Funny how some things just seem to end up at the back of the cabinet, forgotten for way too long and then when you find them, it's like a little piece of paradise fell on your head. It hits you, but it's soft and comfy. That's exactly what happened tonight.
At the far back of my liqour cabinet I found a couple of gems that I should've reviewed long ago. One of them is this, the Dornier Tuller from around 1910.
With a smile on my face and a feeling of absolute calm, I opened the bottle and let the magic of this century old seductress get to work. In an instant I can scent the wonderful perfume of excellent wormwood. Flowery, intriguing and very inviting. After a short while it is joined by the choir of anise, fennel and a fine touch of coriander and pontica.
Pouring a shot in my glass it is a perfect amber, slightly golden brown color and the aroma opens up even more. Just as it turns into full bloom, I place the ice-filled brouilleur on the glass and let the water slowly trickle into the once spring green nectar. Drop by drop a steady and very thick louche builds from the bottom until it's completely opaque. It's almost too good but manages to stay on the right side of that line.
Upon removing the brouilleur I am struck by an absolutely amazing aroma. It is so well balanced and mellow that it's hard to distinguish ingredients. I would say it simply presents the aroma of - absinthe. Flowery, herbal, a bit of anise, definitely wormwood, fennel, angelica... It doesn't matter. It's absinthe in its very essence.
The expectations I have for it in taste now are almost about to disappoint me before I've even tasted it. Very few absinthes, vintage and modern, have had this profile. A vintage Berger, a vintage Pernod Fils and.. well, not much else.
The golden amber color have turned into a very interesting color with a faint hint of a peachy yellow brown and it's very inviting. I take a first sip and let it sit in my mouth, slowly letting it touch every tastebud. It has a wonderful velvety mouth feel, perfectly rich and creamy. Velvety is a good word for the taste as well. It's very smooth and every single ingredient have blended nicely with the rest creating, again, an absinthe. The light numbing from the anise, the ever present unmistakeable wormwood - everything is there. Nothing is missing.
Some modern absinthes have managed to almost mimic this, having a very finely balanced profile, creating a very nice absinthe. The question is, will they hold up and be even better 100 years from now? It is no doubt that the makers knew what they were doing here. Dornier Tuller wasn't the biggest name on the absinthe sky during the Belle Epoque but they definitely could make an absinthe.
It's sad to see the glass empty. It's rare to get the chance to drink something that literally screams perfection yet not overdone or "designed". For a brief moment this evening, I encountered the true green fairy. A short but intense love affair I will cherish for many years to come.
If all things in the world could be poured out of a bottle and turn out this good, we would all be living in a silly perfect little fluffy kitten palace. I would add a plastic pink flamingo in the front yard, but it would still be classy. I think I'll see what else I can find in the back of my liquour cabinet...