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What's "real"?

Sepulchritude Forum » The Absinthe Forum Archive thru June 2002 » Archive Thru May 2002 » What's "real"? « Previous Next »

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Posted on Sunday, June 2, 2002 - 1:51 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I think it's popped it's head out, but they've still got to cut the cord.
This would not fall under the category of real absinthe :
but fun nonetheless.
Posted on Sunday, June 2, 2002 - 1:37 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Does anybody know when Ian and Phil's baby will be born?
Posted on Saturday, June 1, 2002 - 4:52 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

While I am by no means an expert, I was lucky to have a few ounces of vintage Edouard, and to be quite honest, I have to say that Betty's LaBleu compared most favorably to that, although it was still quite a ways off, as it was much lighter and the taste didn't linger nearly as long as the Edouard. Although my judgment is skewed because the drink was from 1906, so who knows what's historically accurate if age has drastically altered the flavour? The only other absinthes I've had that have vintage like aspects to them are Francois Guy and Segarra, and just slightly LaFee. Maybe Kubler has just a hint too. But they're all still very light and airy and too anisey compared to the weighty green earthiness of Edouard. None of these modern absinthes, including Betty's, taste of wormwood as much as the Edouard did. The taste of wormwood is a very recognizable bitterness that engulfs your entire tounge, but it doesn't make you cringe, it's just kind of like an unusual vegetable flavour, and all the modern absinthes seem to have much lighter herbal ingredients added to make their drinks sweeter (or maybe just a lot less wormwood). I don't find wormwood bitterness unpleasant though, just simply very noticeable. The whole goddamn problem is the EU and their 10mg/kg limit. I realize that Absinthe is not wormwood alone, but limiting the manufacturers to such a low ratio has to be detrimental to the drink. Which is why Jade sounds so promising. No wormwood limits in Thailand! Or opium limits for that matter....I'm also curious about Emile, because if it's made in France, doesn't it have to be the EU 10mg limit? How can they possibly have enough wormwood to be historically accurate without having much more thujone than that? Francois Guy claims to use genetically altered Artemisia, but I don't buy that for one second. If they do, it's seriously altered the taste of the plant because I taste only a hint of wormwood in Guy, although Guy itself is quite tasty and refreshing. Ironically, I wouldn't describe vintage as refreshing from the limited samples I had. It's much more thick and dominating than any modern stuff I've had....
Anyway, this is just pontificating, I'm sure someone more experienced than I will come along any second and tell me I've got it all wrong, but it's just my opinon...
Posted on Saturday, June 1, 2002 - 4:24 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Anything that was anisey tasting would have passed as absinthe in the bad old days. Look at most of the stuff they passed as absinthe. There was a reason it got the reputation it did.
Posted on Saturday, June 1, 2002 - 2:22 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

You could piss in a bottle and sell it as absinthe during the belle epoch.

There were absinthes that tasted 'like sucking on a copper button' because they were colored with cupric salts. Poison.

When people say 'real' now, they mean is it the good shit, or is it essential oils, food coloring, and ethanol?

The production methods make all the difference in this definition, because they make all the difference in the taste.

Historically, absinthe is a very, very broad word, like beer. You can call Coors Lite beer if you want, and you can call Chimay beer.

Fistfights might break out over the niceties of the definition, as happens here once in awhile.

Much like I would classify Coors Lite as fizzy piss rather than beer, so too do many class macerated absinthe, or even mixed as 'pseudosinthe.'

But would Oscar and company have turned their noses up at mixed absinthe? Heavens to betsy, no!

They often (for want of cash) drank something closer to a chemistry project than a drink, though...
Posted on Saturday, June 1, 2002 - 2:12 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Using vintage ingredients and production methods as reference points for absinthe production is certainly valuable to the hogsmacker or would-be commercial producer; however, for this thread, I'm curious about taste alone. I realize that production methods and ingredents affect taste, but which modern products would be recognized as absinthe if a glass was served to Oscar Wilde, for example? Of course, this type of question can really only be answered by someone who has not just tasted vintage or Jade once, but by someone who is genuinely familiar with the tastes.

I'm familiar with a few Spanish brands, LaFee, Pernod68, Oxygenee and both of wolvie's products but still have no clue as to which, if any, is "closest" to Jade or vintage based on taste alone. I'm not even sure if you can generalize a taste as being "vintage"; was Berger, Pernod or any of the other vintage brands really that differnt? Would the average cafe patron be able to distinguish the difference or was it just a Coke/Pepsi type of thing?

Just curious...
Posted on Saturday, June 1, 2002 - 7:13 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

BTW, go to Ian and Phil's site:

and under 'About Us' there is a very nice explanation of the "what's real" question. It's not just marketing guff, either.
Posted on Saturday, June 1, 2002 - 6:58 am:   Edit PostPrint Post


I think the point Artemis always trys to make (which makes him come across as a total snob, but AFAICT this is NOT his intention), and which Ted Breaux makes whenever he drops in, is that NONE of them currently available can match the old absinthes. This is because NOTHING (except for Un Emile, and maybe some La Bleues) uses the old manufacturing process -- and that is because NO ONE has been willing to spend the time/money to do it right.

Segarra comes close because it actually uses part of the traditional process -- it's distilled from wormwood and green anise that have been macerated in a mix of wine spirits and cane distillate. See the piece by Petermarc on his trip to the Segarra distillery, on Vera's website.

Wolvie's is great but apparently unavailable once again -- with a long string of disgruntled customers still waiting for their orders (including me).
Posted on Friday, May 31, 2002 - 7:02 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I sure hope the answers get better or at least poetic... From one's experiences, in time, all answer will come...

My answer today is Oxygenee...

Your favorite Stooge...
Posted on Friday, May 31, 2002 - 6:57 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Miller Lite... Body by Fischer, soul by Satan.
Posted on Friday, May 31, 2002 - 6:55 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I sure hope someone answers this question... One thing for sure, the answer can only be one that can be bought somewhere... If it's a bootleg, someone better share their contact...

Your favorite Stooge...
Posted on Friday, May 31, 2002 - 6:24 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Here's a genuine absinthe-related question - an opportunity for the frustrated to comment or teach on "something serious". Speak now or forever hold your peace...

As Artemis departed, he mentioned something about "pseudo-sinthe". This forces me to again ask the question: "What constitutes absinthe?", What do *you* consider "real" absinthe. No vintage, no Jade, and no hog-smack because that stuff is more mythical than real and there's no way to discern bullshit stories and drunken impressions from from reality. I'm talking product that anyone can purchase and comment on.

When I asked before we got very liberal definitions that covered basically every available product, so I guess this is more aimed at those who consider most brands "pseudo-sithe" or "historically inaccurate". What's real? Betty's LaBleue's? Wolvie's? F.Guy?

What do the discriminate few drink?

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