Oxygenee Reviewed - Tabreaux

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Archive through November 20, 2000  11   11/20 08:14am

By Don_walsh on Monday, November 20, 2000 - 10:44 pm: Edit

Justin, dammit, you missed the point. You are arguing that Oxygenee is absinthe because it has (in your opinion) secondary effects. I am saying that secondary effects don't determine whether something is absinthe or not.

Just because you have never had a pastis with such effects does not mean such a pastis (or at least such an 'un-absinthe' -- maybe a better term, take a page from old Pepsi commercials -- can't exist.

With all due respects to your legal researches, as a lawyer you're a great college undergrad. And your Miss. atty friend is not a Code Napoleon trained lawyer, he's common-law trained, I assume, unless he's a Louisiana law garduate. And even that is a far cry from an expert on EU and French civil and administrative law.

I'm not saying I know any more about it than you do, arguably less. I am saying I prefer my French sources to your private researches. And my French sources say: no frigging WAY is absinthe legal in France, and they are even dubious about the export-only thing (although about that they may well be wrong.) Generally it is conceded that French government is corrupt and that a large company can get away with anything it wants to, esp if it greases the proper palms. Hey, sounds like here!

By Chrysippvs on Monday, November 20, 2000 - 01:47 pm: Edit

a note about the way the French look at absinthe..a friend of mine over there once told me that they were goin going to take their elderly great-great grandmother to see something she may remember from her childhood..it was Delahaye's absinthe museum needless to say. This was of course to be a suprise to the elderly relative, when they arrived, she noticed an old absinthe advertisement and refused to enter and actually began to week claiming abisnthe was a poison and that there should not be a museum for such horrible things....

Needless to say absinthe has a really bad rap, and I don't think it is going to get better anytime soon

-Justin

By Petermarc on Monday, November 20, 2000 - 01:36 pm: Edit

i am still waiting for my delivery, which was confirmed in an e-mail invoice on the 9th of november for "2 bouteilles d'Absinthe Oxygénée Cusenier" it is as clear as you can get as far as what this is supposed to be and i have sent them the check (436.50ff) for 2 bottles and delivery (about $58)
i was in london this weekend (saw ian and his wife, deirdre, great couple)
and there was quite a bit of absinthe about...just nobody wanted to sell it (places close early or didn't want to disturb the full window display, now that was incredible...saw mari mayas in a little neighborhood shop but couldn't bring myself to pay 39£ for it...but the funniest thing was going into a nicolas (french chain wine shop)
and asking for absinthe...although it is legal in the uk, the french wine shop is not allowed to sell it (it makes you crazy, the girl explained to me)they had versinthe, though...i guess that gives you an idea of how the french feel about absinthe (at least those who deal with alot of
wine makers)

By Tabreaux on Monday, November 20, 2000 - 11:02 am: Edit

Regarding the French constitution, I sumbit the following AltaVista translations:

"Are prohibited manufacture, circulation, detention for the sale and the sale of the wormwood and the similar liquors whose characters are determined by decree."

"Without prejudice to the prohibitions aimed to article 1768 of the general Code of the taxes, decrees taken in the Council of Ministers will fix the conditions under which the gasolines aimed to the subparagraph 1st of this article as well as the gasolines of wormwood and products comparable or likely to compensate them, will be able, in some form that it is, being imported, manufactured, put in circulation, prisoners or sold. They could not be put on sale in the overseas territories."

And most notably:

"1. The infringement with law of 16 March 1915, modify by that of 17 July 1922 relating to prohibition of manufacture, of wholesale en.gros and in detail as well as some circulation of wormwood and some liquor similar, and with decree return for its application, be punish, with request of ministry public, ((of a fine of 120.000 F)) (M). For the person himself deliver with retail sale au détail, the fine incur be ((of 25.000 F)) (M). Whoever put the agent entitle to note the aforementioned infringement in the impossibility to achieve theirs function independently of the sorrows envisaged in article 1798, second subparagraph, of the sorrows envisaged with the L217-10 article of the code of consumption. The infringements are sought and noted with the diligence of the public ministry, as frauds falsifications. 2. The infringements with the provisions of the decrees aimed to article 514 (a) are noted and continued as as regards indirect taxation. They are punished of a imprisonment ((six months and of a fine of 25 000 F)) (m) or one of these two sorrows only. Moreover, the confiscation of the goods and the means of transport is always marked. In the event of repetition, the sorrow of imprisonment is obligatorily marked and amends is carried to the double. Moreover, the court pronounces the permanent closure of the establishment."


Interpret it as you will, but I read it as a ban of absinthe in France and its territories, a ban on selling a product as absinthe if it isn't, as well as the fines when the law is broken. The penalties are very severe, including seizure of property and transport, fines, and permanent closure of the business.

I saw the tax codes regarding melissa, hyssop, star anise, etc. Since only the nicknames of these herbs are used in the description, including the French nickname for all plants wormwood (absinthe), this seems to apply to legal varieties of wormwood, and not A. absinthium. After all, these herbs and legal varieties of wormwood are used in France. In other words, liqueurs typical of French high-proof aperitifs are all taxed according to this code. The fact that A. Absinthium is banned from these products seems to be academic in this context.

