Inspired by an American absinthe produced in Boston is the early 1900s, right before the US ban on absinthe in 1912. Read the whole description
One can rightly question if it's possible for the modern Butterfly Absinthe to be the same as the Butterfly Absinthe of the 1900s. We think it's probably unlikely. To produce a complete copy of an absinthe based only on a recipe and a few notes, even highly detailed ones, is actually impossible.
What we can say for certain is the recipe has lent a specific aromatic profile, and the making of Butterfly absinthe has benefited from Mr Bugnon's expertise, unless there has been some incredible luck, it won't be the same as its ancestor. The distiller says it himself: “using the same recipe, if you change the alembic, you won't get the same taste again”.
None of this detracts from the great quality of the Butterfly absinthe reproduction. 100% delicious.
Butterfly absinthe was produced in Boston in the early 1900s by P. Dempsey & Company. It's one of the only US absinthes to be rediscovered in recent times, thanks to an intact, but unfortunately empty, bottle (in the collection of David-Nathan Maister - www.oxygenee.com)
Brian Fernald, a passionate and known absintheur from Boston, discovered a veritable goldmine of documents, including the original annotated recipes.
Following these finds, he sought a distillery so that the Butterfly absinthe could be reborn. Claude-Alain Bugnon's famous Artemisiadistillery was selected to produce the absinthe, a test distillation giving definite proof that this was the right distillery for the task.
- At first, enjoy a glass of Butterfly absinthe with half a piece of sugar. For the next, add more or less according to taste.
- For one measure of Butterfly absinthe, add 2 to 5 volumes of ice-cold water.
Claude-Alain Bugnon was the first clandestine distiller granted legal status by the Swiss government in the spring of 2005.
For years he had been responsible for a certain quantity of bootlegged absinthe that brought so much attention and status to this small region. His ‘Clandestine' has been and is still considered by many to be the best Swiss La Bleue available today. Claude Alain's custom designed distilling apparatus is located at his premises in Couvet, a former butcher shop!
The alambics each have a capacity of 145 litres, and produce 95 litres of finished absinthe. They are single-walled, rather than duplicating the bain-marie system more commonly used in France. Claude-Alain feels that the fiercer heat gives better extraction of the herbs.
By MikeAdded on the : 26/01/2017
My experience with Absinthe is still quite limited, however this one is great for my beginner's palate. Very flavorful with fairly intense anise.
By RudiAdded on the : 17/11/2016
A really great and lovely absinthe. Very refreshing. I if this is what old American absinthe is like, then wow.
By StorandelliAdded on the : 02/11/2016
One of my favorites. Complex, smooth, lightly bitter (although I also like strong), I consider Butterfly to be an "XO" of absinthes.
By Very nice but not profoundAdded on the : 28/10/2016
I sampled this absinthe in LA, and had a bottle sent to me in Canada. It is a lovely Swiss verte, perhaps not in the same league as Clandestine, but nonetheless very drinkable. Good for newbies.
By Georges MélièsAdded on the : 29/12/2013
Truly outstanding absinthe. Less intense than the top offerings from Jade, it is still a relatively full-bodied absinthe with gorgeous balance and a lovely lemony quality that balances superbly with the bitter wormwood. It is remarkably creamy and flavorful, by no means a lightweight. Everything you might want in great absinthe is there, in lovely harmony. It just doesn't get much better than this.
By Melliot The CS Long Beach AmbassadorAdded on the : 07/11/2012
I've provided my background and experience at the end of this review, so you might weigh my comments to others on the site.
Hands down this is in my top 3 Absinthes (the other two being Absinthe Abisinthe Amer and Jade's PF1901). Untouchable in uniqueness, visual & olfactory presentation, and mouth-feel & palette performance, with a bonus for the historical marketing making this a great story-telling bottle for a dinner party. Without question, by the end of the review you'll see this bottle is a must buy: For Beginners, For Experts, For your Collection, For Special Occasions, and as a Daily Drinker. Bold Words? Well, consider these observations:
Eyes: Beautiful Louche with a hint of a yellow glow in the right light. I don't mean to imply luminescence mind you, but an almost neon yellow highlighter seems to layer over the green as the bottle louches with a beautiful if not too-fast clouding.
Nose: Citric and Sweet with herbaceous late-bloom Fennel greens unquestionably dominating the expected anise. Flowery notes add to the complexity with a distinct honeysuckle note in the 'high range' of the bouquet.
Mouthfeel: Flawless performance. Heavy for the first sip which might seem burdensome in summer, but you can always serve it on ice or with more water (which I would argue is a shame). No-heat from the alcohol yet it does manage to add a lightness to the coating sensation the more you drink. The coat lingers but with such a fantastic palette, its a welcome and invited lingering you are in no rush to have end.
Palette: A bit more anise heavy than is to be expected from the nose, but the taste is this unique fluctuating anise, as if you were having several unknown varietals of anise performing interchangeably in your mouth. The citric notes then come up and the herbal flavors you expect from the nose give way to the honey suckle. You can easily do this Absinthe Sugar-free, though sweetening it may allow the palette to perform better. Among 90 tasters I've shared this with, the group was evenly split on 'to sugar or not to sugar', but this being among the best bottles we served was a unanimous agreement.
2006 - Tasted my 1st Absinthe (All European)
2007 - Tasted 6 Absinthes new to me (All European)
2008 - Tasted 6 Absinthes new to me (All European)
2009 - Tasted 2 Absinthes new to me (US Only)
2010 - Tasted 5 Absinthes new to me (4 Euro, 1US)
2011 - Tasted 12 Absinthes new to me (All European)
I'm also a level-1 graduate from the Mastercourt of Sommeliers, worked in the wine industry from 2001-2008, and run an independent cellar-stocking business, where my palette is trusted by high-end clients to purchase wines matching their tastes and expectations of quality. Additionally, since 2010 I've hosted a semi-annual Absinthe Dinner for party sizes of 35-70 guests. Each course is paired with a dish developed uniquely to match the absinthe ordered for the event. Each event usually fills up more quickly with reservations than the previous one, due to the patrons enjoying the pairings and bottle choices to such a significant degree.
By stevoramaAdded on the : 11/10/2012
Fantastic, delicious, green color with yellow tint , nose is citrusy right out of the bottle and when louched the smell expands into a plethera of herbs mixed with lemon and or orange rhinde.Super creamy mouth feel, zero alcohol heat just awesome flavours dancing in the mouth.Great length and wormwood of distinct quality.A must try for anyone who drinks absinthe.Thumbs up to distillers who produce liquid candy!
By New AbsintheurAdded on the : 25/07/2012
I just had a glass of Butterfly Absinthe...
An interesting mix of flavors, mainly wormwood, fennel, citrus and a perfect amount of anise avoiding to blur the combination. An exceptionally good louche, not so dark not so light but milky. A savory bitter ending with no traces of alcohol... I was expecting something else, but I was simply amazed, thanks Absinthes.com!
By kensuneitAdded on the : 04/11/2011
Very delicious (I like it best on the rocks) no kidding with a piece of lemon rind twisted in and well watered.
Thirst quenching and wonderful.
By maryteeAdded on the : 21/05/2011
I am a relative neophyte when it comes to absinthe, but I am enjoying Butterfly Absinthe. It has a bit more of a bite to it than another I have tried and I attribute it to the wormwood.
RueVerte handled my order promptly and professionally.