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Shabba53
Oxy asked me to post this review over here as well. Sorry if it's a duplicate thread for those of you who peruse both forums. abs-cheers.gif

Pics of the tasting are here. Sorry, too tired this evening to post them again.

REVIEW:

Color before water: 9.5 out of 10

Beautiful peridot hue (no relation, I'm sure). Much brighter than expected from something of such age. No visible sediment. Quite clear.

Louche action: 9 out of 10

Wonderful oil trails straight from the beginning. Almost completely louched by the time it reached about 2:1. Not a whole lot of layering though, which dropped the score a bit.

Color after water: 10 out of 10

As you can see from the pic of it in my hand, it was a wonderful opalescent green, with hints of yellows and blues dancing in the light. Quite mesmerizing. Very uniform as well (not pale at the top).

Aroma: 28 out of 30

Aroma before louche: Strong nose of anise and fennel with hints of wood, grass, citrus and bubble gum.

Aroma after louche: The anise and fennel have relaxed a bit, but still dominate. No discernible (sp?) alcohol punch.

Mouth Feel: 9.5 out of 10

Buttery smoothness. A real pleasure to roll around on the tongue.

Taste: 19 out of 20

Very crisp and clean with a bit of a peppery bite at the end. It reminds me of sipping on ice cold water from a mountain stream (aside from the bite, of course). The flavors are well balanced. It doesn't have as much of an 'aged' taste to it, as one would expect from a pre-ban, but delightful, nonetheless.

Overall impression: 9.5 out of 10

The taste and color would make you think more of the ideal current CO instead of a pre-ban. The effects of aging have been conquered by this bottle. It truly is amazing to know that this is from 1914. It's something that absolutely MUST be experienced. Of all the vintage I've tasted, this along with the Pernod Tarragona are at the top.

TOTAL SCORE: 94.5 out of 100
Oxygenee
Great review Shabba, thank you.

abs-cheers.gif
hartsmar
Wonderful!

What's with people and half points though!? AAAGH.
Shabba53
Well, I would have been uncomfortable giving a perfect 10 for some qualities, while at the same time, I felt that giving it a 9 would be short-changing it. There ya go.
Absomphe
Terrific review, Shabba!

I find that the contents of my bottle have a truly enigmatic combination of remarkable freshness mixed with just enough of that truly vintage leathery/ butterscotch esther to make it an ideal bridge between the two.

The liberal use of angelica, in particular, is really striking to me, and gives a real boost to the mid-taste of this beauty. Add in the baby powdery quality of the hyssop, the fruitiness of the fennel, the generous use of coriander, and the floral mintiness of the wormwood, and, well...

chickawow.gif

Lord Stanley
It does seem to have a hint of that Segarra-butterscotch quality. I was trying to determine the connection.
Zman
QUOTE(Absomphe @ Dec 15 2006, 02:57 PM) *

Terrific review, Shabba!

I find that the contents of my bottle have a truly enigmatic combination of remarkable freshness mixed with just enough of that truly vintage leathery/ butterscotch esther to make it an ideal bridge between the two.

The liberal use of angelica, in particular, is really striking to me, and gives a real boost to the mid-taste of this beauty. Add in the baby powdery quality of the hyssop, the fruitiness of the fennel, the generous use of coriander, and the floral mintiness of the wormwood, and, well...

chickawow.gif


Angelica? Coriander? From PF's own writing, they never put those herbs in it.
Absomphe
I'm sure you're correct, Zman, however, that's how my tastebuds are interpreting the flavor.

Perhaps the ageing effect is playing tricks on them, but there is definitely a pleasant hitch in mid-taste that, to me, is reminiscent of Chartreuse V.E.P., and it tastes like angelica.

Or maybe Doctor O is onto something, after all... evill.gif
bob_chong
Kinda like when someone says a wine is "redolent of plums and leather" or some such?

i.e., obviously, the better wines don't use either of those. Most of 'em don't, anyway.
Absomphe
I just knew you weren't talkin' 'bout no MD 20/20, Bob.

And, yes, kinda just like that.
grey boy
QUOTE(Absomphe @ Dec 15 2006, 07:44 PM) *

I'm sure your correct,

I'm sure your taste buds are telling you you're tasting such.
Absomphe
Ewer spot on with that remark, Grey. abs-cheers.gif
simon
Great review!...It's making me salivate all over te keyboard..
hartsmar
Wow. Look what the cat dragged in!
Long time...

Donnie Darko
QUOTE(simon @ Dec 22 2006, 06:22 AM) *

Great review!...It's making me salivate all over te keyboard..


