It's not too hard to claim that a product is authentic, especially if said product had been banned for almost 100 years. Such is the claim of Gwydion Stone and his new absinthe, Marteau, produced in partnership with Portland's beloved House Spirits Distillery, which hit liquor store shelves this week.
But if anyone knows how absinthe is supposed to taste, it's Stone. By his own estimate, he has tasted over 100 varieties of the green elixir, including some "Belle Époque" absinthes, known as originating from the golden age of absinthe production. Also, as founder of wormwoodsociety.org, his knowledge of absinthe is near unassailable.
So, I'm inclined to believe that his Marteau (French for hammer), with its mellow bergamot-like floral notes, light anise, and incredibly subtle hints of pepper, is the real deal. He is, after all, working from a Belle Époque recipe that he has tweaked a bit to make his own.
You'll have the chance to sample his creation this Saturday, November 8, at the House Spirits open house from 1-4 pm, at 2025 SE 7th. But be warned, you may not be able to resist buying a bottle and letting the Green Fairy loose in your home.