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« Verte de Fougerolles 72 | Main | Un Emile Pernot (Emile 45) »

Blanche de Fougerolles 74

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Average Score: 76
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Country of Origin: France
Type: Distilled
Alcohol Level: 74 %
Vendors: ♣ Absinthes.com

Description: According to http://www.absintheonline.com/ : "LDF decided to present distiller Hugues de Miscault with the challenge of working with an absinthe recipe directly from the pages of late 19th century French liquoriste manuals, such as those by Duplais and Brévans. Blanche de Fougerolles is made with a grape-alcohol base, and combines grande and petite wormwood, green anise, hyssop, veronica, chamomile, génepi, fennel, coriander and angelica; all individually distilled into full 80° alcoholates, blended, and then reduced to 74% abv. The alcoholic strength of 74% dictated by the original recipe gives this absinthe real backbone, but the grape-based alcohol by no means overpowers the finesse and lingering aromas of the complex combination of aromatic plants in this highly regarded and well documented recipe. This absinthe is often compared to and surpasses in quality, the majority of clandestine Swiss la Bleues made today."
Absinthe Blanche de Fougerolles at Absinthes.com

Review:

Reviewed by Brucer 9/15/2005

COLOR BEFORE WATER 9/10
It is difficult to mark a Blanche on color. There was nothing wrong with this, it was perfectly clear. We only gave it 9 because it was not stunning with elegant nuances.

LOUCHE ACTION 10/10
Wow !!! We all gasped. This louched perfectly. It did not start too early, it stayed at the bottom at first, it swirled and seethed, it went to the top leaving a thin line of unlouched spirit, and then it all turned creamy and thick. It was very creamy and thick at the end. A perfect 10.

COLOR AFTER WATER 9/10
It was perfectly creamy and thick. We only gave it 9 because it was not absolutely stunning with elegant nuances, but there was some nice nuances of shade (we were stony sober at this stage).

AROMA 24/30
This is absinthe. Everybody thought it was a cocktail of Alpine herbs at the blind tasting, and totally different from pastis or other forms of imitation. Not everybody was entirely happy with it though. Although we all felt that this had the best aroma ever, each person found something in it that could be improved. One panelist described it as "too much coriander leaves", and immediately everyone disagreed. What was interesting was that everybody disagreed about which of the individual flavors needed improvement, and everybody agreed that it was a complex cocktail of aromas with a different high note each time we sniffed. (Note, we were still stony cold sober at this point). We all agreed that it was good that everybody found different things in it. Perhaps the 24/30 is a bit harsh, it really was good.

MOUTH-FEEL 9/10
Excellent good mouthfeel. Creamy, thick, the warm, rough, feel of real silk, and the "baby-powder" effect. All points were full on, and there was no thinness anywhere. These three effects swirled in an out with no sustained high-note. Like a symphony orchestra playing. Creamy. Everyone was very impressed.

TASTE 18/20
Excellent. It is all there, everything an absinthe should be. There was a wonderful cocktail of Alpine herbs, the "taste of the smell of an Alpine meadow", with single flavors popping up momentarily as high-tones in an unpredictable way. This was complex. Each time you tasted it, it tasted different. It played such a complex symphony on the tongue that it was impossible to name, but we all imagined a bouquet of Alpine flowers and herbs, with little blue and yellow flowers, and bitter leaves, and just WOW. One panelist distinguished a flavor they were not so keen on and called it "coriander leaves". We all found something different in it. Only 18/20 because we are critics looking for improvement. The aftertaste was brilliant. It lingered for hours. For the first half hour it was at the back of the mouth, a lovely bitterness from the wormwood. After half an hour (and two pints of real ale) that faded, and then there was the same lovely bitter aftertaste in the front of the palate above the top front teeth. All four panelists agreed on this. I am still having taste flash-backs this morning. We were tasting Edouard at the same time, so we were guessing which long-term aftertaste came from which absinthe, but in our drunkenness we thought we knew.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 9/10
What more can I say ? Absolutely stunning. There are not many drinks I use the word "stunning" for. To call this stunning is to put it against Krug, premiere cru Chassange Montrachet, or cask-strength Tamnavoulin. And I would.

NOTES
Nice simple clear bottle, and a nice simple label. No frills, plastic foil, good T-cork. This is totally unpretentious, but perhaps has that smugness that comes from not needing to show off ?

Brucer scores Blanche de Fougerolles 87 out of 100

Reviewed by Ari 3/8/2005

COLOR BEFORE WATER 10/10
Clear.

