February 26, 2010

Edward III New York Absinthe

Bill Dowd photo
Tuthilltown Spirits of Orange County, NY, the state's first licensed distillery since Prohibition, has created a special bottling for a private customer, a first-timer in the distilling game.

Edward III New York Absinthe

This truly unusual spirit is the final version of a recipe Tuthilltown tweaked and produced for Mark Maurice and Edward Jahn, according to distiller Ralph Erenzo. It may be made elsewhere after the current supply runs out, but that still is up for discussion.

It is the state's second absinthe. The first was created by Cheryl Lins, proprietor of Delaware Phoenix Distillery in Walton, NY, in the western Catskills.

This version of the French liqueur undergoes the traditional two infusions. The first uses a proprietary mixture of herbs and wormwood in a neutral grain spirit, and the second infusion uses melissa (a/k/a/ lemon balm) and more wormwood.

Rather than being green, the most common absinthe color which gave rise to the nickname "The Green Fairy," Edward III is clear. It turns milky when a bit of water is added, rendering it the most drinkable stage.

There is the expected anise in the nose and first taste, but that quickly is joined by hints of violet French pastille candies, camphor and even vague notes of bread, honey and orange. An altogether pleasant product.

Suggested retail price: About $39 for the 375ml bottle.

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