To buy or not to buy...?

Sepulchritude Forum: The Absinthe Forum Archives Thru July 2001: To buy or not to buy...?
By Head_Prosthesis on Friday, May 18, 2001 - 11:51 pm: Edit

Don and Ted's Excellent Adventure.

"Oh, yeah folks. Have you noticed that anyone who has tried the long awaited Breaux Brews doesn't care what it costs to get more?"

I haven't even tried their's yet and already the spanish absinthes are losing their appeal. You guys are good, damn good.

By Loucheliver on Friday, May 18, 2001 - 07:39 pm: Edit

Brother Bunny,
How ya been? Say hello to Y. for me as well.

By Head_Prosthesis on Thursday, May 17, 2001 - 11:15 pm: Edit

Keep your head Rabbit, keep your head...

By Mr_Rabbit on Thursday, May 17, 2001 - 10:06 pm: Edit

Head, I love you, man! No, I really, really love you, man!

Loucheliver- Hiya!

By Marc on Thursday, May 17, 2001 - 08:37 pm: Edit

Down here in Vegas us boys refer to Muscatel as "love juice". "Love juice" will get you harder than a railroad spike. I drank a gallon of Muscatel once and ended up having sex with 3 women and a dog. The dog was dead. I was so horny
I fucked a hole in the wall. I probably would have fucked myself to death if I hadn't blacked out from choking on my own vomit. Yeah, "love juice" is a beautiful thing.

from the The Unauthorized Biography of
Blind Boy Campbell

By Head_Prosthesis on Thursday, May 17, 2001 - 08:30 pm: Edit

I feel that joint down in my shoes Blind Boy.

By Head_Prosthesis on Thursday, May 17, 2001 - 08:29 pm: Edit

I feel that joint down in shoes Blind Boy.

By Marc on Thursday, May 17, 2001 - 08:15 pm: Edit

Muscatel Blues by Blind Boy Campbell

Down by the trainyard
Sittin' on a log
Drinkin' muscatel
And howlin' like a dog
I ain't got no money
I ain't got a home
Got a bottle of wine
And a mojo bone
And when I die
And go to hell
Hope that the devil
Got some Muscatel

By Head_Prosthesis on Thursday, May 17, 2001 - 07:31 pm: Edit

Mr. Richard's Premium Light Muscatel is a dazzling piss yellow spirit, distilled in the tradition of Sterno, from a potion of jet fuel and ether.

Muscatel, a drink with a long and controversial history, enjoyed its greatest popularity in late 1950's, when wino's Vincent Van Cough, Henry de Cabooze Trainwreck, Paul "Getoutta" Mylane, Ernie Hummerjay and Oscar Weiner were among its most notorius drunks. It was an inseparable part of vagabond life during that period of time. It is said to have inspired many a fist fight over the beans and franks at the train yard and unprecedented cases of blindness. Today you can enjoy the full uritic flavor, aroma and dazzling piss green color of cheap wine when drinking Muscatel.

Muscatel recalls the mid-western intrigue of hobo society during the twentieth century.

Muscatel it's wino refined

By Loucheliver on Thursday, May 17, 2001 - 07:22 pm: Edit

Oh, yeah folks. Have you noticed that anyone who has tried the long awaited Breaux Brews doesn't care what it costs to get more?

There is a reason for that.

Kinda like crack dealers. In a good way.
No, the BEST way possible.

By Loucheliver on Thursday, May 17, 2001 - 07:14 pm: Edit

Don,
1st of all, I can't believe you and Ted are even trying this. When I wax all enthuiastic about absinthe, people have little or no idea what it is, and if they do have an inkling, that it is obtainable at all, let alone that there are "crap" and "authentic" versions. Or where in the hell to get it.
I don't know for sure, but I doubt that absinthe is know much throughout the world liquor market as it has been banned for friggin' ever. It isn't beer, wine, whiskey or vodka.
Hence, one hell of a crapshoot on yours and Ted's part. Ballsy.
2nd of all, I've tasted, savored, and fully enjoyed your product. As Artemis and others have stated, there is no comparison. None at all. Forget Segarra. I will never get Segarra again after tasting JL product. The cost isn't an issue.
For the record, I drink N.S. because I love absinthe, and I drink it to the exclusion of most everything else. And I want it on hand. But I don't want to pay more than what I pay for N.S. until JL products are available because the cost/enjoyment factor drops way the hell off. I've only tried 9 different absinthes, but the JL stuff is the nuts for the money.
I had BEI La Bleue, which was a damn interesting buzz (ask Mr. Rabbit), but it did not have the depth of flavor, and cost $60 more than a fat-head Benny. And the JL stuff is buzz and a 1/2, or 3/4 in itself.
Anyway, stay the course, suffer the fools (I know, I am one), full speed ahead!

By Head_Prosthesis on Thursday, May 17, 2001 - 07:14 pm: Edit

It COULD be that??? ...or $2.75 the price I paid.

By Marc on Thursday, May 17, 2001 - 07:07 pm: Edit

head,

there appears to be a number, 275, written by hand on the Muscatel's label. Is that a limited edition Muscatel, signed and numbered?

By Frater_Carfax on Thursday, May 17, 2001 - 06:22 pm: Edit

Don

nice to see Thai politics in action

As one who works in the pharmaceutical industry I for one completely sympathise with the rationale for your price setting....