Guess the drool broke the "h" key.

Good to see you around.
simon
Thanks...It's been a while....Been tied up with work, work and more work, changing jobs/roles..Finally I'm finding myself back in th world I like to be in! Hope you're well Donnie and Markus! Time for me to go and order some absinthe....Have to try that 1901.
sixela
First some pictures.

Let's pour this thing...when you're pouring, it's actually remarkably clear - almost like an accidentally coloured blanche. Once it's in the glass, enough thickness reveals a beautiful yet very transparent olive to peridot green colour (again, it almost looks like a missed blanche).
sixela
Each drop of water immediately produces plumes of white-green swirls - at the start they slowly dissolve again.

Here it is when the bottom starts to become cloudy (at less than 1:1!):
sixela
The louche slowly creeps up -- quite rare to see this when using this fountain; I usually only see it when I use a brouille.

sixela
At last, ready for consumption. Strangely, this drink is a four in one drink: different dilutions change the flavour profile significantly; and unlike many other absinthes, it's enjoyable in a very wide range of dilutions. When the alcohol is still present, the excellent green anise seems to dominate (but even at 1:1.5, the alcohol bite isn't harsh at all); when adding more water, the very good but decidedly staunch wormwood becomes more present. The fragrant flavour explosion at the end is best up to 1:2.5-1:3, though.

Jaded Prole
Breathtaking, beautiful pics -- you sure that's the 1914?
sixela
REVIEW:

Colour before water: 6 out of 10

Beautiful hue between olive green and peridot - less yellow than appears in the pictures I took. Almost transparent, though, so I simply have to deduct points.

Not a trace of amber; the Cannes cache sample I had was actually prettier - more amber before it had louched, but a richer colour altogether.


Louche action: 10 out of 10

Simply perfect. Completely mesmerizing to look at.


Colour after water: 8 out of 10

Very light green. Would probably have been less white with a stronger colour to start with.


Aroma: 30 out of 30

Unbelievably fragrant green anise - stands out like a radiant beacon. Some fennel adds other sweet notes and there is a herbal wormwood presence that's quite charming - superb even though it's very remote from the fruity wormwood of e.g. Emile Pernot's wormwood blanche.

As soon as it begins to louche, the aroma fills the room. Even my wife had to try it once she had smelled, despite really not liking even green anise (the only absinthe she does like is the Emile Pernot wormwood blanche!).

Absolutely no alcohol harshness despite the fact that there is a massive amount of alcohol (the bottle was filled completely and couldn't have parted with much of its alcohol).


Mouth Feel: 10 out of 10

MMhhhhh....


Taste: 20 out of 20

Not a trace of age - it tastes younger than e.g. PF1901 does, with a wonderfully fragrant flavour explosion right a the end that I also recognize from the Cannes cache sample (and reminescent of Duplais Balance).

But unlike in other absinthes that are very fragrant and feminine, all this is complemented by quite some machismo, superb -- really unrivalled -- green anise and fennel, and an excellent wormwood that is very herbal but also outstanding. The wormwood lingers on for ages in the aftertaste, together with some green anise, but only after you've experienced the incredibly complex fireworks at the end of the taste.

One of the remarkable facts is that even though the colour is very light, it tastes very "green", with an obvious colouring herb presence.

Another striking fact is that different dilutions are always drinkable (even 1:2 is decidedly pleasant and fragrant) and change the flavour profile quite a lot - the green anise presence yields to the wormwood with the addition of more water.

Overall impression: 10 out of 10

All it misses is some greenness. Other than that, it's simply irresistible, and unbelievably young despite being almost a century old...

The anise and wormwood is quite unlike anything that I've encountered in modern absinthes, and in this sample they jump at you from the bottle as if they had been plucked yesterday.

Were it a bit more green, it would simply have been perfect, and it's hard to believe anyone in the old days was able to compete with this thing.

It would have scored a lot more, as you can see, but for the relative importance of the colour in the scoring matrix -- which I find more than a bit exaggerated. if something tastes this good, I wouldn't mind if it were purple with fluorescent red blobs.

TOTAL SCORE: 94 out of 100
sixela
QUOTE(Jaded Prol @ Jan 11 2007, 03:28 AM) *

Breathtaking, beautiful pics -- you sure that's the 1914?


Yup. Actually, the colour is the thing that made it lose some points -- the rest is better than the colour, which is a bit too discreet (though photographs don't convey it that well). The louche, though, brings tears to one's eyes.
Jaded Prole
My sample was gold and it did bring tears to my eyes.




