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> Pernod Fils, circa 1900-1910, Reviewed
Artemis
post May 14 2005, 03:15 AM
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Editors Note: Obviously, no vendor information is available for this absinthe other than that which appears in historical documents, which can be found at http://www.oxygenee.com.

Average score 92


Reviewed by Deluge 5/14/05

COLOR BEFORE WATER 10/10
At nearly 100 years old this absinthe, like the Edouard, was what has been described as being the color “Feuille Morte”. It has aged well over time and has faded, as it should, like an autumn leaf.

LOUCHE ACTION 10/10
Bringing the glass under the fountain the louche began almost immediately and was a lot stronger than I had expected. There were beautiful gradient lines in the glass that swirled around until the final stage at which the contents became very opaque.

COLOR AFTER WATER 10/10
The final stage of the louche was very thick and became quite a nice shade of white. Considering how brown the sample was before water I was amazed at the final shade of the louche.

AROMA 30/30
The nose was much more intense than I had imagined. There was a considerable amount of heat! I had assumed that a bottle over 90 years old would have mellowed out much more. The scent was very fragrant and full of spice! It was very well balanced and was unlike anything I had smelled before. The aroma of the bouquet was brilliant and it certainly filled the room! I could really smell the heavy fragrance in the air. There was a rich musky/spicy character that I have not witnessed in any other commercial or clandestine absinthe! The aroma of Pernod Fils was very unique indeed.

MOUTH-FEEL 10/10
The mouth feel was another big surprise; it had a consistency similar to that of skim milk! It was very heavy and rich in the mouth. Unlike anything available

TASTE 18/20
Tasting the Pernod neat was very, very good! Although the alcohol was sharp to the nose it was subdued on the tongue by the rush of alpine flavors. The taste was balanced and herbal. After water had been added there were absolutely no overpowering flavors. The unification of flavors made it difficult to pick out what may have been any ingredients outside the generic Pontarlier recipe. The lingering quality on the palate lasted forever! Much longer than any commercial or clandestine out there. If there were a commercial absinthe available that tasted like Pernod Fils I would drink it exclusively! Yum!

OVERALL IMPRESSION 10/10
I am glad that I had the chance to sample vintage Pernod Fils. It was much different than I had imagined and I will say that there is nothing out there like it.

Deluge scores Pernod Fils 98 out of 100



Reviewed by Artemis 11/7/2005

COLOR BEFORE WATER 9/10
Very attractive golden green. Not nearly as brown as other "vintage" absinthes I've seen, the green has survived very well.

LOUCHE ACTION 9/10
Louche is muddy, thick, opaque.

COLOR AFTER WATER 9/10
It's the sort of snot-thick louche expected of vintage absinthes, but not as yellowish as others I've seen, more green, not surprising given that it's also more green than brown before water.

AROMA 26/30
It's not as fresh as new absinthe, but this absinthe is 100 years old or so. The aroma is perfume-like, subtle, and not indicative of any given ingredient. It smells like good absinthe.

MOUTH-FEEL 8/10
Fairly thick and silky.

TASTE 15/20
I have to say this is the weakest aspect of this sample. I've not had many vintage samples, but the others I've had were better. It has the balanced taste one would expect of an absinthe of this quality - no herb stands above the rest, and there are no faults I could attribute to manufacturing. It's not as flowery as I would like, there's a definite alcohol burn and a definite bitterness down the throat, even with a full sugar cube. I used half a sugar tablet at first, and after a sip, added another half tablet. I can't say this is easy on the palate - it might be an acquired tasted for those used to less intense absinthes.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 8/10
I have to wonder, if I had tasted this blind, if I would have rated it lower. Probably so. Still, it has no faults and is just about everything you could expect absinthe to be. I have tasted absinthe more fragrant, less bitter, and easier to drink, but maybe not all in the same glass. Still, this is very good absinthe.

NOTE: Sadly, this absinthe is not commercially available except as an absinthe "antique". The sample reviewed is from Oxygenee's "Cannes Cache".

Artemis scores Pernod Fils 84 out of 100


Reviewed by Gertz 5/9/2006

COLOR BEFORE WATER 9/10
An amber-like colour. Hard to rate something that has changed that much, but it has a beautiful glow, and it's hard to imagine that it came from anything but a vibrant, green colour. Seems wrong to penalize it for having turned feuille morte.

LOUCHE ACTION 9/10
A thick cloud developed. Oily tracks were gently swirling around, even when fully louched.