Any company has the right to recoup the money invested upfront in R&D, especially when that product provides a unique proposition and in a limited global market- I think any comparisons to pricing of the Spanish product would be erroneous. Innovation does not come cheap, and if there is preference because of quality, pricing becomes less of an issue for dedicated absentheurs.

No doubt if anyone else puts in the whole 9 yards and develops methodology to provide product of similar taste and quality and goes into meangingful competition- the consumer will benefit in the end I guess (providing no one goes broke).

Jonathan

By Head_Prosthesis on Thursday, May 17, 2001 - 06:14 pm: Edit

Anyone looking for a bargain?

Tell you what! I'll let this vintage bottle of Muscatel go for say... 3USD+S/H. It still has shelf dust from the QUICKY LICKER that I purchased it from a year ago. The seal is intact and it still has a dark vitamin piss color. There is sediment begining to form at the bottom which is a sure sign of quality that's SOLID!

The Comet

By Don_Walsh on Thursday, May 17, 2001 - 06:50 am: Edit

Thanks, Head, that's a lovely thought.

(Of course, Sotheby's and Christie's do it all the time.)

The problem with Terminus' argument (more or less a repetion of the one that got TimK in the doghouse with us) is that he/they make assumptions about our business model, and worldview, and motives, that are overly simplistic and that bear no relation to reality. That is arrogant and ignorant. They come off sounding like a Classic Comics version of Milton Freidman.

Their model does not fit a highly artisnal niche business that, from purely business terms, makes no sense at all. Ted and I are taking huge risks regarding the nature of the market, its depth, the stability of the precarious enforcement environment, etc. We have had to slice off a serious hunk of our shares to our Thai partners to see this happen at all, and there just is no room for manuevering in the fashion Terminus advises. Sorry about that. The price is the price and anyone who doesn't like it can vote with their wallet.

By Head_Prosthesis on Wednesday, May 16, 2001 - 05:45 pm: Edit

Can you really put a price on a work of art?

By Don_Walsh on Wednesday, May 16, 2001 - 05:28 pm: Edit

Terminus:

Economies of scale don't exist in this situation. It's as simple as that. Our raw materials costs don't go down if we produce 2X or 10X our planned volume. And most significantly, shipping cost doesn't come down. Instead, the logistical overhead goes UP not down, and my labor goes up. So rather than achieving econmies of scale, all any arbitrary price reduction does is reduce how much Ted, our partners and myself have to carve up, including amortization of capital equipment etc. And let's not forget our corporate and personal taxes, the bank's slice of the e-commerce sales, too. Or did you think getting paid by credit card was free?

So we are trapped between fixed raw materials and packaging costs and fixed shipping costs and credit-card commission.

The potential for a totally different (larger and more industrial) production paradigm, is dubious, unless the market is a lot larger than 100 bottles a day.

So much for economies of scale.

There is I suppose some distant chance of figuring out how to more cost-effectively deliver the products to our customers. However so far we have not been able to identify any such method that doesn't have a high admin cost associated with it that offsets any savings.

By Wolfgang on Wednesday, May 16, 2001 - 10:29 am: Edit

I opened a new tread about absinthe & Montreal but it looks like the software is fucked up again... ?

By Terminus on Wednesday, May 16, 2001 - 08:36 am: Edit

Don> You are an excitable one, aren't you?

Primative economics...LOL.

T'was just basic economics.

If I could sell 40 widgets at a price of $100 or 100 widgets at a price of $75, I'd sell 100 widgets at a price of $75 as long as my production costs for those 60 extra widgets wasn't greater than $3500.

Economies of scale is an important concept.
I hope you have used marketing surveys and a costs/benefits analysis tool.

Bottom line...Charge whatever will make you the most money.

As for suing in the Thai courts...I wasn't serious. I forgot my ;) emoticon. I have no idea what your agreement/contract with Ted is/contains.

Besides, whoever bribes the judge the most money wins. :-)

By Tabreaux on Wednesday, May 16, 2001 - 08:36 am: Edit

Yeah, you can meet me at one of the usual digs in the Crescent Street/St. Catherine area. There is also a Thailandaise restaurant on that street that I really like.

By Wolfgang on Wednesday, May 16, 2001 - 08:22 am: Edit

>I should be in Montreal in June.

What ? The one and only mythical absinthe alchemist coming to my hometown ?! Whouhou ;-)

...I will send you an email soon...

By the way, is there any Montrealer lurkers on the board ?

Wolf.

By Don_Walsh on Wednesday, May 16, 2001 - 07:16 am: Edit

I haven't the time or inclination to bring anyone up to speed on the nature of cause and effect in Thai politics. It is far from transparent.

By Dr_Ordinaire on Wednesday, May 16, 2001 - 05:39 am: Edit

Don, as much as we disagree on other things, I have to tip my hat to you on this one.

You were organizing all this stuff BEFORE the Thai Gov decided to lift the ban on small distilleries? How the hell did you know...?

All those rumours about you and the Prime Minister's wife...nah...that can't be true...

By Don_Walsh on Wednesday, May 16, 2001 - 05:35 am: Edit

Sorry for the double post. Kallisti, pls delete one of them. The board software is toast. First the thing gave me an error message then it posted same message twice and then it wouldn't let me edit the duplicate. Grrrrrr.

The edit function does not permit the simple deletion of a post, either, one must edit it out of existance leaving behind a blank post or one replaced with an apology... Double grrrrrr.

