Chrysippvs review of Pontarlier Anis (Ponsec)

Sepulchritude Forum: The Absinthe Forum Archives Thru July 2001: Topics Archived Thru Feb 2001:Chrysippvs review of Pontarlier Anis (Ponsec)
By Tavis on Friday, February 16, 2001 - 04:30 am: Edit

Monsieur Narbey is also now doing a l'Ancienne, plus an EU postage option has now appeared on the order form. I think I'll get some, hopefully post a review in the next two weeks.

By Tavis on Thursday, February 15, 2001 - 03:22 am: Edit

Whilst attempting to discover whether Ponsec was available in the UK, I received an answer by email from the distiller that it was unavailable in the US. Hmm, wires crossed I think.

Anyway, it turns out that it may soon be available in the US. Apparently an 'important customer' is analysing the product at the moment in order to gain an import licence.

Hopefully the mark-up will be sensible.

By Petermarc on Wednesday, February 14, 2001 - 06:32 am: Edit

pontarlier anis is the name of two products(and pretty much, the company)
pontarlier anis-'a la ancienne' (no sugar)
and 'ponsec'(with sugar) both are distilled and light green in color...they make a gentiane based, a pine-bud liquor and some others that i don't remember right now...best anisette in france...

By Petermarc on Wednesday, February 14, 2001 - 06:14 am: Edit

pontarlier anis is the name of two products(and pretty much, the company)
pontarlier anis-'a la ancienne' (no sugar)
and 'ponsec'(with sugar) both are distilled and light green in color...they make a gentiane based, a pine-bud liquor and some others that i don't remember right now...best anisette in france...

By Chrysippvs on Wednesday, February 14, 2001 - 05:54 am: Edit

I have always heard of Pontarlier Anis refered to as Ponsec (Sugared Pontarlier)...I don't think there is a difference.

By Wormwood on Wednesday, February 14, 2001 - 05:30 am: Edit

I think you are right, and I am wrong.

Maybe my mind is playing tricks on me, I thought they made two products. "Ponsec" and a clear anis liquor called "Pontarlier anis". I went back and checked the empty bottle and it does say Ponsec on it, so now I am confused.

abottle.jpg

If Ponsec is green in color, I confused it with another product from Pontarlier that is distilled and clear in color and may be called "Pontarlier anis". Any ideas what it could be?

By Tavis on Wednesday, February 14, 2001 - 04:56 am: Edit

I thought Pontarlier Anis WAS Ponsec?

By Wormwood on Wednesday, February 14, 2001 - 04:54 am: Edit

I have never tried the Ponsec, I tried their other stuff so I thought I would review it here. The Pontarlier Anis they make is very nice, like the name says it is anis flavored very much like ouzo.

It is macerated and distilled (like absinthe) so it has a much crisper and cleaner flavor than ouzo does. Toss in an ice cube and it louches so white it looks like a glass of milk. Even very cold it does not develop "floaties" like ouzo will.

1,abottle.jpg

In short, if you like ouzo, you will love this stuff. If you are looking for a nice balanced herbal flavor like a nice absinthe or pastis you won't find it in a bottle of this.

By Tabreaux on Tuesday, February 13, 2001 - 08:47 am: Edit

Let me reread it first so that I can refresh my memory. I'll post tonight.

By Grimbergen on Tuesday, February 13, 2001 - 08:02 am: Edit

Ted,

"FWIW, I have an article which gives some insight regarding the color of Hill's. It is pitifully amusing."
Can you say more? We could all use a good laugh at Hill's expense.

By Aion on Monday, February 12, 2001 - 04:41 am: Edit

Received my delivery of 3 bottles of Pontarlier-Anis from JF Narbey last Friday. Mr. Narbey was very friendly and I didn´t have any problems, though I am not speaking French. Package also was perfect.
And WHOW!! the product itself. What a wonderfully balanced, totally natural flavour. Never had anything at the price of $25-30 I had to pay for one bottle that comes close to this quality taste.

Thanks to Justin for introducing this stuff!

Andreas

By Tabreaux on Friday, February 02, 2001 - 09:18 am: Edit

Well, yes. I included it for use as a sterilization agent, and also as a stern reminder that the rumors of 'absinth' being a liqueur that drives one mad are not entirely false.

FWIW, I have an article which gives some insight regarding the color of Hill's. It is pitifully amusing.

By Absinthedrinker on Friday, February 02, 2001 - 08:36 am: Edit

Ted, I'm assuming that you included the Hills in the line up to rinse out the glasses?

By Tabreaux on Friday, February 02, 2001 - 08:15 am: Edit

Yes, I was not implying that they were the same product. I was making light of the fact that if you lined up 5 bottles, Segarra, Ponsec, Deva, Hill's and MM, and I asked you which two were most alike, the Segarra and Ponsec would be the obvious choice.