COLOR AFTER WATER 9/10
When water was added, an ever so slight shade of green seemed to linger, depending very much on the angle and how light struck the glass. It was fully opaque, yet with this ever so slight glow. The term "opaline" seemed more appropriate than ever.

AROMA 24/30
The aroma was rather subtle, especially when I dig deep in my memory for the experience of the aroma of pre-ban Berger - less pungent than I had expected, but full of the nobility of age.

MOUTHFEEL 10/10
This is it. When I rate something, I find it very hard to go all the way to the very top (or bottom) of the scale, but this mouthfeel was out of this world. An incredible smooth and soft caress of the palate. This wasn't a dance with The Green Fairy - it was sex with her.

TASTE 19/20
Again, the taste of a high-quality wine base was apparent, but here, there was more of a herbal punch going on besides than in the Premier Fils. There were multi-facetted, rich, but never obtrusive or unpleasant notes of bitterness, perfectly balanced by a discreet sweetness. What prevents it from going all the way to perfection is my memory of pre-ban Berger, where the taste seemed to linger in the mouth forever.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 10/10
Again, knowing that it's pre-ban, made while a young Picasso roamed the streets of Montmartre and all that, adds to the experience. I could probably tell my self to put on a matter-of-fact attitude and analyse it just like I would with any sample, but hey; this is the stuff legends are made of. The extraordinary mouthfeel is what pushes this one all the way to the top.

NOTE
This sample came from one of the bottles of the "Cannes cache".

Gertz scores Pernod Fils 90 out of 100


Reviewed by EdouardPerneau 5/7/2008

COLOR BEFORE WATER 10/10
Golden amber similar to VS cognac (with grenish hue)

LOUCHE ACTION 8/10
A Classic Pernod Fils louche

COLOR AFTER WATER 8/10
green louche

AROMA 28/30
It smell melissa ,alcohol & spices

MOUTH-FEEL 8/10
very nice

TASTE 19/20
spicied wormwoodiness

OVERALL IMPRESSION 9/10
Very Great if I had the choice I would only drink this

EdouardPerneau scores Pernod Fils 1910 90 out of 100


Reviewed by Ricki 6/17/2008

COLOR BEFORE WATER 10/10
Perfect Feuille Morte colour. No flaws whatsoever.

LOUCHE ACTION 10/10
Excellent louche action. Starts nice and slow.

COLOR AFTER WATER 10/10
The final colour is a very milky white with a hint of amber through it. Perfect.

AROMA 30/30
Very different to what I was expecting. The best aroma of any absinthe I have come across.

MOUTH-FEEL 10/10
Perfect mouth feel. Unlike any absinthe I have tried prior to this. Very very smooth!

TASTE 20/20
Again, to me, this is perfect. The taste is perfectly balanced throughout and I can not fault it at all.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 10/10
There is no other absinthe like this around. From now on, any absinthe i try will be compared to this and I think my scores for future reviews are going to be quite low after tasting real pre-ban Pernod Fils.

The nicest, most balanced, and smoothest Absinthe i have ever tried, and probably ever will.

Ricki scores Pernod Fils, circa 1910 100 out of 100


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Jaded Prole
post May 14 2005, 01:18 PM
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Not bitter? I'm sure Dr. O can explain . . .


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Artemis
post May 14 2005, 03:35 PM
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I recognize in that review (Deluge's review) almost everything, especially the strange spiciness and creamy texture. I don't know about rating an absinthe close to 100, though, it leaves no room for a better score if a better absinthe comes along. Still, I can't really argue with it, and although I did say I've had better, in retrospect, maybe I haven't.

This post has been edited by Artemis: Nov 8 2005, 11:33 PM


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Zman
post May 14 2005, 05:33 PM
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Having tried pre-ban Pernod Fils myself, I would not rate it that high. While it is a very very good product, I have had several censored2.gif that were of a calibre better. I tend to think that these ultra-high scores are more in line with the idealized thought of what absinthe should be. Perhaps the romance and thrill of actually tasting some of the vintage absinthe influenced the scores higher than they actually are.


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Zman
post May 14 2005, 05:38 PM
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Also had the chance to sample some of the pre-ban Edouard Pernod. Very similar to Jade's Edouard, though not a carbon-copy. The old stuff had a much more pronounced coriander-like aroma and taste. The wormwood profile also was slightly more aggressive than its modern counterpart. It was nice to see a modern product come close to that of its venerable ancestor.