By Don_Walsh on Wednesday, May 16, 2001 - 05:28 am: Edit

TheNATION

Thailand's independent daily newspaper

Headlines

Mon, May 14,2001

SPIRIT DEREGULATION: Liquor sector to open

Finance Ministry says removing ban on small distillers will revitalise rural economy

The government will take the un-precedented step of allowing individual and smaller companies to produce liquor as part of a nationwide effort to boost enterpreneurship and new community businesses.

The liberalisation of the liquor industry will be spearheaded by the Finance Ministry.

The move is designed to complement the ruling Thai Rak Thai Party's "one village, one product' project. According to a source the move is part of reform efforts to foster the rural sector along the lines of projects in Europe, particularly France and Italy, where villages and small farms produce wine and food not only for domestic distribution but for export as well.

The liquor business has been controlled by government directive since the time of King Rama 1. In the 1980s the government issued licenses to the private sector to operate 12 designated distilleries. But the 12 have come under the ownership of just one company, the Surathip Group, owned by tycoon Charoen Wat-tanasiritham. in the early 1990s the group merged with Sura Maharas to form a single monopoly. Since then the Finance Ministry has liberalised the industry, but the conditions remain restrictive.

The production of white liquor in private homes will remain illegal. But Finance Minister Sornkid Jatusripitak's plan will change the landscape of the multibillion-baht liquor industry entirely.

Sornkid is expected to submit to the Cabinet soon a draft bill to lift all restrictions imposed by the Excise Department and Indus-trial Works Department on small distilleries.

If approved, it would liberalise production of spirits and beer, which is currently monopolised by a few producers. Farmers and small businesses in particular would benefit.

Opening the market to new players is in line with the government's policy of distributing wealth outside Bangkok and would support the "one village, one product' policy designed to encourage each community to focus on production of a single commodity, the source said.

Poorer Thai farmers, if allowed to produce alcohol, could upgrade their living standards, as have their counterparts in Europe, America and Australia, where small farmers are encouraged to produce wine and other alcoholic beverages, according to a statement in the draft bill.

The Finance Ministry ended the government's monopoly on spirit production some years ago, but the sales rights have been transferred to the hands of a few private companies owing to ministry regulations favouring big producers.

The Excise Department issued regulations last year requiring spirit-manufacturers to produce at least 30,000 litres a day and production plants to occupy at least 200 rai.

This bias in favour of large producers leaves small producers of local spirits no option but to operate illegally.

The Excise Department has already relaxed regulations on production of low-alcohol beverages such as wine and beer, no longer requiring a minimum capacity or investment. However, new private manufacturers or cooperatives must comply with regulations set up by the Industrial Works Department. Farmers and local civil groups complain these conditions prevent them from entering the lucrative business.

The new bill is expected to be opposed by existing producers, politicians with vested interest and officials at the Finance Ministry, according to the source.


The alcoholic beverage market is worth more than Bt100 Billion including imports

The Excise Department each year collects about Bt40 billion in taxes on alcoholic beverages. For fiscal 2001 it expects to collect tax from spirits and beer of 13t10 billion and Bt30.4 billion respectively. The combined amount accounts for 22 per cent of the department's total projected revenue.

The department often defends big producers by saying that collecting tax from big firms is easy and diminishes the possibility of tax evasion. Officials claim that the introduction of small producers will make tax collection costly and could lead to a decline in government revenue. Officials are also concerned that farmers may produce poor-quality or even unhealthy products.

The source however, noted that universities, the Food and Drug Administration and local communities were prepared to cooperate to ensure farmers developed high-quality products.

Illegal alcoholic-drink production is active in the North and the Northeast of Thailand, where from time to time protests are staged against government suppression of the activities.

Wealthy and middle-class Thai consumers have a taste for imported whisky, wine and beer, due partly to the lower quality and limited selection of the local brews.

By consuming local products, Thailand could earn at least half of the total spending on imported beverages, including non-alcoholic drinks, which reaches Bt50 billion a year, the source said.

Higher quality and greater variety would be achieved through an open market, he said.

Wichit Chaitrong
THE NATION
(c) 2000 Nation Multimedia Group
44 Moo 10 Bang Na-Trat KM 4.5, Bang Na district,
Bangkok 10260 Thailand
NATION Tel 66-2-317-0420 and 66-2-316-5900; Fax 66-2-317-2071
GRCUP Contact us: ba-ngn,a@nationgroup.com

By Don_Walsh on Wednesday, May 16, 2001 - 05:28 am: Edit

TheNATION

Thailand's independent daily newspaper

Headlines

Mon, May 14,2001

SPIRIT DEREGULATION: Liquor sector to open

Finance Ministry says removing ban on small distillers will revitalise rural economy

The government will take the un-precedented step of allowing individual and smaller companies to produce liquor as part of a nationwide effort to boost enterpreneurship and new community businesses.

The liberalisation of the liquor industry will be spearheaded by the Finance Ministry.

The move is designed to complement the ruling Thai Rak Thai Party's "one village, one product' project. According to a source the move is part of reform efforts to foster the rural sector along the lines of projects in Europe, particularly France and Italy, where villages and small farms produce wine and food not only for domestic distribution but for export as well.

The liquor business has been controlled by government directive since the time of King Rama 1. In the 1980s the government issued licenses to the private sector to operate 12 designated distilleries. But the 12 have come under the ownership of just one company, the Surathip Group, owned by tycoon Charoen Wat-tanasiritham. in the early 1990s the group merged with Sura Maharas to form a single monopoly. Since then the Finance Ministry has liberalised the industry, but the conditions remain restrictive.

