Archive through June 16, 2000

Sepulchritude Forum: The Absinthe Forum Archives Thru July 2001: Old Topics Archived Thru Sep 2000:Thujone levels of commercial absinthes. + general questions about labels.:Archive through June 16, 2000
By Chrysippvs on Friday, June 16, 2000 - 12:20 pm: Edit

Here is my two cents on the various absinthe and how they affect myself:

Montana - alcohol buzz

Serpis - alcohol buzz with a slight background something

Mari Mayans 45 - alcohol buzz but a little "floating" affect.

Mari Mayans 70 - drunk and somewhat "floating"

Deva - Very "Floating" and somewhat Euphoric

Herring - alohol buzz with a slight floating affect

Lasala - slight floatin but stronger alcohol buzz

Segarra - Floating and mildly euphoric

Neto Costa - nasty, nothing but alcohol (had 3 glasses)

Sebors - alcohol and nasty

La Bleue 1 - floating and moreso Eurphoric

La Bleue 2 - same

La Bleue 3 (mine)- same although lasted slightly longer, although I think I was drinking slight more per dose

La Bleue 4 (sample) - floating after 1 dose

Ted's 1 - Euphoric and floating (much like the Bleue) altough lasted for a slighly longer time

Ted's 2 - Moreso Euphoric and longer lasting

As I said this is my personal experience with various absinthes. I think it is somewhat inline with the results. Although it just seems to me that the thujone quantity can only be a part of the affect. The other herbs often found in absinthe always seemed to have a push-pull affect on the mind. I think I will leave the chemistry to the chemists...

Take care


By B.M.Don on Friday, June 16, 2000 - 11:42 am: Edit


I am far from the most experienced among us, but I have had down my gullet:

3 liters of La Bleue
Most of a bottle of Mari Mayans 140 (thanks James!)
Lots of Herbsaint (being from Nawlins...originally anyway)
A little Sebor export (which I hated.)
A lot of my own & Ted's product.

All of which save Sebor's was nice. Some VERY nice.

I am prepared to say that generally I found these to produce a clearheaded euphoria and no hangover.

I have also had Pernod pastis, Ricard and Prado (yuck!) in quantity. Not the same. Just booze.

But other 'effects' I am skeptical about as I have not encountered them so far at all.

By hippy on Friday, June 16, 2000 - 01:03 am: Edit


very good points. I'll even take it a step further.
Not only is the "secondary effect" the result of a symbiosis of herbs and alcohol, it is a product
of mindset. By merely anticipating the effects of absinthe, we begin to activate and stimulate certain neurotransmitters in our brains, the ones that make us feel good. In other words, we do so want to experience the transcendental in our lives, via drugs, meditation, herbs, absinthe etc., that we surrender to the "secondary effect" whether it's really there or not. We activate the already existing chemicals in our brains that get us high
through an invocation inspired by the Green Fairy.
The absinthe, thujone or no thujone, gets us high because being high is in our fundamental nature.
We don't realize it because we have surrendered to suffering. Thujone be damned. We don't need to get high. We are high! Our bliss is sleeping, the Green Fairy, in all her sublime generosity, gently nudges us awake.

In my old cocaine days, the anticipation of that first hit of blow, was more exciting than the coke itself.

By Kona on Friday, June 16, 2000 - 12:32 am: Edit

Why assume that all secondary effects are due to thujone concentrations alone? It has been postulated many times in this forum that the effects come from the combination of many herbs likely included in the original formulation(s). Calamus, Angelica, Anise, among other herbs in the blend are purported to have their own unique psychotomimetic effects. It is a curious leap of logic to assume that because a brand louches, it must have a good concentration of anise-therefore it must have a high concentration of all herbs. Perhaps those brands that tested low in thujone, though they had appeared to elicit unique effects on the user, were actually higher in concentrations of other herbs. The only true method to discover this is with solid empirical evidence-a full spec of the entire liquid. The evidence presented in this particular post is an apparent step in that direction; if a label presents itself as having a certain concentration, it should live up to the claim. The bottom line: If you enjoy the drink, then drink it.

By Admin on Thursday, June 15, 2000 - 10:29 pm: Edit

How scrumptiously exciting! I'd like to see the tests substantiated, but most of the results are so much in line with what was expected, that I'm giddy.

