Type: Mixed & Macerated
Alcohol Level: 55 %
Vendors: ♣ Absinthe.de , ♣ Alandia
Description: Manufacturer: la Vinotèque
Whether or no this absinthe, the jury is still out. But it certainly has one of the nicest labels out there. The bottle is clear, with a wooden capped cork. The absinthe is a pale peridot.
Nose to the bottle almost all I can smell is the alcohol. But there is a hint of a candy smell to it with a very light hyssopy scent. The more I smell it the stonger the candy smell gets. Almost like cotton candy I think.
Adding water, about 3 to 1, it has a thin pale green louche. The flavor is remarkably thin for adding only this much water. Very, very light on the anise, which might explain the pale louche. The candy scent in the nose does not translate to sweetness in the mouth, but it is still there. There is a distinct but light bitterness you notice pretty straight off, center palate. Very light mintiness as you swallow.
If this is a faux absinthe, it is definately the best out there. As an absinthe, it is a bit thin, but rather than a detriment, it recommends itself to very pleasant imbibing.
Bottle Appearance: Very nice, Vintage like label. 70c; and 55% label reads "AUX EXTRAITS DE PLANTES D' ABSINTHE -OXYGENEE- CUSENIER" To the left if discusses how absinthe was banned due to toxic levels of thujone, and how this absinthe have "strictement controlee la thuyone." To the right are preparation instructions, sugar and spoon etc....The back label is just a UPC stamp.
The bottles makes use of a screw cork which is much nicer than the rather cheap/trite screw top. In the bottle it is very similar to the vintage bottle for Oxy and Oxygenee. The color is very nice, although I think it is artificial (no oxidation yet it is kept in a clear bottle) A very pleasant green, more peridot than emerald, vibrant yet subtle. Despite its artificial nature, it is very similar the vintage absinthes and much more pleasant than the radioactive Mari Mayans and similar eerie Lovecraftian necromantic fluids.
In the nose it smells or both anise and star anise. As everyone knows I am not a big fan or star anise, but this is a good example of it used in correct amounts. Very similar to la fee, yet seems less generic in flavor...more herbal I feel. I am not sure if I can detect absinthium, but there is a certain bitterness to it although I cannot place it. It's louche is very nice, from the subtle white to a greenish white. Much like Deva, although less green in the louche, and not quite so dramatic (due to the absence of so much badaine).
Now to the how is it made and sold in France? I can't answer this, I have no idea. Perhaps the people that sell it don't know they can't...or something. The French laws concerning absinthe are literally inter-contradictory, I would imagine getting around them can't be too hard...perhaps this is made only for export like la fee? It is hard to say. Is it absinthe and does it contain Absinthium? I feel that it does....possible a competitor to la fee? In my opinion I like it better than la fee, the color is nicer and the fact that it is less based on a gimmick is appealing.
Overall an absinthe better than the Spanish, equal to a more complex la bleue...not as good as vintage..Same old story I know.
I recently had an opportunity (thanks to Justin) to sample Oxygenee. This product comes in a 700mL clear glass bottle, and is nicely labeled. It's presentation is certainly a step up from the typical fare.
On first appearance, the label appears to say "Absinthe Oxygenee". When you look at it more closely, paying attention to the smaller verbiage, the label actually reads, "Aux Extraits de Plants D'Absinthe Oxygenee". What has me wondering is that both Trenet and Pere Kermann use this exact same wording, and neither of these products contain A. absinthium. Therefore, I am curious as to if this phrase is used as a brief clarification or disclaimer which allows use of the word "Absinthe" in the product name. Your guess is as good as mine. Nevertheless, as Justin pointed out, the verbiage on the side of the label seems to imply that it is thujone-free.
The color is a nice neutral green with just a slight olive tint. The color looks convincing, but is almost certainly artificial. The strength of the liqueur is 55%, and the bouquet is mild. Like the old products, the louche is mild (nothing like modern pastis), and the all-too-typical flavor of star anise is remarkably absent. I left my sample of La Fee at home, but the taste of this product seems somewhat similar to La Fee, in that I taste what I interpret to be the same herbs, although in different proportions than La Fee. Additionally, I taste something else a bit 'citrusy', not much unlike what you taste in Deva. Regardless, the flavor has pretty good balance, and only a hint of bitterness which is too faint for me to interpret.
In conclusion, I find this product to have a more interesting flavor than the pastis-style absinthes, and it does seem to have a fairly authentic flavor. Since it has been distributed in France, and due to the Trenet/Kermann 'catch phrase', I strongly believe this product to be a pastis. Even if it is as pastis (I believe so), it gets my vote as the best one I've had. It isn't cheap, but it's certainly worth having a bottle on the shelf if you can get one.