By Absinthedrinker on Friday, February 02, 2001 - 01:46 am: Edit

By coincidence I was sampling both Segarra and Ponsec last night. For the first time I noticed the 'floaters' that others have mentioned in Segarra, no doubt due to the fact that I was storing the bottle in the fridge. The floaters were actually quite attractive and shimmered like a silver version of goldschlager schnapps. Anyway, these products do share the same heavy louche but I find the Ponsec slighly lighter in flavour and texture than the Segarra.

By Tabreaux on Thursday, February 01, 2001 - 01:24 pm: Edit

It isn't as 'pointed' as Segarra, but there are distinct similarities in the flavor.

By Chrysippvs on Thursday, February 01, 2001 - 12:18 pm: Edit

really...To me Segarra was thick and somewhat overpowering in flavor. This is much more subtle IMHO

By Tabreaux on Thursday, February 01, 2001 - 11:52 am: Edit

My first impression of Pontarlier Anise (Ponsec) is that it is very similar to Segarra in flavor.

By Chrysippvs on Thursday, February 01, 2001 - 08:53 am: Edit

I have heard that too..supposed to grow the herbs in his own garden and what not...I don't blame him. I would rather drink this anis over the la bleues I have had in that area. Quality is quality, and la bleue isn't always the holy grail of quality....

By Petermarc on Thursday, February 01, 2001 - 08:45 am: Edit

there is supposed to be an old guy near pontarlier who makes absinthe but doesn't sell it...he just trades it for bottles of pontarlier-anis...go figure...

By Chrysippvs on Thursday, February 01, 2001 - 07:14 am: Edit

I would reccommend the Ponsec over most la bleues...as far as taste, color, louche, and general texture and herbal content. It just seems more dyanamic. But if the wormwood is kicker for you then la bleue it is...

By Tavis on Wednesday, January 31, 2001 - 11:50 pm: Edit

Yeah, 3 bottles is what he seems to be willing to send to the UK, at a postage cost of 205 FF, which is a pretty good price I think.

At the moment I'm waiting on a possible bottle of La Bleue, but for what I'll pay I could get three bottles of Ponsec...hmmm....tough choice but I think I'll have to leave it until after the La Bleue (hopefully) is available.

By Grimbergen on Wednesday, January 31, 2001 - 12:18 pm: Edit

...damn british with their Navigation acts..

By Grimbergen on Wednesday, January 31, 2001 - 12:13 pm: Edit

Oh yeah! 3 bottles coming my way, with just a little detour through the UK.

By Chrysippvs on Wednesday, January 31, 2001 - 09:52 am: Edit

That is what I am thinking too. It is a shame...someone needs to offically import it here along with Oxygenee...

By Germanandy on Wednesday, January 31, 2001 - 09:49 am: Edit

quote
Any idea why they should have a German(!!) version of their site...?
quote

maybe it's because pontarlier is close to switzerland and not so far from germany.

By Grimbergen on Wednesday, January 31, 2001 - 08:16 am: Edit

...now resorting to the trilingual email...

By Grimbergen on Wednesday, January 31, 2001 - 07:44 am: Edit

I'm trying Narbey anyway. Just had a delightful conversation in my broken (...whipped and beaten) french, with mr. Narbey's daughter (Papa n'est pas ici maintenant). I'll get them to ship it to me if it's the last thing I do.

Grim

By Bob_Chong on Wednesday, January 31, 2001 - 06:51 am: Edit

Any idea why they should have a German(!!) version of their site...?

Simple: they are ready to fold faster than a cheap lounge chair if/when the huns invade.

BC

By Aion on Wednesday, January 31, 2001 - 06:17 am: Edit

Good to be European this time.
On the other hand it is not good to be European, if you want to get a bottle of La Fee outside the UK. It would be no problem to buy it from the USA. Strange world!
This simple fact explains the importance of SC for the Absinthe community. Once they have it you´ll get it - no matter where you live - just no problems at all.

Ted and Don should really consider about cooperation with SC for marketing their products in Europe!

By Chrysippvs on Wednesday, January 31, 2001 - 05:40 am: Edit

here is a copy of the e-mail they sent me:


Bonjour

Je vous remercie pour l'intérêt que vous portez à nos produits, mais il est impossible d'exporter des alcools et des vins vers les EU (Les Douanes n 'acceptent pas aux EU).
Je suis donc dans l'incapacité de vous livrer votre commande!

Merci encore pour votre demande.

J F Narbey

Expect the same, but hope for the best :)

By Chrysippvs on Wednesday, January 31, 2001 - 05:35 am: Edit

Tried that site months ago...they don't ship to the US.....

By Tavis on Wednesday, January 31, 2001 - 04:58 am: Edit

Good point, although I couldn't translate and hence couldn't work out which postage option to choose. Also the basket didn't appear to be working for me. I'll mail them, see what they say.

