Improvements on dicks recipe ?

Sepulchritude Forum: The Absinthe Forum Archives Thru July 2001: Topics Archived thru April 2001:Improvements on dicks recipe ?
By Aion on Monday, April 09, 2001 - 10:20 pm: Edit

No apologies necessary, my "thank you for telling me" was not meant ironic. You couldn´t have known
that I spent about the last 10 years collecting (and drinking) Single Malts.
So I hope our posts will lead some more forum members to the pleasures of Single Malts.

By Lordhobgoblin on Monday, April 09, 2001 - 12:15 pm: Edit


You have my apologies for my condescending attitude, it is one of my many faults (along with poor spelling).


By Aion on Sunday, April 08, 2001 - 10:16 pm: Edit

The standard Glenfiddich is now 12 years old.

L. Hobgoblin
Single Malt was an in-drink of these very special
people (in Germany and Austria) about 2-3 years ago. And the next one was fine rum. Don´t know what it is now (guess it is not Absinthe).
Just came back from the cellar and counted
28 unopened bottles of Single Malts from every region in Scotland and another 9 opened bottles in the living room, so I think I know a little bit about this drink, but thanks for telling me.
You are absolutely right, Lagavulin and Laphroaig are best value for the money. But if once a bottle of Longrow crosses your way (expect $80-100
minimum for a 10 - 12 years bottling) take it!


By Lordhobgoblin on Saturday, April 07, 2001 - 06:57 am: Edit

Actually we should say Czech with the exception of Sebor Absinthe which is a good quality Czech Absinthe.

We don't want to put anyone off sampling Sebor, which in my opinion is in the same bracket as Deva , Serpis and Segarra.


By Heiko on Saturday, April 07, 2001 - 01:36 am: Edit

...and I guess even the worst whisky you can get is much more drinkable compared to czech absinthe (which is a threat even to the untrained palate).

I still don't understand how anyone could be drunk enough to dare to market something like Starop.
If I would make something like this as a homebrew I would probably give up and say "ok, it didn't work..."

By Lordhobgoblin on Saturday, April 07, 2001 - 01:20 am: Edit


Single malt whiskies cannot by any stretch of the imagination be compared to Hills absinthe. Single malt whisky is not something that is a fad drank by the 'in-crowd'.

Single malt whiskies represent the quality end of Scotch whisky. They represent the the 'AOC' of whisky compared to the 'table wine' of whisky (blends).

All single malts have their own distinct character and flavour. They are all very different. Glenfiddich, is totally different from a Glenmorangie, as is a Lagavullin, a Macallum, Talisker, Glenlivet etc etc.

Single malts are produced in individual distilleries using only malted barley. The flavour produced by each is unique and is a result of skilled craftsmanship. The quality of any Scotch single malt cannot be compared to any mass market blended whisky.

(Try a Lagavullin)

By Zack on Friday, April 06, 2001 - 09:52 pm: Edit

How old is the regular Glenfiddich? I figured that is aged around 8 years...

By Aion on Thursday, April 05, 2001 - 11:23 pm: Edit

The about 6-8 year old Glenfiddich was a very bad product.
It is not available any more, thank god.
The 15 years old 50,5% cask strength is a very good product, which competes with the best Lowland
malts (especially as a summer drink).
My favorite malt is Longrow (the other product from Springbank), very rare and very very good.


By Wolfgang on Thursday, April 05, 2001 - 09:44 am: Edit


Well, I bought a bottle of Glenfiddich 15 years last summer and it was not that bad... Of course I will always prefer Glenmorangie 18 years or Island Park but I still don`t think Glenfiddich is so a bad drink that we can compare it to the Czech products...


By Petermarc on Thursday, April 05, 2001 - 06:08 am: Edit

yes, but it's not talking to me....

By Aion on Thursday, April 05, 2001 - 04:36 am: Edit

Is there a tongue left to cut out
after you drank that acid?

By Petermarc on Thursday, April 05, 2001 - 04:02 am: Edit

painfully true, my friend...
my tasting notes --zelena muza:
gackkk! my tongue! someone please cut out my tongue! other than that, it is a fine drink...

