On Segarra - tabreaux

Sepulchritude Forum: The Absinthe Forum Archives Thru July 2001: Topics Archived Thru Oct 2000:On Segarra - tabreaux
By Perruche_verte on Tuesday, October 24, 2000 - 12:07 pm: Edit

This is Julian Segarra's homepage:

http://lotobono.com/segarra/index.html

(En Espanol)

By Chrysippvs on Thursday, October 19, 2000 - 12:29 pm: Edit

And also I have had the la bleue from this source..it was Betty's first source for la bleue...really antiseptic and medicinal. As far as taste..Badaine with a hint of mint...very simple..and in the US I think it is around 120 dollars a liter from that source, although I may be wrong...stuff has a louche to do for though!

If you can get it for 50 a bottle..then I am going to get a few!

By Tabreaux on Thursday, October 19, 2000 - 10:33 am: Edit

I might exercise caution with that option. Since it is highly illegal to transport absinthe in Switzerland (even through the mails), a webpage which promotes this very act seems a bit obvious. I might remind you of the rebottled pastis suggestion I mentioned earlier.

By Bob_chong on Thursday, October 19, 2000 - 09:58 am: Edit

If anyone has tried this, I'd like to hear about it (and see the url ;-)). 40 pounds = $58, which is a helluva lot better... Even the three bottle minimum works out so that your total is about the same price as one bottle from B/J.

BC

By Absinthedrinker on Thursday, October 19, 2000 - 02:14 am: Edit

Oh, and you can order La Bleue direct from Switzerland through a website that is pretty easy to find. However they will only supply a minimum of 3 bottles and it works out at about £40 a bottle with postage. As I can't vouch for the authenticity I haven't done this myself...

By Absinthedrinker on Thursday, October 19, 2000 - 02:11 am: Edit

Hobby (I like that)

You don't need a connection to get La Fée in the UK, just walk into Jerry's in Soho and give the man the cash, or order direct from the GB site, it will arrive the next day!

By Lordhobgoblin on Thursday, October 19, 2000 - 01:12 am: Edit

Jkk,

$150-200 a bottle, I'm sure it's good stuff, but well out of my price bracket.

Hobgoblin

By Jkk on Wednesday, October 18, 2000 - 05:09 pm: Edit

Hobby,
Betty and Justin both sell bleues. I had Betty's no.2. Very clean, fresh taste, mostly anise with an herbal finish. At first, I was disappointed as far as the secondary effects went, then I tried drinking it 2-3 days in a row. Wow!

Are you prepared to spend $150-200 a bottle?

By Artemis on Wednesday, October 18, 2000 - 01:13 pm: Edit

I believe star anise is "badianne". I've seen some reference to the Pontarlier distillers believing it was bad for your health.

By Lordhobgoblin on Wednesday, October 18, 2000 - 01:13 pm: Edit

Thanks for the information.

As someone who up until now has only tasted Deva and Sebor I've been this evening working my way through the Sprits Corner range.

Serpis tastes as wierd as it looks, I'm not sure I like it. It tastes a bit "citrusy" but not quite. I like it's sort of oily texture but it also has a funny bitter taste. For my tastes it needs a lot of sugar added, (3 lumps probably) to be enjoyable. Good secondary effects coming through after only 1 glass though. Thumbs down for this one however.

Segarra I'm afraid to say tastes a bit too "alcoholic". Nice texture. I could get used to this one but it has a peculiar taste just below the anise. Not bitter though. Although I'd still prefer a glass of Deva. Reserve judgement on this one.

Anyway that's my tuppence worth.

Hobgoblin

(Maybe I'll convince the wife that we should go on holidays to Jura next year. 30$ a bottle sounds good to me)

(BTW, As La Fee seems to have a UK connection do you know where I could get my hands on it?)

By Don_walsh on Wednesday, October 18, 2000 - 12:48 pm: Edit

It can't be said too often:

Anise (seed) is Pimpenella anisum. Small brown seens with an anise taste and smell. Maybe 2-3 mm (less than 1/10th inch).

Star anise is Illicum verum. Large star shaped hard woody things that are typically 1.5 cm (5/8 of an inch) across. A pronounced odor, a little sharper than anise seed.

Although the Spanish green anise is considered the best in the world, and the star anise comes from China, the Spanish absinthe makers seem to prefer the star anise -- probably because it yields more oil on a weight basis. Some Spanish absinthes, and many pastis, are predominantly or exclusively star anise.

The Swiss use a little star anise sometimes, while their Pontarlier neighbors historically shunned star anise (en Fr., badouine as I recall) as bad for the health.

As Ted mentioned, the main constuent of the essential oils of both is anethole, also found in fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) but the minor constituents make the flavors of anise versus star anise quite distinctively different, if one has a palate (I don't, too many cigars. Ted does.)Just as fennel is vastly different than either.

If this wasn't the case why would absinthes (and other liqueurs, cf.Chartreuse) often contain all three herbs?

By Tabreaux on Wednesday, October 18, 2000 - 12:47 pm: Edit

"La Bleue" is a name granted to any of a many bootleg absinthes which are made clandestinely in Switzerland. These products range in quality from rebottled pastis (a tourist-grade scam) to some very decent examples (much better than the usual commercial fare). Neither Montana or any of the Spanish products have anything to do with Swiss La Bleue.

By Don_walsh on Wednesday, October 18, 2000 - 12:34 pm: Edit

Dear Lord H.

