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Tasting notes 5/9/02...

Sepulchritude Forum » The Absinthe Forum Archive thru June 2002 » Archive Thru May 2002 » Tasting notes 5/9/02... « Previous Next »

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Oxygenee
Posted on Sunday, May 5, 2002 - 8:09 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Originally the ice and water were added TOGETHER.
pastis
Artemis
Posted on Sunday, May 5, 2002 - 11:34 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I used to get a laugh out of that old placard on the Bahnhofplatz website, showing that comical 19th-century woman demonstrating the correct way to prepare absinthe.

More and more, we see there's something more than ritual or cultural bias involved. I suppose the moral is that people don't fritz with something for over a hundred years to end up fooling themselves about it.
Absinthespoon
Posted on Sunday, May 5, 2002 - 8:44 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Now I understand why the French say that ice "bruises" pastis. Interesting, Peter.
Wolfgang
Posted on Sunday, May 5, 2002 - 6:03 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

''put water into pastis first, then add ice. ''

Yes it does make a difference. That`s also a good trick to use when all you have left is this bottle of super-anised spanish absinthe...

Anyway, yesterday we had a gothic picnic in Montreal and I poured free absinthe all day long. That's the most expensive picnic I ever attended but that was worth every penny. Most people there had almost no experience but they damn sure knew which one they prefered and *could easily see the difference by taste and smell alone.*

I first poured the best, some Moonman`s #8, #6 and a glass of #17 from an european friend that we passed along. Some people where worshiping me for that #8, it blows their heads off. Some people told me it was the best alcoholic drink they ever had in their life (and we'r talking about people who drink a lot too much for their own sake). The close second (prefered by maybe 2-3 people out of 20) was this glass of #17 I poured to show that *all absinthes doesn't taste the same*, even when comparing side by side two very good hausgemachte. Then later I poured a whole bottle of Serpis 65 because we really didn't care anymore about the taste anyway ;-). At the end I had no more water !!! Can you imagine that our problem was not a lack of absinthe but a lack of good old water !...So I used the water from the bottom of the cooler and learned that an absinthe spoon is usefull to filter out the grass floating in the cooler. So much for the extra herbal component and class.

Everybody there understood that drinking absinthe is not just a snooty thing but it's about having a great time. All that imbibing caused some very funny or weird or even erotic events that are better left unsaid...
Artemis
Posted on Sunday, May 5, 2002 - 5:14 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

> chateau in marseille

I'm confident that saltine crackers would taste differently (better or worse, I'm not sure) in a chateau in Marseille than in a bus station in El Paso.

The claim has been made here before (by Absintheur) that Deva and La Fee tasted the same. So I did a blind, blind-folded, taste test. Identified them correctly by smell alone and by taste, first time, every time, and I'm confident I could do it to the end of time.

It should be no surprise to anybody by now that Absinthe contains anise, and if you don't like anise, you're probably not going to like absinthe. What separates the best from the rest is method, not recipe. And you can taste that too.
Petermarc
Posted on Saturday, May 4, 2002 - 6:30 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

maybe they tasted all 37 products at the same sitting...there were some pretty lame responses and ricard provided the chateau in marseille...

however, this statement is interesting (translated)

anethol (the anisey-tasting/smelling chemical-thing found in anis, fennel, etc. that gives a great deal to it's appealing aroma) is a white cristal that melts at 21°C (70°F). when it comes in contact with ice, it cristalizes, and loses it's aromas.
therefore, one should put water into pastis first, then add ice.
Mr_Rabid
Posted on Saturday, May 4, 2002 - 6:10 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Jesus. Nothing like knowing the guy that makes it likes it so much he never touches the stuff.
Petermarc
Posted on Saturday, May 4, 2002 - 5:12 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

>Versinthe - I had a bottle of the American versinthe and the french/spanish versinthe side by side. I will pay $1000 to anybody who could pass that taste test. These aren't any different, they're the same color, flavor, smell, and I'd bet they're made out of the same pot at the same time.

the most respected french magazine on wine just did a pastis/anis/spiritueux aux plantes d'absinthe tasting...tasters included: chick from société ricard, ceo of jean boyer(absenthine) ceo of distilleries & domaines de provence (absente and henri bardouin), a wine guy from the magazine, and a guy who has a pastis/anis bar...
NONE of the taster/producers could identify their own products...
Raschied
Posted on Saturday, May 4, 2002 - 8:22 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

She's a beauty - she's one in a million girls...
Artemis
Posted on Saturday, May 4, 2002 - 7:15 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

> "Edward Pernod"

From the Limey branch of the family?