The production of white liquor in private homes will remain illegal. But Finance Minister Sornkid Jatusripitak's plan will change the landscape of the multibillion-baht liquor industry entirely.

Sornkid is expected to submit to the Cabinet soon a draft bill to lift all restrictions imposed by the Excise Department and Indus-trial Works Department on small distilleries.

If approved, it would liberalise production of spirits and beer, which is currently monopolised by a few producers. Farmers and small businesses in particular would benefit.

Opening the market to new players is in line with the government's policy of distributing wealth outside Bangkok and would support the "one village, one product' policy designed to encourage each community to focus on production of a single commodity, the source said.

Poorer Thai farmers, if allowed to produce alcohol, could upgrade their living standards, as have their counterparts in Europe, America and Australia, where small farmers are encouraged to produce wine and other alcoholic beverages, according to a statement in the draft bill.

The Finance Ministry ended the government's monopoly on spirit production some years ago, but the sales rights have been transferred to the hands of a few private companies owing to ministry regulations favouring big producers.

The Excise Department issued regulations last year requiring spirit-manufacturers to produce at least 30,000 litres a day and production plants to occupy at least 200 rai.

This bias in favour of large producers leaves small producers of local spirits no option but to operate illegally.

The Excise Department has already relaxed regulations on production of low-alcohol beverages such as wine and beer, no longer requiring a minimum capacity or investment. However, new private manufacturers or cooperatives must comply with regulations set up by the Industrial Works Department. Farmers and local civil groups complain these conditions prevent them from entering the lucrative business.

The new bill is expected to be opposed by existing producers, politicians with vested interest and officials at the Finance Ministry, according to the source.


The alcoholic beverage market is worth more than Bt100 Billion including imports

The Excise Department each year collects about Bt40 billion in taxes on alcoholic beverages. For fiscal 2001 it expects to collect tax from spirits and beer of 13t10 billion and Bt30.4 billion respectively. The combined amount accounts for 22 per cent of the department's total projected revenue.

The department often defends big producers by saying that collecting tax from big firms is easy and diminishes the possibility of tax evasion. Officials claim that the introduction of small producers will make tax collection costly and could lead to a decline in government revenue. Officials are also concerned that farmers may produce poor-quality or even unhealthy products.

The source however, noted that universities, the Food and Drug Administration and local communities were prepared to cooperate to ensure farmers developed high-quality products.

Illegal alcoholic-drink production is active in the North and the Northeast of Thailand, where from time to time protests are staged against government suppression of the activities.

Wealthy and middle-class Thai consumers have a taste for imported whisky, wine and beer, due partly to the lower quality and limited selection of the local brews.

By consuming local products, Thailand could earn at least half of the total spending on imported beverages, including non-alcoholic drinks, which reaches Bt50 billion a year, the source said.

Higher quality and greater variety would be achieved through an open market, he said.

Wichit Chaitrong
THE NATION
(c) 2000 Nation Multimedia Group
44 Moo 10 Bang Na-Trat KM 4.5, Bang Na district,
Bangkok 10260 Thailand
NATION Tel 66-2-317-0420 and 66-2-316-5900; Fax 66-2-317-2071
GRCUP Contact us: ba-ngn,a@nationgroup.com

By Don_Walsh on Wednesday, May 16, 2001 - 03:14 am: Edit

Terminus, take your primitive economics and shove them. I'll tell you what sets the pricing of JL products: Ted and I do, and if your 'market mechanism' says that we can't sell them at a price consistent with my investment of both money and labor, then I won't make them. That's not a threat. That's simply the truth. Slavery is dead; there is nothing me forcing to do this, you know. That's all I am saying and that's all I said. The statement has nothing to do with throwing anything in any sea, South China or otherwise.

And don't be making asinine remarks about Ted sueing me or anyone else. As you are not privy to our agreements, you are speaking way out of turn. Anyway, just where would he be suiong me? In Thailand? Huh? You'd better rethink all this.

The fact is that I fully expect to be able to sell 100% of production at the price(s) that Ted and I mutually decide. If demand is smaller than expected we will scale production back; if demand is greater than we expect we will scale up, but as we are set up to produce on an intensely hand crafted basis, there is only so much potential for increased production. Beyond that we would have to rethink our production model entirely, without of course in any way disturbing the quality and integrity of the products.

Scaling down does not offer potential for better economy; scaling up, only a modest such potential, as every bottle means hard work by me.

This is not an automated process. Everything is done by HAND. That is why idle chatter about pricing being 1/2, 1/3 or 1/4 of actual, and comparisons to the mass produced garbage products elsewhere, irk me. I trust by now everyone understands that those products are made in distilleries who were long since capitalized to make other products, are highly automated, use intensely low cost methods and materials, and the lowest cost packaging and presentations.

Well, we only produce absinthe, we have no other products, we have no automation, and we use uncompromised old methods and the finest materials and the finest presentation and packaging.

To do this at all we have had to take on, succesfully, the $2,200,000,000 per year Thai alcoholic beverage industry. Yep, 2.2 billion. I think I may have to share with you a little something from the Bangkok newspapers 2 days ago.

By Marc on Wednesday, May 16, 2001 - 01:45 am: Edit

aion,

right on.