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Artemis
post May 14 2005, 09:24 PM
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QUOTE
Having tried pre-ban Pernod Fils myself, I would not rate it that high. While it is a very very good product, I have had several censored2.gif that were of a calibre better. I tend to think that these ultra-high scores are more in line with the idealized thought of what absinthe should be. Perhaps the romance and thrill of actually tasting some of the vintage absinthe influenced the scores higher than they actually are.


Well said.


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Head_prosthesis
post May 14 2005, 10:31 PM
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Maybe they forgot to add
the damiana to that batch.
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Jaded Prole
post May 14 2005, 10:43 PM
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w00t2.gif


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Deluge
post May 15 2005, 01:52 AM
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Alright folks... I have reevaluated my score sheets for both the Edouard and the Pernod. I personally think that they are both marquees that still stand above the rest. Their mellowed yet still complex flavors and highly nuanced aromas are unparalleled and have not yet been matched by any modern commercial firm. I feel that both the Pernod and the Edouard deserve very high scores. I decided to deduct points mainly due to the color of each of these samples caused by the aging process. There is no doubt in my mind they were once perfectly colored and flavored. If a sample was available of each in pristine condition I am sure that I would rate them higher than I did. This is absinthe! I wont get involved in a debate about clandestine products. They are allowed on this board so there for I do not think I will let them effect my review. I would also like to add I have in fact sampled most of the cladestines available and I have come to the conclusion that most people regard them so highly due mainly to their rarity not their quality.

Artemis should have my reevaluation up when his time permits.


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justabob
post May 15 2005, 03:05 AM
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QUOTE (Deluge @ May 14 2005, 06:52 PM)
I would also like to add I have in fact sampled most of the cladestines available and I am not really that impressed... For many, many reasons.


I do not think this is possible, my musical friend. There is a great big world out there, and you have undoubtedly sampled more clandestines then I have.

I would also add that most cladestines are not available for general consumption.

But the number of anonymous kitchen distillers will forever go uncounted along with the unheralded grommet chefs of the world.

I have never sampled pre ban myself, but I found your review to be quite compelling.


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Artemis
post May 15 2005, 03:37 AM
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QUOTE
I decided to deduct points mainly due to the color of each of these samples caused by the aging process.


I don't think you should do that. It's not a flaw in the coloration, it's GOT to happen to an absinthe that old, and that's part of its charm. As you already know, I've asked you to rethink changing your scores. If you really want to, I'll do it, but we don't want to set a precedent of making people change their reviews unless the reviews are crap, which yours weren't by a long shot. It's been a year since I've tasted any antique absinthe, and side by side with any HG I've had, I'm pretty sure the Pernod would mop the floor with it. Again, although I said in another post I've had better (than the old Pernod), I probably haven't. And I've taste a lot of stuff. Maybe Oxy should weight in on this. He definitely wants the old stuff reviewed, I know that much.


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morgueann
post May 16 2005, 11:41 AM
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QUOTE (Artemis @ May 14 2005, 04:15 AM)
Yum!

I love that word.

Kudos to you.


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Oxygenee
post May 16 2005, 12:22 PM
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Artemis is correct. Don't revise your scores. Your reviews were excellent. The point of a review is to give a snapshot of how you experienced the absinthe at a particular time. If others disagree with you, let them post their own reviews. Over time, the composite average score will reflect a consensus, but the individual reviews will remain just that: one person's opinion. Yours is as valid as the next man.

Jmfranc was asked to revise his scores for a very specific and limited reason - they were logically inconsistent with his comments. On reflection, he acknowledged this, and amended them accordingly.

Regarding colour: It would certainly be wrong to deduct points from a century-old absinthe because it has turned an amber brown colour. This is exactly what it's meant to do. Remember, naturalness is the primary virtue as far as colour is concerned. A 100 year old absinthe that was still a very bright green colour would be unnatural, and almost certainly artificially coloured.

Regarding the superiority of the finest HGs to top vintage absinthes like Pernod Fils: this is a matter of opinion, not of fact. I've tasted many very fine HGs, but never one that I'd consider more impressive than pre-ban Pernod in perfect condition. Others, whose opinion I respect, disagree. It's precisely this type of divergent viewpoint that makes reviewing interesting.


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Absomphe
post Nov 8 2005, 03:38 AM
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I hope Dr. O doesn't read that. wink.gif


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Artemis
post Nov 8 2005, 03:50 AM
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I thought about him as I was taking notes on the stuff - had to tell it like it is, though.


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