The name "La Bleue" : A modest proposal

Sepulchritude Forum: The Absinthe Forum Archives Thru July 2001: Old Topics Archived Thru Sep 2000:The name "La Bleue" : A modest proposal
By B.M.Don on Saturday, June 17, 2000 - 01:55 am: Edit

Nice technique: go way out of your way to set me off and then sit back, try to look surprised and say "My, what a temper you have!" The basic gambit is called bear-baiting.

Nice try but no one's buying it!

As for Buddhism: as a fellow Buddhist I'd say you probably just added to your karmic burden.

As for myself, I am going to go make merit in the hopes we are not karmically linked in some perverse cosmic sense.

By hippy on Saturday, June 17, 2000 - 01:20 am: Edit


the last time I left the forum was the last time you started to go off. Get a grip. Your temper is out of control. Whatever valid points you may make are negated by your overwhelming arrogance.

As I said to you privately (and I don't think I'm being indiscrete saying this), if you want your venture to be a success, you should stick to production and find somebody, other than you, to do public relations. Cause you have a tendency to get a little nutty.

Now I'm outta here.

Friends, feel free to e-mail me anytime. I will be hosting a tasting of handcrafted absinthes in New York in the Fall. For those of you who attended the last tasting, you know how delightful these events can be.

This whole absinthe war is taking the joy out of
the forum. I regret having contributed to any of it and I feel like a chickenshit for bowing out, but as a Buddhist I know when to create space, or allow space to be created. There seems to be a desire among some forumites to hurt others. Life is too short for this kind of mindfucking.

Peace, Marc

By B.M.Don on Saturday, June 17, 2000 - 01:12 am: Edit

Dear babbitt

I was responding in kind to the uncalled for ad-hominum attacks on me, from an on-again-off-again fellow who shall remain nameless.

As to hand carries to Bangkok. I operate a succesful entertainment business here with several hundred patrons from 83 nations (so far). Naturally when someone I am on good terms with is coming here from a country where absinthe is available, such as Spain, UK, or particularly Switzerland, I take advantage of this opportunity whenever I can. Did I neglect to mention that I pay for the absinthe they bring? I don't understand why you see this as an odd or unusual thing. Would you rather I paid for shipping and horrendous local duty? Wouldn't you rather have people carry the stuff in for you from abroad if you could?

Furthermore, I have had a previous run-in with the same person on the Forum and in private emails previously. I had thought that had been resolved and that we were on amicable terms, but I guess not. Won't make that mistake twice I can assure you.



By B.M.Don on Saturday, June 17, 2000 - 12:33 am: Edit

So how many times have you quit forever now?

By babbitt on Saturday, June 17, 2000 - 12:32 am: Edit

why so nasty B.M. Don... is it that you are just so very cool to have everything "hand carried" to you illustious person... really there is no need for your attitude, the information you provide should speak well enough for itself.

By hippy on Saturday, June 17, 2000 - 12:24 am: Edit

I'll return to this forum after it's been fumigated.

By B.M.Don on Friday, June 16, 2000 - 11:50 pm: Edit

Dear hmc

Go fuck yourself.

The person who I quoted anonymously, made that statement verbatim to me in a private email.

I'll be happy to send it to you if you like.

The fact that you want to prop up the overpriced situation in USA is because you are importing and selling the product yourself, as you yourself told me.

"After tariffs, a bottle of Spanish absinthe may be $85 in UK." Bullshit. I just received two bottles of Sebor export from UK, by hand carry. My friend bought them for 38 pounds each plys 6 pounds postage for the pair. Now, Sebor is FAR more expensive than the $12 a liter (in Spain) Deva. So who are you kidding? $85 a bottle in UK? Only if the importer is as greedy as yourself. Or Betty.

I just had a day long visit from James of He has now tasted an early run of my (Jade Liqueurs Co.Ltd., Thailand) product. It exists. Why not ask him? So why not go back to being a grasping middleman and leave the prime makers alone? You are way out of your league.

By hippy on Friday, June 16, 2000 - 10:29 pm: Edit


Betty has managed to do something for the people in this forum that you have not.
And that is actually introduce forumites to the experience of drinking absinthe.

Bettina does not mark-up Spanish brands by 1000%.
After paying for shipping to the USA, a bottle of Spanish absinthe costs approx. $60-65 a bottle, if you order 1 bottle. A bottle of Czech absinthe ordered from La Boheme can run you as much as $85 for 1 bottle including shipping. I know because I've ordered numerous times from Spain and the London source for Czech products. After tariffs, a bottle of Spanish absinthe can cost as much $85 a bottle in London. Bettina charges $100, including shipping, for these brands. Please get your facts straight.

More infuriating than your numbers being way off, is your willingness to spread gossip and hearsay. Posting the contents of conversations that you could have not been witness to (between a distiller and Bettina), is really taking the low road.

I think most the folks in the forum are discerning enough to make their own decisions regarding who they want to do business with.
As for me, I am looking forward to the day that
you have something concrete to offer the absinthe drinkers of the world, something other than the twisted machinations of your massive ego. Big Don indeed..

By B.M.Don on Friday, June 16, 2000 - 09:31 pm: Edit

Perhaps because no one else wishes to be so recklessly involved as to import absinthe and sell it domestically in contravention of a whole pile of serious Federal laws, having to do with alcoholic beverages in general -- never mind the toothless and vague absinthe statutes.

