07 December 2008

Kübler 53 Swiss Absinthe

Kübler Swiss Absinthe Superieure was launched in Motiers, Switzerland by J. Fritz Kübler in 1863. Motiers is the capital of Val-de-Travers, the traditional birthplace of absinthe, which sits on the eastern border of France. The region's climate is what is credited with producing the high-quality ingredients that are used to make some of the finest absinthes in the world. Kübler Absinthe Superieure was the recipient of numerous awards and medals in competitions around Europe up until the Swiss government banned absinthe in 1910.

With the modern absinthe revival in full swing, Yves Kübler, J. Fritz Kübler's grandson, revived the family tradition of Swiss absinthe production. Kubler 53 is made according to the original formula, with a herbal mixture including grand wormwood, anise, hyssop, coriander and fennel. Each herb used in its production is locally grown in Val-de-Travers, and the modern distillery is located just a few miles from Kübler's original site.

I picked this bottle up at the Bonanza General Store at Sahara Ave. and Las Vegas Blvd. in Las Vegas, NV. Having tried several absinthes ranging from mediocre to good, I couldn't wait to get home to louche up a glass. Kübler is a blanche absinthe, which means it is clear as herbs are not used to colour the distillate into the more familiar green normally associated with the drink. Much in the traditional fashion, I poured a shot into a Pontarlier glass and dripped ice-cold spring water over a sugar cube on an absinthe spoon. As the water dripped into the liquor, the scent of an alpine meadow became more pronounced. The smell of the herbs grew stronger as the essential oils seperated from the alcohol, and a cloudy louche started to form at the bottom of the glass. In my experience, the scents coming from this absinthe were some of the best I have encountered to date.

As I continued to drip water over the sugar, the milky-white louche filled the glass and the scent became even more pronounced. Not exactly "room-filling", but it was a lot stronger than most of the other absinthes I have tried. At approximately a 4:1 mixture, I stopped adding water and raised it to my lips. There was no discernable alcohol smell from the drink, just the sweet scent of alpine herbs. I took a sip and let it float around my mouth. The feel of the liquor was creamy, yet crisp and cool. Unlike the previously-reviewed Pernod 68, the licorice taste of anise was not overpowering at all and was tempered with the slight taste of wormwood. The overall flavour was extremely pleasant and made you want to drink more. The finish did not numb the mouth like absinthes heavy on star anise do, and the finish was pleasant and lasting.

Overall, I would say that Kübler is a very good mid-range absinthe with plenty of character for the price. The scent as it louches is similar to Okanagan Spirit's Taboo, and the flavour is clean and very drinkable. While it may be a little light for more discerning absinthe connoisseurs, I find this is an excellent product for both those curious about absinthe and those that want something better than the inferior brands available domestically.

1 comment:

John III said...

Isn't Absinthe a drug of some kind and if used often eventually makes you insane? Is that the same stuff they used on "Moulin Rouge"?