By Germanandy on Thursday, April 05, 2001 - 03:44 am: Edit

if you ever drunk zelena muza you think hills is gold ;-)

By Aion on Thursday, April 05, 2001 - 03:20 am: Edit

Wouldn´t pay that for a full bottle of that garbage!
Poor trendy people!

By Absinthedrinker on Thursday, April 05, 2001 - 02:42 am: Edit

I believe it will set you back £5 a single shot.

By Aion on Thursday, April 05, 2001 - 02:17 am: Edit

Can anybody tell me what´s the price for
one glass of Hills in the bars or clubs
in London (or wherever)?

By Heiko on Thursday, April 05, 2001 - 01:01 am: Edit

"And all these oh-so-important-and-stylish
people are only a stupid and misguided herd of
sheep having no own opinion."

Perfectly right - every one of them thinks he's so important to get into a special club or bar (while others wearing the wrong shoes etc. will not) - but they don't realize the owner of the club only takes their money (because 'special' clubs have of course special prices for drinks...).

I pity those people because most of them have to work second jobs to finance their weekends just for the feeling of being special and belonging to the "rich and beautiful"...

By Aion on Wednesday, April 04, 2001 - 10:19 pm: Edit

Isn´t it a shame that Hills - being one of the worst drinks in the world - is a symbol of
being IN-SCENE.
But the in-scene people drank Glenfiddich as
Single Malt Whiskies became an in-drink, and
white Bacardi when it was rum.
Looks like it is always the worst product that is
most successful.
And all these oh-so-important-and-stylish
people are only a stupid and misguided herd of
sheep having no own opinion.

By Heiko on Wednesday, April 04, 2001 - 08:08 pm: Edit

with the "in-scene" people I meant those extremely cool clubbers who always know what's in fashion right now and always do and wear and talk what is "in". The kind of crowd that goes to house clubs were they won't let you in if your shoes are out of fashion...
I've been to a house club recently with an old friend from school (and he is kind of extremely "in") and found out you gotta drink what's "in" to be respected - if you just have a beer, everyone knows you don't belong to "the scene"...doesn't matter if you like the drink or not, it's just the symbolic "secret handshake".
-- I know why I don't like these clubs...

By Bjacques on Wednesday, April 04, 2001 - 06:53 pm: Edit

Nor the crew at The Idler (an excellent magazine against workaholism). They carry a La Fee ad and have a La Fee bus they drive around. On the other hand, they ran a contest whose prize was a free bottle of Hill's...

By Don_Walsh on Wednesday, April 04, 2001 - 11:56 am: Edit

Who are the 'in-scene' people?

Me and Ted? (Not hardly.)

Or the rock n'roll assholes who are behind GB/GM?

The perpetrators of Hills?

Brilliant manipulators o the UK media that they are.

Nah. They have failed with La Fee on their own turn under their own conditions. Wish I could take credit! but I can't.

By Heiko on Wednesday, April 04, 2001 - 09:41 am: Edit

maybe the "in-scene people" are so much manipulated by the marketing that they won't buy La Fée because it's not "the original" (means the brand that was sold first as "absinthe")...

...or it's just the same as with music - I always ask myself why all the shit is on the top ten while good music is only appreciated by a few people...

...or, the same as with TV-shows: the most crappy ones get the best ratings... be continued ad infinitum ;-)

By Absinthedrinker on Wednesday, April 04, 2001 - 09:04 am: Edit

"I hope this will change for Absinthe as well - maybe when more people tasted good stuff they won't waste money on shit anymore. As long as Hill's can be sold as an especially expensive "in-drink" there's something wrong out there... "

It still amazes me that of those bars that stock absinthe in London, 90% serve Hills and almost none serve la Fée. As even the enlightened bartenders accept that the former is shite and the retail price of the latter is so much less I cannot understand it, unless, as I suspect, the margins on Hills are so lucrative. Maybe one of the GB lurkers would like to de-cloak and explain?

By Don_Walsh on Wednesday, April 04, 2001 - 09:00 am: Edit

Jesus, Heiko, you have just restated why Belle Epoch Liqueurs and Jade Liqueurs even exist. We agree with you. We're mad and we're not going to take any more! Really!

Prepare yourself for an awakening.

