Montana absinthe

Sepulchritude Forum: The Absinthe Forum Archives Thru July 2001: Topics Archived Thru Dec 2000:Montana absinthe
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Archive through October 8, 2000  65   10/08 08:53am

By Jkk on Sunday, October 15, 2000 - 12:18 pm: Edit

I don't really see the point of this thread going
on much longer, so I'll be brief.

I am definitely not "an evil, repressive force
in the universe"--were those the exact words?--but
" a guy who has been insulted too
much"...hmm...maybe. Anyway, you haven't
travelled too much, so you probably haven't come
in contact with the mentality in question.

I'm sorry I thought you were Australian.
Maybe I got you mixed up with someone else. In
any case, you stepped over the line. I don't log
onto some Stradford-on-Avon web-site and call your
country's people a bunch of "lager louts" or say I
wish there were some spot in the world I could go
where I wouldn't have to see damned pasty-faced
Brits. You gratuitously went off on Americans
twice. We all shrugged it off. It's not being
hyper-sensitive, but I really didn't want to read
this crap everyday, so I said something. Yes, I
can bear a pointless anti-American swipe once,
even twice, but I had the feeling you thought you
could come here every time you had a bad day and
take it out on us. I think you were taking
advantage of our American good nature. And please
don't preach to me about how to travel. I've been
backpacking, hitchhiking, riding trains and buses
in North America, Europe and Asia since the 1970s.

By Midas on Sunday, October 15, 2000 - 08:44 am: Edit

If anyone wants any "stupid Australian jokes", please email the ONLY Australian who posts here, namely, me.
jkk, have you ever been to Australia? If you have, then I'm sorry you still hold your current opinion of us antedelluvians. Or is your narrow view a product of encounters with rude, ignorant tourists who shouldn't be trusted with a library card, let alone a passport? Don't dismiss an entire nation with a couple of short, schoolyard comments. It's true that we have cousin f**ker, trailer park 'homo ignoramus' in this country, as do most others. However, we also have the scientist responsible for the first IVF baby, one of the worlds foremost sopranos, a reputation for great wine makers and vinyards, and ancestors who managed to make what is mostly an unforgiving environment into a productive resource for local and international commerce.
Oh, and if you don't like being subjected to anti-American stereotyping, or being portrayed as the "Crude American", why do you feel the need to lower yourself to that level to make anti-Australian statements, and stereotype people such as myself as the "Crude Australian"?
Crocodile Dundee is long dead here, I'm happy to say. And maybe you should check someones profile to see where they come from before calling them names. It helps to know if you're insulting the nationality you intended to...
-Robert 'dinkumokkabeautymate' Maxwell.

By Fellraven on Sunday, October 15, 2000 - 03:45 am: Edit


What *is* the negative stereotype of the Aussie, French or Japanese tourist in the US?

I think the most negative aspect of the Aussie tourist I know of in Europe is that they invariably have enormous backpacks and always put them *just* where you can trip over them. But that's not exactly Aussie TFH material, eh?

By Petermarc on Sunday, October 15, 2000 - 02:36 am: Edit

why have stereotypes when there is so many
people you can dislike on an individual basis?
"l'enfer, c'est les autres"---sartre
(i'm sure i wouldn't like him, either)

By Bob_chong on Sunday, October 15, 2000 - 02:18 am: Edit

"there is no negative tourist stereotype of the Australians, French or Japanese amongst many others."

Curious. There are in this country. I guess your culture dishes out the stereotyping selectively. We are much more developed in our disdaining and criticizing skills. ;-)


By Fellraven on Sunday, October 15, 2000 - 01:22 am: Edit


AFAIK the Luzel collection of stories has never been fully translated. I'm not sure that it's even in print in French at present. Web searches have tended to turn up virtually nothing.

A selection of 11 or 12 of the stories has been translated and published by a tiny Welsh publisher, Llanerch, under the title "Folk Tales of Armorica" at around $9 plus postage and is reviewed on the WD website.

I don't believe the books are generally available in the US as Llanerch's normal print run is in the region of 300 copies and most are sold in small outlets in out of the way places in the UK. If you're interested I can provide some contact information as the publisher is happy to post books direct anywhere. I think he takes plastic.

Think Animal Husbands, Animal Helpers, Otherworld Journeys, Human/Animal Transformations etc with a distinctly archaic "feel".

