Archive through August 13, 2000

Sepulchritude Forum: The Absinthe Forum Archives Thru July 2001: Old Topics Archived Thru Sep 2000:T. Breaux Review of La Fee Absinthe:Archive through August 13, 2000
By Marc on Sunday, August 13, 2000 - 12:34 am: Edit

ozymandius,

Jesse Ventura?! The deliverence kid?! You sure you went to my website. I look like Rasputin.

By Marc on Sunday, August 13, 2000 - 12:31 am: Edit

brotherben,

As a recording artist who has released several albums on major labels, I use my name for my website because it is known to people who have bought my records. My band, The Nails, has it's own website, but, I'ved just released a solo album using my name. I want to make it as easy as possible for people to find me. Rock and roll is a popular art and I want to be accessible.

By br0ther_ben on Saturday, August 12, 2000 - 05:27 pm: Edit

Marc,
Though I have some issues with making web pages named after oneself (just musings, nothing more), your page is quite cool (presentation that is...I haven't read all your stuff yet). I could care less if that is the "real" Marc. That is, as the postmodernists would say, a simulacrum anyway. The real is just a copy in some ways as well.

Live free and then die

Brother ben

By ozymandius on Saturday, August 12, 2000 - 02:35 pm: Edit

marc,

If that is true, why then is there a picture of
what looks like a cross between the kid from
Deliverance and Jesse Ventura on your web page?

The little people, if they don't know better, may
think it is you, and start sending you money to
open a wrestling and banjo bar...

and if they get it stuck fully in their deluded
minds that the photo is you walking it like you
talk it, they may foolishly and erroneously feel
such a photo would go a long way towards
explaining your legendary interest in Don's
wrestling moniker and skin tight trunks...

"no chewing of cold mutton for marc", they may be
heard to mutter darkly

"a little cleavage, a little thigh", indeed.

By Marc on Saturday, August 12, 2000 - 01:49 am: Edit

Don,

I agree wholeheartedly. A posted e-mail address is the cyber equivalent of "walk it like you talk it".

By Don Walsh on Saturday, August 12, 2000 - 01:27 am: Edit

Dear malhomme

Well, just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you! (William Rotsler)

Anyway I did not demand that someone include their email address. I just said it would bolster their argument if they did.

Anyone who wants to intercept MY email will be bored to tears. It is voluminous, and little of it is concerned with absinthe. It is routine correspondence concerning my main business. Bor-ing!

I still believe that if one wants to argue, or flame, one ought to belly up to the cyber-bar with an email address. One need not use one's own name. One need not use one's regular email address. (I have six.) One can readily create another email address just for this purpose. But to post both pseudonymously and without a return address is graffiti pure and simple and ought to carry the moral weight of graffiti, which is to say, half of the net weight of a mayfly's balls.

By the way isn't it odd that I post in the name I have on my birth certificate and my passport, and get accused of paranoia, while those who hide behind handles and post anonymously and without attribution, are thought to be merely prudent?

It's through the lookingglass, people. Mind your head!

By Marc on Saturday, August 12, 2000 - 12:30 am: Edit

Anybody here is welcome to visit my website: marccampbell.com

By Anatomist1 on Friday, August 11, 2000 - 11:57 pm: Edit

Speaking of email addresses, I think it would be more fun if everyone at least set up a profile page and left the email slot blank. You can put your email or website on the profile at your discretion. That way, even with no email, there's a little personality.

One of the best times I had on this forum was when I first encountered billynorm's profile with the stern photo, and the quote: "I used to be an artist in search of a medium, but now I'm an artist in search of an extra-large."

K.

By malhomme on Friday, August 11, 2000 - 11:09 pm: Edit

Um, about the email address thing....
It's possible, once someone has your address, to intercept your emails. I can understand omitting email addresses out of safety/privacy concerns.

It may be perceived as "gutless", your words, to post a flaming post without an email address. Then again, it might appear just plain paranoid to demand that they including their address. This is a valid place to hash-out differences. What would you email me that you couldn't say here?

