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Distiller portrait: Martin Zufanek

September 2, 2012

When people tell me that they have tried an absinthe and they didn’t like it all, chances are that they drank a Czech absinthe. One of the bad Czech absinthes, to be precise, because not all Czech absinthes are bad, and certainly not the ones made by Martin Zufanek. He founded his distillery in 2000. In addition to fruit liqueurs and all-natural spirits he also produces three green absinthes: La Grenouille, St. Antoine and L’Ancienne.

In this portrait I would like to focus on L’Ancienne. L’Ancienne was designed to evoke the flavors of pre-ban absinthes. To achieve this very ambitious goal Zufanek teamed up with the Italian distiller Stefano Rossoni, who himself produces the widely known and much loved L’Italienne. So the big question is, how close does L’Ancienne tastewise get to pre-ban absinthes?

Well, one has to keep in mind that we don’t know with certainty how absinthes tasted back in 1913. When we drink for example a Pernod Fils 1913 today, the absinthe has aged, which means that the flavours of the different herbs have changed and a good part of the alcohol has evaporated.

L’Ancienne is very harmonic and has a satisfying and round mouthfeel. The herbal flavor-profile of L’Ancienne does indeed remind of vintage absinthe, yet there is a distinguishable difference in the flavor and smell of the alcohol. At this point I feel that the alcohol dominates the fine flavors of this very promising absinthe, so I am curious to see, how the same bottle will taste in a year from now. I also plan to keep a bottle or two unopened for a few years.

For visual impressions, please check out the pictures of the louche. Martin Zufanek’s homepage is: www.zufanek.cz

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comments

Aromatic and Tasty. I love the wine base, it reminds me of high quality Pisco. Better than the grappa used by others.

Pere Ubu

September 22, 2012

I’ve tasted it again last weekend and the wine alcohol was much milder now. I too think it is a great product, and it is sad, that Zufanek can’t export it currently, because some of his compatriots sold poorly produced alcohol.

absinthegeek

October 2, 2012

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