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hartsmar
AVERAGE SCORE 62


Reviewed by Mthuilli 3/9/2007

COLOR BEFORE WATER 7/10
A little clear but still nice, in the olive tones.

LOUCHE ACTION 10/10
A perfect louche. In the top 5. Milky. Splendid.

COLOR AFTER WATER 10/10
Beautifully opaque.

AROMA 15/30
Alcohol first, then tall wormwood albeit a little 'dry'.

MOUTH-FEEL 10/10
A real joy, round, creamy, perfect.

TASTE 12/20
Green anise is there, biting. Tall wormwood is coming after, perfumed but in the background. Sugar helps bringing the fennel, discrete still. Nothing else I could taste.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 6/10
Fantastic louche, fantastic mouth-feel, but then a too linear taste. Not bad for a first 'green' swiss from DuVallon. The alcohol is a little too present for a 54° absinthe. I would have liked a more vivacious tall wormwood, more 'fresh', maybe that's because of the dried tall wormwood used during the coloration, it has counterbalanced the aroma from the green peerage. Or maybe because the fantastic tall wormwood from Pontarlier I've tasted recently is still too anchored in my memory.


Mthuilli scores La Veuve verte, DuVallon 70 out of 100


Reviewed by Hartsmar 4/23/2007

COLOR BEFORE WATER 3/10
An extremely pale green. Not much of a verte really but atleast it's natural. It resembles the color of the Z'Graggen and Segarra 68 a lot, which isn't a great thing...

LOUCHE ACTION 8/10
It louches nice with thick swirls and a fine thin clear layer on top, slowly disappearing.

COLOR AFTER WATER 7/10
A rather nice light touch of green.

AROMA 22/30
Before water it presents a rather nice and complex aroma, much like the regualr DuVallon (La Bleue) actually. A little distracted by a pungent wormwood which is almost hidden. After water is added that pungent thing is gone and the aroma opens up a lot. Melissa, anise, fennel and wormwood is there and they seem to like each other.

MOUTH-FEEL 3/10
It starts out nice enough with a rich and full-bodied mouth-feel but after just a short while you can feel a dryness in the back of the mouth making it's way up front. Swallowing it ends up with a terrible bitter-dry mouth.

TASTE 7/20
The one thing that destroys this drink is the wormwood used for coloring. Yes, it says so on the label, but anyone can figure out on their own that Artemisia absinthium is used for coloring and it's definitely not a good idea. Set that aside and I'm actually sure this would be a really nice drink, using proper coloring herbs.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 4/10
The Artemisia absinthium in coloring is the one mistake here. Question is if there's really a difference between this and the regular La Bleue DuVallon if the coloring was left out... The product detectable behind the bitter wormwood macerate is a good one. It's sad that it's been ruined by that.

Hartsmar scores La Veuve Verte 54 out of 100
hartsmar
Updated...
Marc
You tasted it with or without sugar ?
My review is 'with sugar' and the mouth feel was excellent, I smelt the dryness before water and sugar, then almost nothing.
I think it's something that should be added somewhere in every review (i.e. sugar: yes/no).
hartsmar
That is true.

I always review all absinthes in the same way, same type of glass, same ratios and without sugar.
Then I add more water to see how that changes the drink. If the change results in a significantly better drink, I account for that and the scores are adjusted and this is also mentioned in the "Personal notes".

Often I also try adding sugar and if I consider a drink to benefit a lot from that I normally add that in the "Personal notes", as I did with the Helfrich...

I've had glasses of this one "outside score-sheet testing" both with and without sugar. I still consider the bitterness to be terrible and the same dry mouth is there. It's a flaw.

There's a lot of promise and character underneath but the ww coloring takes it all away.

That's my take on it.
Marc
I gave it another try yesterday (actually three tries) with almost no sugar and the bitterness was much more present but I liked it.
I still find the AA from the Val de Travers way too 'soft' compared to the Pontarlier one.
crosby
You need to think about sending me a bottle. harhar.gif
Wild Bill Turkey
Hey MT, post a picture of "The Bottle".
hartsmar
Well, a fragrant and floral wormwood "bitter" is nothing wrong like the Blanchette, 1797, L'Artisanal etc.
A dry and harsh wormwood bitter is. To me.

absinthist
But it is intriguing and questions-raising, that people who launched very decent La Bleue, made their second attempt so narrow and blatant. Which other absinthe's bitterness would you compare LVV's to, Hartsmar?
hartsmar
Z'Graggen and Segarra 68 are the ones that come to mind.
absinthist
I remember your review for Z'Graggen so I understand; hey, it was also an attempt at making la bleue verte, wasn't it? And Segarra 68, yes frusty.gif
Marc
QUOTE(Wild Bill Turkey @ Apr 27 2007, 02:38 PM) *

Hey MT, post a picture of "The Bottle".

