When the Pernod brands went to Spain – little story and tasting notes

By Marc Thuillier

I thought it would be interesting to briefly relate you the story of the two Pernod – Edouard Pernod and Pernod Fils –  in Tarragona, Spain, and in which circumstances it happened.

Brief history

In 1910, absinthe is banned in Switzerland, and France starts to take the same path, producers and consumers already know that the end of the Green Fairy is coming soon…

The Edouard Pernod French company, then managed by administrators, has to quickly find a solution, and so they sell their absinthe brand “Edouard Pernod” to Hubert Bresson, a distiller from Fougerolles.

Meanwhile in Switzerland, Pierre Pernod, grandson of Louis-Edouard Pernod (Edouard Pernod I) and son of Célestin-Edouard Pernod (Edouard Pernod II), had moved into the wine business since the absinthe ban in his country.  As he was exporting a lot to South and North America, he decided to establish a company in Spain in 1912 and to create an absinthe distillery in Tarragona under the name “Pernod S.A – Couvet”.

From there, the production of absinthe Edouard Pernod – under the name Pernod S.A – gains a new momentum, in total serenity, in a country where banning absinthe is not even considered.

Then in 1936, the big company Pernod – holder of the brand “Pernod Fils” – takes hold of the Pernod S.A company  – then in juridical difficulties – and its distillery to produce their own absinthe Pernod Fils.

(sources: Marie-Claude Delahaye and Benoît Noël)

Bottles produced in Spain evolved this way:

1912 – 1936

Absinthe Pernod S.A – Couvet

First with a Swiss cross on the label, then with a patty cross (for a reason still unknown).

1936 – 40’s

The label is now the Pernod Fils one, but the neck glass seal is still Pernod S.A.

50’s & 60’s

The neck glass seal now shows the Pernod name alone. It’s not applied by hand by the glassblower anymore but it’s a molded seal integrated in the bottle.


Here is the only advertising item produced for Pernod S.A in Spain back then: The glass + dripper set enameled PERNOD S.A TARRAGONA

Tasting notes of absinthe Pernod Fils Tarragona from the 60’s

Color: dead leaf in the pale yellow tones, with still green hues.

Aroma before water: ahhhh the green anise from Spain, what a delight for the nose!

Louche: no mystery here, this is Pernod Fils, it’s beautiful, it dances in the glass.

Aroma after water: still this explosive anise of course, but this time along with herbaceous notes, including wormwood, a powdery note from hyssop, and a floral note towards in the end.

Taste: very round, fruity, and even sugary, but at the same time biting, in a good way as it awakes the taste buds and allows us to discover the aromatic palette of Pernod Fils. Simple but efficient, here is its recipe for success.

Mouth feel: anise stays forever, with a taste of liquorice in the background.

Conclusion: always difficult to write tasting notes of a vintage absinthe and especially Pernod Fils who preached the perfect balance of flavors. And with ageing time, this balance harmonizes even more, until it becomes a single taste: the Pernod Fils taste.

Buy 50ml samples of Absinthe Pernod Fils Tarragona

Pernod Fils Tarragona sample. Distilled in the 1960s and 100% delicious.

After absinthe was banned in France in 1915, Pernod Fils, the most prestigious absinthe brand, continued to be distilled over the border in Spain. Even 50 years later, the product followed the tradition of a rich, complex absinthe without compro ...

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A sample of 1950s Pernod Fils Absinthe, a vintage reproduction carafe, and a bub...

This set includes a sample of 1950s Pernod Fils Absinthe, a vintage reproduction carafe, and a bubble reservoir glass!

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