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Vintage Absinthe

Sepulchritude Forum » The Absinthe Forum Archive thru June 2002 » Archive Thru April 2002 » Vintage Absinthe « Previous Next »

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_Blackjack
Posted on Friday, April 5, 2002 - 11:19 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

But yes, such things depend greatly on an individual's chemistry. Watch me take a nap after 20mg of Dexedrine...
_Blackjack
Posted on Friday, April 5, 2002 - 11:16 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

The chemical composition of vintage absinthe, and how it might have changed over time is, well, something of a hotly debated topic around here, and speculating too broadly without data can get you laughed or yelled at. Suffice it to say, there haven't been any studies published on the subject yet, tho our own Ted Breaux has been working on the topic. He has avoided giving any hard answers, simply because his work has not been completed and reviewed yet, but the indication that I have gotten from him is that there it isn't likely that the non-alcohol constituents of absinthe should have chaged significantly over time if properly stored. If you need more than that, you'll have to either wait for someone to publish something or do the lab-work yourself, because for now, we just don't know.

As far as the seconday effects question goes, I tend to bow out of the discussion, because I get little or no effect from most chemicals which work on mere mortals. The only effect outside drunken-ness (which is impressive in and of itself, for me) I have found is stimulation of appitite and funky, vivid dreams.

And the dreams seem to be one of the few effects on which many folks here agree.
Head_Prosthesis
Posted on Friday, April 5, 2002 - 11:15 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

The Slerpis Scimitar?
Admin
Posted on Friday, April 5, 2002 - 11:10 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I've only felt it once, and I won't say who with.

It's the absinthe g-spot ...
Elbongo
Posted on Friday, April 5, 2002 - 11:05 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I myself have never noticed a secondary effect, although I've tried Wolfie blue, Wolfie green, Segarra, Serpis, and Deva. I'v had all the above in varying quantities and mixes but have never had anything other than some great alcohol buzzes.

I am envious of my brethren who get the full-meal-deal.
Robertsmith
Posted on Friday, April 5, 2002 - 10:57 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I think another interesting question is how different chemicals affect different body chemistrys. For example, I tend to get severe migraines from time to time, and the symptoms sometime include extreme light sensitivity. Perhaps there is something in the absinthe that triggers certain visual aspects of the migraine but that counteracts the actual pain in the head? Who knows? Why are some people allergic to cats? It's all different body chemistry issues. I do agree that the absinthe experience is entirely subjective, and pretty mild and barely perceptible when compared to the heavier drugs which the artists of our time period are used to. I can only speak from personal experience, but at least from my POV the vintage I've had and the suisse seem to have a very different effect from the rest....
Head_Prosthesis
Posted on Friday, April 5, 2002 - 10:53 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

"Perhaps this is just my revisionist absinthe methodology emerging."

Or you've become (if you'll pardon the pun) Jaded!
Robertsmith
Posted on Friday, April 5, 2002 - 10:51 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

that is an interesting question. From what I know about chemistry (not much) I do know that while alcoholic beverages are sealed in airtight bottles, there is very little degradation or breakdown of chemicals in the bottle. However, once the bottle is open, everything in it is exposed to oxidation, and depending on the age of the substances in the drink, oxidation, and thus the breakdown of the drink into its component acids, can happen extremely rapidly. I had a bottle of wine from 1949 that tasted excellent 2 minutes after we opened it, and then 30 minutes later it was salad dressing! I suspect that the same may happen with Absinthe, but the pernod I had tasted great and I was surprised with what it's taste and effects had in common with a good La Bleu in spite of its age. Does anyone know if wormwood has a certain life span, and if that changes when its in alcohol? I have no idea....
Chrysippvs
Posted on Friday, April 5, 2002 - 10:50 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I have had several glasses of different vintage absinthes, and have never experienced anything like that you mentioned below.

It is certainly a different feel of intoxication, but nothing as described below, atleast in respect to me. Vintage Pernod, and the modern Jade product produce a very similar intoxication, but nothing that I would akin to "extreme light sensitivity and sounds seemed to be prolonged as if they were small explosions." Certainly I am not quoting a rule, but I find your experience curious.

Perhaps this is just my revisionist absinthe methodology emerging.

- J
Elbongo
Posted on Friday, April 5, 2002 - 10:10 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Robert,

Please do not take offense to my questioning of your statements as too your effect. But for every absinthe drinker feeling "the effect" from a vintage absinthe, one could line up hundreds of patients of clinical trials that were cured of their illness via a sugar pill, that they will swear their life on the bible was their holy grail.

I'm not stating that the secondary effects are not present in vintage absinthe, but merely questioning the chemistry behind what is most likely to be the result of a near hundred year old chemical compound's effect on its consumer.
Robertsmith
Posted on Friday, April 5, 2002 - 10:00 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

A few hours ago I had a glass of 1906 Edouard Pernod and I am convinced that there was no placebo effect and that the effects were due to the thujone. The main effect I noticed was extreme light sensitivity and sounds seemed to be prolonged as if they were small explosions. When I have a glass of La Fee, that does not happen. When I have any other anisette (ouzo, modern pernod), I noticed no effects other than alcohol. I think the best way to figure this out is to have a blind absinthe taste test of the various modern brands and vintage, and I volunteer to be the master taster!
Elbongo
Posted on Friday, April 5, 2002 - 8:54 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Curious Question? (hopefully to be answered by Don)

While from what I've read there is no consensus on what drives the "secondary effects" from absinthe, but might the likely compound(s) be prone to a breakdown of it's effect on the consumer?

I know from readings that THC breaks down into non-psychoactive compounds over time, just as it does with exposure to heat and light. Pharmaceuticals loose potency over time and/or adverse conditions. (Disclaimer--The effects of Absinthe are in no way related to THC, pharmaceuticals, or any other drug other than that it alters a person's perception in some fashion, just as caffeine, nicotine, and sugar do).

While I've never heard of alcohol breaking down as such (hence it makes an excellent preservative), the compounds responsible for secondary effects are what I question.

And I'm not doubting the effects, descriptions, and experiences of my fellow posters, who have had the pleasure to sample an old original product. If I paid going price for an old bottle of Pernod I would convince myself to have a good time. But I am also well aware of the placebo effect.

Comments?

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