By Fellraven on Sunday, October 15, 2000 - 01:07 am: Edit

I go away for a day to a conference and find myself the centre of attention on my return ....

JKK - I *am* home. This is my computer I am typing from. We may be using the American-developed internet and a US-based website, but we are also using the WWW which was invented by a Brit and thereby turned the internet from a system for a small community of anorak-ed nerds and geeks into what it is today - a genuinely world-wide system complete with its commercial and graphical potential.

I would also point out that I have not idenfied Our Friends in Southern Europe other than in terms of their exporting their stock to the UK, where absinthe is of course legal. How they achieve their exports to any other place on Earth is irrelevant to me, and I suggest that you are tarring me with someone else's brush on this issue.

As to the YTFH, yes, I'm afraid it does exist. Just as the British Tourist from Hell (aka the Lager Lout - mostly confined to the Spanish costas and some of the Greek Islands) and the German Tourist From Hell (he who still wears his jackboots on the sunlounger) etc.

One of the benefits of living 12 miles from Stratford upon Avon is that I consider the Royal Shakespeare Theatre there to be my *local* theatre. Unfortunately it is out of bounds most of the year as I have had far too many evenings ruined by the YTFH whose coach tour includes seeing a Shakespeare production at Stratford but who insists on talking loudly through the first half in a manner which leaves one suspecting that this is the first Shakespeare they have seen on stage and in no doubt that they haven't the faintest idea what the hell is going on.

I'm afraid that there is a very large class of American tourist whose passage through any country is designed to transport them from monument to museum to art gallery to scenic bit while ensuring that they have minimum (and preferably no) contact with the people of that country. How they manage to put so many backs up is therefore something of a mystery. Yet they do. Take a look at any tourism forum on Delphi or and you will almost invariably find the thread populated by Americans complaining bitterly that Europeans hate Americans, are rude, etc. Take a look at the abuse heaped upon the French in the France for Visitors forum at for a starter.

The young students and recent graduates who wander round Europe seem to be of an entirely different type - curious, open-minded and as keen to meet the locals as visit the sights.

I guess it never occurred to you that you, presumably as an individual traveller, were reaping the harvest sown by countless thousands of YTFHs who preceded you at the places you visited. That stereotype you complain of didn't come from nowhere - any more than the stereotype of the British lager lout did. If you don't like the stereotype, you have two options: either go out of your way to counter it and be remembered as the Decent American or avoid the sorts of places where the Ugly American is already entrenched. It's an approach which has worked for me, as a Brit, in my visits to France over the past 15 years. It's why you won't find me in Paris, the Dordogne, Brittany or Provence, for instance, and probably why in all those years I have only had *one* unpleasant experience with French local people.

I could, if you are interested, tell you about the very pleasant Californian couple I met in Le Puy last year who were having a whale of a time and couldn't understand why all their friends had told them they'd hate France and the French.

Don - Funny you should mention Libya. It has also recently become a new destination for the more adventurous Brit/European tourist. Something to do with all the pre-Roman, Roman, Islamic and other cultural landmarks which managed to survive the to-ing and fro-ing of British, American, German and Italian armies during the last war. The WWII battlefields are also in fact on the itineraries, especially for those who fought, or whose fathers and grandfathers fought, in the North Africa Campaigns.

North Korea is still a few years away, but I suspect that when it opens up the Aussies and their backpacks will be in there first.

Cuba? Well after 40 years of US sanctions and 10 years without Soviet support they're still hanging on in there and see controlled tourism as a useful FEx earner. And considering their population and supposed bankruptcy, they did bloody well at Sydney, don't you think?

Bob - AFAIK, there is no negative tourist stereotype of the Australians, French or Japanese amongst many others.

By Anatomist1 on Saturday, October 14, 2000 - 09:40 pm: Edit


Like you said, the majority of people anywhere aren't exactly the Mensa convention, which is why I question the leap from some generalization about cretin tourists to a personal insult. Your long poem reads like a promo for consciousness of the empty rowboat parable (c.f., THE ARENA). Here I thought you were a mean, repressive, evil force in the universe, but in fact you were just a guy who feels bad about being insulted too much... another empty rowboat.