The Herbsaint test must be redone ... its unreal! I want to believe, I do ... We drank Herbsaint constantly in New Orleans, much preferable to Pernod and 1/3 cheaper. But I love anise, its like candy. Can you say frozen Ouzo at Greek Fest in New Orleans during the summer? They threw it into one of those daiquiri machines (I think thats what it was) ... better than a slurpy.

By Absintheur on Thursday, June 15, 2000 - 10:27 pm: Edit

I wouldn't say that Herbsaint "snuck past us" as there has been a large volume of discussion regarding this product -- though not as much recently.

And, the discussion of Herbsaint began with a series of questions asking, essentially, "why's it called Herbsaint if it is free of herbsaint (or wormwood)?"

At the time the general consensus was that Herbsaint was a very high quality analogue of Pernod -- both Kallisti and I expressed a fondness for the product, though a general ignorance of what was in it, save "Yellow #5" which gives it a dead-on Pernod color.

All that being said, I'm as suprised as the next guy that it tested so well.

By SeaRobin on Thursday, June 15, 2000 - 10:23 pm: Edit

Hey Ted...I'll send you some Herring to sample if you wish. I just got a bottle of some supposed re-formulated stuff they are selling. Let me know if you are interested.

Ok....I'll pick up some Herbsaint in the morning. I hope they sell it here in "The People's Republic of North Carolina". It would be my luck that its not on the "State Approved Liquor List".


By Br0ther ben on Thursday, June 15, 2000 - 10:09 pm: Edit

Hello all,
Well, once again I must state that I am somewhat fond of Sebor and yes, I have noticed some (albeit slight) secondary effects from it. Mari (70%) doesn't need much thujone, because I couldn't drink enough to get "high" (which is not a good description of the feeling)before I was plastered anyway. Deva is noticeable.
Because i am new to Absinthe, let me state that I am sure the effect I felt from my bottle of the "strong" sebor was not my imagination, I don't think. I gave my buddy a few glasses of the stuff and didn't tell him much about it, and he noticed a distinctly different feeling from it.
Personally, though, Mari remains my favorite (I have yet to taste Betina's sacred La Bleue), whether or not it has thujone in it. I really don't care...maybe this is the "newbie" in me, but I actually enjoy the flavor of decent absinthe (decent when compared to Hills or Schltz), having said that, I must admit that drinking my Sebor or Deva is something far subtler and nicer than smoking a joint.

Nonetheless, I still hope to see this research continue. It is fascinating and probably somewhat historical. I am willing to bet that the "effect" of absinthe is a combination of thujone and other herbs, but maybe I will chug a bottle of herbsaint just to test it. Having blathered all this, let me state that a bottle of Robitussin (sp?) quaffed quickly will produce a decent high, much stronger and visual than Absinthe...and tastier than hills and Schultz. That was a joke but it is ironically quite accurate...


By hippy on Thursday, June 15, 2000 - 10:00 pm: Edit

One last thing, if the numbers on Herbsaint pass Ted's test, how is it that Herbsaint managed to sneak past us all? Is it that familiarity breeds contempt or we tend to ignore the things that are right under our nose? Or is Herbsaint just a lousy
product that, with or without thujone, is not
worthy of consideration as a worldclass absinthe?
I'll find out for myself tomorrow, but I am very interested in hearing from others regarding what they think of Herbsaint.

Thanks Marc

By hippy on Thursday, June 15, 2000 - 09:52 pm: Edit

If the thujone numbers on Herbsaint are indeed accurate and we have a domestic absinthe with
the so-called "secondary effects", it certainly is wonderful news for folks looking for an inexpensive and legal alternative to the Spanish and Czech blends. Are there any folks in the forum who have experience drinking Herbsaint? I'm buying a bottle tomorrow to do my own unscientific research.

This should have an interesting impact on the black market sales of absinthe in this country.
Will people continue to pay up to $100 a bottle for Mari Mayans that has no thujone, when they can
buy a $12 bottle of Herbsaint with it's 38mg
of thujone?

Is it time to pack up the circus tent and snake oils and ride off into the sunset?

Will Federico and Kyle be asking us to send them precious bottles of Herbsaint?

Is Herbsaint the new Holy Grail of absinthes.

Is Herbsaint a public company? I'm buying stock tomorrow.

By tabreaux on Thursday, June 15, 2000 - 08:58 pm: Edit

I have Deva to test, but I'd rather cross-check the Herbsaint. Maybe I'll be able to do both, we'll see.