> I was a little confised.

Confused as well.
Crowlyman
Posted on Friday, May 3, 2002 - 8:17 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

"I've just finished listening to my entire CD collection and my scientific observation is that it all music is the same."

Do you think if Snoop Dogg cut back on the anis he's sound just like Aerosmith?

(Since all I have had is Deva, I am not qualified to even make this kind of joke!) =)
Admin
Posted on Friday, May 3, 2002 - 7:08 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

The Tubes, one of the greatest bands EVER. And homegrown San Francisco to boot ...
Destiny
Posted on Friday, May 3, 2002 - 7:02 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

That's our Vera!
Verawench
Posted on Friday, May 3, 2002 - 6:29 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Gentlemen, excuse me, I'm drunk and unapologetic tonight. I bailed from work early and got a head start on the booze.
Verawench
Posted on Friday, May 3, 2002 - 6:28 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

"What do you want from life
To kidnap an heiress
or threaten her with a knife
What do you want from life
To get cable TV
and watch it every night

There you sit
a lump in your chair
Where do you sleep
and what do you wear
when you're sleeping

What do you want from life
An Indian guru
to show you the inner light
What do you want from life
a meaningless love affair
with a girl that you met tonight

How can you tell when you're doin' alright
Does your bank account swell
While you're dreaming at night
How do know when you're really in love
Do violins play when you're touching the one
That you're loving

What do you want from life
Someone to love
and somebody that you can trust
What do you want from life
To try and be happy
while you do the nasty things you must

Well, you can't have that, but if you're an American citizen you are entitled to:
a heated kidney shaped pool,
a microwave oven--don't watch the food cook,
a Dyna-Gym--I'll personally demonstrate it in the privacy of your own home,
a king-size Titanic unsinkable Molly Brown waterbed with polybendum,
a foolproof plan and an airtight alibi,
real simulated Indian jewelry,
a Gucci shoetree,
a year's supply of antibiotics,
a personally autographed picture of Randy Mantooth
and Bob Dylan's new unlisted phone number,
a beautifully restored 3rd Reich swizzle stick,
Rosemary's baby,
a dream date in kneepads with Paul Williams,
a new Matador, a new mastodon,
a Maverick, a Mustang, a Montego,
a Merc Montclair, a Mark IV, a meteor,
a Mercedes, an MG, or a Malibu,
a Mort Moriarty, a Maserati, a Mac truck,
a Mazda, a new Monza, or a moped,
a Winnebago--Hell, a herd of Winnebago's we're giving 'em away,
or how about a McCulloch chainsaw,
a Las Vegas wedding,
a Mexican divorce,
a solid gold Kama Sutra coffee pot,
or a baby's arm holding an apple?"

Gee, where have I heard that last line...
Destiny
Posted on Friday, May 3, 2002 - 6:22 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I've just finished listening to my entire CD collection and my scientific observation is that it all music is the same. Aerosmith, Bauhaus, Soft Cell, Snoop Dogg, Marilyn Manson, Stones, T.Rex, Lords of Acid, Muddy Waters, Britney Spears, etc... just the same 3-8 instuments with each song running 2-5 minutes.

Damn you Smiley, you've ruined my life!
Chevalier
Posted on Friday, May 3, 2002 - 5:36 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I prefer women to be neither.

Dobranoc, Vera.
Verawench
Posted on Friday, May 3, 2002 - 5:33 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I prefer men to be both.
Chevalier
Posted on Friday, May 3, 2002 - 5:29 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

What does the song say?

"One night in Bangkok makes the hard man humble ..."

