernot and it claims to be at least as authentic if not more authentic than what he's doing. Then I put that did in context with the rest of his reviews and they're all negative. Then I pointed out the fact that there seems to be a patern. Now I'm being personally attatcked. I wasn't attacking Ted he's doing the best that he can. If I came off that way, I didn't mean to. I'm just interested in all of these claims of authenticity that seem to crop up when people compare brands. I think it has poisoned everyone's perspectives.
Posted on Saturday, June 22, 2002 - 9:13 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

None of this addresses the point I was trying to make about Emile Pernot.
Posted on Saturday, June 22, 2002 - 8:45 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Reviews stolen from the web:

The wines selected, accompanied below by my own notes from a personal tasting conducted earlier, form what I believe to be a reasonably representative sampling of the pleasurable liquids to be found at almost any corner convenience store in the more exciting neighborhoods:

* MD 20/20 (19% alcohol), a subtle fortified beverage with remarkable market penetration, has a fascinatingly rich color reminiscent of a highly tannic Chianti or what you might see glistening insistently from a particularly ripe goiter, mixed with tantalizing hints of a delectable industrial solvent.

* Boone's Farm Kountry Kwencher (7.5%) provided a flashy contrast with its sharp odors of a child's bubblegum cud and the stimulating sting of Teem. It is a sparkling confection, especially under strong fluorescent lighting, that promises to benefit from careful cellaring into the late summer. Because of its low alcohol content, the judges treated it with a bit of disdain. (As an interesting side note, Judge #1's initial sampling methodology consisted of sloshing several ounces from his first bottle of each brand into his do-rag and then wrapping the sodden kerchief about his blistered and bleeding forehead, a ritual that yielded anguished howls -- and a very lengthy, sticky unpeeling process -- with the Kwencher.)

* Thunderbird, "The American Classic" (18%) hammered home with a painfully firm snap that perfectly complimented the somewhat gamy bouquet. A husky blend, with strong notes of both Tuscany and Newark, apple peels and grain alcohol. An enjoyable addition to a classic line.

* Richards Wild Irish Rose (18%), easily the most eagerly-anticipated of this firm's daring '97's, rounded out the field. It has a dense complexity reminiscient of the gooey sediment found at the bottom of a frozen Argentinian Malbec, rounded out by a heavy finish spot-on for the '73 run of Sterno ("Canned Heat" indeed!). And Pixie Stix. Yet another classic offering from an under-appreciated vintner.
Posted on Saturday, June 22, 2002 - 8:37 am:   Edit PostPrint Post


If the history of this forum were a piss, your contributions would not even equal a dribble after the second shake.

Your knowledge is so paltry, and you are so far out of your league, that you are embarrassing yourself.

>>"why does this guy drink absinthe at all, he hates everything."

Does a wine expert spend time reviewing Thunderbird, Night Train, and Boone's Farm? Because that's what such offerings as Deva et al. amount to when they are considered absinthe.

I think there are at least three dozen people on this board who have forgotten more about absinthe than you'll ever know.

So you might want to go back to your Zima.

Posted on Saturday, June 22, 2002 - 8:07 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

By the way Guy Smelly? Who the fuck are you?
Posted on Saturday, June 22, 2002 - 8:03 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Maybe he just loves absinthe, knows what the best was (and is) and seeks to bring that to the rest of us? My you sound a little bitter... too much wormwood and not enough of everything else perhaps?
Posted on Saturday, June 22, 2002 - 8:00 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I'm more than a little confused. Emile Pernot claims to be made entirely by old methods using old equipment and recipes from 19th century texts. It's made by the grandson of classic distiller with the help of two collectors who have tasted classic brands. They having tasted it claim parity with these products. They followed every step of the classic process.

Nowhere has it been claimed that they are using techniques that have changed over the last 100 years. Your remark that "they seem to represent an evolutionary trend that has continued since the ban" sounds like a sly dig and an endorsement of your own product.

In fact, they seem to be sticking closer to thier idea of what a classic recipe should be than you are. They have a very basic list of ingredients that makes a very simple product. They did this because their classic recipes all had these ingredients in common. Looking back at the tasting notes of your absinthe, people were trying to figure out what was in it that gave it particular flavor characteristics.

Thats why I'm curious to taste jade absinthes. They don't sound like a careful reconstruction to me. Based on everything that's being said, Emile Pernot sounds like a reconstruction, and jade sounds like a recreation.

Having said that, why are there so many reviews in the guide by Ted, who even though he's very educated is basically criticizing brands that are in competition with him? When I first got here I didn't know he was a commercial manufacturer with financial interests in the success of his brand, and when I read the reviews I thought, why does this guy drink absinthe at all, he hates everyhting. I ended up ignoring most of what he'd writen. Even the best intentions are perverted when there's money and pride on the line.
Posted on Saturday, June 22, 2002 - 7:57 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Drink Serpis! It'll make you burpis!
Posted on Saturday, June 22, 2002 - 7:49 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thank you Ted for this and all of your reviews.

