Monday, July 26, 2010

Absinthe Gets More Specific

It was absinthe expert Ted Breaux who gave the U.S. its first legal absinthe in nearly 100 years when he helped develop, with Viridian Spirits, the formula for Lucid Absinthe Supérieure, the by-now-familiar black bottle with the cats eyes on the front.  

You'd think that after getting a bottle of the green stuff on the market, Breaux would be satisfied. But no. He's only just begun. He's creating an absinthe line. Breaux, and Viridian Spirit’s Jared Gurfein are teaming up again to bring three new absinthes to the United States this summer: Jade C. F. Berger, Jade Esprit Edouard, and Jade 1901. 

All three have been available in Europe since 2005, and are replications of original 19th century brands apparently owned by Breaux, perhaps the foremost contemporary expert on absinthe in the world. "I set out to resurrect these exemplary original pre-ban absinthes after watching the industry clutter the European market with products that were big on claims and woefully short on historical accuracy and quality," said Breaux in a press release.

Jade C. F. Berger is billed as "an accurate recreation of the original C. F. Berger absinthe verte, originally produced by the distillery of C. F. Berger in Couvet, Switzerland. Characteristic of the original Swiss style, it was considered one of the premier absinthes of the 19th century, and is characterized by a bold fragrant scent, a full-bodied, rounded mouthfeel, and distinct herbal notes that linger on the palate."

Jade Esprit Edouard is called "a faithful reproduction of one of the most famous and highly regarded Belle Époque absinthes. A century later the demise of the original, Breaux examined perfectly preserved examples of the renowned spirit to develop a contemporary recipe that captures the original’s delicate tint, refined texture, and exquisitely smooth flavor."

Jade 1901 is "a tribute to the best known and most widely sampled pre-ban absinthe, as it was produced circa 1901, the year in which the original distillery in Pontarlier was virtually destroyed by fire. Jade 1901 is a classic absinthe, balanced and crisp, with an appetizing herbal aroma and a smooth, lingering aftertaste."

The suggested retail prices for the three spirits are $110. No word yet on the look of the labels. No more animal eyes, OK, guys?

1 comment:

Brian Robinson said...

Great article!

Labels have already been approved by the TTB. And no, there are no eyes.

They are remarkable though.