By Jkk on Saturday, October 14, 2000 - 07:52 pm: Edit

I don't hate Australians or any other
nationality. It's just that having travelled a
fair amount, and being able to get by in French,
German and Russian, in addition to English, I
think I've come into contact with many different
types of people who have been able to express
themselves with more freedom in their own
languages--or in another language which they
happen to know better than ours--than in English.
Unfortunately, this has also left me open to being
the butt of anti-American stereotyping. Perhaps
it's a sore point with me, but I dislike being
considered a world oppressor by, say, the citizen
of the country that gave us Hitler or Stalin. I'm
sorry, but I guess I'm not such a knee-jerking
liberal any more, and I don't automatically join
in the attack when America is being spat on.

It seems to be that most people in this
world--not only Americans--are vulgar and not
especially intelligent, and when I meet a vulgar
and not especially intelligent Frenchman, who, by
the way, speaks only one language and reads less
than I, and who insists on putting me in his
cubby-hole labelled "Crude American", than my
temper does tend to flare. What can I say?--I've
been through this too many times before.

I think Americans are actually very tolerant
of this sort of thing. Fellraven made a stupid
generalization about the people of this
country--which, incidentally, has given the world
Whistler, Melville, Hawthorne, Twain, James,
Thoreau, Whitman, Poe, etc. (What has Australia
ever given us?) Everyone let it pass. Then
he--she?--did it again. If I hadn't said
anything, it would have become a running gag.
Really, how stupid is this person not to realize
that this is an American web-site? Of course,
this same person spilled the beans about how S.C.
was getting you-know-what into this country. I
think they need to learn some etiquette. I'm not
against specific, truthful criticism of Americans.
Many of us are obese. Our schools are not what
they could be. You might think rap music is an
abomination. All right. Just don't log onto a
Californian web-site and say something like the
problem with travelling is that you can't get away
from those damned Americans.

If this individual is from Britain, sorry for
the mistake, but I thought they mentioned they
lived in Australia.

By Bob_chong on Saturday, October 14, 2000 - 03:45 pm: Edit


Do I see you bobbing and weaving around in the ring of THE ARENA, shadowboxing to get loosened up? It's been a while, mate.


By Anatomist1 on Saturday, October 14, 2000 - 02:25 pm: Edit

Man. I think you guys need to take some valium, or get in anger management therapy... get some exercise.

First of all, JKK, what's the deal with all the anti-australian bigotry? It seems sort of surrealistic in this context, as there aren't any australians involved in this thread, to my knowledge... If you click on the little green "Fellraven", you'll discover he/she is from England. Although, maybe you just hate everyone, and the particular target is irrelevant...

I didn't find Fellraven's post to be all that inflammatory. I haven't traveled much outside the US, but Middle Aged Yank Tourists from Hell are definitely out there, and apparently you guys consider yourselves part of this group, or you wouldn't be so ludicrously defensive. In the context of the discussion, I don't think the entire population of the US was implied to be part of that group. If among the essential characteristics of a MAYTfH are hotheaded arrogance, and hair-trigger explosions of anger, then: Congratulations, you guys are in.


By Bob_chong on Saturday, October 14, 2000 - 01:34 pm: Edit

Don, you crack me up. Vive le sarcasm. My last post was way too gentle, but you made up for it. Thanks.

FWIW, I had composed a rant that would have insulted folks of many different countries but thought better of it (Kevin Kline's rant in A Fish Called Wanda comes to mind). Nothing raises my hackles faster than a European insulting Americans, but I believe Fellraven was the messenger here, not the message.

Of course, we could bastardize Marshall McLuhan and kill the messenger. Just kidding. ;-)


By Don_walsh on Saturday, October 14, 2000 - 01:17 pm: Edit

May I propose North Korea and Libya as other trendy tourist hotspots not too overcrowded with those distasteful Yanks?

Of particular appeal in N.Korea are the famine victims, as typical of the total collapse of the bullshit stalinist economy of this wretched drab police state now run by the psychotic idiot-childe of the worst Korean of the last century?

Libya naturally has a lot of nice sand full of WWII landmines, the odd chemical warfare agent factory built by greedy German conglomerates and misc terrorist training camps engaged in advanced courses in bombing Pan Am jetliners and the occasional disco freqyented by those despicable Yanks.

Those hospitable and fashionable Cubans of course just returned from warmongering in western Africa now that their state sponsor has collapsed and so have reverted to drinking rum and Cocaaaa..colA!, ta ta ta ta ta, and would like at least to be working for the Yanqui dollar...most certainly not the pathetic scrip that passes for money down under these days.

