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The Fée Verte Absinthe Forum - The Oldest, Largest, Most Authoritative Absinthe Forum. > Absinthe & Absinthiana > Absinthe Brands Discussion
Funky D
A handful of you may have read the article I posted here last November that interviewed a local Milwaukee distiller about their upcoming absinthe. I spotted this thread yesterday on WS… the absinthe has finally been released!

I stopped by my favorite liquor store this morning and they had both the Verte and Rouge, so I picked up a bottle of each. They also started stocking Mansinthe, which I've never tried, so I picked up a bottle of that as well, and left the store $150 poorer.

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From the back of the Verte tube:

"The 1912 ban on absinthe created a void in cocktail culture that lasted nearly 100 years. During that time many classic cocktails were forgotten. We're pleased to be able to offer Amerique 1912 with the hope that you will rediscover and enjoy some of these lost classics from a bygone era.

Hand crafted in small batches from several fine botanicals including Artemisia absinthium (Grande Wormwood).

Drink using the traditional fountain or as an ingredient in a classic cocktail. Over time the color will naturally change. Rest assured this change does not affect the quality taste of Amerique 1912."

Here is the product page at Great Lakes Distillery, as well as a blog of their newsletter that featured the absinthe.

I really have my hopes up for this absinthe… their gin and vodkas are excellent. I'll give my first impression and some more pics in a bit, after I get some food in my stomach abs-cheers.gif
Zman
I have great hopes for it also because their other products are excellent. The star anise on the label does give me pause though…
Provenance
The hibiscus gives me pause as I've tried it and it doesn't belong in absinthe.
Funky D
I almost passed on the rouge, and I'll probably hold off on opening it until I'm familiar with the verte. What is the story behind rouge absinthes? I saw Un Emile's rouge in buyer's guide, and the scores weren't horrible, which helped nudge me into purchasing GLD's version.

The verte smells very good, by the way!
Leopold
Really cool people at Great Lakes. Their gin is terrific.
Funky D
First thoughts… the louche is a bit weak using a slow, ice cold drip. Similar to 1797. Unfortunately, the taste is a bit weak as well. I don't really want to say it, but it reminds me a bit of my bottle of Pacifique which I've concluded is from the "bad batch" people here have spoken of (sorry Zman!)

With that said, I'm wondering if there are some terrific bottles of Amerique out there, as there are with Pacifique, or perhaps GLD is aiming strictly at the "cocktail" market, as their label eludes. I can imagine this absinthe is unobtrusive in a cocktail, given it's rather light on the herbs.

This absinthe in no way tastes bad, but at $36 for 375ml I would rather spent my money at DUNY, as much as I want to support GLD. Then again, my Pacifique tasted much better after a week, so maybe this absinthe has some surprises still hidden in the bottle.

Rehorst Gin from Great Lakes Distillery is truly one of my favorite gins; I'm hoping they can bring this absinthe up to the same level of quality, unless this truly is a "cocktail only" absinthe…

Here are the pics:

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Wild Bill Turkey
I would hope they aren't thinking that a lightweight absinthe is properly aimed at the cocktail market.

"Unobtrusive" isn't what a bartender wants to hear about an absinthe for cocktail use. Most recipes call for one or two dashes or drops, counting on them to add character to the whole drink. Bartenders are comfortable being a little afraid of absinthe, that a single extra drop could overwhelm a glassful of another strong booze.
Funky D
There is a list of recipes included in the tube… most call for 1/4oz of absinthe, which seems a bit more than most recipes I've seen. I've never really been interested enough to look up many cocktails though…

I just opened the absinthe rouge… it's also weak in the herbal department, but a bit tastier to my palette. Doesn't taste like an absinthe though (although I've never had a rouge).

