Vieux Pontarlier (pronounced 'View Pon-tarr-lee-ay') (130 proof / 65% ABV) is craft-distilled in Pontarlier, France, the historic 'Capital of Absinthe', using a Burgundy-grape spirit base, select botanicals and local terroir grown wormwood, considered the finest in the world. It was developed over a period of 5 years at one of the last remaining absinthe distilleries still functioning in Pontarlier by professional absintheur Peter Schaf, using the distillery's original, pre-ban log-book notes and antique alembic stills designed specifically for making absinthe. Vieux Pontarlier was created to highlight the world's best wormwood while being accessible to neophytes, and makes a perfect Sazerac.
Vieux Pontarlier is pale peridot green. Slowing dripping ice-cold water produces a lightly green-tinged and billowy opalescent louche. The aroma is fresh, yet slightly briny and spicy with lightly mentholated and cocoa notes. The flavors are multi-layered, the grape spirit provides a complex base for subtle herbal undertones, the anise and fennel are well balanced, highlighting the minty/menthol taste of true Pontarlier wormwood.
2009 The Spirit Journal - 5 Stars - Highest Recommendation - the first absinthe ever rated at the highest mark. F. Paul Pacult, founder/editor of The Spirit Journal, the world's most quoted publication on spirits, beer, and fortified wines stated:
"(Vieux Pontarlier is) The Gold-Standard for the absinthe category"
2008 San Francisco World Spirits Competition - Double Gold Medal - Best in Class
(As of 2014, Vieux Pontarlier remains the only absinthe to have received this, the highest award pairing possible.)
2009 Santé Magazine for Restaurant Professionals - Gold Star
August 2008 Esquire Magazine - 'Top Pick'