By Jkk on Saturday, October 14, 2000 - 01:01 pm: Edit

Would that it were possible to make this web-site off-limits to boorish Aussies. It seems not to have occurred to Fellraven that Kallisti is located in California. Do we Yankees go into Aussie web-sites to defecate? Fellraven, go home!

By Bob_chong on Friday, October 13, 2000 - 10:27 pm: Edit


I get it now. The "Ugly American" and all that. Each country has stereotypes of foreign tourists, and more often than not Americans provide good fodder for an argument that with wealth comes responsibility (i.e., we need help in this area). Instead, I think many of us tend to move more towards the idea that with wealth comes privilege (e.g., "why should I learn a foreign language if I am the one spending my money in their economy: they should learn mine," and so on). I understand why people complain about us, but it isn't always justified to condemn a nation on the actions of a few. Plus, sometimes it feels like a slap in the face to us--yeah, we may have helped save Europe twice in the past 85 years, but what have we done for you lately?...we'd like to milk these accomplishments for a little while longer, please ;-).


By Artemis on Friday, October 13, 2000 - 05:02 pm: Edit

"Artemis - I'll take your word for it re the origin of this quote."

Actually, I wanted to provide you with the full verse, but I unfortunately have none of my several copies of the Dao De Jing with me. If I could have only one book, that would be the one.

" .. Llewellynist sales patter ..."

That catalog is EXACTLY what I had in mind when I said "money to be made"!

"... stories collected by F W Luzel in Brittany in the 1860s and 1870s ..."

Can you provide any more detail on these? Have they been published in a book, in magazines?

"All - I get the distinctive impression that I have wandered inadvertently into a nest of pagans/occultists/magickians or whatever when I was trying to avoid same. Reassure me. I was seeking some form of normality rather than yet more hereditary dolphin channellers and chakra wankers."

And you've found it!! It's the form of normality normal to the Sepulchritude forum. Have you checked out Kallisti's severed head pages?

By Perruche_verte on Friday, October 13, 2000 - 02:40 pm: Edit

Heh. OK, Fellraven. Try one of these:

1. No, I gave up all that rot years ago when I joined the RCC. Now I'm a priest. I pray that God shows mercy on you, as He did me.

2. After the coven made me try that thing with the belladonna, I spent six months in the psych ward. When I got out, none of them would speak to me. I think you people belong in jail.

3. Marx says that religion is the opium of the people. That means you're the moral equivalent of a drug pusher. I hope you're proud of yourself, confusing people about their role in the class struggle.

4. By the time I made third degree, I saw through all this hippy treehugger shit and came to grips with the fact that what I really wanted was power -- real, earthly power. Now I'm a real estate developer. In a year or two, I think I'll run for office.

Just pick the one you find most reassuring! That's better now, isn't it?

P.S. I think the mag was "Pipes of P.A.N."

By Fellraven on Friday, October 13, 2000 - 11:37 am: Edit


No, I think it's fair to say that the British people do NOT assume that the American people are necessarily pro-sanctions. The situation is (ahem) more complex than that.

At present, Cuba is a very trendy, stylish and "cool" destination for British and European tourists. The reason for this is (take this how you will) that it is perceived as one of the very few places on earth still unpolluted by the Middle Aged Yank Tourist from Hell. It is therefore currently one of THE "in" destinations before the US lifts sanctions and (ahem again) the Yanks ruin it for everyone.

The country is currently in a stylish 1950s time-warp which is expected to vanish completely within 2 or 3 years of the lifting of US sanctions. is currently (or at least it was a week or so ago) offering 14 nights all-inclusive in Cuba for around £700 (around $1,000) for British visitors.

I have to say it's on my shortlist for next year, along with Oman and Iran.

By Bob_chong on Friday, October 13, 2000 - 11:27 am: Edit


I've never met an American who was anti-Cuba. Granted, the folks I know are booze-guzzling, cigar-chomping, whore-mongers, but still...

Is that the impression abroad (e.g., in the UK)-- that the American people support the embargo of Cuba? That's too bad, since it seems to be a dead wrong assumption, IMO. The only people who are anti-Cuba are the Cuban expats and the pols who want their votes or who want to appear as hardliners.


By Jkk on Friday, October 13, 2000 - 10:28 am: Edit

Q: What's the difference between an Australian and yogurt?