By Don Walsh on Friday, August 11, 2000 - 08:19 pm: Edit

Fan, whoever you are:

No one is 'overhyping' our absinthes. We are telling the truth and nothing but, about them. Ted and I are both of this forum. We met on this Forum and we decided to produce this absinthe because of this Forum. We both post under own own names.

You are entitled to your opinion. Opinions are like assholes: everyone has 'em. But if you want yours to be taken seriously, you might start by having the decency to post with an email address. Not to do so is permitted, but gutless.

All absinthes are not created equal. And thank god for that!

By tabreaux on Friday, August 11, 2000 - 09:09 am: Edit

Dear Fan, I understand why you expect to find that the 'over-hyped' Thai absinthe will be just another variation of the Spanish. Much of wat you said is correct. Fortunately however, your predictions for the 'over-hyped' Thai absinthe are wrong. FWIW, none of the Spanish or La Fee taste like the originals that I have sampled up until this point. There are distinct reasons for this, and we'll just have to leave it at that. La Bleue is kind of its own world, and some taste somewhat like the Spanish (unfortunately), and some don't. Again, there are some distinct reasons for this, and some of them have to do with modern economics, which applies even to clandestine distillers.

Unlike many of the beforementioned products, the 'over-hyped' Thai absinthe is not altered, adulterated or adjusted to suit anyone. It will be absolutely traditional and authentic, and nothing will be changed to make it perceptibly 'more palatable' to johnny consumer. Personally, I'd prefer not to even discuss it further until it is available.

By tabreaux on Friday, August 11, 2000 - 08:43 am: Edit

Unfortunately, it takes a good deal of money, time, and handling to make a truly traditional product. When you consider that Spanish brands such as (M. Mayans, Herring, Deva, Montana, La Sala, etc.) all RETAIL for $10-15 per bottle (and the Czech stuff used to retail for even less), you can imagine how little it actually costs to make those products. I know the costs, and it can't cost more than $2-3 per bottle to make any of them (if that much).

By Fan on Friday, August 11, 2000 - 08:34 am: Edit

Um, not to be too x-files about this, but all of these brands that get talked up (the ones you can't get) are being talked up by the commercial producers who haven't roled out their product yet. It's like they're saying ours is totally different than the spanish, and it's as good as these... well, I hate to say it but I've had bleue and La Fee, thanks to a forum friend, and they both taste almost exactly like the soanish to me. Sure, bleue is clear and a little thin tasting, and la Fee has that wierd lasala/montana scent to it, but they're still mostly licorice. And I'd bet that the over-hyped thai absinthe is going to be pretty much the same, but much like these expensive and ungettable brands, they'll tell you it's earth shakingly different. My favorite is still Deva, the other brands are just expensive versions of the same taste.

By Anatomist1 on Thursday, August 10, 2000 - 05:22 pm: Edit

Well, this is just great. Does anyone else want to wax on about some fantastic absinthe that I can't afford, don't have access to, or isn't available yet while I wait for my next shipment of one-dimension Spanish licorice juice?

Thank you sir! May I have another?

K.

By tabreaux on Thursday, August 10, 2000 - 01:02 pm: Edit

Le Fee is completely UK and EEU compliant. As far as its absinthium content, I wouldn't know exactly what it was unless I tested it. As far as its quality, it is better than any of the Spanish brands. As far as how it compares to the various La Bleues, I'd say that it is perhaps equal, but different. It's herbal composition bears more resemblence to the Spanish brands than the La Bleues, but it has a better balance and more interesting, more palatable use of herbs than do the Spanish brands.

By JKK on Thursday, August 10, 2000 - 11:17 am: Edit

Does anyone know if the Fee Absinthe is compliant with the regulations of the European community as regards thujone levels; (i.e. it claims to have 10 mg. or less per kilo)? Or does it have as much as vintage absinthe? Also, for those who have tried it, how would you rank it in comparison to, say, Deva and a good Bleue? Is it as good as the latter, (or even better?), or is it more on the level of the former?

