Unique among absinthes, Roquette 1797 absinthe gives us a glimpse of what absinthe was like starting its first steps on the road to becoming the most popular drink in France.
Roquette 1797 has been brought back to life from an unpublished, hand-written manuscript dating from the eighteenth century, when absinthe was more mysterious elixir than evening aperitif.
The Roquette 1797 owes its pretty, natural colour to the infusion of three plants ordinarily used during the colouring stage.
The three classic absinthe plants are all there - green anise, fennel and grand wormwood - along with some more uncommon additions, although that bit's a secret...
- The quantities of spirit and herbs recorded in the manuscript of 1797 were described in quantities such as 'pots of eau-de-vie', 'buckets' and 'handfuls', which made interpreting the recipe an interesting challenge.
- Even if it's obvious what the number 1797 means, you can not say as much for the name Roquette. In fact, it was the name of the horse ridden by the legendary father of absinthe, Doctor Ordinaire.
- The Roquette 1797 absinthe is an Archive Spirits production, a joint venture between two fascinated absintheurs: David Nathan-Maister of Oxygenee; and Peter Schaf, renowned absinthe expert. They are planning on producing further releases of the Roquette 1797 absinthe: a 1731 and an 1804 edition, both also based on unpublished hand-written originals.
Les fils d’Emile Pernot distillery was founded in 1890 in Pontarlier, France, by Emile Pernot. In 1910, the distillery produced approximately 450 hectolitres, which is not surprising: around the time, consumption of absinthe was reaching levels never heard of before.
In 1915, when La Fée Verte (The Green Fairy) was banned, the distillery turned its hand to other spirits: aniseed aperitifs, fruit brandies and gentian liqueurs.
In 2001, the small distillery started to reproduce absinthe again, with Un Emile, from an old family recipe.
In 2005, the distillery was sold to François Thevenin, who has since developed the firm with a touch of modernity alongside traditional methods.
A year later, at the end of 2006, François Thevenin bought the Klainguer distillery, also situated in Pontarlier, and formed the Pernot – Klainguer distillery.
- At first, enjoy a glass of Roquette 1797 with half a piece of sugar. For the next, add more or less according to taste.
- For one measure of absinthe (3cl), add 2 to 5 measures of fresh water.
So got my order delivered one day ahead of schedule and brake open the cheaper bottle (hey its mid week..)
nothing to fancy i guess with a bit more of testing i might find it a good substitue for a young Island whiskey.
Now next day (still mid week with the difference we got long weekend so basicly friday) i crack this beauty.
It was many years since i had abstinhe but the complexity of the first sniff was realy inviteing so what i did, pour a bit in my tin cup and taste, add suger/water to find where i want it.
I kept adding suger the complexity just opend up and the bitterness stood its ground so i ended upp with probably 2-3 times the amount of suger i usualy use in absinthe´s, i cant take it when the suger overcommes the bitternes, but this baby just kept giving.
I´m not going to try to give any better description since i havnt had absinthe for years and my taste buds has been slacking off for some time aswell but the joy to see how this glorius drink evolves is just fantastic
By Good but with some little disappointments. Posted 21/11/2014
This is a good absinthe but I found differences from the versions of previous years. It is as if it had lost its main feature, has a profile much less herbaceous. It feels much more anise and the quality has deteriorated, the base wine instead of neutral, artemisia absinhium feels a lot less.
It's not undrinkable and remains a good absinthe but feels some damage distillation. In particular a base of alcohol wine not exactly clean. It feels a little bit of tail, not to the point of making it undrinkable as other bottles of this batch that I happened to taste. So I just have to rest a bit 'the bottle before drinking again' and hope that the next batch to be more accurate.
By rmorte. Posted 19/07/2014
I bought a bottle of this with my first purchase from their website. I hadn't had a lot of absinthes outside of several American distillers but was hoping to find and learn more about different regions and countries.
The smell is a melange of dry licorice, herbs, and a strange earthy must. Unusual and hard to describe for my senses.
The taste has a distinct earthy and herbal tone with a hint of licorice/anise. It is a tad bitter but interesting. It is a bit abrasive in the sharpness of the alcohol and earthiness. A bit of an unsweetened citrus but enjoyable overall.
I could really appreciate how great this tasted without the addition of sugar. Ice water and this alone were perfect companions and the creamy body of it was nicely offset by the dryness at the end. I can see how this is a pretty enjoyable absinthe, I was not hugely impressed but was glad I tried it out. This was an excellent learning experience, I felt. Diversifying my palate.