A: Yogurt has culture.

By Fellraven on Friday, October 13, 2000 - 09:50 am: Edit

Jeez, but a few drunken ramblings of mine seem to have started something..... ah well :)

Bob - thank you for the kick up the arse. I tried another search engine from my usual and eventually turned up the lead. A pagan site which is leading more than a a few folks a merry dance....

My own view is that whenever something becomes "trendy" and the image-focused start jumping on the bandwagon then the Lowest Common Denominator won't be far behind. I've not tasted Hills but from other people's comments about this contribution to germ warfare I suspect that image is more important with its imbibers than your actual taste, quality or whatever. Why else do people drink expensive, tasteless South American lagers out of designer bottles?

If SC open up shop in the Caribbean, I'd vote for Cuba. Not only would the non-Americans have it all to themselves, but the island is reputedly an hospitable, unspoilt and very friendly destination. (Sorry)

Artemis - I'll take your word for it re the origin of this quote. As indicated to Bob, I found it on a pagan website without having recognised it although I did read the Dao De Jing some years ago. I no longer have the book as I gave it away .... mistake, obviously.

PV - thank you for very kind words about my (White Dragon's) website. We aim for honesty and integrity - and to kick the asses of any fluff bunnies who carelessly wander within range.

You may be right in your view that greater interest will lead to more and better absinthe. But the good/aiming-for-authentic stuff will, I suspect, remain very much a niche product. The mass market votes for packaging, lifestyle concepts and image, not character and strong flavour in drinks. The development of drinks like of Baileys and of bland, "designer" single malts and tasteless beers is evidence of this. What I would hope for, frankly, is the absinthe equivalent of the micro-brewery phenomenon - small family/enthusiast businesses who can make a decent living out of producing a distinctive product, even if small production runs mean that we have to pay a small premium for it.

Your point about the Greater and Lesser Mysteries is a good one, and I agree with it. The problem lies, IMHE, when the mass of the self-appointed wannabes becomes critical and the voices of the genuine "guardians" is lost amidst the Llewellynist sales patter. Sure, there will always be the Destined who find the "true path" (note inverted commas, please), but it remains galling to have some 17 year old wiccan from Nebraska claim to be a high priestess or whatever when she barely knows which end of her athame to hold.

FWIW, the stories collected by F W Luzel in Brittany in the 1860s and 1870s are well worth exploring for anyone interested who can read French (or Breton) as many touch on the Mysteries in manners which are no longer properly discernable in the Welsh or Irish myths. Unfortunately, only a handful have ever been translated and published in English, but they are very rich indeed in archaic lore and ideas.

(BTW - which pagan mag was this?)

All - I get the distinctive impression that I have wandered inadvertently into a nest of pagans/occultists/magickians or whatever when I was trying to avoid same. Reassure me. I was seeking some form of normality rather than yet more hereditary dolphin channellers and chakra wankers.

By Perruche_verte on Thursday, October 12, 2000 - 07:22 pm: Edit

It is also said that there are two types of Mysteries, lesser and greater. The lesser ones must be guarded, because they can be given away with a slip of the tongue. The greater ones cannot be guarded, nor do they need guarding, because they can only be experienced, not told. I forget where that one comes from... Greece, through Crowley, I think.

Anyone who likes that sort of thing ought to check out the URL on Fellraven's profile. I spent a couple of very pleasant hours reading old White Dragon articles.

On the esoteric versus the exoteric, I recall a letter in some UK Pagan mag back in the early '90s. Apologies for any inaccuracy: "...I decided a long time ago that I wasn't going anywhere unless all my friends got to come too... my only problem with so-called secret orders or societies is that they are not, or do not remain, secret. I wish they would."

However, being open has its problems. It's like trying to study when people keep opening the door to your room, walking in, taking something off the shelf, asking a question or two, then looking at a watch, walking out and slamming the door after them. I have slammed a few doors in my life.

As for absinthe, I tend to agree with Bob that greater interest will result in more and better absinthe production. However, in the prohibition-minded USA this might simply result in the half-open door, of which we currently take advantage, being suddenly slammed shut and locked. To be honest, I think this latter scenario is more likely. A coalition of paternalist liberals and moralizing conservatives would happily jump all over absinthe at the expense of the tiny libertarian minority that actually makes it or drinks it.

