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Country of Origin: France
Alcohol Level: 55 %
Vendors: ♣ Absinthes.com
Description: According to http://www.alandia.de :
"Libertine is made in Fougerolles in France. With a stronger wormwood content the legal maximum of 30-35mg thujon is reached. The composition of herbs is balanced, with a slight bitter touch, which indicates its strength."
Absinthe Libertine Amer at Absinthes.com
Reviewed by Artemis 11/7/05
COLOR BEFORE WATER 9/10
You couldn't ask for a more perfect shade of peridot green.
LOUCHE ACTION 9/10
Again, you couldn't ask for much better.
COLOR AFTER WATER 9/10
None to speak of either raw or after louche.
Thick and rich.
Slightly better than bland, but there is an intriguing presence in the nose as I sip it that saves it from mediocrity - I want to keep sipping to try and pin it down.
OVERALL IMPRESSION 7/10
I like it better than most of what I've sampled in months, in spite of the fact it doesn't jump out at me in terms of scent or flavor. There's nothing overtly wrong with it, it's just not spectacular.
Artemis scores Libertine Amer 69 out of 100
Reviewed by Hartsmar 10/15/2005
COLOR BEFORE WATER 7/10
A natural dark green color. Not that bad…
LOUCHE ACTION 6/10
Nothing spectacular but a decent louche. It could be a bit thicker.
COLOR AFTER WATER 6/10
Not much here. A bitter nose and a strange sweetness in the back in combination with the alcohol.
A constant bitter feeling rolling around. Not good.
No. It's bitter thanks to added wormwood oil. It is not good.
OVERALL IMPRESSION 4/10
I couldn't even finish the glass. Not even after adding two sugar cubes… Now I've got a 99% full bottle. I'll never finish it.
Hartsmar scores Libertine Amer 52 out of 100
I very recently made a trip to Fougerolles, where I was able to procure a bottle of the 55 degree Libertine.
This liqueur is packaged in a 70cL clear glass bottle. The labeling exhibits a graphic of a Belle Epoque café scene, and has an antique motif. The top label exhibits the familiar "spiritueux aux plantes d'absinthe". The main label lists the ingredients as a maceration and distillation of plants, alcohol, and sugar.
I've visited the distillery where this product is made, and can confirm that it is made via an assemblage of macerates and distillates. Due to its particular method of manufacture, the assembler cannot really use A. absinthium without the end product being horribly bitter, and therefore A. pontica is substituted. As a result, the end product contains no A. absinthium, and is therefore not a true absinthe. Libertine would be more appropriately described as perhaps a 'liqueur d'armoise'.
Upon removing the cap, once senses a mild flavor of anise followed by a subtle sweetness and not much heat. The liquor itself is naturally colored and the initial green hue quickly fades to an amber tint because of its clear glass bottle. Tasting it neat reveals only subtle heat along with a distinct flavor of anise up front, followed by a mildly sugary texture. When diluted with water, the liquid louches moderately with fairly heavy gradient lines. The taste of the drink is rather light, sweet, and aromatic, with anise being the predominant flavor followed by mild brandy notes, and no bitterness.
In conclusion, the appearance, texture and flavor of this liqueur is a bit reminiscent of Versinthe, but is lighter in texture, more refined in flavor, and not nearly as sweet. It makes for a pleasant drink.
Ted, Ian and I were at the distillery that makes libertine two weeks ago. we saw and asked how it was made. It does not contain artemisia absinthium because the resulting product, due to the way it is made, would be too bitter if it did, plus Hugues said he liked artemisia pontica because it is more fine in taste than artemisia absinthium. He also said that this recipe is traditional of the distillery and dates back well before the ban (the distillery has existed since the 1850's.) The distillery makes excellent products besides libertine, and also ships absinthe in bulk to germany to be bottled and labeled under another name.
Is libertine absinthe?
According to french law, no. But then no product made in france can be 'absinthe' in name, anyway, since 'absinthe' is still banned in france. Is it 'absinthe' on the absinthomometer around here? No. Is it 'absinthe' to the maker? Well, if it was made like that before the ban, and 'absinthe' was put on the label, i would have to say: yes...but then again, there were alot of products made before the ban that were less an 'absinthe' than most of the would-be products today...
Clear things up? Most likely not, but we likes things cloudy around here...