In other words Bettina should have gotten better legal advice.

That is quite apart from the fact that she paid $80 a bottle in the Jura for $30 La Bleue, a blunder that moved the person who introduced her to the distiller to comment that she was something less than a savvy negotiator!

I have no trouble getting the stuff a few times a year for $30 a liter (50 chfr) delivered to me by hand in Bangkok. And last time I looked at a map Bangkok is a lot farther from Switzerland than USA is.

So, why are some people trying to canonize a feckless wannabe smuggler? Someone who marks easily obtained Spanish brands up 1000%? Come ON! Wake up and smell the coffee, people.

By Grizlupo on Friday, June 16, 2000 - 07:38 pm: Edit


With all due respect, I suggest you reread my post. I agree that "La Bleue" is a generic term for Swiss handcrafted absinthe. My proposal is that the use of the term "La Bleue" acknowledge this fact and that we all be more specific when discussing the Swiss equivalent of U.S. "moonshine."

With that having been said, I stand firmly by my statements that Betinas be given due credit for going through all the effort of introducing "La Bleues" to a market (U.S.) which, as a practical matter, had previously been denied "La Bleues."

I acknowledge and appreciate the experience you bring to this forum. However, again with all due respect, I suggest that the logistical difficulties in Betinas (or anyone else's) making a quality "La Bleue" available in the U.S. is difficult; more difficult than getting it in Europe, or perhaps even in Bangkok. As I am sure you know, this translates into Costs of Goods Sold and translates into price.

As a practical matter, if Betinas was overcharging by (3X) why hasn't someone long ago stepped up and made a handome profit by overcharging by only (2X)?

The bottom line, and the essence of my proposal is that we all be more careful with the generic term, "La Bleue" to avoid any confusion.

By B.M.Don on Friday, June 16, 2000 - 09:10 am: Edit

With all due deference and respect: BULLSHIT to any proposition giving any tertiary importer in USA hegemony over the name La Bleue.

I was talking on this forum about La Bleue that I was obtaining and did obtain from Switzerland -- I'm in Bangkok not USA -- and I know how and through who Betty got her La Bleue and how she paid almost 3X the going rate for it.

I don't sell La Bleue, here or in USA, I just drink it, but anyone who believes that Betty carefully vetts her suppliers based on quality is someone who might be interested in buying some waterfront property in Florida maybe?

La Bleue is a GENERIC name for a WIDE VARIETY of bootleg Swiss absinthe (or absinthe-like) drinks. Some are clear, some are pale green. Some are higher proof, some lower. NO ONE owns the name. And most certainly not Betty.

By ed on Thursday, June 15, 2000 - 09:58 pm: Edit

How about calling it "Louchey Louchey Bon Bon"

By JKK on Tuesday, June 13, 2000 - 12:00 pm: Edit

An amendment: it seems Betty has 2 bleues at present. "Betina's Bleue" or "X's Bleue" as has been suggested is a good start, but when dealers work with more than one distiller, we need a way to be even more specific. After all, Deva is different from Mari Mayans, isn't it?

By JKK on Tuesday, June 13, 2000 - 11:51 am: Edit

I agree we need a new nomenclature. Betty herself has three different products the last I heard. La Bleue just means Swiss, which is good enough in some situations; (the same as we say Spanish or Czech.) At other times, we specify Deva or Lasala, Hill's or Sebor. They are completely different things, the same with all the "bleues".
Any ideas?

By Grizlupo on Monday, June 12, 2000 - 06:26 pm: Edit

Fellow travellers:

The Name of Swiss "La Bleue" appears frequently in this forum. However, I understand that there is no central "La Bleue Co. Distillers" and that this is not a brand name like Deva or Mari Mayans. Rather (according to Barnaby Conrad III in "Absinthe-History in a Bottle," p. 145) La Bleue (the Blue) and Un midi moins dix (a ten to noon)are slang for "handcrafted" Swiss absinthe produced by an unknown number of persons who do so without official sanction of law. (Perhaps a related term would be "Moonshine").

When I have extolled the virtues of "La Bleue" in the past, I was speaking only of "Betina's La Bleue." I imagine that Betina's Elixers have been the source of others who have posted in this forum about La Bleue. I have no idea what other La Bleue's might be like; some could be the very nectar of the gods, others, worse than Hill's. In other words, IMHO, it has been the work of Betina's, through careful selection of high quality La Bleue's that have given the name "La Bleue" the high reputation in enjoys on this forum.

Recently, we have seen other sources offering "La Bleue's." Of course, in theory, there is nothing wrong with this. However, in practice, given the fact that "La Bleue" has been virtually synonymous with "Betina's La Bleue" this has resulted in confusion as well as anger over the possibility of others taking advantage of this confusion.

To avoid this in the future, I will use the name "Betina's La Bleue" when referring to the La Fee Verte I prefer. I will refer to La Bleue's offered by others in the same fashion, (e.g. the "Belle Epoch Importers' La Bleue") in the absence of a more specific brand name. I suggest that others do the same.

The goal is both to avoid confusion and play fair. Betina's Elixers have gone to significant trouble and effort to build up the goodwill and reputation of "Betina's La Bleue." Newcomers should be given the opportunity to establish their own goodwill and reputations; they may bring something new and worthwhile to our community. But reputations must be earned.

Administrator's Control Panel -- Board Moderators Only
Administer Page |Delete Conversation |Close Conversation |Move Conversation