By tabreaux on Thursday, August 10, 2000 - 09:23 am: Edit

Can't patent it, wouldn't want to. A patent is a public disclosure of all you know and how to make something. Where beverage recipes are concerened, that may not be a wise thing to do. Best to keep trade secrets proprietary. Besides, original E. Pernod is so unusual anyway (with respect to modern stuff), that copying it is no easy task.

By Mr. Wormwood on Thursday, August 10, 2000 - 05:20 am: Edit

I agree with Don, I don't think it patentable in any way. Its a trade secret, like the herbs they use in Chartruse or the formula for Coca Cola. You keep it a secret and nobody can turn out similar products, unless they steal your secret formula. I don't think Don is going to let that happen.

You would have a hard time proving in court that you "invented" absinthe or any process you used was in any way "your invention".

If in fact Ted & Don's product is a perfect reproduction of Pernod as it was 100 years ago. It would be totally unpatentable because 1) it was already invented over 100 years ago and 2) they didn't invent it.

Probably the same response I would get if I walked into the patent office with a Model T Ford and told them I wanted to patent my "new invention".

By Don Walsh on Tuesday, August 08, 2000 - 02:49 am: Edit

Binky, I think you could copyright a recipe -- if you disguised it as computer software. :) Like, write it in C++ 7.0 or Fortran or Ada or something.

By Binky on Tuesday, August 08, 2000 - 02:11 am: Edit

"I'm not sure that a recipe is specifically unpatentable."

Actually, perhaps I'm thinking of Copyright; you can't copyright a recipe.

I dunno...

By Don Walsh on Monday, August 07, 2000 - 09:19 am: Edit

Dear friend Artemis

I wasn't bashing you. Nor was I trying to build a personality cult around Ted and/or myself. No cause to hibernate! Skins are not so thin as to not be able to tolerate the occasional barb.

We wouldn't be so protective if we hadn't something neat to protect. You needn't take that on faith. Just suspend your disbelief will I get a sample to you. Then you can make up your own mind, and if we fail you, then, damn us!

By Don Walsh on Monday, August 07, 2000 - 09:13 am: Edit

I'm not sure that a recipe is specifically unpatentable. I would have to go review the law. I am not a patent lawyer. I have employed a few patent lawyers, and I own or have owned US, UK, German, Austrian, Italian, Belgian, and Chilean patents. One can go do a search easily enough under my name and find them.

I am not sure what the difference might be between a recipe and a chemical process that is patentable. Maybe there IS a statuatory difference. I dunno.

By Artemis on Monday, August 07, 2000 - 05:53 am: Edit

Don wrote:

"Anyway Ted doesn't owe anyone an education about absinthe making. Does he?"

No he doesn't. You'll not catch me saying that anybody here owes me a damned thing. I'm grateful Ted is even still polite in view of how many times I've poked and prodded him here.

I'll give it a rest, though. Back into my cave now.

By Binky on Monday, August 07, 2000 - 04:15 am: Edit

In fact, isn't a recipe specifically un-patentable, or am I thinking of something else?

Hence the vested interest of a manufacturer just doing their best so that no-one finds their recipie out!

By Don Walsh on Monday, August 07, 2000 - 02:55 am: Edit

There is a difference between a trade secret and a patent. A trade secret is a secret! It has no official protection under law. A patent is a fully disclosed improvement in the 'art' that US law requires to be sufficiently great that the leap of genius would not be obvious to a normally skilled practitioner of the art. Trade secrets and patents are mutually exclusive. For example, any failure to fiully disclose the invention in the patent, VOIDS the patent. You can't mingle patented info and trade secrets.

Humor Mode On

(As the Mafia boss of New Orleans (in days gone by) used to say, two people can keep a secret, if one of them is dead.)