No, La Bleue is a generic name for a better variety of bootleg Swiss absinthe. No Spanish absinthe is La Bleue and vice versa. I would advise you that most La Bleues (because they are not monolithic) are generally regarded as better than any Spanish absinthe. It is now an open question whether or not they are equal to or better than La Fee as they are quite different. The La Bleues are usually simpler, but well made. Simpler because they usually employ only 3-4 herbs and they skip the coloration step entirely (in most cases.) The product is usually water white, sometimes pale green, louches to a good cloudy semiopaque white with pronounced opalescence. Sometimes a little frayish, I am told, but I haven't seen that in the ones I had procured from the source. To reliably get La Bleue you need Swiss friends from or with good contacts in Neuchatel and environs. Don't just go there are say "Pssst...where can I buy some La Bleue?" If you do you will likely get ripped off with La Verte (made from oils like pastis) or just rebottled Pernod Blanc (clear pastis). The price in the Jura is $30 US (50 ChFr). And well worth it because you get an honest liter of a very approachable, straightforward absinthe.

By Lordhobgoblin on Wednesday, October 18, 2000 - 11:02 am: Edit

At last my order, (part of it anyway) has arrived from Spirit's Corner so I'll be able to sample Segarra this evening and decide for myself.

Although I am tempted to start with Serpis as it must be one of the weirdest looking drinks I've ever seen. I can't decide whether it looks like Raspberry Cordial or Window Cleaning Fluid.

On another point I'm pretty ignorant as to what "La Bleu" absinthe is. I've also had some Montana delivered, is that a La Bleu absinthe?

Hobgoblin

By Tabreaux on Tuesday, October 17, 2000 - 10:09 pm: Edit

As far as Segarra goes, I like the taste of it, and I feel he did a pretty good job with it. I don't taste absinthium in this product, although the herbs used in it would mask the flavor better than something like Deva, Lasala, M. Mayans, etc. (which taste of no absinthium whatsoever). My opinion is that most makers use very little absinthium for fear of making something which doesn't comply with EEU regs.

Star anise and green anise are two completely different plants, and are indigenous to two different parts of the planet. The only similarity is that the essences of each share a common major constituent. Some people might say they are the same just as some people might say that Tott's is the same as Moet White Star. But then again, those people wouldn't know a mediocre champagne from a good one anyway would they?

By Bob_chong on Tuesday, October 17, 2000 - 07:17 pm: Edit

Ted:

The reason I asked is because Julian Segarra singled out these two components--anise and absinthium ("The absinth is the first composed brandy ever known, and I make it by anise seed (Pimpinella Anisum) and wormwood (Artemisa Absinthium) distillation...")--when he described his product.

But in your review, I cannot figure out if you are confirming or denying that you detect absinthium. Perhaps it is a rhetorical problem in the post, not a content problem. You wrote: "I don't taste the pointed flavor of absinthium right off," which (IMO) implies that you might taste it later. But then you state: "Don't mistake this for absinthium, it isn't...the bitterness from the other essences seems to hit the bitter receptors rather quickly, so that's what you'll taste most prevalently," which (IMO) implies that the first rush of tastes is anything but absinthium. However, it begs the question: do you taste it ever? Later? Never?

Also, could you describe a little bit the difference between anise and star anise? I have neither, and I'd like to hear your thoughts on the matter (since most non-absinthe websites and such claim that they are more or less the same--there's the rub, tho'...)--taste, qualities, reasons why some folks use one over the other, etc.

I'm not trying to take you to task or anything; I'm just fleshing out my last post a bit in hopes that you could add to the (/my) knowledge base a bit.

Thanks,
BC

By Bob_chong on Saturday, October 14, 2000 - 10:30 pm: Edit

Ted--

Do you taste any absinthium in Segarra?

Also, do you think that the use of anise (Pimpinella Anisum) instead of star anise is what makes it different than the other Spanish brands? (Or do they use anise, too?)

Thanks,
BC

By Tabreaux on Friday, October 13, 2000 - 04:20 pm: Edit

Ok, I've gone back and sampled Segarra carefully. First of all, let's go back and look at the original review. In doing so, we find the following description:

“The flavor is strongly anis with just the slightest hint of artemesia pontica's bitterness.”

Unlike the other Spanish products, this one is a departure because it doesn't really present the flavor of a modified pastis. I disagree with the quote above, as being that I've worked with A. pontica quite a lot, I don't taste the peculiar flavor of that herb in this product....at all. In fact, I can't think of *any* modern product which employs that particular herb, this one notwithstanding. Therefore, my revelation comes as no surprise.

Nevertheless, this product tastes like some effort went into it, and the flavor comes off as a peculiar balance of both anise and a couple of atypical aromatic essences, the combination of them giving almost a pleasant 'cough-syrup' like aroma and flavor. The texture of the flavor tells me something about how the herbs were prepared, and unlike the other Spanish products, it doesn't taste like any 'oily' adulterants were added to the distillate. Tasting the liqueur neat, I don't taste the pointed flavor of absinthium right off, but rather I get the heady scent of other aromas which present an alternate, unobtrusive bitterness. Don't mistake this for absinthium, it isn't. What I notice here is that the bitterness from the other essences seems to hit the bitter receptors rather quickly, so that's what you'll taste most prevalently.

The dark amber color looks to be derived from caramel.

All things considered, the only negative thing I have to say about this product is that it is only 45 degrees, which would have qualified it as a lower grade, but FWIW, contributes to the peculiar softness of its aroma.

This product is priced about double that of the other Spanish products, and if I had to judge from experience, I'd say that it is made with considerably more care (and expense).

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