By Aion on Wednesday, May 16, 2001 - 01:41 am: Edit

1.)
A price discussion is absolutely useless if
the size of the bottle is unknown.
Will it be 1l or 0,75l or less?
Revealing this little detail should not be that big problem. Any comments Ted?
2.)
A drink locked away in a shrine and being adored
is nonsense.
3.)
I was not among the lucky ones who had the chance to sample the JL products, but I am quite sure that they are so much better that you just do not want to touch most of the other alternatives any more. This is the big dilemma.
4.)
Sold for lets say $100 a bottle delivered I will buy 5-6, maybe 8 bottles a year and I am far away of being rich, but I do not have to turn around every single buck several times around before spending it. Actually it is less that 4 percent of my annual income. It is less than the amount I have to pay for the gas my car needs per year.
So what.
But I would not be happy to pay an additional import tax (to Austria) of 30 percent or more what I had to pay for a delivery from outside the EU in the past. So I was glad to hear that of Ted´s activities in GB (inside the EU).
A.

By Head_Prosthesis on Tuesday, May 15, 2001 - 10:28 pm: Edit

"Don should sign and number them and sell them for $300 a bottle."

Only if he'll sign mine to Rodent Motherfucker.
That would tickle me pink.

By Head_Prosthesis on Tuesday, May 15, 2001 - 07:43 pm: Edit

I'm getting all wet just thinking about the upcoming JL products...

By Marc on Tuesday, May 15, 2001 - 07:27 pm: Edit

heiko, I appreciate your comments about heavy drinkers being good customers. I know, I run bars.
But, I don't drink absinthe heavily. I sip it slowly and rarely drink more that 1 or 2 glasses.
I don't drink it every day. For me, its not that kind of drink. A bottle of absinthe can last me a month. I drink wine every night, between 4 to 6 glasses.

By Thegreenimp on Tuesday, May 15, 2001 - 05:18 pm: Edit

Without a doubt, what I tasted both here and in New Orleans was incredible. This will be a whole new experience, and a rather significant and sizeable yardstick for comparison.
And if you have any experience with research, and new product development, (which I do).....there is a dammed lot of hard work involved with starting something from the grass roots level.
So what Ted and Don have accomplished is something quite unique, you do not see vintage E. Pernod etc, at every liquor store.
And I seriously doubt many people would go through the time and effort, not to mention the cost, to bring back something, that for all intents and purposes had long since ceased production.
As for waiting, well it's been 86 years since the ban, what little time remains between now and an official launch, is quite small by comparison.
Regards
Jay

By Tabreaux on Tuesday, May 15, 2001 - 01:55 pm: Edit

Well, rest assured that we *will* deliver something that is absolutely, wholeheartedly exquisite in construction and uncompromised in every, and I mean EVERY aspect of quality. It will not cost what ultra-premium marque champagnes and cognacs do, but will be of the same (or better) quality, and will deliver far more excitement, drop for drop.

We could have made lesser, cheaper, but with me and my intensive interest in the scientific/historical/artistic aspects of this subject, lesser and cheaper was not an option. That's already been done.

By Marc on Tuesday, May 15, 2001 - 01:25 pm: Edit

I am curious to know how many bottles of high end champagnes are manufactured each year and sold for well over $100 a bottle. As someone who enjoys good wine, I have purchased many bottles of wine in the $100 price range. I don't find Ted and Don's pricing to be excessive at all. In fact,if their product is as good as they claim it to be, it may be a bargain.

By Tabreaux on Tuesday, May 15, 2001 - 01:20 pm: Edit

Production capacity in no way means that is what actual production will be. Actual production may be in the neighborhood of 20L per day, who knows? What I can tell you however is that some products may not be available indefinitely, depending on the availability of certain herbs of sufficient quality (a serious concern). I tend to believe these will always be specialty products.

By Heiko on Tuesday, May 15, 2001 - 01:06 pm: Edit

Marc,

at 300$ a bottle I will leave it to the collectors to buy as much as they want.
I'm not a collector, I'm a drinker ;-)

Collectors are no good long-time customers. But there is no better customer over a longer period of time than a heavy drinker ;-)

By Terminus on Tuesday, May 15, 2001 - 01:02 pm: Edit

100 liters a day (with expansion to 200 a day--if necesssary) is 36,500 to 73,000 liters a year.

By Marc on Tuesday, May 15, 2001 - 12:55 pm: Edit

At a production rate of 100 liters a day, Jade absinthe is a very rare thing indeed. Value is based on quality as well as availability. 100 liters a day makes each bottle a collectors item. Don should sign and number them and sell them for $300 a bottle.$100
a bottle sounds like a bargain to me.

By Heiko on Tuesday, May 15, 2001 - 12:44 pm: Edit

Melinelly - I agree with you about the price (even we don't know exactly how much it will be, because this will be announced in time - I know).

If (I say 'IF', ok?) one bottle cost 90 USD, this would be, at the current exchange rate, a whole lot of money. If I told anybody I bought a bottle of liquor for 90 USD, they would call me totally crazy. Everybody I know (I'm totally sure EVEYRYBODY) would think I'm insane.
If I have this one bottle, then nobody will know and nobody will ever get to taste a single drop of it except for myself - I'm not selfish, I usually like to share, but there are limits...

To give you an example about what the current exchange rate from USD to German Mark does to the price (and how cheap -in comparison- an SC order to Germany is):
When I order 5 bottles from SC, the normal Spanish brands cost between 20 USD and 25 USD per bottle (everything included!). Segarra costs around 35 USD.
In the Supermarket, I can buy a bottle of Pastis for around 12 USD, a bottle of fairly good Ouzo is around 5 USD...