No thanks ... I'd prefer the opposite.
Verawench
Posted on Friday, May 3, 2002 - 5:27 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Texas? I was thinking Bangkok.
Chevalier
Posted on Friday, May 3, 2002 - 5:20 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Not even the longest arm can stretch from Texas to Chile.
Verawench
Posted on Friday, May 3, 2002 - 5:19 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Chevy, you need a spanking.
Chevalier
Posted on Friday, May 3, 2002 - 5:17 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Corset too tight? It can be loosened ...
Verawench
Posted on Friday, May 3, 2002 - 5:14 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Bah, it would appear I was harsh...
Chevalier
Posted on Friday, May 3, 2002 - 5:02 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Mr. Smiley, I'd like to congratulate you. Some would say you've got guts; it's pretty clear that this forum doesn't scare you. (Not that it should scare anyone.)

Sounds like you went ahead and did what Lord Hobgoblin encourages every newbie to do: "Try as many absinthes as possible and follow your nose and tastebuds. Don't worry about what the experts say. Like whatever you like." I enjoy the way that your descriptions never force themselves on the reader. They match your level of expertise; no more, no less. It's good to be reminded that the world is full of non-experts who experience things in their own way, with their own perceptions. It's no sin if people are not driven to become experts, let alone obsessed. (Then again, with all the absinthes you've tried at once, you may choose to ease on down that road. Could you become the new Wolfgang or Ted?)

Mr. Rabid is right. Unless your nose and tongue are blocks of wood, your detective powers will increase. Maybe you'll want to know what, how, and why; and if you don't, that's fine too. If possible, post another review of the same brands six months from now. I wonder what you'd say then?
Mr_Rabid
Posted on Friday, May 3, 2002 - 4:57 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Keep at it- as time passes your palate will get a bit more discriminating.

I think this is because of the anis- it overwhelms (especially in the Spanish brands) and the noise it produces swamps your tastebuds :-)

I can tell you the difference between Deva and Serpis blind. I can tell you that LaSalla and Montana both have the lemony pledge thing going on, but are not in fact exactly alike. None of the lablue's I've had were like the Spanish, and while they fell into the same class, they were not so alike I couldn't taste the difference.

As a logic proof, I put to you that Serpis and any other brand have one obvious difference, that that difference is due to chemical makeup, and that different chemicals have different tastes.

The fact that you cannot detect it (yet) does not mean it isn't there- the more you drink, the more brands, the more you will be able to taste the differences.

At least, that has been true for most of the absintheurs I have strangled the parrot with.

I beleive in studying hard. So hard I can't remember what I learned the next day.... ;-)
Verawench
Posted on Friday, May 3, 2002 - 4:53 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

- A little bit more anis
- A little less anis
- Heavy on the anis

ANIS ANIS ANIS ANUS ANIS ANIS ANIS ANIS ANIS ANIS Blah blah blah blah.

These reviews are the silliest I've ever read on this board. Next time flex that palate a bit.
Emileguysmiley
Posted on Friday, May 3, 2002 - 4:32 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

So after two days of tasting I'm going to make a list of my thoughts on a whole bunch of absinthes I've begged borrowed and stole from a bunch of forum members who were nice enough to list email addresses where I could get ahold of them. This was supposed to be for an article, but it doesn't look like that is going to work out, so here goes:

First off, czech absinthes:

Sebor - lightly flavored and alcoholic tasting, not nearly as bad as people said it would be. Three different samples were three very different colors. One was brownish green, one was yellowish green, and one was forest green.

Hills - like cheap akquavit. There was a tiny taste of anis, but it was hard to perceive through the alcoholic burn. Again, not as horrible as I was lead to believe.

King - insanely bitter. I think that there was anis in there somewhere, but I was too busy looking for my teeth which were totally stripped away by the bitterness.

Starzoplenski (sic) - simmilar to Hill's. Could've been so much worse.

Logan - again, could've been worse. blue like Hill's, but better tasting. Still thin.


