Pernod began producing absinthe around 1800, when Henri-Louis Pernod founded what’s believed to be the first absinthe distillery. Pernod Absinthe remained one of the more popular spirits in the genre until 1915, when absinthe was banned in the U.S. and many European countries.
During the ban, Pernod sold a non-absinthe anise-flavored liqueur, or “pastis.” Once the ban was lifted, Pernod again introduced a true absinthe to the market.
Pernod Absinthe has the bright green color that’s generally associated with absinthe, a color that distinguishes it from its yellow-tinged pastis. On the nose it’s quite chemical, with some vegetal notes and an anise background. Take a sip and the anise moves straight to the foreground with a very pronounced black licorice flavor. Sipped neat, it’s very hot and alcoholic, as the 68% ABV would suggest.
Perform a traditional absinthe drip, complete with sugar cube and cold water, and the Pernod Absinthe has a decent louche. It’s still fairly alcoholic, but the sugar and water temper the spirit significantly, making it a much smoother drink.
Overall, Pernod Absinthe is a decent representative of the category, but drinkers can find – in my estimation – a better absinthe in Obsello, which retails for about $15 cheaper.
– 68% Alcohol by Volume