I was sure I had posted here somewhere.
So here is the pre-co pharmacy bottle with skulls (the label is terribly ugly):

IPB Image
Nurgle
I still love this bottle. Pity I can't find it anymore *snif*
Nurgle
I just came back from vacation and received my own bouteille poison from DuVallon (a 1000 thanks to him, love the bottle abs-cheers.gif ) Mthuilli, you'll be pleased to hear that the label has improved wink.gif He sold his entire Veuve Verte stock and started a new batch, which should taste different from the previous one. According to him, this one should taste stronger, more herbaceous, but not too bitter. I haven't tasted it yet, but am anxious to try it out. Brace yourselves for a review...

There is however quite a lot of sediment collecting in the bottom of the bottle. Does anyone know if this is normal?

IPB Image
Wild Bill Turkey
Nice!! abs-cheers.gif
I know you've wanted that bottle for a long time. Me too.
Marc
QUOTE(Nurgle @ May 27 2007, 02:04 PM) *

started a new batch, which should taste different from the previous one. According to him, this one should taste stronger, more herbaceous, but not too bitter.

Good news!
Nurgle
Tasted and liked it, except for the bitterness :s

This newer Veuve Verte is indeed very different from the first distillate. Much more herbal, the smell reminded me immediately of the Duplais Verte. I've still tried it only once, so I'll have to do it again in order to be sure, but I absolutely loved the grand wormwood, completely overpowering the other herbs.

It has a nice olive yellowish-green color before water, turned in a beautiful louche after the adding of water.

Upon tasting, the grand wormwood is very promising indeed, but I don't yet like this bitterness however. But the new VV is still young, its distillate goes back to a few weeks ago, so I expect the taste to mature more and the bitterness to diminish (I hope).

There is still quite a lot of sediment on the bottom of the bottle, but I'm not sure whether that is a good sign, or a bad (or none of these).
hartsmar
The bitterness comes from using Wormwood in the coloring step. It's not likely to diminish.

absinthist
QUOTE(Nurgle @ Jun 9 2007, 10:02 AM) *

Tasted and liked it, except for the bitterness :s

This newer Veuve Verte is indeed very different from the first distillate. Much more herbal, the smell reminded me immediately of the Duplais Verte. I've still tried it only once, so I'll have to do it again in order to be sure, but I absolutely loved the grand wormwood, completely overpowering the other herbs.

It has a nice olive yellowish-green color before water, turned in a beautiful louche after the adding of water.

Upon tasting, the grand wormwood is very promising indeed, but I don't yet like this bitterness however. But the new VV is still young, its distillate goes back to a few weeks ago, so I expect the taste to mature more and the bitterness to diminish (I hope).

There is still quite a lot of sediment on the bottom of the bottle, but I'm not sure whether that is a good sign, or a bad (or none of these).


The sediment is a natural result of aging, if there has been one. If not, it might be some parts from particles from colourants (hopefully, 'twas not wormwood alone). After a while (1 year at least) it should diminish, depending how much has been used and if it was harvested in September or not.
Esseintes
Read their website and learn that experts just found out that Grand Wormwood is the first choice herb for colouring Absinthe w00t2.gif
absinthist
http://duvallon.over-blog.com/article-5778028.html

http://duvallon.over-blog.com/6-index.html

Although long before the legalization, there has been a verte made illicitly in Switzerland, so Du Vallon is not the pioneer of verte la bleue.

IPB Image
absinthist
The most-detailed one:

http://duvallon.over-blog.com/article-5584425.html
Nurgle

QUOTE(hartsmar @ Jun 9 2007, 09:17 PM) *

The bitterness comes from using Wormwood in the coloring step. It's not likely to diminish.