All of the Czech brands were thin tasting, but from the sorts of things that were said around here, I expected them to be much worse. Which leads me to spanish absinthe:

Deva - I didn't like this. It was too thick and sweet for me. I don't think that most of that sweetness is due to the sugar, I think that it's due in large part to the huge amount of anis in this drink.

NS - well, I'm going to be honest and say that I liked this, even though it tasted alot like sebor and logan to me. I think that there's alot more similarity between the different brands than people seem to give them credit for.

Lasala - wierd unpleasant lemonyness. It tasted like somebody made limoncello and added anis. This is one of the only absinthes that I tasted that could be said to taste significantly different though.

Segarra - again not as "out there" as one would be lead to beleve. A little less heavily anissed than the other spanish brands, but it doesn't make too much difference really. I liked it, but I was expecting so much more than simplicity from this.

Serpis - If you taste something red here, you're imagination is better than mine. This is so incredibly similar to Deva, in so many ways. Color aside, another very similar tasting absinthe.


That's all the spanish I tasted, now into the more expensive and controversial stuff, starting with -

la bleues - I tasted two of these, the differences were minor. They were from different sources, Wolvie and Betina, and they were both, and I say this with nothing but respect, almost exactly the same in quality as everything else I tasted. Not as anis heavy as spanish, not as thin a czech, but we ARE dealing with the same 3-8 herbs here, there's not that much variety out there.


While were on swiss absinthe...

Guy - more or less like the la bleues, a little "greener" tasting in that it seems to have a slightly vegetable scent, but again, anis predominates, there are no suprises here.

Kubler - this was a major exception. The predominating aroma of this absinthe was like huffing glue. A wierd solvent smell made it very umpleasant. Anyone who says that the woodyness in other absinthes is due to overcooking them then uses this as an example is demonstanting some kind of wierd double speak. The woodyness in Deva or La fee is light and herbal tasting, it contributes something nice to the flavor. This smells and tastes like some sort of industrial product got mixed in. I suspect that alot of people who don't distill are getting into hairsplitting where they don't have any reference.


On to French brands:

Versinthe - I had a bottle of the American versinthe and the french/spanish versinthe side by side. I will pay $1000 to anybody who could pass that taste test. These aren't any different, they're the same color, flavor, smell, and I'd bet they're made out of the same pot at the same time.

La Fee - I don't know, I'm with those folks who've been saying that this tastes like Deva. I bet if Deva backed off on the anis like 1% it would taste just like this. All of the other flavpors are the same. I wonder if they've got any production people in common.

Oxygenee - nice, but again, the same as all the others. I enjoyed this, as it found the middle ground where it wasn' too thin, and wasn't thick like deva, but I wasn't that impressed. I really think that, much like 90% of gin uses tanqueray or bombay as it's model, 90% of absinthe tastes basically the same. That being said, those absinthes that stand out, stand out for being bad, not for being transcendantly better than anything else out there.


This thought leads me to the samples of home distilled absinthes. Some of these were first hand, others came from folks who hadn't finished their own samples.

Universally these found that middle ground. Only two or three were too bitter, or had the solvent taste that kubler had to it. I was most suprised to find that the two samples of faux "Edward Pernod" that I tasted were significantly different from eachother. I mean, one was mintier than almost anything out there and the other was drier. They were supposed to come from the same home distillers lab, but they didn't taste the same at all. They were both nice tasting for what they were, but being that someone was trying to copy an existing product, I was a little confised.

My general opinion is that it's good to have favorites. I have mine, other people have theirs. But absinthe's aren't so different from one another, and saying that yours is the best made or the most traditional, just because you like it, is really silly.

I've noticed that, as new products come onto the market, especially if they're designed to be traditional in any way, they get really good reviews. They a few old salts on the board come around and say that those products aren't as well made and traditional as people think. Over time, everybody starts repeating that, and pretty soon something that lots of people liked isn't liked at all anymore. And people say "I educated myself" which is doubtful. It's more likely that they got bored and moved on.

There isn't that much variety out there. Nothing is so good that it's going to make you love absinthe if you didn't at least liike most of the other brands, no matter how tradtional, or carefully made it is. After reading the board I was expecting something else. At least more variety.

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