By Heiko on Wednesday, April 04, 2001 - 08:53 am: Edit

Even if the ouzo is made from oils - for the cheapest of liquors available in stores there is a certain minimum level of quality which doesn't seem to exist for absinthe (yet). I mean this 5$ per bottle no-name Ouzo is in my opinion on the same quality level than Deva. I like it, but it is nothing special - I guess you wouldn't find a liquor in the 'quality'-range of Staroplzenecky in stores for long, except maybe if it was sold for 2.99$ per liter ;-)

I hope this will change for Absinthe as well - maybe when more people tasted good stuff they won't waste money on shit anymore. As long as Hill's can be sold as an especially expensive "in-drink" there's something wrong out there...

I know I only repeat what all of you know - it was just that I had to taste different absinthes myself to realize the quality levels of modern commercial absinthes are somewhere below standard: The best of them are just what you would usually consider 'OK', or maybe 'good' if not too expensive...

By Don_Walsh on Wednesday, April 04, 2001 - 08:18 am: Edit

Modern absinthe makers appear to be little more than second rate pastis makers, and pastis is almost always made from oils.

Don't expect much from that label language. That could still mean 'assembled from oils' depending on interpretation.

By Heiko on Wednesday, April 04, 2001 - 06:40 am: Edit

Thanks Don,

I didn't know essential oils were made by steam-distillation from water alone - so here's the difference, I see.

Then it really is a shame that most commercial absinthes are made from oils - I just looked more closely at the label of some really cheap ouzo I bought recently (~5$ for 0.7l, 37,5%) and it says it was made by "distillation of alcohol, anise and different herbs". So even this cheap (yet good) ouzo is distilled.
OK, I guess it wouldn't be that cheap anymore if it had 50% or more alcohol (37,5% is the magic borderline in Germany, everything above is taxed astronomically...).

Why don't absinthe-makers rather make distilled absinthe with less alcohol than using oils to make production cheaper? You pay a lot of tax on moderate products just because of their high alcoholic content :-(

BTW I hope my next order from SC won't be searched too closely at customs - the customs duty would probably ruin me...

By Don_Walsh on Wednesday, April 04, 2001 - 03:14 am: Edit

Now, the more astute of you will perhaps discern that one COULD individually distill essential oils with alcohol and water, and perhaps one would get the same (individual herb) mix of components in same ration as in absinthe making. And if one knew which herbs to so distill, one could end up with a bunch of (hopefully dark amber) bottles of oils, and one could in principle, perhaps one could mix these.

However, obviously this is the LONG way round the block, and it is simpler to mix the herbs per se and go ahead and do it the old way.

Seasoned liqueur makers will recognize the superiority of the old method. Blending oils and alcohol has always been the quick and dirty technique used by shifty manufacturers to produce quick and dirty products.

By Don_Walsh on Wednesday, April 04, 2001 - 02:58 am: Edit


By Don_Walsh on Wednesday, April 04, 2001 - 02:55 am: Edit

Heiko, the problem with oils is that the process of making them is physically different than the absinthe making process and extracts a different mixture of components from the herbs than absinthe making does. Therefore, you can't get there from here.

Think about it.

Essential oils are made by steam distillation. Water alone, is distilled over the herbs, and the oils seperate out or are extracted with an immiscible solvent from the water. If the oils are going to be for human consumption, be damned careful what solvent is employed!!

Absinthe is distilled from an alcohol-water mix over herbs, such that the oils have been extracted into the alcohol-water solution, and the distillation serves to seperate some of the components of the oils from others. This is the essence of absinthe making, and this is why 'macerating' from oils is incapable of producing the real thing. You can get close (La Fee, for example) but no cigar.

Essential oils are also perishable, light sensitive, heat sensitive, so best prepared fresh and used right away. Few if any makers go to this trouble, it is a lot of work. Doing things the old fashioned way is easier!

However, just buying oils in bulk and mixing up ersatz absinthe with neutral spirits, water and food coloring is even easier and cheaper, so that's what most of the modern makers do. With the exception of the Swiss and maybe Segarra I would think just about all of them are taking the low road. Well, we take the high road, and we'll get to absinthe before 'em. (already have in fact.)

