The Verte Suisse 65 is a replica of the pre-ban swiss C.F. Berger. Painstakingly reproduced after years of research and testing by Ted Breaux. As the other Jade Liqueurs absinthes, this is a Liqueurs de France exclusive.
Being a limited released distillers proof, the bottle have no actual labelling, apart from the little gold label telling the name and producer. Distillers proof pretty much means that this is sort of a pre-release and final test batch before going into large scale production.
So, the Verte Suisse 65 distillers proof was released at the same time as the Nouvelle-Orléans. Though the two have some similarities, they still differ a lot from each other.
The Verte Suisse is very gentle on the nose. The first things that find their way out of the bottle are the scents of fine anise and very good wormwood. Pouring some in the glass reveals a color very similar to that of the Nouvelle-Orléans, light lime-green. A small sip of it neat does give a bit of heat from the alcohol, but that is quickly overpowered by the taste of fine wormwood and anise. In the back there's a lot more...
Once dilluted with iced water it gradually produces a very fine louche. The very same louche I remember from the true vintage pre-ban Berger. The water also let lose the other aromas of the drink. It is now easy to detect the notes of hyssop which create the smooth and, to me, floral character of the Verte Suisse 65. After each sip there's a slow, lingering minty sort of bitterness from the wormwood, which in this absinthe is much more detectable than in any other I've tried.
So, how does it compare to the real vintage pre-ban Berger? Well, it compares very well to the 'real thing'. The pre-ban, being nearly 100 years old, was ofcourse affected by time and light. But only in the way that tastes had mellowed out a bit, and blended more easily. The characteristics of the real pre-ban Berger is still here. It is still the real garden in bloom. It is still magic to see the thick, fine louche raise from the bottom of the glass, and one can easily imagine that this would be exactly what the C.F. Berger tasted like 100 years ago.
The top position of absinthe vertes is shared by the Nouvelle-Orléans and the Verte Suisse 65. If you're looking for the real touch of the Belle Epoque and the glittering cafés of Paris, these two absinthes is the way to travel back.