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« ♣ Absinthe Suisse | Main | Duplais Balance »

Un Emile Rouge / Maitresse Rouge

Average Score: 72
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Country of Origin: France
Type: Distilled
Alcohol Level: 68 %
Vendors: ♣

Description: From the vendor: We have seen the proof of a 'rosé' absinthe in 19th century France: click to see original 19th century rosé absinthe 'Rosinette' poster it certainly did not replace or rival green or clear absinthe, but it did exist! So, was it artificially coloured like the Spanish, Czech or German red absinth(s) on the market today, or was it natural? We decided to follow original protocol for high-quality absinthe and found a flower that we could use in the coloration stage - the unique flower maceration gives a beautiful red tint and also a red-fruit nose with deep, chewy fruit acidity on the initial attack. The middle palate gives way from this fruitiness to the slightly bitter elements of highly-scented wormwood, and the finish lingers on with the sweet/sour mixture of anis, red-fruit and wormwood. This absinthe really profits from the sugar ritual, which brightens and rounds out the fruit acidity. It will delight and amaze both seasoned absintheurs and neophytes - as ice-cold water is slowly added, a beautiful opalescent-pink louche is formed.


Reviewed by Donnie Darko 11/20/2006

A lovely ruby-cranberry colour. Deeper than I expected, just a tad dark, but certainly attractive, and entirely natural!

It half louches, so it gets half of the points, even with a slow very cold drip. It looked like it tried really hard to get a louche going there for a second, but then faltered.

I've seen a couple properly louched red absinthes, and they can have a great strawberry milk colour. This colour is closer to Grenadine syrup mixed w/ Sprite (i.e. Shirley Temple). It's not ugly in and of itself, and certainly appears drinkable, with nice jeweled deep red hues throughout, but it doesn't look like a louched glass of any colour absinthe should.

AROMA 20/30
I smell a light aroma of good wormwood and some other interesting flowers, some mild anise, and there's alcohol heat and a somewhat dank aroma under that. The aroma is actually nice in passing, but none of the fragrances are very assertive, and you need to stick you nose to the edge of the glass to get most of them.

I've had worse, but it's not creamy or smooth, and is more thin than not. The alcohol is not as sharp as in previous Emile products I've had, so that improvement deserves praise. The one thing the mouth feel does have going for it is a candy sweetness which I suspect originates from the colouring.

TASTE 11/20
There are some great tastes in here and awful tastes in here. Sadly, the awful tastes hit you first. The first taste is, in a word, skanky. It reminds me of walking into a room containing a persistent foul odour that someone tried half-heartedly to mask with cheap perfume. Once you get past that, however, there's a very nice sweet candy flowery taste, followed by a good quality wormwood kick that at least partially makes up for the initial taste surprise. The taste is where you really notice the lack of anethole (the compound in anise and fennel that contributes to the louche and adds some of that rich sweetness good absinthes are known for), and I think the off-putting initial taste could have been significantly subdued if only the absinthe had a more concentrated anise and fennel presence.

This absinthe is better than many absinthes out there, and certainly is unique, but it's lacking a few things important in great absinthes (good louche, balanced pleasant flavour). It does have a pretty good aftertaste though, mostly wormwood and a sweet Sorrel like candy taste which perhaps is resultant from the colouring. Ultimately though the product seems confused and the taste is too conflicted to be satisfying. There are some good herbs in there, but they are unfortunately seem somewhat incompatible, at least in their current ratios.

One could describe this absinthe as a prostitute with a heart of gold that is attractive at first, but once you get her under the lights you realize that she's wearing too much of the wrong makeup.

The labelling on this bottle is great. The word "ROUGE" on the neck has a great Moulin-Rougeish font and the Emile label itself seems pretty close to the original pre-ban Emile Pernot design.

Donnie Darko scores Un Emile Rouge 61 out of 100

Reviewed by AndrewT 1/3/2007

A very beautiful shade of red. Since there is no accepted standard for red colored absinthes, I'll treat the color score purely aesthetically. The score of 9 is just to leave some room for improvement, although I personally have not seen a more attractive red absinthe.