I don't doubt they've used traditional methods or ingredients… it just seems they've cut everything back, possibly to make the absinthe more accessible to newcomers. At least the little recipe card discourages shots and flaming sugar cubes…

I'll need to pay a visit to the distillery tasting room, but I'm guessing my opinion won't change much. Given the bottle size, price tag, and marketing on the bottle, this absinthe seems to be directed at those who want to get "creative" with cocktails… they can add a decent dose of this absinthe without turning their drink into an anise bomb. Traditionally served, I think it's tasty enough to hook someone into buying additional absinthes. Unfortunately, the only other options at the liquor store were Lucid, Kubler, Mansinthe, St. George, Mata Hari, Mythe, and Pernod. This is the biggest selection I've seen in Wisconsin… The clerk at the counter asked my favorite absinthe, and I was able to ramble off Delaware Phoenix and la Clandestine before he started waiting on the next customer, but given they now carry Mansinthe I'm hoping I could make a request for VP…
absinthist
QUOTE(Provenance @ Sep 25 2009, 01:43 PM) *

The hibiscus gives me pause as I've tried it and it doesn't belong in absinthe.

Ditto.

Nice non-louche of the verte-reminds of old skool. Any pics of the rouge?
Marc
QUOTE(Zman @ Sep 25 2009, 10:30 PM) *

The star anise on the label does give me pause though…
Well it's just a label (ugly one btw).


QUOTE(Provenance @ Sep 25 2009, 10:43 PM) *

The hibiscus gives me pause as I've tried it and it doesn't belong in absinthe.
Agreed.
speedle
QUOTE(Funky D @ Sep 25 2009, 07:05 PM) *

With that said,… as their label eludes.


Do they know their labels are missing?
Funky D
If you're alluding I have some proofreading issues, you're spot on!

Here are some rouge pics…

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Absomphe
That very delicate louche seems to be a house characteristic.
Provenance
If I have any pink absinthe, it's going to be VWE.
Absinthe Ben
QUOTE(absinthist @ Sep 26 2009, 07:04 AM) *

QUOTE(Provenance @ Sep 25 2009, 01:43 PM) *

The hibiscus gives me pause as I've tried it and it doesn't belong in absinthe.

Ditto.

Nice non-louche of the verte-reminds of old skool. Any pics of the rouge?


Thirded. Corsair Red, anyone? poop.gif Funky, how astringent is the rogue?

Thanks a lot for the photos and details.
Funky D
I wouldn't call the rouge astringent… it's flowery and sweet. It tastes as feminine as it looks. I'm guessing the hibiscus is the prominent herb I'm tasting… I can't really detect much anise, but don't take my word for it as my taste buds aren't sharp enough for a critical review. It's pleasant, but it doesn't taste like absinthe…

A bit of credit to these absinthes: with the weak herbal presence, you may expect a heavy alcohol bite instead, but these absinthes are very smooth in that regard.
Steyr850
IMO, I'd prolly use a wee bit less water and play around with the rate.
Funky D
Just wanted to dig myself and this post out of the grave to say the latest Amerique Verte recipe is delish. I talked with one of the distillers a few months ago after a distillery tour, and they've been tweaking the recipe with each batch. The latest batch is definitely something I could drink every day. I haven't tried the latest Rouge, but I'm tempted to pick up a bottle the next time I'm in MKE.

Unfortunately, it's still limited to the Milwaukee market, and I don't think there are any plans to ramp up production. I'm in Chicago now, and while Binny's carries other Great Lakes products, the absinthe is unfortunately absent (but I'll happily take the Pacifique as a substitute!) I could probably procure a bottle or sample for someone with a more seasoned palate if anyone is interested, just send a PM.
Phoenix
I have no doubt that the newest batches are better because I find it hard to believe they could go down hill from what I bought. I'm not sure what batches I got, but I bought a bottle of the verte and rouge in western Wisconsin this summer and those bottles are god awful. The verte was better then the rouge, but they both sucked so it's not like it really matters which was better. On the bright side, I hear their non-absinthe products are pretty good.

I'm also willing to send out samples if anyone's interested as I won't be drinking what I have.
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