Oh, so that is the reason why grand wormwood should never be used in the coloring step, I understand now. Damn, than this is a serious problem blink.gif

QUOTE(absinthist @ Jun 9 2007, 10:18 PM) *

The sediment is a natural result of aging, if there has been one. If not, it might be some parts from particles from colourants (hopefully, 'twas not wormwood alone). After a while (1 year at least) it should diminish, depending how much has been used and if it was harvested in September or not.


Indeed, I don't think there has been any aging since the distillates dates back to a few weeks ago. Perhaps we'll read more on the herbs used in the coloring step on the blog, although it doesn't look to good then :s

absinthist
From what is shown, they are using a STEM with flowers macerating three days in bottle, not flowers alone (for instance in vermouth making flowers are stripped from the stem and deliver only the finest aroma with the hint of subtle bitterness to the wine) as they indicate (I am short-sighted, if anyone sees better, please report).

Knowing that most bitter substances are found in the stem, that part of plant should be strictly prohibited from use at any rate and at any stage.

IPB Image
Nurgle
No, you're correct, I also saw this pic on his blog and he indeed appears to be using flowers with the stem. This isn't a Veuve Verte bottle however, but he might indeed be using the same method, for coloring this time.
hartsmar
Had a couple of Swiss "vertes" while in Boveresse. The Ordinaire's Blunder seems to be the new Thing in Val-de-Travers. Pretty much all of them where colored using Grand Absinthe...
Bah.
sixela
Claude-Alain Bugnon (Clandestine), Gaudentia (La Ptite), Duvallon,...

Coloured seems to be the wrong word -- tinged? Most of them seem to have noticed making it Really Green with that herb makes the drink unpleasantly bitter, so they're usually almost transparent.

The Candestine surprised me; you'd have thought Alan would have allowed the distiller to know better. On the other hand, perhaps it isn't coloured with grande absinthe; all we have is a second hand opinion from an inebriated Nico.

Apparently, Markus's and Matter-Ligunbühl's success with older recipes have started to make La Bleue distillers realise they don't all have to make the same product, though - the La Valote Fornoni is joined in the wormwood bomb corner by quite a few new ones (and that's a good thing, certainly because the wormwood there is very different from that in Pontarlier).

In the same experimental mood, Matter is trying to grow their own wild fennel which they used in the first Brut d'Alambic, though I suppose they'll try to improve it through selection (because it's really nasty now).
hartsmar
No no... Bugnon said it himself. It uses AA in the coloring.
sixela
Hullo? Earth to Alan Moss?
absinthist
Pray! For the end is nigh! How could it happen?
Marc
Good thing they're starting to make some vertes, even if all really clear green.
And Bugnon's was good, even if coloured with AA.
sixela
Tinged with AA.

Coloured with AA = bad;
Tinged with AA = irrelevant.

crosby
QUOTE(hartsmar @ Jun 18 2007, 01:36 AM) *

No no... Bugnon said it himself. It uses AA in the coloring.

Oh my. There was never a more appropriate place for the PTFA emoticon.
sixela
Praise yourself lucky he didn't try to give it the colour of his inseparable lab coat.

To his credit, it's obviously only very lightly coloured because at least he (almost) does realise when to stop.
crosby
Glad to hear it; I never thought he was stupid.
Provenance
QUOTE(sixela @ Jun 18 2007, 01:42 AM) *

Hullo? Earth to Alan Moss?

Perhaps a message from an entity he is interested in hearing from may prove more effective. Have you considered having Citicorp contact him?
rjordan
I like the skull bottle. How do I go about getting one. With the absinthe in it of course...at least for a little while.

gun thug.gif
absinthist
QUOTE(sixela @ Jun 18 2007, 04:04 AM) *

Praise yourself lucky he didn't try to give it the colour of his inseparable lab coat.

To his credit, it's obviously only very lightly coloured because at least he does realise when to stop.


Could you post any pics, please?
sixela
Of the product, or the lab coat?

The product is difficult to judge in the bottle. It's kept in a rather dark blue bottle to protect the chlorophyll. I don't know who took pictures of the stuff in the glass (it was poured in glasses at Nico's shed-and-bar).