LOUCHE ACTION 8/10
Nice oil trails that flow out from the drip and slowly become whiter as the glass clouds.

COLOR AFTER WATER 9/10
Opal rainbow blue hues from the top and milky white from the side.

AROMA 20/30
Before water a choppy combination predominantly anise and wormwood. After the addition of water the aroma blends a bit.

MOUTH-FEEL6/10
Creamy with a numb tongue.

TASTE 17/20

OVERALL IMPRESSION 8/10
A refreshing complex drink.

Notes: Adding water improves taste but too much water hides the anise. Finding the right amount of water is important to get the most out of this drink.

Ari scores Blanche de Fougerolles 78 out of 100


Reviewed by Morqueann 3/24/2005

COLOR BEFORE WATER 8/10
It looks like a blanche should. Like water.

LOUCHE ACTION 7/10
Awesome. It slowly but surely goes from crystal clear to a perfect milky white, just like a La Blanche should. No star anise louche here.

COLOR AFTER WATER 7/10
Beautiful, opalescent white. If you look at it close enough in the light, you can see all the hidden pretty colors - it looks like a classic La Blanche louche.

AROMA 18/30
Okay, sniffing this stuff, first, off hand, you get a good dose of nose-burning alcohol. Once you get past that, you'll realize that this stuff is FLORAL. There's some great herbs in here. Really really.

MOUTH-FEEL 7/10
Thick, dusty, milky, "baby powerderish", rich, crisp, and refreshing. The herbs not only taste good in this one, they feel pretty good, too. About the only problem is, it's a bit burnt. Not as bad as some of the older Kublers, maybe newer Kublers, as well, it's been awhile since I picked up a glass of the stuff. But there is a small amount of a "burnt" character here.

TASTE 15/20
Okay, I really like it. I like it because it's simple, it's high proof, giving more power to some of the less-prominent flavors here like Hyssop and maybe even Coriander. The anise is here, but not overpowering in any sense of the word. About the only problem I see with this absinthe is it might be a little burnt, and it is a bit hefty, at 74%, and with some heavy-hitting herbal notes here that might come across as initially unpleasant to the inexperienced imbiber. Newbies might be more inclined to try the Verte de Fougerolles instead.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 8/10
It's yummy. When I used to drink, it was just the thing to knock myself back off my feet after work.

Morqueann scores Blanche de Fougerolles 70 out of 100.


Reviewed by precenphix 2/11/2006

COLOR BEFORE WATER 10/10
Yep. It's clear.

LOUCHE ACTION 10/10
The best I've seen in any blanche.

COLOR AFTER WATER 10/10
It's oily, kids. Bluish-white with prismatic/rainbow swirls on the surface.

AROMA 16/30
Smells like a Fougerolles absinthe. I thought the problems in the verte variety from this distiller might have been bypassed, but I was wrong. I can smell it already. Is this from dirty alembics or poor herbs? If anyone has the reason or even a theory, please send it my way.

MOUTH-FEEL 4/10
Gritty. My tongue might as well be severed after a glass. Anise, anise & more anise. Others have claimed no star anise.I am surprised, to say the least. That's exactly what I'm picking up, but take that with a grain of salt. Any time my tongue is assaulted with this much anise at one time, it doesn't really matter. Christ.

TASTE 10/20
I just don't like what these people do. Positive aspects are more in the louche, the presentation. Beyond that, I'll just drink novacaine. Way too much anise.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 5/10
I don't understand why this one is so prized.

precenphix scores Blanche de Fougerolles 65 out of 100


Reviewed by Absinthesizer 6/22/2006

COLOR BEFORE WATER 10/10
About as clear as you can get.

LOUCHE ACTION 8/10
The louche depends on the speed of the drip as well as on the quantity of water: With a slow drip, it louches slowly, and the thin, bluish beginning at the bottom of the glass is reminiscent of clouds. With a stronger stream of water, it louches almost immediately.

COLOR AFTER WATER 8/10
Creamy and thick, with an emphasis on cool colors coming through the glass - almost a faint blue tinge.

AROMA 20/30
Fresh, floral and rich. At first, the anise and fennel are to the front, but as you drink, their aromas recede and others such as coriander and wormwood become more prominent.

MOUTH-FEEL 7/10
Considering the aroma, it’s surprisingly sharp but pleasant - not an assault, but a wake-up call. There’s a bit of anise tingle.