I wasn't expecting much from an Un Emile, but I think this is substantially better than their "verte". It never really gets opaque, but there is certainly more cloudiness than their flagship variety. It also has a distinct band of less cloudy liquid at the top during the louche, although not as transparent and sharply defined as other top absinthes.

The weak louche doesn't make the final color look nearly as appetizing as the pre-water color. More of a "pink lemonade" than a "stawberry milk" color.

AROMA 27/30
Before water - There is a lovely fruity aroma. If I didn't know better, I'd say it due to something in the coloring step, but I know from experience that this particular kind of fruitiness is from the wormwood. The vibrant color matches the aroma perfectly.

After water - The aroma is pretty much a lesser version of the pre-water aroma. My only complaint is that there are no really bright scents jumping out with the addition of water.

Most absinthe seems to happen on the back of the tongue. This absinthe has a wild sweet flavor that plays on the tip of the tongue like no other absinthe I've tasted. Combined with the slight bitter of the wormwood, it's almost like stereo for your tongue.

The anise mouthfeel is obviously about as weak as the louche, but I think the other flavors compensate an awful lot.

TASTE 17/20
The taste is very simple, but quite enjoyable. The two main flavors I pick up are the tasty tasty wormwood (although more than a little bitter) and the sweetish flavor I mentioned in the mouthfeel section, which I assume is from the coloring step. As simple as it is, I taste no flaws, and it's quite enjoyable.

This is a very pleasantly non-standard absinthe. It's certainly something I'd buy again. My biggest complaint about it is the louche, which is a perennial problem for the Pernot distillery. With that fixed up, I think they'd have a real winner.

Contrary to my usual opinion, I think this would be better prepared with sugar.

AndrewT scores Un Emile Rouge 79 out of 100

Reviewed by mthuilli 01/21/2007

A very nice 'bloody' color, very dense.

Too light, I was expecting a thicker louche. Acceptable though.

As I was pouring water, I was waiting for a beautiful 'strawberry-milk' color, but nothing happened, I did get some red glints though, but nothing entertaining.

AROMA 26/30
Here it is, a very pleasant & fruity Pontarlier wormwood first, then a very floral aroma, spicy flowers, an oriental garden.

I was really disappointed here, not rich, not creamy, not round.

TASTE 8/20
First, a very acrid taste, not 'bitter', 'acrid', not pleasant at all, must be the hibiscus. Then the very pleasant tall wormwood which saves the score. Then? nothing transcendent, a slightly dicernible green anise taste, somewhat pleasantly biting, and a lack of fennel.

That acrid taste lasted in my mouth for a long time, way too long... Definitely not my cup of tea. I scored it 4 because of the great tall wormwood that saved the taste, but that's just a small part of the recipe.

Add sugar!

mthuilli scores Un Emile Rouge 60 out of 100

Reviewed by Hartsmar 1/23/2007

A very nice red. Completely natural and clear.

Even though the Emile's aren't known for a great louche, there have been improvements during the last year or so.
Using ice cold water and a slow drip it actually does present a quite decent louche.

Sadly it doesn't turn into the pretty pink I had hoped for but it's ok.
It's a greyish pale red.

AROMA 23/30
Before water: Very nice floral aroma. Wormwood very noticable along with the flowery scent from the coloring.
After adding water it is a little flattened but still nice. Nothing extremely spectaular though.

Nice but it could have been more full-bodied than this. It lacks a bit of creaminess but it's not bad.
A little more anise would help it a lot I'm sure.

TASTE 16/20
The one thing that of course differentiates this one from most others is the taste of the coloring flower.
Definitely unique and I actually do like it. It mixes well with the wormwood but could have benefited from
a bit more anise.

A very nice unique absinthe. Needs some work to be perfect but it's definitely worth a try!

Hartsmar scores Un Emile Rouge 2006 74 out of 100

Reviewed by Green Baron 8/31/2008

In the bottle, a very attractive and natural looking red with a just a tint of orange. The orange becomes much more pronounced when poured into the glass and viewed from an overhead angle.