As I like to have a glass of Absinthe (or two or three) almost every day, and even only Segarra would get a little pricey in that respect, I don't think I'm never going to drink any Spanish again, as Don proposes...

But of course I'm going to try Jade (I mean, in a bar/disco/club, if I drink a Pernod Pastis, the whole bottle at THAT price would even reach something like 120 USD...)

Maybe it is good enough that I quit smoking for it - that would give me about 4 glasses of Jade a week "for free" ;-)

By Terminus on Tuesday, May 15, 2001 - 10:58 am: Edit

I don't have a very good picture of it:

http://www.tekel.gov.tr/tekel_eng_html/images/kulup_raki.gif

By Tlautrec on Tuesday, May 15, 2001 - 10:51 am: Edit

Terminus -

It was definitely Kulup Raki. When I tried it (in Istanbul, years ago), as I recall, it came in a clear bottle with an Art Deco style label portraying a dapper looking gentleman in a tuxedo sitting at a table. In Turkish, "kulup" means "club".

By Mr_Rabbit on Tuesday, May 15, 2001 - 10:38 am: Edit

"If they are mythical, does that make me a mythological character? Just wondering.... "

You could fly around at night, delivering Jade to good little debuchees and mercuric enemas to bad ones.

Your mystic powers will include Invisibility to Customs Agents and the whole enema thing, plus the ability ( in times of trouble ) to summon Don from the nether world, or Thailand, wherever he is at the time.

Don, your mystic powers will be to turn water to absinthe (instead of wine,) The Curse of Hills for use on the real bastards- turns any absinthe they touch to... no, I can't say it... and Immunity to Plaid (don't ask me what that means.)

You could be like the tooth fairy, except you could take empties and leave full bottles.

By Terminus on Tuesday, May 15, 2001 - 10:37 am: Edit

WHAT IS RAKI ?

Raki is a distilled alcohol drink obtained by distilling suma by itself or suma mixed with agricultural-origin ethyl alcohol with pimpinella anisum in a traditional copper distilling apparatus with a volume of 5.000 liters or less.

Suma used in the production of raki is a grape-origin distillate, distilled up to maximum 94.5 % alcohol by volume in order to protect taste and smell of the grape. As it is stated in Distillated Alcohol Drinks Chapter of "Turkish Food Codex" put into effect after having been published on Official Gazette dated October 21, 1995, No. 2244, Turkish Raki is produced only in Turkey.

Tlautrec> Was it one of these?

Altinbaş Raki
Contains 50% alcohol by volume and produced from distillate with only grape - origin distillate

Yeni Raki
Containes 45% alcohol by volume and minimum 65% of the alcohol is grape - origin distillate.

Kulüp Raki : Contains 50% alcohol by volume and produced from distillate with only grape - origin distillate

By Tlautrec on Tuesday, May 15, 2001 - 10:29 am: Edit

Terminus -

I tried Raki a number of years ago, and as I recall, it tasted pretty much the same as Ouzo.

By Melinelly on Tuesday, May 15, 2001 - 10:01 am: Edit

yikes, did i leave my lighter around here somewhere heh...

sorry, Don. didn't meant to start up the price babble below. someone asked what JL will cost, and i simply speculated on a previous post by your partner. then i kinda drifted off into wishful thinking based upon my own situation.

i have never paid more than $90 for a bottle of anything, and that took me a month of physically looking at the bottle and holding it in my hands (a single malt rye whiskey locally produced) at work every day until i gave in. since i found absinthe, i've spent probably tenfold what i've spent on all other liquor my whole life.

don't get me wrong. no matter what the price, i must have a bottle of that sublime liquid that graced my palate what seems like an eternity ago in New Orleans.

if you charge $200, i wouldn't give a second thought at buying a bottle... that's a week's wages for me... my only dilemma would be choosing between the Gorgon and Pontalier... though my wife's vote would probably swing towards the Gorgon... but at that price, we'd probably drink an inaugural glass then build a shrine for it and never touch the stuff...

i wasn't complaining that at $90 the price would be too high, i was simply saying that at $90 i'm not sure how much and how often i, personally, will be purchasing this ambrosia. mind you, between my wife and i, we spent over a month's wages just to go to nola and TASTE the JL products... something we still haven't completely recovered from financially... but we're ready and willing to dish out the dough to OWN a bottle (at least) and to be able to treat ourselves to the delight that your product brings.

so, once more, i thank you and Ted for your endeavours. my wife and i truly do appreciate all you've done for absinthe, and we wish you nothing but the best. don't worry, we'll be doing our part to make sure your efforts are rewarded ;)

cheers =)

By Artemis on Tuesday, May 15, 2001 - 09:20 am: Edit

I meant to write "19th Century" - what the Pernods were making when they hit it big.

"Soup Nazi" made me laugh.

NO SOUP FOR YOU!!

By Artemis on Tuesday, May 15, 2001 - 09:17 am: Edit

"Or ask Artemis or anyone else who was at the NOLA tasting."

Nobody asked me, but I've put considerable time and effort into finding out what quality 18th-century absinthe was like (independently of Don and Ted), and I have found out, and Ted's is the only thing in existence that fills the bill, apart from a few bootleg versions that the vast majority of people have zero chance of encountering. It is so different from anything out there now that to compare it even to the best, such as La Fee or Segarra is really like comparing apples and oranges. Personally, I wouldn't buy many bottles of anything at $90 a bottle, but I have stopped buying Spanish stuff altogether - it just doesn't satisfy any more. That's how much better the authentic stuff is. And this coming from somebody who spent a lot of time on this forum in times past saying or implying that Ted was full of crap. Live and learn.