TASTE 14/20
This is a refined, balanced absinthe, with plenty of flavor even at 4/1 dilution. The aroma’s floral quality dominates, but the wormwood gives it backbone. With some absinthes, sugar makes the flavors more disparate, sweetening the sweet parts without lessening the bitterness. That’s not the case here. If words like “floral” make BdF sound a little like a girly-man absinthe, try it sans sucre - there’s a real wormwood bite to it then. There’s more alcohol in the finish than a truly great absinthe would have.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 7/10
This is the first absinthe I fell in love with, and though there are things I like even more about other absinthes, I like basically everything about BdF.

Absinthesizer scores Blanche de Fougerolles 74 out of 100


Reviewed by peridot 11/9/2006

COLOR BEFORE WATER 10/10
Perfectly clear and clean.

LOUCHE ACTION 9/10
This is a gorgeous louche. It's not too fast, not too slow. Very thick and complex.

COLOR AFTER WATER 9/10
Pearl white with complex shades of very pale blue. Nice light refraction.

AROMA 20/30
Very floral before water. The anise is light and hyssop is present. The grape base presents itself strongly in the pre-louche aroma. However, I've deducted points for a sweaty, musty smell. Adding water causes the anise to blossom and floral scent to subside. Powdery. However, it's still sweaty smelling, though that doesn't ruin it.

MOUTH-FEEL 5/10
Disappointing. Not very creamy and too numbing.

TASTE 12/20
There's a balance of good wormwood and soft anise. Unfortunately the sweaty smell is also present in the taste where it's much stronger. The finish is nice and slightly bitter.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 7/10
I can't identify the smell and taste I find offensive, but it's not overbearing enough for me to dislike it. It is a very good absinthe otherwise.

peridot scores Blanche de Fougerolles 72 out of 100


Reviewed by Green Baron 9/13/2009

COLOR BEFORE WATER 10/10
Perfectly clear and refractory

LOUCHE ACTION 8/10
With a 1/sec fountain drip, takes a little while for cloud formation to begin, evolving into a bluish fog with cool bouncing swirls.

COLOR AFTER WATER 8/10
On the thick side, but pleasantly so, with appropriate opalescence.

AROMA 24/30
-Before water- Quit a vivid grape alcohol reminiscent of Arrack, but with slightly more sweet and less vinegar.

-After water- The intense grape alcohol aroma has turned into an intense grape candy or soda flavor. There are alpine herbs here to, but they are pretty unified under the heavy grape blanket.


MOUTH-FEEL 7/10
A bit sharp with the herbs and alcohol, but also has good thickness and body. There is a zingy finish helped along by the wormwood.

TASTE 16/20
The candy grape indicated by the aroma is here in its full potency with the sweetness leading into the beginnings of the anise, and in turn a ball of powerful herbs. The trinity is here and there are auxiliary herbs that add to the whole, but due to the big base, I find them hard to resolve individually (until the wormwood finish anyway). Don’t get me wrong though, the herbs are spicy and intense (even verging on kitschy before my bottle had a long while to rest).

OVERALL IMPRESSION 8/10
8 months ago, I didn’t like this nearly as much as I do now. The grape base and united herbal punch were overpowering almost to the point of being harsh (making the aroma just a bit stinky as well), but then lost what I wanted open up on the addition of water beyond around 4:1 or so. Still big grapes and concentrated herbs, but tamed and united for a very tasty experience. I’m roughly averaging the scores from when it was first opened to when I was taking notes on the final glasses after 8 months of aging. I think around 5 or 6 months is when it turned from “nice but over the top” to “very very tasty”.

PERSONAL NOTES
Notes: Multiple tastings from 3:1 to 4:1, fountain drip; no sugar.

Green Baron scores Blanche de Fougerolles 81 out of 100


Reviewed by absinthist 2/9/2010

COLOR BEFORE WATER 10/10
clear, bubble, so the process was correct

LOUCHE ACTION 7/10
1:2 opaque just as the verte variety, louche is not in the vein of les bleues as LDF ad claims

COLOR AFTER WATER 8/10
whitish, bluish, creamy

AROMA 27/30
wormwood, chamomile, genepi a little, some earthy notes from angelica

MOUTH-FEEL 5/10
Pastis'y-anise, badiane in the front, sticky and heavy, heavier than verte

TASTE 17/20
Overbalanced. Coriander in the very end with veronica. Middle palate is built of chamomile and wormwood, genepi comes over at 1:4, but it is the the maximum dilution, 1:3 is perfect. The alcohol seems to be of top notch quality unless it is 74%

OVERALL IMPRESSION 6/10
French blanche, requires cut off on anise and moving herbs to the front

absinthist scores Blanche de Fougerolles 80 out of 100

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