By Aion on Wednesday, January 31, 2001 - 04:49 am: Edit

Travis,
Just received an order confirmation showing
FFr 119,00 one bottle + FFr 65,00 for freight.
Any idea why they should have a German(!!) version of their site and not deliver outside their country.
A.H.

By Tavis on Wednesday, January 31, 2001 - 03:54 am: Edit

Shame they don't ship outside France, at least not as far as I can tell. Mind you, I had enough trouble placing the items in my basket. Also the price appeared as 129FF to me.

By Aion on Wednesday, January 31, 2001 - 01:41 am: Edit

Dear Justin,

Check out this site for Pontarlier-Anis Ponsec
http://www.narbey.com
FFr 144,00 one bottle
Site is French and German
They accept credit cards.
Just placed an order.


A.H.

By Chrysippvs on Tuesday, January 30, 2001 - 03:24 pm: Edit

After retasting the Anis it also has a wonderful dry taste to it. Something that I enjoy in any spirit. Bitter and dry. It is no wonder why I am attracted to good absinthe...

By Petermarc on Tuesday, January 30, 2001 - 03:16 pm: Edit

of course i know how to get it, but it's getting it to you that is the hard part...it only comes in the liter size (i gave my half liter pontsec to ian)so, i'll figure something out... i'm due to go a-calling in the doubs this spring...this stuff is so regional that it seems it can only be found in or near pontarlier, or by mail in the rest of france...don't forget 'le vert sapin'
it's turpentine-licious!

By Chrysippvs on Tuesday, January 30, 2001 - 02:53 pm: Edit

It is a real shame that pastis is not popular here. Probably becuase the standard is Pernod which tastes horrid. If Pernod Ricard is making Oxygenee then they should be able to make Pernod so much better.

Peter know anyway to get my hands on a bottle of the ancienne? I know a friend that works near there by keeps "forgetting" to get me some of this stuff...

By Petermarc on Tuesday, January 30, 2001 - 02:42 pm: Edit

the 'a l'ancienne' is even better as it is made more like absinthe, without sugar...which can be added or not via 'the ritual.'
a few pix from my visit;
pontarlieranis
drying
box set

By Franglais on Tuesday, January 30, 2001 - 02:11 pm: Edit

They have a nice website:
http://www.pontarlier-anis.com/fr/

Also, don't despair! I don't think anyone knows that Oxygenee does not contain A. Absinthium. It has completely been speculation that it does not. "Aux plantes d'absinthe" does not mean the drink *does not* contain absinthe, it means that it contains plants from the absinthe family, which means that it probably contains enough absinthe to stay within legal limits. Other plantes, such as Petite absinthe are most likely used to make up the difference in flavor.

By Chrysippvs on Tuesday, January 30, 2001 - 12:53 pm: Edit

I picked up this bottle from the same and only source of oxygenee. Just a note for those interested in getting a bottle. Visit this website:

http://www.vinotheque-thonon.com/catalogue/breuvab.htm

Here are the qualifacations for ordering:

1. E-mails are in French only (often slow responses)
2. Only ships via fedex (around 100 USD)
3. Must have Federal Import Number and Tax number
4. No more than 7 bottles per order
5. Price on site are without taxes, packing fees etc.
6. They are not responsible for broken or lost parcels.

With that in mind the bottle are around 65 per bottle with shipping if you order 4 or so.

The bottle is a 1 liter and heavy green glass with an embossed eagle on the neck. The label is below. It is the traditional post ban 45%.

The color is a nice pale green almost appearing to be natural although it is hard to say. The aroma is like that of some of the better la bleues I have had. A very nice and fresh anis aroma, backed with mint and other "alpine" flavors. It's louche is outstanding, going from the pale green to a solid white, with almost no hint at all of green.

The flavor is wonderful, must like a full bodied la bleue. Honestly I would rather drink this than many la bleues I have tried. Star anise, if present at all, is used with the utmost care. An outstanding aperitif.

For those interested, the Armand Guy Distilleries are one of the few (only one I can think of off hand) that has no changed hands since the ban. I would love to sample some of the absinthe from them. It is a real shame that this and Oxygenee do not use Art. Absinthium in their product. If they did these two would be my absinthes of choice over all that are commercially available (including Haut doubs 9, and la bleue(s)). It is a shame these spirits are not available around the corner, I would drink them over any Spanish absinthe.

Here are some pictures for your enjoyment

bottle
label
color
louche

Kallisti feel free to use these for the guide, I think it would be a great addition to the absinthe substitues section and to also edit them out if bandwidth is an issue.

Also I may have a spare bottle of Oxygenee that I want to sell or trade off. Just shoot me an offer and we can work something out for it.

- Justin S.

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