I've been been on the fence about buying this one because I think the price is a little steep.

Unfortunately I still haven't decided. It sounds like this is an absinthe that isn't even green.

From my understanding of the subject the coloration step (if done naturally) is the most difficult part. I would think that an absinthe at this price point would properly colored, and I would think that it should louche better than moderately.

If they are going to charge at the upper end for a product, shouldn't it meet all of the criteria for a classic absinthe?
Posted on Saturday, June 22, 2002 - 1:20 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Ted -

Am I gathering correctly that there will be more than one variety of Jade (your reference to "the Jade products")?

Also, have we stumbled upon a price range yet? (Yes, price DOES matter to some of us poor folks.)

(I did do a keyword search of +jade+price, but got documents with either, not both; I hope I'm not asking questions which have been answered 15 times already!)
Posted on Saturday, June 22, 2002 - 12:30 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Uh, from where will we be able to procure this???
Posted on Saturday, June 22, 2002 - 12:16 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

It's gonna be great when we're able to taste first-hand what Ted has been talking about. I understand with my mind what he's saying, but my tongue still doesn't get it.
Posted on Friday, June 21, 2002 - 10:08 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Inevitably these questions will be asked, and unfortunately, the answers require nothing less than a lengthy short story to put them all properly into context.

To condense it all to a thumbnail sketch (hopefully with minimal confusion), the first thing we can do for the sake of discussion is dispense with most of the Spanish products, as they more or less appear to be rooted in cheaply made modern liqueurs d'anise in composition and construction more so than anything else.

The finalized Jade products are painstaking recreations of certain absinthes as they appeared a century ago, nothing more, nothing less. For better or worse, they are glimpses into the past without post-ban influence.

The current wave of artisanal products from the Jura and Val de Travers (Pernot, Guy, Kubler) seem to fall into the same realm as Swiss 'La Bleue', and are seemingly more or less representative of an evolution of small scale artisanal anise-based aperitifs (and clandestine absinthes) that are indigenous to the region, and virtually non-existent outside of the region. Unlike just about everything else, they are crafted from traditional herbs, in low volumes, using traditional equipment and methods. As a group, they seem to represent an evolutionary trend that has continued since the ban, yet is rooted in the pre-ban era.
Posted on Friday, June 21, 2002 - 8:40 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

How similar will the Jade products be to this? Other than the fact that it isn't sweet How specifically does it differ from the spanish? I am asking because both hold up classic absinthe (the same classic absinthe?) as the model for what they do. If they're the same that might say one thing. If their different what does that say about classic absinthe. I find it very interesting that most people are going to be able to compare a classic style brand to a moder style brand for the first time here. This will be good for everybody.
Posted on Friday, June 21, 2002 - 8:26 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Many thanks for the review, Ted. Needless to say, I can't wait till my bottles make it here...
Posted on Friday, June 21, 2002 - 7:54 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I very recently made a trip to Pontarlier, where thanks to the good graces of Petermarc and Liqueurs de France, Ltd., I was able to secure a bottle of the new Emile Pernot 68 degree absinthe for review.

This absinthe is packaged in a 70cL brown glass bottle. The labeling is remniscent of the old style of absinthe labels, featuring the silhouette of absinthium leaves and a small image of a landmark found in the center of the town. Unlike the typical French products that carry the all-too-familiar vague phrase "aux extraits de plantes d'absinthe", this one simply reads "absinthe distillee". The absence of the 'infamous phrase' coupled with the clearly labeled "68% vol" ensures the 'export only' status of this product. The back label reveals this absinthe to be derived from a distillation of whole herbs, and describes how to prepare a drink.

Having been granted an invitation to inspect the production facility first-hand, I can vouch for the fact that this product is indeed crafted using the original alambics. This in itself represents a vast departure from the all-too-typical macerated 'absinthes' that litter the market currently.

Upon removing the cap, the aroma of anise is prevalent and is accompanied by a good bit of heat. Following right behind is a background mix of distinctively darker lacquer notes. The liquor itself is a light amber hue, and tasting it neat reveals a good bit of heat along with a spicy but dry accompaniment of anise. When diluted with water, the resulting liquid louches moderately, with heavy gradient lines swirling around the glass. The taste of the drink is crisp and clean, giving a fairly strong, dry anise flavor with just the slightest dry bitterness in the finish. The alcoholic strength tends to make itself more apparent in the head as opposed to the palate.

In conclusion, this absinthe is a crisp, refreshing aperitif, and its straightforward, clean balance is at least as refined as the best of the Swiss La Bleues I found in the Val de Travers. There is nothing about it that can be described as pointed or obtrusive, and it makes for a stimulating drink that seems to nicely compliment a summer afternoon.
Posted on Friday, June 21, 2002 - 7:49 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Oops, sorry. It did work the second time.
Posted on Friday, June 21, 2002 - 7:48 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Ted, I'm sure I'm only one of the hundreds who "pounced" on this thread.

It aint working.
Posted on Friday, June 21, 2002 - 7:46 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post


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