By Artemis on Thursday, October 12, 2000 - 02:21 pm: Edit

"For those who understand the Mystery, no explanation is necessary; for those who do not, none is possible." (Any if anyone knows where I found that quote, please let me know.)"

It's neither pseudo nor is it philosophy. It's from the Dao de Jing, a simple book of truth. As straightforward as the instructions on a box of Ricearoni and twice as effective.

I don't understand what the U.S. experience in Vietnam has to do with anything else you wrote, but I agree with your perception of the unfortunate "evolution" in the Old Ways from mystery to marketing. There is money to be made; it's that simple. Formerly, not only was there no money in it, but possibly a hot foot all the way to the scalp.

By Bob_chong on Thursday, October 12, 2000 - 01:40 pm: Edit

One of the problems of the "quality is inversely proportional to quantity" argument is that it can overly simplify complex systems. For example, a greater quantity of absinthe resellers in the US would increase the quality of the transactions (by reducing the price and by revealing Bettina as the 400% mark-up charlatan that she is). Also, I would be glad to see another dozen absinthe distilleries open up if it meant a better product. In both of these cases, limited competition allows for poorer service or products.

If absinthe became very popular, I would be disappointed if US customs began cracking down harder on imports rather than changing the regulations to allow it (or even allowing US production of absinthe). However, a huge absinthe revival might lead to better products, greater variety, and lower prices. Maybe Spiritscorner could set up a shop in the Carribean, for example, and cut shipping to the US by half. I don't care if a million absinthe-wanting tennie boppers jump on the bandwagon, unless this meant my supply were cut off or prices increased. But new suppliers would crop up to meet the new demand.

I'll still like the stuff if a supposedly unsavory element began liking it, too. Popularity and quality are not always linked in a see-saw manner (e.g., I think the Beatles began writing better music after they became popular--Sgt. Peppers beats the hell outta the love me do/hold your hand stuff, IMO). I can't start disliking something just because it's popular.


By Bob_chong on Thursday, October 12, 2000 - 01:18 pm: Edit

"For those who understand the Mystery, no explanation is necessary; for those who do not, none is possible."

Kinda reminds me of Louis Armstrong's response to when he was asked to define jazz: "Man, when you got to ask what it is, you'll never get to know."

(FWIW, before the Satchmo experts go nuts, his response varies slightly from place to place, depending where you look.)

Fellraven--you can find your quote by doing a web search (I did, but don't want to post the url; that's the bastard part of the teacher in me, the "go look it up" mentality).

But I have no idea how tourism and the quality/quantity thing add up in your example above. But we can forget it if you want and you can sip more wine. ;-)


By Fellraven on Thursday, October 12, 2000 - 12:39 pm: Edit

While waiting on our friends from SC I am exploring the delights of Aussie Cab/Sauv and trying to contemplate (no doubt unsuccessfully) the future of many things, of which absinthe is just one. In the context of paganism, I have seen over the past decade the shift from regarding many forms of magic(k), the "occult" and witchcraft from being "Mysteries" in the sense of the Old Ways (ie "esoteric - literally "for the few") to "lifestyle" choices a la marketing research bureau (ie "exoteric" - for the many" or "for everyone"). And from seeing the results, I pray that we prevent absinthe from becoming "fashionable" and "kewl" in the same manner. If experience has taught me anything it is that (with very few exceptions) quality is in inverse proportion to quantity. After all (and I apologise if this brings up painful memories) a few thousand Vietcong ran tens of thousands of US service personnel out of Vietnam, and the Brits and the Aussies may be back there in force as tourists but there are very few Americans yet.

Somewhere out on the WWW a while back I found a bit of pseudo-philosophy which was worth the copying (if not the remembering):

"For those who understand the Mystery, no explanation is necessary; for those who do not, none is possible." (Any if anyone knows where I found that quote, please let me know.)

There is a tradition in the occult community that speaks of the four powers of the magickian - to know, to dare, to will and to keep silent. I'm not sure that there is much difference between absinthe and magick.

But hopefully when I get the stuff from SC I'll stop talking bollocks.

By Don_walsh on Thursday, October 12, 2000 - 09:19 am: Edit

I have taken steps to procure a bottle of La Fee and expect to have it by 24th of this month...looking forward to reviewing it here. I promise a fair handed commentary. Ted says it's pretty good, so does Artemis, so I am looking forward to trying it. On the other hand Justin panned we will see, I guess.