Humor Mode Off

I doubt that Ted's process is patentable, so perforce we have to treat it as a trade secret.

Get it?

By Marc on Sunday, August 06, 2000 - 11:57 pm: Edit

In referring to Ted's "mystic and power", I meant "mystique". Secrecy is sexy. Personally, I'm not that interested in the details of the manufacturing of Ted and Don's absinthe as much as I am the taste.

By Marc on Sunday, August 06, 2000 - 11:46 pm: Edit

Ted,

Our posts crossed. I am glad to see we are on the same wavelength. I did not intend to offend.

By Marc on Sunday, August 06, 2000 - 11:44 pm: Edit

Don,

I think Ted can handle my humor. I respect his knowledge enough to have sent him a sample of Sebor in order that I might read his opinion of it.

By tabreaux on Sunday, August 06, 2000 - 11:42 pm: Edit

It's ok Don, I believe Marc was just being witty.

You'll all have to forgive me, as some things which seem straightforward to me may indeed not be so straightforward. I wasn't trying to be elusive or misleading. Don is right about 'reading between the lines'.

I have more or less reached a point whereby I can examine a sample of absinthe and have a very good idea of the qualitative and quantitative details of its content and construction. I'm sure good brew masters can probably do the same with beer. Going so far as to elborate on production techniques, whether those of others or my own, would be bad judgement on my part. All it could do is ultimately undermine the interests of both my business partner (Don) and myself. I won't go into the specifics of how and why, but I hope you can understand that it is nothing personal. One of the things I conceded by investing in a business endeavor was the freedom to discuss even my own 'intellectual property'. The tradeoff is that you'll be able to buy products that wouldn't exist otherwise. I think that's a fair trade.

By Don Walsh on Sunday, August 06, 2000 - 10:37 pm: Edit

Dear Artemis

Yeah, but given that Ted has obviously graduated from the DIY ranks into being a commercial producer -- soon I believe to be a MAJOR commercial producer, I think you can absolve him from having to engage in noblesse oblige.

Maybe he can read something between the lines in the GB text that others can't. Maybe I could too if I bothered to read their site. Anyway Ted doesn't owe anyone an education about absinthe making. Does he? He has done more than most in this regard.

Marc: your sarcasm isn't called for. Ted has forgotten more than you will ever know on this subject. He isn't being coy. He is being quiet because it is in his interests and mine own.

By Tommy the Cat on Sunday, August 06, 2000 - 05:22 pm: Edit

Wow, a little cleavage and a bit of thigh...! Ted, do you want to go out this weekend? :)

By Marc on Sunday, August 06, 2000 - 03:45 pm: Edit

Part of Ted's mystic and power is based on his not revealing specific details about what he does or doesn't know. He's kind of like a woman who shows a little cleavage and a bit of thigh.

By Artemis on Sunday, August 06, 2000 - 03:19 pm: Edit

Dear Don & Others whom it may concern:

I don't question Ted's integrity. I'm not interested in matching his product against any other for authenticity. As far as I'm concerned, anybody can call any damned thing they want absinthe and sell it for whatever the market will bear. I will make the effort to be informed, drink what I *like*, and leave others to do the same.
But some of us here, not content to let our wallets do all the work, have taken up the same DIY quest upon which Ted ventured. In this quest, Ted stands as king of the mountain. Some of us struggling up the slope would appreciate the occasional helping hand. To tell me to go read the Green Bohemia literature because they do it just that way, when he knew that literature explains NOTHING, was uncalled for. It would have been better to say, "I'm not telling". At least we're used to that.

By Don Walsh on Sunday, August 06, 2000 - 09:53 am: Edit

Dear absinthedrinker

Aha. I stand corrected.

I guess Ted is just a Nice Guy then.

By Absinthedrinker on Sunday, August 06, 2000 - 01:10 am: Edit

Just to keep the record straight, Green Bohemia didn't supply a sample to Ted, I did. So he could have been as rude about it as he liked.