By Tabreaux on Tuesday, May 15, 2001 - 09:06 am: Edit

Well, there you go.....I should be in Montreal in June.

By Terminus on Tuesday, May 15, 2001 - 09:06 am: Edit

((By the way if you guys succesdully convince me that the price of JL absinthes must be really low in order to 'succeed' you will just convince me to forget the ehole thing, so will that be serving your own interests.

You have no idea of the money that has already gone into this, plus I am the one who has to produce the stuff.

So don't tell me that my LABOR needs to be discounted 50-75% because I will just tell you to go screw, and you will still be drinking Spanish swill ten years afrom now. That's MY labor not the labor of unskilled workers.))



First off, I am not trying to start a smack war, but you contradict yourself, Don. You can't forget the whole thing because you are in too deep. You can't continue to make empty threats of tossing the whole operation in the China Sea. Besides, Ted could sue you then.

You may be a scientist and gentleman distiller, but supply and demand will ultimately set the price of Jade products.

I have an MBA like President Smirky, but equilibrium price is basic economics. I hope this isn't too condescending:

Microeconomics 201

Supply
You have the ability to control how much absinthe you produce in a day. If you create too much, you have wasted some of your money. If you create too little, you lose out on opportunities to sell your product. Supply is also affected by the price of the raw materials and labor costs.

Demand
Customer demand is important, or else nobody will be there to buy your absinthe. Your pricing also affects demand. The more expensive your absinthe is, the fewer people who will want to buy it. Advertising/word of mouth can also be used to increase the number of people interested in buying your product.

Fixed Costs
You also must worry about making enough money to cover your fixed costs like rent or equipment maintenance. Shipping is a relatively fixed cost.

BTW, I don't know of any good businessmen who threaten and berate their customers or potential customers. Those who do aren't in business very long. People tire of the "soup Nazi" mentality, no matter how good the product is.

As for "mythical," I was joking. You guys were supposed to be operational many months ago. I'm sure you are facing many obstacles, but I am part of the instant gratification culture of America.

Jade was a legend before the NOLA tasting. I don't think I insulted anyone who went to the gathering in NOLA. You weren't there, were you, so how do you know how they feel? Now, I have been assured that your product is the best. Everyone who went to the NOLA tasting agrees.

It is just that I haven't seen Jade, and I am from Missouri (figuratively and literally), which is the "Show-Me" state.

So show me.

As for pricing, I love fine wine. But sometimes I will settle for two or three bottles of a lesser wine instead of one bottle of a great wine.



To change the subject: Has anyone ever had Turkish Raki?

By Wolfgang on Tuesday, May 15, 2001 - 08:58 am: Edit

Well, if you ever come to Montreal (maybe to try to make a deal with the SAQ to sell it in Quebec or for a university conference maybe ...), I would be glad to meet you and even organize some promotional G.T. (no no, not only to get absinthe at a discount but to be not the only one around here trying to educate people about the existence of this drink ;-) ).

By Tabreaux on Tuesday, May 15, 2001 - 08:36 am: Edit

....unless I hand carry it to you, in which case you would save on the shipping. At the rate I have been bouncing around, that seems like a genuine possibility!

Anyway, rest assured that the final price will not be disclosed until launch date. After which point, you can be the judge as to quality/authenticity vs. price.

By Wolfgang on Tuesday, May 15, 2001 - 08:27 am: Edit

Well Don I didn't mean to upset you, sorry. I will taste first and then will see. I also didn't know that the estimated price given here was including shipping from the other side of the world...

Including shipping that will mean about 2 times the price of Segarra ; expensive but ok if the product is so good.

To me, the quality level will have to equal the quality of the very best french wines to make me accept such a price. It will definitely be a product for very special occasion and not a party drink. Anyway, one more reason to finish my engineering degree ;-)

Wolf. (why do I always have expensive tastes !? )

By Tabreaux on Tuesday, May 15, 2001 - 08:26 am: Edit

If they are mythical, does that make me a mythological character? Just wondering....

Seriously though, the JL absinthes do very much exist, but they are in a sort of limbo until the lingering details of legality and logistics are sorted. Therefore, I suppose they may as well be made of 'unobtainium' at the present. Assuming I can get through English Customs Thursday morning, at least a few of us can get an appetizer of sorts on Sunday.

As far as Segarra, it is impossible for us to comment fairly and squarely on Mr. Segarra's process. I suspect he is probably as 'artisnal' as the currently available modern absinthe gets. Going from brandy-maker to absinthe-maker in modern times would seem to spawn something a bit 'different', and Segarra does seem to fit that description.

By Don_Walsh on Tuesday, May 15, 2001 - 07:41 am: Edit

By the way, Terminus, where do you get off calling our products MYTHICAL? You just insulted ALL of the people -- ALL from this forum -- who were at the NOLA tasting.

And Wolf, don't compare us to Segarra, you don't know what artisnal MEANS.

By Don_Walsh on Tuesday, May 15, 2001 - 07:35 am: Edit

Head, thanks for the great example.

What you guys are missing is that this is not a product grafted onto a pastis factory that makes PRADO say for 25 cents a liter. This paradigm comes really close to describing the economic model of EVERY commercial absinthe today. PRADO sells for $5 a liter retail in Bangkok after huge taxes and fat profits, so what is its FOB price in pallet qtys in Marsilles? Well, the liquor is less than the cheap crap bottle and the screw cap and the two together are not much more than 25 cents US.