By Absinthedrinker on Thursday, October 12, 2000 - 06:42 am: Edit

Actually the La Fée situation is worse than I thought, only Gerry's seem to stock it now (remember they only accept cash). However, I had a very amusing conversation with the guy in Vintage House.

'A bottle of La Fée please.'
'Which one would you like?'
'You mean there is more than one?' (stirrings of interest)
'Oh yes, different ages, different strengths...'

unfortunately in the same instant I thought that I had discovered a previously unknown cache of absinthe I realised that he was talking about Laphroaig malt whisky.

By Lordhobgoblin on Tuesday, October 10, 2000 - 11:53 pm: Edit

I guess that we on this forum are the exceptions and that most people, (in the UK anyway) view absinthe as just another strange alcoholic spirit. It's green colour and aniseed taste probably don't help, neither do it's retail price or the fact that unlike vodka it's not suitable for mixing. Spirit sales in general are dropping anyway. As for thujone, the public don't care.

Unfortuately absinthe is probably always going to be a very, very nichey product. Anyway I for one am glad I can get it by mail order as searching out the places in the UK that stock it is far too much effort.


By Absinthedrinker on Tuesday, October 10, 2000 - 03:57 am: Edit

Even when Hills was introduced there was no big campaign and it never really became established out side of a few places in London. Now I could understand this if these products were being made and imported by enthusiastic amateurs who blew all their cash on production, but these guys are supposed to be marketing whizzes. Very odd.

By Chrysippvs on Tuesday, October 10, 2000 - 02:49 am: Edit

I think it was honestly a response to a few years of the "Absinth is czech for anti-freeze" cracks and the general disdain for their product...GB was probably just trying to make a more realistic product..atlhough it is odd how little La Fee is showing up over there...I had a friend in town who could not find it at all....

- J

By Absinthedrinker on Tuesday, October 10, 2000 - 02:12 am: Edit

I sometimes wonder whether all of the 'Greenies' activities aren't just done for their own amusement or to lighten their collective tax burden. As I understand it, they are marketing people but I find it odd that with all the money they must have spent on creating La Fée it hasn't had a nationwide ad campaign in the UK. I mean it is only sold in two shops in Soho and I still haven't found it in any bars (OK perhaps I don't hang out in the coolest bars).

By Eric on Monday, October 09, 2000 - 05:59 pm: Edit

thank you artemis, thats right.

By Artemis on Monday, October 09, 2000 - 05:31 pm: Edit

George Washington. Don't you know your American history? :^)

By Eric on Monday, October 09, 2000 - 04:43 pm: Edit

it would be interesting if anybody can cite a u.s. president who didn't lie.

By Anatomist1 on Monday, October 09, 2000 - 04:15 pm: Edit

Uh oh, here we go...

"Lying shouldn't be tolerated, from the President of the U.S..."?

Surely you guys aren't so naive as to be unaware that skillful lying is, in fact, the office's chief qualification...

By Tabreaux on Monday, October 09, 2000 - 02:04 pm: Edit

"Lying shouldn't be tolerated, from the president of the U.S. or from an absinthe distiller."

Oh, how do I agree! I suspect that there is more 'lying' going on that you might suspect. As far as I can tell, more of it seems to come from the distributors as opposed to manufacturers.

By Artemis on Monday, October 09, 2000 - 12:37 pm: Edit

Kallisti asked:

"Have we discovered exactly where la Fee is produced?"

I don't claim to know, but the front label on the bottle proclaims "Made in France", right under the crossed wormwood sprigs. Of course, I'm no expert and that could be Juniper or marijuana, but the words are plain enough. I don't see that it matters where it's made, but it does matter if they're lying about it. Lying shouldn't be tolerated, from the president of the U.S. or from an absinthe distiller.

By Artemis on Monday, October 09, 2000 - 12:33 pm: Edit

Bob Chong inquired:

"Would you date the brewing revolution in the US back to 1979, when homebrewing was allowed (again, finally)? The best thing Carter ever did was sign that into law. I'd say it was the impetus for better beer in this country."

