Pernod Fils Tarragona, circa 1950
Average Score: 72
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Country of Origin: Spain
Alcohol Level: 68 %
Description: From the Banus distillery in Tarragona, Spain where Pernod absinthe was made up until the late 1960's. Much different than the early 1930 Pernod's from Tarragona which are more like the pre-ban french versions.
Reviewed by Deluge 5/24/2005
COLOR BEFORE WATER 7/10
The pale yellowish green color of the Tarragona seemed to be natural enough, but all in all I found it to be nothing spectacular.
LOUCHE ACTION 7/10
I felt that the Tarragona’s louche lacked the finesse noted in either the vintage Edouard or Pernod; the rapid louche seemed to have more in common with modern absinthes and pastis that use an excessive amount of badiane in their composition. The final stage of the louche was very opaque yet it was certainly not as thick as either the Edouard or the Pernod.
COLOR AFTER WATER 7/10
The color was nice enough, a rather pale opalescent green…
The aroma neat was a bit harsh, straightforward and still packed a lot of heat. The nose vaguely reminded me of the LeMercier products; a lot of anise, some notes of fennel and hyssop, the wormwood was also noticeable but it seemed rather subdued. The aroma did not contain the complexity, mellowness, or dusky nature that either pre-ban had in abundance. After adding water the aroma improved. The harsh qualities that I previously mentioned subsided to reveal a pleasant enough bouquet that was well balanced and fresh.
The mouth feel had the all too familiar pointed presence of badiane. This mouth numbing presence was noticeable at the first sip and never subsided.
Tasting the Tarragona neat was again nothing extraordinary. The balance of herbs was well done and other than the presence of badiane I found nothing to be obtrusive or out of place. The flavor of the Tarragona was nothing at all like pre-ban Pernod Fils or Edouard Pernod. I found the flavor of the Taragonna to be somewhat similar to the LeMercier products, modern Pernod 68 and to a lesser degree modern Oxygenee.
OVERALL IMPRESSION 7/10
I found the Tarragona to be pleasant but a bit of a let down compared to the Pernod Fils and Edouard Pernod. It is no wonder Hemmingway mentioned that there was indeed a difference between the two. I’ve heard that the older bottles of Tarragona were much more similar to vintage Pernod, sadly the Tarragona of the 1950’s is not. If I were to see a bottle surface online at $250-500 I might be somewhat interested for historical purposes, anything above that I would easily pass by.
Deluge scores Pernod Tarragona 72 out of 100