Flavor identification

Sepulchritude Forum: The Absinthe Forum Archives Thru July 2001: Flavor identification
By Zack on Wednesday, July 11, 2001 - 05:01 am: Edit

Artemis-

If you want to get some use out of all that Lasala try mixing it with Sprite in a long drink. I recently tried this with Herring and it was pleasant enough, although I actually think the Lasala might be better because of its less anise/more "lemon" flavor.

Off the top of my head - It might work nicely in a variation of a Harvey Wallbanger, replacing the Galliano.

By Artemis on Wednesday, July 11, 2001 - 04:28 am: Edit

I can't imagine enjoying Lasala under any circumstances. It was the second absinthe I tried, after Deva. It's not just bad compared to Deva, it's bad, period. I find it almost impossible to choke down. In fact, years later, I still have several unopened bottles of that same (regretably large) order of Lasala. I've gone through many dry spells of no absinthe at all in that time and was never tempted to open that Lasala; in fact, I had forgotten I had it until this topic came up.

By Perruche_Verte on Wednesday, July 11, 2001 - 01:40 am: Edit

That may have been me -- I commented a while ago on the need to update the Forum FAQ, which at the time still listed Deva, Mari Mayans 70 and Lasala as the top three absinthes. It had done so since the time I joined the Forum.

What a thrill it must have been for the forumites who first "discovered" those absinthes after a long stretch of steeped experiments and Czech disappointments! My own ecstatic first experience with Deva is in the archives somewhere. I'll stand by it today, though I might never order Deva again. The absinthe feeling was there, and it did a lot for me.

Actually I have had to give up absinthe for a while -- had to cut back on the luxuries. Maybe my next order will be Jade/BEL.

I think now I fall somewhere between Heiko and Artemis. I can understand that something like Deva or Serpis (which I still really enjoy) is not a good example of absinthe, when you consider that drink's historical characteristics. But I'm not yet spoiled enough to call them bad. I'll drink them, especially Segarra, until better stuff is easier to come by.

By Frater_Carfax on Tuesday, July 10, 2001 - 09:12 pm: Edit

Hi Heiko

"You know what he said when I opened the Herring bottle? "Ah, now that smells good!" - He liked it best! "

I think the point you have hit here (and one I'm sure has been highlighted before) is that for an absinthe, Herring is certainly not the drink of choice- but if one were to say to someone, "here try this spirit" they may very well like it in context to not ever having tried this style of liquor before.

It has been interesting to see that the the Deva cringe factor has hit many on the list. I myself cannot bear the smell of it now (especially after dropping in on Don in Thailand), but I have friends who start salivating when I offer them a glass. I think someone mentioned on another thread that it appears the forums palate has been developing collectively, and I think it is a fair observation.

I hate Scotch. A few years ago I probably couldn't tell (to revive the memorable forum quote) "shit from shinola" in scotches. Since my housemate came back from Scotland with numeous samples, I am beginning to see how Scotch should taste, I still don't like it, but I am beginning to get an idea of what I should be noticing in the flavours...

By Heiko on Tuesday, July 10, 2001 - 03:34 pm: Edit

Something about the "Lemon Pledge taste vs. La Bleue taste": a friend of mine, who isn't into the absinthe matter at all, has tried samples of some of the absinthes I had (Deva 50, MM 55, Serpis, Segarra, some La Bleue recently). You know what he said when I opened the Herring bottle? "Ah, now that smells good!" - He liked it best!
I also can't say I hate it. The lemon is a little too strong and "chemical" - so I can't say it's excellent, but it's ok. I know worse drinks.

The Oxygenee on the other hand, I found it ok as well. That's it. Rather weak taste, weak louche. Add some lemon juice and it tastes just like Herring, I guess ;-)

My taste just can't identify what's so excellent in Oxygénée and on the other hand so horrible in Herring. These two play in the same class, IMO - one with more lemon, one with less...

By _Blackjack on Tuesday, July 10, 2001 - 01:54 pm: Edit

I'd always heard it was Thelonius Monk...

By Bob_Chong on Tuesday, July 10, 2001 - 10:49 am: Edit

The quote cannot be definitely attributed Hitchcock (except by his fans, I guess).

It may have been said by Zappa, Steve Martin, or possibly a whole shitload of other people (or the variant, which was "writing about music...").

http://home.pacifier.com/~ascott/they/tamildaa.htm

BC

By Raymond1138 on Tuesday, July 10, 2001 - 10:44 am: Edit

Those JL products keep sounding better and better. Looking forward to trying them. In a further note, I'd just like to say thanks to all the forum memebers for their help and kindness. I've been interested in absinthe for a while now and (yes, I'll admit it) seeing Moulin Rouge gave me the push to finally seek it out. Kallisti's site and this forum is about the best source of information I've been able to find. As online communities go, this one seems to have an optimum signal-to-noise ratio to keep me coming back. If there are any other forum members in the NYC area who'd like to plan a tasting, I'd be interested. OK. Now that I'm done being sappy, I'll go.

By Tabreaux on Tuesday, July 10, 2001 - 10:08 am: Edit

And what I might add to that note is that when you all taste the actual products as they come bottled from JL, you all will taste nuances that were not attainable in the prototype products that many have tasted thus far.

