Type: Mixed & Macerated
Alcohol Level: 45 %
Vendors: ♣ Absinthes.com
Description: NOTE: U.S. Domestic version of Versinthe is sans Wormwood and therefore classified as a pastis. It is available as an absinthe in Europe only (both distributors below ship the absinthe version). Also available in a "la Blanche" version which is a bit nicer than the Verte.
Absinthe Versinthe at Absinthes.com
With respect to the two absinthes made by Distilleries de Provence (Versinthe and L'Amesinthe), I review these two products together, not because they are made by the same distiller, but because they seem to be remarkably similar
I received both product from Spirits Corner, in the usual (mostly) dependable fashion. Both are labeled as 45% (90 proof) in strength, and 70cL in volume. Both are packaged in (different) dark green glass bottles. Versinthe carries its metallic Ofeuille¹ absinthe spoon shaped label, while L'Amesinthe aims to seduce the buyer with its "Absinthe Robette" graphic.
The interesting thing about these products is that until sometime in 2001, both were clearly marketed as "Anis Amer", which is a classification of liqueurs d¹anise. With the recent advent of Ospiriteaux aux plantes d¹absinthe¹ in France, these products are suddenly now claimed to be Oabsinthe¹.
Both liqueurs exhibit a light, sweet aroma, with Versinthe having the added aromaticity of extra Oherbs¹ and/or Oroots¹ and whatever else differentiates it from its lighter brother. When dripped into a balloon glass, Versinthe actually gives off both high and low pitched aromas that are not detected when sniffing from the bottle. Both liqueurs have a dark, yellow tint.
Tasting these products neat definitely tests one¹s ability to generate an insulin response, as both are labeled to contain a load of sugar and a generous heaping of star anise. These products are marketed with nostalgic sugar spoons, but this item is useless where these two syrupy liqueurs are concerned. Nevertheless, when tasted neat, L'Amesinthe (affectionately known as amesinthe to Anglophiles) tastes primarily of sugar and star anise. Versinthe is similar, but has the added flavor of gentian, with just a touch of herbal background noise, which is largely obscured by the syrup. When diluted, both louche heavily. The aroma and flavor of diluted L'Amesinthe improves slightly, and begins to show just a bit of herbal texture, which is quickly obscured by syrup. Versinthe also improves a bit when diluted, the aroma displaying slight hints of sweet mint. Its flavor is also improved a bit, with just the slightest hint of woody bitterness that is quickly obscured by the syrup. While both are interesting to taste (more so Versinthe), I cannot imagine myself imbibing a quantity of either in a sitting.
In summary, Versinthe seems to be a somewhat more aromatic version of L'Amesinthe, and unless one is put off by the former, I don¹t see a need for the latter. Both are very syrupy liqueurs, and both seem to have far more in common with confectionary cordials than potent aperitifs.