I was referring to the New Albion Brewery, which opened in August 1977, in the wine country of Sonoma, California, with an annual production of only 200 hundred barrels of beers in the British style. It was the first "boutique" brewery in the U.S. The Anchor Brewing Company, which was actually founded in 1894 in San Francisco, managed to hang on by a thread all through prohibition and was still hanging in there in the 1970s, when it began to come to attention elsewhere in the U.S. Today, New Albion is long defunct, but Anchor is going strong. In my opinion, it was indeed homebrewing that fueled the fires of the American brewing revolution. It taught people to appreciate good fresh beer, and moreover, trained many of the brewers who ply their trades today at small breweries around the U.S. Fifteen years is about right as the time at which the average person (if there is such a thing) actually had reasonable access to quality beer, though.

By Bob_chong on Sunday, October 08, 2000 - 08:21 pm: Edit

The site Ted linked below is hilariously pro-Hill's. However, all is corrected with this out-of-context snippet that seems to tell the real story:

"...they launched Hill's onto an unsuspecting public in November 1998."


By Tabreaux on Sunday, October 08, 2000 - 08:11 pm: Edit

The EAbsinthe web page which contains the description of where it is made can be found here:

By Tabreaux on Sunday, October 08, 2000 - 08:08 pm: Edit

Most (if not all) of the products sold by La Boheme can be procured from inside the Czech Republic (according to reports I've been reading from those who've been there). I don't know about Absinth King specifically. Nevertheless, all La Boheme products are made there (as indicated on their website), so there is no doubt about their origin.

As far as La Fee, unless it is indicated that it is produced elsewhere, or unless it is revealed that this product is not what it is claimed to be (e.g. being a 'legal' substitute), I feel we have to assume that the distributor claims are factual.

By Don_walsh on Sunday, October 08, 2000 - 07:37 pm: Edit

Various people have posted that the GB/GU site says the La Fee is actually distilled in Czech Republic (and Radomil Hill is a 'consultant') while the recipe was developed by a French pastis maker.

Obviously this is in conflict with the story propagated by the forum's own knowledgeable and unbiased sources. I myself have been unable to find any such text on the site. Would someone pls provide a direct quote and a precise email address (like to the page?) Lacking that I am inclined to the 'official' version, French origin, despite the conflict with French law.

By Admin on Sunday, October 08, 2000 - 06:37 pm: Edit

Yes, but like la Fee, is being made for an export market. I don't think you can buy Absinth King in the Czech Republic. Have we discovered exactly where la Fee is produced? Because I should put some kind of note on those reviews as to where they are made ...

By Tabreaux on Sunday, October 08, 2000 - 02:39 pm: Edit

FWIW, Absinth King is positively made in the Czech Republic. Just FYI.

By Admin on Sunday, October 08, 2000 - 01:30 pm: Edit

So, I've been sampling all morning and was quite tipsy by 11am, when I had to wrangle a LARGE BLACK SPIDER that decided to SCUTTLE across the front of my desk. It is still at large and I can barely sit here without swilling more booze to give me courage.

Well, heh, my reform was more in the nature of a grossly overdue update. Which I've just posted ... hurrah! Here's what you'll find if you look hard enough:

New Reviews for la Fee, Huguet, Absinthe King, Tunel & Justin's Jura Brew.

I've relocated Absinthe King and put la Fee into a U.K. Category, as these were both manufactured (somewhere) for the UK market and that is where they are being distributed.

Folks are MORE than welcome to submit new reviews, and I will either replace or add them to the existing line-up on my whim. Its all rather random, and I like it like that ... weee!

And on an unrelated note, my soundtrack for today is:
Korsakov's Scheherazade
Japan's Tin Drum
Edith Piaf Various & Sundry
and Babes in Toyland

all on shuffle, baby.

By Bob_chong on Sunday, October 08, 2000 - 12:27 pm: Edit

In 1920 alcohol was prohibited. When this was repealed, a supposed stenographer's error led to homebrewing to remain illegal (i.e., commercial production of wine and/or beer was ok, as was the home production of wine, and perhaps someone forgot to write the "and/or beer" part). This was rectified by congress in 1978 and signed into law the following year.

All of this is according to Charlie Papazian.


By Fellraven on Sunday, October 08, 2000 - 12:04 pm: Edit

Home brewing was illegal in the US??

(Yes, I know it was, you just said so, but I still find it a gob-smack even so.)

By Bob_chong on Sunday, October 08, 2000 - 11:58 am: Edit


Would you date the brewing revolution in the US back to 1979, when homebrewing was allowed (again, finally)? The best thing Carter ever did was sign that into law. I'd say it was the impetus for better beer in this country.


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