Absinthe, a niche product, leaves its factories at $7-9 a liter in pallet qtys.

NOT OURS. Why not? Because we would be losing money at those prices. We are set up to make 100 liters a day and maybe expand to 200 liters. This is all VERY artisnal and VERY in keeping with Ted's uncompromising ideals.

So, guys the question is not why will you be paying $100 for ours, but why you have been paying $30-$100-$200 for theirs? THE PROOF IS IN THE TASTING AND THE PROOF IS OUT THERE.

By Head_Prosthesis on Tuesday, May 15, 2001 - 07:19 am: Edit

I paid about $80 for the Starz-o-plenty and that was so so so nasty... I still get chills thinking about it.

By Don_Walsh on Tuesday, May 15, 2001 - 07:10 am: Edit

By the way if you guys succesdully convince me that the price of JL absinthes must be really low in order to 'succeed' you will just convince me to forget the ehole thing, so will that be serving your own interests.

You have no idea of the money that has already gone into this, plus I am the one who has to produce the stuff.

So don't tell me that my LABOR needs to be discounted 50-75% because I will just tell you to go screw, and you will still be drinking Spanish swill ten years afrom now. That's MY labor not the labor of unskilled workers.

Don't tell me JL isn't worth $100 a bottle incl shipping, when various dealers are selling much less quality for much more money.

Anyone with any ense will soon be saying "Why did I ever buy X-number of bottles of Spanish/Czech SWILL when I can buy this?" And that is the truth.

By Don_Walsh on Tuesday, May 15, 2001 - 07:00 am: Edit

Actually you must realize that we are at a disadvantage regarding shipping cost. -- 30% of our selling price is shipping cost. As far as we can see this is irreducible.

And once you taste our absinthes, you won't be putting forward any "1 bottle of JL vs two bottles of Spanish" arguments. Trust me!

Or ask Artemis or anyone else who was at the NOLA tasting.

By Wolfgang on Tuesday, May 15, 2001 - 06:34 am: Edit

Yes but she`s giving such a good service ;-) ...

"I don't want services, I want absinthe!"

Wolf.

By Terminus on Tuesday, May 15, 2001 - 06:16 am: Edit

At least the competition will force Betina to come down in price.

By Terminus on Tuesday, May 15, 2001 - 06:15 am: Edit

90 USD? Hmmmm. I would probably only buy one or two bottles at 90 USD each.

But I might buy six bottles at 60 USD each.

I would buy a dozen bottles at a price of $30 each.

If the demand is high even at a price of $90, I guess they will do fine.

Otherwise, there may have to be a price adjustment.

By Terminus on Monday, May 14, 2001 - 06:16 pm: Edit

I spelled "vineyard" incorrectly.

Why can't we edit our own posts?

By Terminus on Monday, May 14, 2001 - 06:13 pm: Edit

Wolfgang> The sirah was from California. It was an Araujo estate wine from the Eisele vinyard in Napa. The vintage was 1996.

By Melinelly on Monday, May 14, 2001 - 01:01 pm: Edit

in a previous thread, Ted said that the price would be in the range of what Camargo absinthe costs which to the US is around $90.

i'll gladly pay that price, but probably only a bottle at a time as i can afford it. if it were closer to $70 i'd be able to swing a couple bottles and maybe convince some others i know to buy some as well... but $90 or more is really borderline financially for me.

we'll see how the absinthe mafia sets prices though ;-)

By Wolfgang on Monday, May 14, 2001 - 12:51 pm: Edit

Ho! by the way, what was this so expensive sirah ?

By Wolfgang on Monday, May 14, 2001 - 12:45 pm: Edit

Well... let's do some justification here ;-) ... Even if Jade's absinthe where available in 2-3 weeks, it would be good to have some other absinthe around to compare. Or it would be useful as a regular drink, keeping the better stuff for special occasion. Or what else ? It would look good in your cabinet ?

As for the expensive wine / wife thing ... I understand what you mean ;-) In my case, it's worse for absinthe because she likes wine but can't stand anise at all... even just the smell it leaves in the room...

--I am a little curious as to what the pricing will be for the Jade products.--

I personally expect 1.25 to 1.50 the price of Segarra (witch is also an artisanal product, minus the special R&D involved in Jade's product). If it's more than that, that would become a problem for me...

Wolf.

By Terminus on Friday, May 11, 2001 - 02:36 pm: Edit

No, you are not the only one in that situation.

Should I order two bottles of Segarra or wait for the mythical Jade products?

I know there's an old saying that goes "if you have to ask, you can't afford it," but I am a little curious as to what the pricing will be for the Jade products. It is not that I am poor or a cheapskate, but the cost will probably determine the quantity I purchase.

My wife nearly threw a fit when I ordered a $250 bottle of sirah in Las Vegas.

BTW, I hope no one thought my post was tacky.

By Wolfgang on Friday, May 11, 2001 - 01:58 pm: Edit

I`m about to throw 200$ on absinthe and I`m wondering if I better wait Jade`s products or just send another SC order... I would prefer to wait another month or two without absinthe to be able to get the best but if it`s more than that, the Spanish will do for now. I`m afraid to send an SC order and then ear two weeks later that Ted`s absinthe is available...

Am I the only one in this situation ?

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