As far as Legendre, I haven't been there. I might go talk to them now that I have a question. I do know a bit about vintage Herbsaint and other New Orleans absinthes though. More on that later.

By The Green Imp on Thursday, June 15, 2000 - 08:32 pm: Edit

This is starting to get good......interesting.

By Absintheur on Thursday, June 15, 2000 - 08:23 pm: Edit

To reply to Hippy's last post: I don't think too terribly much is wrong with this picture (though replicability is, of course, a central scientific principal and I can't wait to see the results of future tests) for two reasons --

Given that most commercially distilled absinthe is produced within the EU, where they technically have a 10mg/kg limit on thujone, and most of those brands cluster in the 25-30mg/kg range -- I'd say the unregulatability of thujone content makes the 30mg/kg in Herbsaint plausible.

They could add sage (commonly used in pastis, with huge ammounts in HB Pastis), tansy (an additive in a wide variety of liqueurs in the US), possibly mugwort in sufficient quantity (found in Muse Verte, Versinthe and HB Pastis), or even wormwood (who's going to check?) -- they do call it Herbsaint which is another word for "wormwood."

So, I'll accept it as a possibility, albeit a previously unconsidered one.

Anyone daring enough to test modern Pernod? That would be a shocker.

By dean on Thursday, June 15, 2000 - 08:16 pm: Edit

The Absintheur wrote: "No, because, as of yet, not one person has come forward and reported that the secondary effects that they've experienced
have, in any way, differed in correspondance with concretely verified thujone content.

I, for one, experience the same alert sensation when drinking Sebor, La Bleue, and Deva, whereas I merely get very drunk
when drinking Mari Mayans, Segarra, and Lasala. Most folks disagree. "

Ted wrote: "I feel that thujone is not the only player in the
secondary effects, although I'm convinced it plays an important role. I also have some evidence that indicates that the
presence of other essences and even manufacturing methods is influential".

I have felt the SAME secondary effects with the same brands (I have not had Le Blue) as the Absintheur. I have also only been drunk with Mari Mayans, Segarra, Lasala, Hills and a few other brands

If this is right, then

1) the question about what causes the secondary effect is open. Anybody want to take a shot??

2) Ted, do you have Deva to test. If not, I will try to contact you off list. I would like to see if you get the same results.

Thanks, Mr. Wormwood

By The Green Imp on Thursday, June 15, 2000 - 08:15 pm: Edit

Ted, have you ever viisted Legendre? I'm curious if they have any archives or recipe's from the original Herbsaint Absinthe, it's a shame so little information seems to be out there on American Absinthe.....While I have drank the modern version of Herbsaint for a long time,(thats how I got into all of this)...I am very surprised at those results on Herbsaint.
Has any one else out there found anything on American Absinthe?

By Morrigan Le Fey on Thursday, June 15, 2000 - 08:09 pm: Edit

**Stamps around fuming & confuzzzzled***

You mean to say that this lovely chartreuse bottle of Mayans sitting on my counter is nothing more than a pretty bottle of Euro-moonshine & antifreeze??!?! How sad indeed...

Anyone want to do a re-test on the MM just to double check?? Pretty please?

- Morrigan

By hippy on Thursday, June 15, 2000 - 07:27 pm: Edit

Herbsaint is legally sold in USA and has a higher thujone content of any commercially distilled absinthe in the world? What's wrong with this picture?

Enquiring minds want to know.

By tabreaux on Thursday, June 15, 2000 - 07:08 pm: Edit

Herbsaint is bottled right here in my hometown, and is the local version Pernod. As to how thujone could end up in this is beyond me. Personally, I can't take too much of that star anise, so good luck drinking it in any quantity.

By eric on Thursday, June 15, 2000 - 06:45 pm: Edit

the liquor store around the corner from my house sells herbsaint for $12.50 a bottle. could it be the same stuff that mr wormwood tested?

By hippy on Thursday, June 15, 2000 - 05:58 pm: Edit

Is Herbsaint legal and available in the USA?

By tabreaux on Thursday, June 15, 2000 - 05:40 pm: Edit

I found the Herbsaint to be the biggest surprise, and I am going to run a sample of it myself just to verify. I know this stuff is oil of star anise and my taste buds don't detect anything else, so this seems a bit bizarre. I am running two (maybe three) different La Bleues, but Betina has demanded that I release the results of her two privately, so I'll let you know when she has them. I will also be running some others as well. This should all happen next week.