This is the 'icing on the cake' so to speak, and is the final element we've had to recreate in order to truly reproduce the flavors of the original absinthes. I can assure you all that the final products, as they come from JL, will offer distinct textures that are completely absent in home-brews or other commercial products anywhere.

By Raymond1138 on Tuesday, July 10, 2001 - 09:50 am: Edit

Just as I expected. I guess I'll have to keep drinking a variety of absinthe. Someone twist my arm :).

By Artemis on Tuesday, July 10, 2001 - 09:27 am: Edit

"I don't know about you. But one thing i have always detested about some spanish brands is that horible bland citrus taste that i feel Lasala has and even more so Herring."

I agree with that. I coined the term "Lemon Pledge" (a furniture polish) for that taste, and many people seem to agree.

"Why isn't there an Absinthe that has the taste of La bleue and Versinthe ( without the suger) out there."

I don't know what Versinthe tastes like, but Oxygenee tastes very good - I don't think it has enough wormwood (if any) to be considered absinthe, though. Ted's stuff tastes very good, like a cross between La Bleue and a supercharged Oxygenee. Good bootleg products made in the same manner (distillation, natural color) as Ted's taste about the same as his; maybe not as smooth or refined, though.

"I'm very keen to try Don and Ted's absinthe. Whenever it's available if it isn't already?"

I'm pretty sure it's not available yet. The only reason I know what it's like is that I attended Ted's "coming out" party in New Orleans and have been fortunate enough to sample a couple of other things he's made from time to time.

By Rimbaud on Tuesday, July 10, 2001 - 08:11 am: Edit

Leela was paraphrasing a quote from Robyn Hitchcock..."Talking about music, is like dancing about architecture."

~21st Century Rimbaud

By Tavarua on Tuesday, July 10, 2001 - 06:52 am: Edit

Simon,

I have asked this question a hundred times on this forum. You would think that these companies would skim through postings as this is an excellent source for customer feedback. But they donít, as another member has pointed out, they already have a market, and are not interested in bettering their product, only milking an inferior one. Some believe that they are just catering to Spanish tastes, which I believe to be a ridiculous statement. Bad is bad, no matter how you look at it.

By Admin on Monday, July 09, 2001 - 08:47 pm: Edit

I developed my nose thru experimentation with my own brews.

Make 30 bottles, each one trying to vary the herbal content to get the right balance. This involves sticking your nose quite frequently into bags of herbs. Inhaling deeply of essential oils (watch that wormwood, it'll fuck you even thru the nose!) You get to know them intimately. Also worked in a perfume shop for awhile. That helped. Came up with some wonderful original concoctions ... like "Maison Noire" my friend challenged me to come up with a perfume that smelled like an old rotting southern mansion. Twas lovely.

Apparently I developed my nose much better than my brews. I don't bother trying anymore, as there is quite a bit of product readily available. And I am no distiller. A fine macerator of spirits perhaps.

By Morriganlefey on Monday, July 09, 2001 - 04:50 pm: Edit

"Talking about taste is like dancing about architechture."

Oh I DO like that...I like that one a lot.

*visions of a vaudevillian Gaudi River Dance serpentine and stomp through my head*..

- M

By Simonsuisse on Monday, July 09, 2001 - 04:19 pm: Edit

Artemis,
I don't know about you. But one thing i have always detested about some spanish brands is that horible bland citrus taste that i feel Lasala has and even more so Herring.
Why isn't there an Absinthe that has the taste of La bleue and Versinthe ( without the suger) out there. That would win for me, within the contemporary absinthe choice.
I'm very keen to try Don and Ted's absinthe.Whenever it's available if it isn't already?

By Leela on Monday, July 09, 2001 - 04:06 pm: Edit

Talking about taste is like dancing about architechture.

Leela

By Artemis on Monday, July 09, 2001 - 03:12 pm: Edit

It's not as easy as it might seem. Some people are a lot better at picking out the tastes of things than others - Kallisti is the best I've encountered at naming the herbs that went into an absinthe just by tasting it.

In a well balanced absinthe, it can be very difficult to pick out the taste of one particular herb, apart from anise, which tends to stand out.

Wormwood tastes like wormwood. I'm not being flip. If you want a reference point, buy a bottle of wormwood extract from one of the herb/vitamin shops that sell it. Do NOT drink it, or put more than a drop or two on your tongue. Smell it. Smell the absinthe. You get the idea.

Some of the other herbs in absinthe (melissa, fennel) are fairly common. Some (hyssop) are not so common. You can grow them, and taste them right off the plant. That way, you'll know exactly what they taste like. Almost as good is to buy a small amount of each from a spice or herb shop.

In any case, nobody can tell you what these things taste like. Your own experience is your best friend.

By Raymond1138 on Monday, July 09, 2001 - 01:31 pm: Edit

A newbie humbly asks:
I've been lurking for a while here while waiting to get my order of Deva and La Bleue and now that I've tried them both, I've got a question for the forum. In the various reviews I've read here, people speak of being able to taste the various herbs that go into making absinthe. I was hoping to look for some help in being able to identify those flavors myself. I'm sure some of it will come over time and trying various brands but I'm looking for "Wormwood tastes like X" and "Hyssop tastes like Y"-type pointers to help attenuate my tongue.

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