Nice trails forming and bouncing in a jelly layer dance as a good absinthe should. The louche cloud itself is very slow to appear, however, and until about 1:1.5 when the cloud starts to appear on the bottom, it leaves one worrying if it will actually form. The action itself is great, and the suspense is part of what I enjoy about it! However, the end result is not very thick- we?ll talk about the final louche next.

A delicate and attractive shade of peach pink. The body does not have the sought after strawberry milk thickness I was hoping for, and is on the translucent side of opaque. I did not score it lower, though, because of the beautiful opalescent ruby glints that shine through when backed by a strong light source. The action and resulting thin final louche is reminiscent of the only other Emile Pernot absinthe I?d tried so far at time of tasting, the Roquette 1797.

AROMA 25/30
Before water- Dark grain/woodiness with a fruity scent that was a little off-putting due to the berries-gone-south tinge. Fortunately, the aroma opens up very nicely after water. I?m getting a much more pleasant red fruit scent commingling with green anise, nice wormwood, and a pleasant background of other minor herb/flower notes.

Not unpleasant or biting in any way, but it?s pretty darn thin. On the plus side, I detect just a little body with a mild tongue numbing and a nice, crisp, finish. But I really wanted it to be the strawberry milk texture that I was fantasizing about!

TASTE 18/20
In the front, a delicate (just like the pink tint) floral red fruit that makes me think of someone dashing raspberry flavored water drops into the glass. I perceived that this was balanced nicely with green anise, and some very tasty wormwood (which may have contributed to the floral character of the red fruit- once again, it seems very balanced so I can?t really tell). The finish is refreshing with a good lingering bitterness?I think the fruit in the aftertaste might not be to everyone?s liking, but I found it enjoyable.

This is was first rouge absinthe I?d tried (I'd tasted 10 absinthes total, all modern COs at time of review), so I can?t compare it to others of this type. Judged by its own merits, though, I found it unique and quite enjoyable. I?m still waiting for that strawberry milk body that I?ve heard about, but I think that facet is one that could be improved, rather than one that actively detracts from the overall experience.

I detect none of the acrid hibiscus-like tones or clashing flavors that I?ve seen mentioned regarding the previous Un Emile Rouge incarnation. Based only on this vs. what I got from Maitresse, I would agree with the maker?s statement that this version is more balanced. The ingredients all seem to be high quality as well.

I while it bears many similarities to other Un Emile absinthes, I think that line's basic flavor profile lends itself best to this rouge.

I would not hesitate recommend this absinthe to anyone wanting to try something a bit different, or whose curiosity is piqued by the beautiful vintage Oxygeene Absinthe Rosinette poster. I am very glad that I picked up a bottle.

Maitresse Rouge bottle # 76/400; opened 4-11-2008, reviewed 4-2008 and retested through 8-2008. Prepared with ½ sugar cube and fountain drip. I also tried it with one full sugar cube, as the literature suggests sugar is beneficial, but I found this to be too sweet and the aftertaste from the sugar distracting.

Green Baron scores Un Emile Rouge (Maitresse Rouge version) 81 out of 100

Reviewed by Brunswick Green 12/18/2008

Ginger/copper, natural, very much like ginger hair.

Big, oily swirls, very slow build-up that does make it all the way to opaque.

Louches to a millky grey but keeps a copper hue. Quite transparent when watered down to my taste.

AROMA 23/30
Wormwood and warm sweetness from the hibiscus. Spicy and mouth-watering.

Not for those who enjoy cream, it is rather light with a bite. Nothing special but I like it.

TASTE 16/20
Simple, yet deep. As the aroma promises, wormwood and sweet herbs. That hibiscus flavour is very warming and powerful. Be aware this is totally different from usual absinthe.

This simple but unique variant is great for a cold day. It has a physically warming effect way beyond what you'd expect from the alcohol. I even enjoy this with my favourite winter breakfast - steak and fried eggs. The taste is not spectacular but it all feels really good for you - consider it the naughty version of the dreaded hibiscus health tea.

Brunswick Green scores Maitresse Rouge 75/100


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