By Absintheur on Thursday, June 15, 2000 - 03:58 pm: Edit

Let me chime in and thank you so much for the results!

I'm absolutely floored, it seems that the "smokescreen of bullshit and conjecture," was actually far closer to the mark than I had either expected or hoped.

What methodology did you use? I'm curious because I've heard plans for saturation testing (as well as mass spectography).

And, finally, though this is a full-blown "dumb question," how old was the bottle of Herbsaint? I ask because there was a brand of pre-ban absinthe by that name and... well... probably too much to hope. Somebody should call Legendre and find out what they're putting in that stuff.

Thanks again for the crack research.

By Black Rabbit on Thursday, June 15, 2000 - 02:08 pm: Edit

Golly wow! thanks Mr Wormwood :)

I just want to add, for what it's worth, that my own experience of secondary effects matches this.

I was disappointed in the M Mayans for
lack of secondary effects, but had attributed it to the higher alcahol content hitting harder and faster (I was planning to alter the dosage.) Though I do like the fact that it looks like anti-freeze... (my friend thought that was what I was drinking at a party.)

Same for Serpis, which I don't find complex enough in taste to warrant getting more anyway.

I have always found Lasala to have a bit more secondary than Deva (though I drink Deva more because I like the flavor better.)

But then I find Sebor to have about the same as Deva... which could be batch variations, body chemistry, or who knows what.

But this is definitely a good start to finding out what generally does produce the greatest secondary effects. Thank you for conducting the tests!


By hippy on Thursday, June 15, 2000 - 12:24 pm: Edit

These are some pretty amazing results. Isn't Herbsaint legal in the States. If that's the case, there's no point in buying anything else, if thujone is all you're really interested in.

No thujone in Mari Mayans! Can this be?

And the sadly underrated LaSala (one of my favorites) turns out to be a potent potion indeed.

Wormwood, your test results should be the source of some interesting debate. At the very least, these are the first shards of light tearing through the smokescreen of bullshit and conjecture.

When will we see results for La Bleue?

By BloodStreamRuns on Thursday, June 15, 2000 - 10:26 am: Edit

Forgive me if this sounds obvious and naive, but you're saying that Herbsaint actually has more a-thujone than anything else out there and that MM70 and Serpis have none? What is the possiblilty that the samples tested were somehow non-indicative of the product in general, or did you use several samples from different bottles?

But in general, all I can say is:


By Mr. Wormwood on Thursday, June 15, 2000 - 09:53 am: Edit

Here it is, the long awaited thujone test results. Remember this instrument was very inaccurate, I would assume any result to be as much as +/- 10% inaccurate.

I tested about 20 liquors and extracts for thujone, camphor, and a-Fenchone concentrations. Here are the result for the Thujones (nd = None detected)

Sample a-Thujone b-Thujone
====================== ========== ==========
Deva Absenta 26.51 mg/L nd
Hills Absinth nd nd
Lasala Absenta 33.29 mg/L nd
Mari Mayans (70%) nd nd
Montana Absenta 30.02 mg/L nd
Sebor (#1) Absinth 13.35 mg/L nd
Sebor (#2) Absinth 12.35 mg/L nd
Serpis, Absenta nd nd

Herbsaint pasits 38.48 mg/L nd
La Muse Verte pastis nd nd
Ouzo nd nd

Angustra bitters 8.88 mg/L nd
Red Cinzano Vermouth nd 14.38 mg/L
Herb Pharm extract 10.72 mg/L 136.15 mg/L

There were a few unexpedted results but it was pretty much the same as the number that I have heard on this forum for years.

If you have a sample you would like to have tested be sure Ted get a sample of it (at least 5ml). Be sure to mention if you do not want the results posted on the forum.

By pauloconte on Friday, June 09, 2000 - 02:46 pm: Edit

Mr. l'absintheur,

I applaud you. A good, clean post with no filler
and the straight goods. I would love to have true
thujone figures on Deva and la bleue, and maybe
Ted has figures on the Pernod of old as he has a
bottle, and could procure such info. Then, and
only then, does the discussion of thujone's effect
become measurable...

"its wonderful its wonderful good luck my baby,
chips, chips.....

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