Absinthedrinker

By Don Walsh on Sunday, August 06, 2000 - 12:23 am: Edit

Dear Artemis

I can assure you that whatever La Fee's process is, or may be, it isn't the same as ours. For that to happen would require such cosmic coincidence, that it would be essentially impossible.

Given that there are only two people who know our process, I think we can rule the possibility of human intervention out as well.

Ted's not telling and neither am I.

As to why Ted deems it inappropriate to speculate publicly about any insights he has into their process -- I think that given that Green Bohemia gave Ted a sample, he is simply being courteous to them. Makes sense to me, anyway.

The fact that Ted has provided a fair and impartial review of La Fee may not 'prove' anything about our forthcoming product, as was opined elsewhere, but I think it just underscores what all of us here on the Forum already knew. That Ted Breaux is a gentleman of integrity. One can infer from that, that our product will be an absinthe of integrity. Or one can simple wait and see, and, at this point,, you won't have long to wait now.

By Artemis on Saturday, August 05, 2000 - 08:08 pm: Edit

Ted wrote:

"Naturally I don't expect them to reveal more than the most basic of information, but that is what I was referring to."

Well then, when Ted previously wrote:

"but if you read their literature, it is made exactly as they describe it."

he might as well have said they haven't described a damned thing about how they make it. Did anybody think they had made it *without* maceration or *without* distillation??
I question the value of anybody here saying "I know (fill in the blank)", and then refusing to share what they know. What's the point??

By tabreaux on Saturday, August 05, 2000 - 07:17 pm: Edit

Naturally I don't expect them to reveal more than the most basic of information, but that is what I was referring to.

By Artemis on Saturday, August 05, 2000 - 12:25 pm: Edit

Well, having visited their site again, I see nothing about their process, other than that they use maceration followed by distillation (DUH!) and that they use twelve herbs. Is there something I'm missing - if it's described in more detail somewhere on the website, where is it? Or were you referring to something else, such as literature they send with the product, etc.?

By tabreaux on Saturday, August 05, 2000 - 11:45 am: Edit

I am intimately familiar with their process, but that doesn't necessarily reveal anything about my own. It's just that these days, I have less to gain and perhaps more to lose. The way I see it, let them have their fun.

By Artemis on Saturday, August 05, 2000 - 10:35 am: Edit

Ted wrote:

"It wouldn't be wise on my part to blab certain details they may not want to make public, ..."

Would it be more accurate to say it would not be wise because the details of your own process are the same, and disclosing theirs would therefore be disclosing yours? After all, you're not sworn to secrecy by them, are you? You've already said other stuff about them here they probably don't want you saying, either J!!

"... but if you read their literature, it is made exactly as they describe it."

Thanks, I'll read it again with an eye toward that.

" ... If it were made poorly or even differently, I would have quickly pointed it out."

I don't doubt that for a minute. Thanks again.

By Captain Rotundo: Defender of the Absinthe on Friday, August 04, 2000 - 12:28 pm: Edit

Hmm, this absinthe being worked on sound very interresting, and maybe I will try some when the time comes, price permitting. BUT, it is silly to say that his review of a brand of absinthe will "prove" anything about the absinthe he is making. I am sure it will be a good absinthe, but I tell you I wont comment on it until I taste it.

on a side note will you admit it if you taste it and dont like it ? I am sure there are people in this world who like Hill's (never tried it myself) but that is considered a bad absinthe, should they stop drinking it? look at how many people drink shitty american beer and think its good... I just think that one should drink what one enjoys the flavour of, I have only had one absinthe (Deva) and hated it at first, but it has grown on me somewhat (except I still cant stand the anise / licorice on my breath after I drink it and ussually follow it with a glass of water or another alcoholic beverage, and I always drink it with a hefty dose of lemon juice).

on a totally off-topic note, that the last paragraph reminded me off. exactly how slowly does one have to poor cold water to get it to effectively disolve a sugar cube ?? and why is it that I cant find a store on Long Island that has Larger sugar cubes to begin with ?