Great review.
Marc
Surprising color blink.gif
sixela
Yup - you're wondering where that chlorophyll has gone, as there isn't much pheophytin colour either.

The most striking thing is that it tastes as if it were thick green.
hartsmar
I am hoping to find the time to do a proper review of the 1914 tonight. I have some of the green one too and will compare to the photos and description you have there...
Absomphe
Perhaps the reason that the color of the somwhat less well preserved 1914 is an unusual golden amber hue, rather than the more typical, darker feuille mort, has to do with this paler shade of green it had to begin with.

Donnie may have been onto something when he mentioned the possibility that Pernod Fils might have lightened up a bit on all the ingredients just prior to the ban...he noticed that the louche wasn't quite as thick as he expected, and that it wasn't quite as floral or room filling in aroma, either (although still wonderful, and beautifully complex).
Le Gimp
I tried half my sample and purged the bottle with CO2 when I resealed the rest.

My sample was just starting to turn feuille mort and still has a lot of the green left.

After water, it was just beautiful, not to mention delicious.

I'll probably share the remainder with a buddy of mine this weekend when I head to the annual 'Is the Pig Dead Yet' Party in NC.

sixela
QUOTE(Absomphe @ Jan 11 2007, 03:24 PM) *

Donnie may have been onto something when he mentioned the possibility that Pernod Fils might have lightened up a bit on all the ingredients just prior to the ban...he noticed that the louche wasn't quite as thick as he expected, and that it wasn't quite as floral or room filling in aroma, either (although still wonderful, and beautifully complex).


That's not my experience. It tastes very green, with an evident colouration herb presence, and the aroma and flavour are outstanding, better than those of a (quite green, but more dark and amber) Cannes cache.

Perhaps that was actually the way it looked like?
Absomphe
Perhaps.

Maybe Pernod just had a light touch with the coloration herbs to give the appearance of a more refined looking beverage.

At any rate, it certainly allowed the more obviously aged stuff to develop a beautiful, and distinctive golden hue.
Le Gimp
I've only had this pre-ban so I can't compare it to othere aside from photos I've seen.

That said, I find the color to be slightly lighter than the Jades. If Pernod backed off on any herbs I believe it was only in coloration.

Everything else about it was intense and phenominal, from the first aroma, the louche, and the flavor.
Donnie Darko
QUOTE(sixela @ Jan 11 2007, 02:12 PM) *

QUOTE(Absomphe @ Jan 11 2007, 03:24 PM) *

Donnie may have been onto something when he mentioned the possibility that Pernod Fils might have lightened up a bit on all the ingredients just prior to the ban...he noticed that the louche wasn't quite as thick as he expected, and that it wasn't quite as floral or room filling in aroma, either (although still wonderful, and beautifully complex).


That's not my experience. It tastes very green, with an evident colouration herb presence, and the aroma and flavour are outstanding, better than those of a (quite green, but more dark and amber) Cannes cache.

Perhaps that was actually the way it looked like?


As you can tell from the photos of all the bottles, the colour is not consistent from bottle to bottle, I guess due to coming from differing levels of the demijohn. Mine was a very natural radiant gold, just as Artemis mentioned. Meanwhile, the fragrance, while more potent than any modern absinthe, was not as room filling as you describe. It was still remarkable though.
G&C
Perhaps not all the absinthe in the cache was from the same run or recipe?

QUOTE
Nouveau Traité de la Fabrication des Liqueurs d’Apres les Procedes les Plus Récents
By J. Fritsch
Paris, 1891
Pages 385 - 401
English translation Copyright 2004 © Artemis
Electronic reproduction without permission strictly prohibited.
5
...
The colorator having been emptied of an absinthe coloration as we have just described, the
plants will not be completely exhausted and they can be recharged with absinthe of common
quality which will serve to exhaust them. The coloring of these absinthes being weak, ...


From page 5.


Lord Stanley
QUOTE(Donnie Darko @ Jan 12 2007, 03:32 PM) *

Mine was a very natural radiant gold, just as Artemis mentioned.


Ditto for mine. Looks nothing like Sixer's pale green 1914.
Heure Verte
I poured two glasses the other night : the one from the left is PF 1914, the one from the right is PF 1901. I poured ice cold water equally and simultaneous. The louche is quite the same !
It's really great to compare these 2 absinthes at the same moment.

Some pics :

IPB Image

IPB Image

IPB Image

It was for my reviews (in french sorry !) on my website.

