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“La Distillerie”

No story of a cache found behind a forgotten wall in a very old cellar this time. The place where the pre-ban bottles were found is a little
more… surprising.

But let’s start with this lovely Bourgeoisie house located near Lons-Le-Saunier (where absinthe was produced back in the days):
Guess what? This big house was also a distillery in the 19th century, mainly producing a very famous Burgundy Prunelle (sloe gin), but also
cognac and other liqueurs (Chartreuse, Guignolet, crème de cassis, etc).
The distillery was founded in the 1850’s by a wine merchant to produce a Prunelle made from wild sloe-berries from the Burgundy soil.
When his son took over the business, the distillery already boasted more than 70 medals and awards, and was famous all over France.
The distillery closed in the 1960’s and the descendants simply renamed the building “La Distillerie”.
Where were the pre-ban absinthe bottles found?

This is where the story gets interesting: traditional old houses in the Burgundy region occasionally have small built-in wall-closets in dining
rooms and bedrooms, often hidden from easy view, and sometimes nailed shut or painted over during subsequent decades. They’re
usually not within easy reach, being located above the doors or high above the beds almost at ceiling height. It was in such a closet as this
that the grandmother of the house found 12 pre-ban absinthe bottles a few months ago, in her very own bedroom! They had been quietly
waiting here in the dark since the early 1900’s!

Her daughter did some research on the internet because she really didn’t know what to do with these old bottles, and that’s when she
contacted us. I met her and her mother last weekend and was very pleased to hear the story of the house, the distillery and the bottles from
them.

The cache

The family had decided to keep one bottle of Absinthe Junod and one bottle of Absinthe Pernod Fils as souvenirs they could pass on from
one generation to another, but the 10 bottles left are now in our cellar at Absinthe Originals.
Here are some photos I took in my hotel room right after picking up the bottles:
Please note that pre-ban bottles of Absinthe Junod - though very popular in 1900 - are extremely hard to find nowadays, we had only found
one bottle in 15 years before discovering this cache.

And no need to discuss the Pernod Fils at any greater length, the classic absinthe of the Belle Epoque, the benchmark by which all others
are judged.

Absinthe Junod review

Aroma (before water): wormwood and hyssop come up front, followed by a delicate and flowery angelica.

Aroma (after water): dried herbs and again: wormwood and hyssop. Some almond and anise notes in the background.

Louche: thick and quick!

Taste:  a mix of herbs and bitterness are coming up first on the palate, shortly followed by anise who acts as a supporting role to
counterbalance the strength of the herbs.

Mouthfeel: bitterness from the wormwood and biting from the green anise stay forever in mouth.

Conclusion: a very masculine profile, very different from Pernod Fils. It seems that Junod was betting more on an overall bitter and
herbaceous profile than Pernod Fils who was more on the sweet side with a very dominant green anise. The Junod was made to be
sweetened; I would recommend half a sugar cube - or even a whole cube – and 3 parts water.