By Don Walsh on Friday, August 04, 2000 - 07:27 am: Edit

Apparently, the sellers of La Fee believe (or recognize) that the UK represents 90% of the present market for absinthe. As Green Whatever got very well selling their unausprechlichen other product, they know that perfectly well. So they don't much care about the US, Canadian, Australian, and other markets.

Speaking for Ted and myself, or at least for myself, I/we don't much care about the UK market. It is huge, but like the La Bleue makers, we don't make a UK compliant product and we aren't going to compromise our absinthe to get it down to an assinine 10 mg/Kg thujone or less, just so we can tap into the UK/Euro market. E.Pernod just like a century ago, that's what we are all about, and that won't be UK compliant. Anyway I for one am uninterested in getting involved in wholesaling, and that's what the business in the UK is mostly about. Pallets of absinthe, not liters, not half liters, not 75 cl.

Here's a suggestion though:

Hey, maybe Bettina will go buy La Fee at retail (better yet, twice retail) and then resell it in USA for $200?

By Dengar on Friday, August 04, 2000 - 03:22 am: Edit

Sounds interesting, but were can one get hold of La Fee? eAbsinthe only ships to UK residents and Spiritscorner doesn’t have it, yet anyway. Are there any other sources that I may have missed?

By tabreaux on Thursday, August 03, 2000 - 05:20 pm: Edit

Oh, as far as the four herbs that I taste distinctly? They list six. Of these, I taste anise, star anise, lemon balm, hyssop.

By tabreaux on Thursday, August 03, 2000 - 04:39 pm: Edit

It wouldn't be wise on my part to blab certain details they may not want to make public, but if you read their literature, it is made exactly as they describe it. If it were made poorly or even differently, I would have quickly pointed it out.

By brotherben on Thursday, August 03, 2000 - 02:02 pm: Edit

Ted,
Thanks for the review. Once again, I feel this proves that whatever he is working on with Don will be an excellent product.

Cheers

Brotherben

By Artemis on Thursday, August 03, 2000 - 01:42 pm: Edit

" ... there are at least two herbs that I can pick out which are employed in the same way as Sebor."

What herbs? In what way are they employed?

"I feel confident that I know exactly what is in this product and exactly how it is made."

Please share this information with us.

By tabreaux on Thursday, August 03, 2000 - 10:11 am: Edit

Thanks to Ian (UK), I have received a sample of the new "La Fee" absinthe. Looking at it in a clear glass vial, the color is about as good as you are going to achieve artificially. The tint is pretty good (perhaps a bit dark), and is fairly convincing, with the only giveaway being just the slightest hint of blue.

The aroma bears a significant resemblence to Sebor, but is a bit softer and smells sweeter. This is due to the fact that there are at least two herbs that I can pick out which are employed in the same way as Sebor.

The color stays decent when louched (which it does well), again, except just for the faintest hint of blue, which gives away the source of the color.

The flavor is a soft anise, and it stays well rounded in the mouth. There is a fair amount of star anise, but not so much that your taste buds are saturated with it (e.g. M. Mayans). It is sweet enough as it is, and it shouldn't be taken with sugar. The background flavors are very reminiscent of Sebor, but are not nearly as strong. All in all, I can taste four different herbs clearly, which is pretty good these days. I feel confident that I know exactly what is in this product and exactly how it is made.

While it isn't a reproduction of any of the originals that I've had, it is a better product than most of what's out there. It is likewise better than just about any of the Spanish absinthes. I say 'better' because the flavor and balance makes most of the Spanish products seem pretty one-sided.

Overall, while this product is not a reproduction of anything in particular, it is about as good as you can get using modern manufacturing methods. If the antique methods were used, the price would be higher. I feel the quality to price ratio is very good where this product is concerned, and it is a good buy. If you like the Spanish products, then you will probably like this product better.

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