The PF 1914 is coming from the cache. I put a another Pernod Fils bottle with label next to the glass because it's beautiful wink.gif

All the pics
Alyssa Dyane
I was lucky enough to try some of the 1914 last night. A little tear still springs to my eye when I think of it. The louche was so beautiful. The taste was amazing. Like a crack addict, I assume I will be forever chasing that experience again....
Patlow
Except that you can get crack anytime you want for like $20, so you're actually much more fucked than that!
Absomphe
Sometimes it's even cheaper at The Cuff.

So I hear.
speedle
QUOTE(Alyssa Dyane @ Jan 18 2007, 01:17 PM) *

I was lucky enough to try some of the 1914 last night. A little tear still springs to my eye when I think of it. The louche was so beautiful. The taste was amazing. Like a crack addict, I assume I will be forever chasing that experience again....


Well, then I wish I were that kind of addict! absintheglass-glow2.gif
The Standard Deviant
Heure Verte, can you tell us what the main similarities or differences are between the two? (Pleasing photos!)
Symbiote
As I am far from the silver tongued absinthe induced rambling poetical genius type, I’ll simply stick to scoring with some basic comments.

Colour before water: 5 out of 10

What can I say, it was shit brown, but never has a more pleasant shit brown existed.

Louche action: 10 out of 10

Incredible louche, age obviously has no ill affects.

Colour after water: 10 out of 10

Although it should be green since it is in reality a verte, I chose to score this at 10 due to the most gorgeous cloudiness I have ever seen.

Aroma: 30 out of 30

Heaven!

Mouth Feel: 10 out of 10

Smooth and creamy, wow

Taste: 20 out of 20

Dr. whO? Anise was hardly noticeable, very wormwoody with just a slight bitter bite at the finish. The most perfect absinthe I have tasted. Is it the age or the original recipe? Possibly both.

Overall impression: 10 out of 10

TOTAL SCORE: 95 out of 100

Anyone who has graded any modern absinthe over 85 might want to at least buy a sample then go back and grade on the new curve. I for one will never be the same again. Thank you or maybe I should say “blast you”, Oxy for the wonderful opportunity. Worth every penny. Now whatever will I do to have an experience like this again?

I am curious now how the bottles that retained the green color compare to the ones, like mine, that lost their green coloring. Are they just as smooth and creamy?

fryke
Shit brown, anise hardly noticeable, overall impression 10 out of 10. Hm. wink.gif After having heard from other reviewers that the anise was of excellent and unmatched quality, I have my doubts about this one... Hardly noticeable anise does not sound right to me for Pernod Fils from 1914.
The Standard Deviant
Maybe it was all those twigs in the bottle. . . Or perhaps the reviewer's tongue.
Symbiote
More likely the latter, but to me the anise flavor was less noticable than any other absinthe I have tasted. Hey, a review is what it is. Take mine and consider the source I guess. At any rate, I enjoyed it more than any other.
The Standard Deviant
The point of the review system is to get a range of people's opinions. There wouldn't be any point if people decided not to post as their opinion was different to the people who had already submitted reviews. I have never submitted a review, something I will correct when I have a bit more time.

I think everyone is in agreement on one thing though.
Symbiote
Do tell.
AndrewT
I think the discrepency in peoples' descriptions of the anise flavor is because, for the most part, the only anise you taste is the tongue-numbing anethol. The PF anise actually had other herbal flavors with it too. Maybe it was actually the fennel overlapping the anise taste? I don't really know for sure, but to get a sense of the taste, it would be closer to chew on anise seeds than to taste Arak.

By no means should it be compared to Sebor, though.
sixela
QUOTE(fryke @ Jan 25 2007, 02:43 AM) *

Shit brown, anise hardly noticeable, overall impression 10 out of 10. Hm. wink.gif After having heard from other reviewers that the anise was of excellent and unmatched quality, I have my doubts about this one... Hardly noticeable anise does not sound right to me for Pernod Fils from 1914.


Actually, the anise is less prominent in the amber ones (with even the wormwood becoming markedly different in the dark amber ones -- the almost transparent amber ones do have that fine wormwood the very green ones have).
fryke
I didn't mean that all the reviews should be the same or anything. I'm aware that they should show the personal tastes etc. - even more so with this 76-bottles find, where we see such a wide spectrum of how they've aged. I was just surprised by this specific review.

(Plus both the colour description as well as the anise-absence don't sound too positive to me, hence my doubts about a 10/10 overall impression. Maybe a photo of the absinthe before the louche could clarify the shit-brown. If only put in words, it really doesn't sound that attractive to me wink.gif ...)
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