By Tabreaux on Monday, November 20, 2000 - 10:07 am: Edit

This is contradictory with what we've been told in that this product was being distributed in certain French locales for evaluation, and apparently, it was not being received very favorably.

No one has clarified the reason for this product supposedly being unavailable in France (when it is suppsedly being distributed there). Is it an issue of legality, distribution rights, choice or otherwise? NO one here knows for certain. Neither does anyone here seem to be qualified in explaining how French laws are interpreted, nor can anyone here say for sure that they have seen all the laws pertaining to this subject.

Is it just coincidental that the labeling contains the exact, verbatim phrase as Trenet and Kermann, but not La Fee? My guess is no. Admittedly, La Fee is being made in France for export only, and the employees of the French firm are explicitly forbidden to even taste it.

Putting myself in the shoes of a producer who made legitimate absinthe, in no way shape or form would I make it vague as to what the product was, nor would I make claims of the product being thujone-free, using A. vulgaris, or other 'plantes d'absinthe' or otherwise.

Until I read some article on how the absinthe ban was repealed in France, regardless of what ambiguity appears on a product label, it is only logical to assume that any product both made and distributed there is not absinthe, and this has been the status quo for the past 85 years.

By Chrysippvs on Monday, November 20, 2000 - 09:35 am: Edit

"If you recall in the distant past there were proposals to make 'safe' thujone-free absinthes in France and this was squashed. Somewhere, in the French constitution or somewhere, it is very much illegal, which is why it isn't being made and sold there."

They were being made en masse towards the ban, matter of fact Pernod Fils and A. Junod almost escaped the ban for being quality products. A. Abs is named but so are many other herbs, which commonly appear in modern pastis. How? Because the laws don't make any sense. The one thing that makes absinthe illegal in the practical sense is the name.

The bottom line is that the French and Swiss gov't obviously can arbitrarly define absinthe and ban it as needed.

I think all that is legally banned in France is that name, why else would they allow Delahaye to make it for export only, which is in clear violation of their own export and constitutional laws. Why? Becuase it is arbitrary.

There is no way to know whether is contains A. Abs until testing. What is odd to me is that three different people could not buy Oxygenne in France, they called them and said that could not be sold. Peter have you had any luck?

I will trust Ted's knowledge, but I will not trust the legal explination of it being A. Abs free...the law is simply to complex and contradictory..

By Tabreaux on Monday, November 20, 2000 - 09:32 am: Edit

I seriously doubt it. Trenet and Kermann both contain A. vulgaris. Absente contains A. arboretum and is available in France. What do you know about Trenet and Kermann being unavailable in France? Is an issue of distribution?

By Petermarc on Monday, November 20, 2000 - 09:24 am: Edit

trenet and kermann are not available in france but
oxygénée is...how did this happen? do you think pernod found a way around this law that the others couldn't?

By Tabreaux on Monday, November 20, 2000 - 09:11 am: Edit

Whether A. abs is used in small amounts, large amounts, or any amount, use of it is still apparently illegal. If you recall in the distant past there were proposals to make 'safe' thujone-free absinthes in France and this was squashed. Somewhere, in the French constitution or somewhere, it is very much illegal, which is why it isn't being made and sold there.

I feel that like Trenet, Absente, and Kermann, this product qualifies as 'petite absinthe', which isn't absinthe at all. All evidence and logic so far seems to point to that conclusion.

By Chrysippvs on Monday, November 20, 2000 - 08:46 am: Edit

I have been speaking to be people in that area this morning, all who are well experienced in the world of absinthe, and they seem to be divided on this subject too. Most people that I have spoken to about it, tell me that petite wormwood can be used in absinthe in the stead of Ar. Ab. but is considered only Petite Absinthe, which I think is 100% legal. However, a good friend of mine seems to think it is made with Ar. Ab. just very small amounts of it, or perhaps is used only in the form of an added extract.

Don, I am not selling this absinthe/pastis on secondary effects, what I am saying is that this absinthe affects me not unlike la bleue or other unnamed absinthes. Pastis doesn't do that, not absente, herbsaint, or modern Pernod. Of course it is subjective, but when three seperate people, on two different occasions experience the same thing, it is more likely that not.

"If it's sold in France it has no absinthium; if that is the case it can't be absinthe...simple fact"

Be very weary in saying what is and what is not French law. I have been doing some research and the laws concerning absinthe are so inter-contradictory that I don't think absinthe is really ever (1) clearly defined (2) ever banned in any sense excepting the name "absinthe" (3)nor does the law discuss thujone or the presence of Artemisia Absinthium as the arbitor of the ban on absinthe. Matter being of fact, there are references to how it should be taxed!

I am very weary when it comes to saying this is or this isn't absinthe in the legal sense. For every one law you can find there are two that contradict in some way. Don't get me wrong, I agree that Ar. Ab. is essential for any premium absinthe, bt trying to make things that clear cut in French law is impossible when it comes to this.

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