By the way: I am now given to understand that the European usage of 'artisnal' in regard to a still is just a matter of size. Small stills are all artisnal; still of more than a certain 4-digit (wash) capacity in liters are commercial. It stands to reason that not every artisnal still is being employed in an artisnal fashion...the premium makers of traditional copper stills in USA are Vendome Copper and Brass, Louisville KY, and in Europe, Jacob Carl in Germany. Both make stills as small as 5 gallons and as large as 1500 liters to 5000 gallons mash capacity. However, neither sells to the 'home distiller' market. In USA, they won't talk to you less'n you have an ATF license. A 100 gallon US made all copper fractionating still, designed for steam heat -- boiler not included -- is $40,000. That'll make about 100 liters of 95% neutral spirits in a day, definitely 'artisnal'. A pot still suitable for absinthe making would be a bit less, since the column and plates wouldn't be required. These are very pretty stills. I think I will post a photo. NOBODY in the Jura is using anything this nice.

By Heiko on Wednesday, April 04, 2001 - 01:22 am: Edit

"you can't know what absinthe is supposed to taste like"

Well, if you don't know this, you could just try to create something which suits your own taste. Wouldn't be the original, but might still turn out to be good.
Just a thought...

A question about the oil or distillation - matter:
Couldn't an Absinthe made from oils (extremely good oils) which is prepared very carefully be as good as distilled absinthe? Isn't it just the oils which are not really good (or very one-dimensional in taste) that make these absinthes to be inferior to distilled ones?

By Don_Walsh on Tuesday, April 03, 2001 - 07:52 pm: Edit

Only the ignorant, such as yourself, would say so.

By Timk on Tuesday, April 03, 2001 - 02:40 pm: Edit

"its a steep learning curve"

from what people have been saying, Don and the like, it is a very shallow lurning curve, not a steep one

By Don_Walsh on Tuesday, April 03, 2001 - 01:19 pm: Edit

If you're not expecting this to be easy, you won't be disappointed.

Part of the difficulty is that you can't know what absinthe is supposed to taste like, when properly done, if all you have ever tasted are the modern counterfeits of absinthe. The Spanish and Czechs and Portuguese just don't have it right. The Swiss have it sort of right in a highly simplified form. The French have it half right in a product made from oils (which is cheating). Those last two can be starting points but you won't have any well defined end point unless/until you taste something authentic.

For that you either need to obtain well preserved unopened bottles of appropriate premium labels from 100 years ago, or, you can save a lot of money and buy ours, in the near future.

By Igrokit on Tuesday, April 03, 2001 - 05:46 am: Edit

im not expecting this to be easy by any means, im just trying to narrow down the areas where i can screw it up. i am not really after anyones secrets because i will get there on my own eventualy.

By Don_Walsh on Tuesday, April 03, 2001 - 05:16 am: Edit

There's no substitute for experience. The first mistake is to think that it can be reduced to a 'recipe'.

It can't be.

Try any of the 'recipes' and you will get glop.

However you might learn something(s) in the attempt, if you observe carefully.

No one is going to hand you any hardwon secrets on a silver platter.

By Igrokit on Tuesday, April 03, 2001 - 05:08 am: Edit

thanks grim for that link it was very helpful and artemis for the transltion,and as for bob i am doing my research this is part of it, its a steep learning curve and asking for some help is part of that. i plan to make my own absinthe and not just order myself a bottle and call myself an absinthe drinker. i dont want to go through all this and end up with a crappy product and then someone say ' oh that was a lame recipe '.we all have to start somewhere

By Artemis on Monday, April 02, 2001 - 12:52 pm: Edit

And if you like what you find, feel free to send the translator a gallon of your Shiraz experiment.

By Grimbergen on Monday, April 02, 2001 - 12:10 pm: Edit

For a start, go to Phil's web page and check out this document.

By Bob_Chong on Monday, April 02, 2001 - 09:19 am: Edit

IOW, you have dick.

What else do you know besides the lame recipe?

A little disclosure on your part and some proof you've actually done some work on this might make people more helpful. I'm not trying to be a jerk or withhold information, but I speak as a professional educator. This place is great for information, but none of us are full time absinthe research librarians, waiting around for someone to ask for help (in the form of "give me all you got").


By Igrokit on Monday, April 02, 2001 - 08:11 am: Edit

i have all the ingrediants according to dick, got the impression from postings that it could be better.
give me all you got
Thanks people. Paul......

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