As for the lab coat, rest assured, there are many pictures. They don't even have to be of this year, unless you want to know what brand of roller pen the distiller uses to jot down things.
Helfrich
QUOTE(mthuilli @ Jun 18 2007, 01:20 PM) *

And Bugnon's was good, even if coloured with AA.

I think the aftertaste is sheer horror. Despite Gertz' warning I sampled a bit too much just after breakfast and the shit lingered for hours.
absinthist
QUOTE(sixela @ Jun 18 2007, 08:13 AM) *

Of the product, or the lab coat?

The product is difficult to judge in the bottle. It's kept in a rather dark blue bottle to protect the chlorophyll. I don't know who took pictures of the stuff in the glass (it was poured in glasses at Nico's shed-and-bar).

As for the lab coat, rest assured, there are many pictures. They don't even have to be of this year, unless you want to know what brand of roller pen the distiller uses to jot down things.


I would like to see the product in full sunlight, the process (if allowed) might be interesting as well (which type of colouration, where coloured, with leaves/flowertops or God forbid stems as well?).

I have seen too many lab coats and got used to it but thanks for proposal wink.gif I believe roller pen shall remain the secret-it it too important for the sake of production.
sixela
That's due to several misconceptions from the part of the Val de Travers Swiss. Half of them think the colouring herbs are there merely for the colour. The other half realise it's there for the taste, but assume it's meant to add bitterness.

Talk about collective amnesia (and stubbornness, given the availability of historical sources).
absinthist
I believe that la bleue remains la bleue and verte (unless coloured with historical colourants) stays out of Switzerland is the best solution.
Donnie Darko
QUOTE(mthuilli @ Jun 18 2007, 07:20 AM) *

And Bugnon's was good, even if coloured with AA.


"Good" and "coloured with AA" cannot be used in the same sentence. These guys use Pontica and Hyssop and sometimes even Lemon Balm in the distillation, so why the fuck can't they use the same herbs to colour, like everything of any worth ever written on the subject says to do?

How embarassing. Reminds me of that scene in Road to Wellville when Cusack and Dana Carvey are tasting the knock-off corn flakes they've made and they're so nasty not even the pigs will eat them.

Marc
I know that, but I found it good and I was not the only one.

It just seems that the Swiss, specially the ex-clandestins, can't just manage to get a proper coloring with proper herbs for the reasons Sixer discribed.

I also heard some of them talking about the Pontica taste, they just don't like it.

The wormwood bomb we've tasted in nico's asylum was apparently correctly colored, but very lighly green.
absinthist


QUOTE
These guys use Pontica and Hyssop and sometimes even Lemon Balm in the distillation, so why the fuck can't they use the same herbs to colour, like everything of any worth ever written on the subject says to do?


Maybe they have tried to be: 1) original 2) inventive 3) more papal than the Pope (in absinthe terms).


absinthist
QUOTE(mthuilli @ Jun 18 2007, 10:16 AM) *

The wormwood bomb we've tasted in nico's asylum was apparently correctly colored, but very lighly green.


Monsieur, could you post any pics showing its colour, structure, consistence?
Marc
I just drank it and I was drunk, nothing more, no picture.
sixela
QUOTE(absinthist @ Jun 18 2007, 07:34 PM) *

QUOTE(mthuilli @ Jun 18 2007, 10:16 AM) *

The wormwood bomb we've tasted in nico's asylum was apparently correctly colored, but very lighly green.


Monsieur, could you post any pics showing its colour, structure, consistence?


Absintissimo, recette something like "Malo" (spelling? I didn't jot it down). There was another one called "recette Fernandsomething" that was a traditional bleue, which I liked a lot less.

There were two - one coloured and one uncoloured. Both had the same taste profile. If part of the wormwood profile came from "tinging" through careful maceration of absinthe, it was very well done but must've been incredibly hard, because there is no absinthine taste, just the wormwood fragrance.

They were radically different from the other Absintissimo Verte I tried (and that one was Really Green).

A bit reminiscent of a cleaner version of the Blanchette, but with wormwood with a radically different taste typical of the (recent) Val de Travers wormwood.

absintissimo@bluewin.ch (that's R. Wanner) - he should know.
sixela
QUOTE(mthuilli @ Jun 18 2007, 08:40 PM) *

I just drunk it and I was drunk, nothing more, no picture.

You're lying - you were sober. Of course, almost anyone would have looked sober next to Nico.
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