Sepulchritude Forum: The Absinthe Forum Archives Thru July 2001: Topics Archived Thru Nov 2000:Herrsala?
By Tabreaux on Tuesday, December 05, 2000 - 05:27 pm: Edit

Unless the bottle is very different from the regular Deva, a small sample will do.

By Perruche_verte on Tuesday, December 05, 2000 - 04:39 pm: Edit

I tried tasting the little particles from my bottle of LaSala. They were very, very tiny and didn't taste much of anything, so I suspect they were dust.

I don't think I'll buy any more, but here's a nice cocktail my roommate invented, which will help me get through my last bottle.

"The Green Northwoods"

1/4 to 1/2 shot pure maple syrup (to taste)
1 shot absinthe
ice water

Pour the syrup into a suitable glass and add the absinthe. The two layers will resemble the bands of a polished agate. Pour the ice water quickly and enjoy the show as the syrup dissolves. Do this quickly enough and you shouldn't need to stir it.

LaSala is bitter enough so the sweetness isn't overpowering in this drink, and cheap enough to adulterate in this manner without feeling one has committed a transgression. Deva would be too sweet, and I haven't tried Segarra or Serpis this way. Sebor sounds like it might work, but I have no experience there.

The best maple syrup will come from somewhere north of 45 degrees latitude and should be bought from the farmer who makes it. Pay cash.

By Germanandy on Monday, December 04, 2000 - 11:36 pm: Edit


i gave a glass of my new deva to my wife last evening (she is not an absinthdrinker).
she said it tastes like the one we have had.
i think i'll make another test with some friends which have tried my "old" deva.
@ted: i'm going to buy another bottle of the german deva in january (this year i've spend all my money to sc an christmas presents).
do you want a full sealed bottle or can i send you a smaller sample?



By Thegreenimp on Monday, December 04, 2000 - 09:42 pm: Edit

I had some German label Deva Fri night, and it tastes the same as some older stock I have on hand.

By Malhomme on Monday, December 04, 2000 - 06:28 pm: Edit

*That's* my family!

By Bob_chong on Monday, December 04, 2000 - 05:43 pm: Edit


A much more charming story than saying, "Hey, everybody--I stole some beer!"


By Malhomme on Monday, December 04, 2000 - 05:11 pm: Edit

Perhaps my Deva tastes different because of my new meds. The difference in taste really struck me though!!!

Amusing side note: I had an uncle who was a supervisor at Jax. When ever we would have a family reunion he would "hit a pipe" and cause the resulting brew to be off spec. He would then get this off-spec beer for free and bring it to the reunions. Or so the story goes....

By Germanandy on Monday, December 04, 2000 - 09:39 am: Edit

i'm just going on memory, but my german bottle is only since 2 months empty.
maybe the german and the spanish deva is different anyway, maybe spirits corner still sells the old and the german is the new, dont know.
but i am shure, the taste is not the same.
are here some others who have tried both (ger./span.)?



By Tabreaux on Monday, December 04, 2000 - 09:12 am: Edit

I just received a new bottle of Deva, and the contents are absolutely identical to the sample I have which dates from some 8-9 months back.

By Bob_chong on Monday, December 04, 2000 - 08:51 am: Edit

So, who else has tried this new Deva?

Not me, unfortunately. I wonder just how different it is...can you describe it, Andy, or are you going on memory (i.e., already imbibed all the old Deva)?


By Germanandy on Monday, December 04, 2000 - 08:04 am: Edit


my order with a couple of bottles from spirits corner arived today.
so i made made the pepsi test.
i think lasala, herring and even montana tastes nearly the same.
and by the way, like someone in another post says, deva must have changed their recipie, it tastes quite different to the first bottle i have (the german one).



By Gman on Saturday, December 02, 2000 - 09:30 am: Edit

Hey, I recognize these glasses as the same as a pair I bought at Cost Plus World Mkt. Nice, heavy duty, and cheap.

By Artemis on Friday, December 01, 2000 - 02:37 am: Edit

But I would be remiss if I didn't point out that in the recent taste test, both products tasted exactly like I expected them to taste, and exactly like I remember them tasting. In other words, neither product has changed since I bought the bottles, so they were different from the get go. I'm looking forward to the Pepsi challenge with Deva and La Fee this weekend.

By Artemis on Friday, December 01, 2000 - 02:01 am: Edit

"Artemis, What do you think of Oxygenee's oxidation theory?"

It's reasonable. The LaSala I tested has been open for a long time, transported around by car several times, and was not always in the refrigerator. It spent some time in a dining room hutch in a house that got pretty hot in the daytime. In short, it was not treated with care. Also, I've seen what time does to some DIY samples, and they haven't aged well - color changes, flavor changes, etc.

"You also said that a bottle was in the fridge, could that have had an impact?"

Don't know, but I like my absinthe very cold with very cold water, so that's the way I keep it. The LaSala was sort of expendable, because I had plenty of it and not much use for it. I do have several unopened bottles of LaSala at my other place - they have been in a dark cellar since they arrived from Spain. Maybe I could be talked into repeating the "test" with one of those.

By Chrysippvs on Thursday, November 30, 2000 - 12:17 pm: Edit



Here are the same glasses for 15 per 6...I would stock up and on these and some repro spoons...These would be great for a absinthe party!

By Chrysippvs on Thursday, November 30, 2000 - 12:08 pm: Edit

Found 'em


- J

By _blackjack_ on Thursday, November 30, 2000 - 09:08 am: Edit

Also, if you're looking for some cheap dose-marked glasses you can trust with drunken friends, try:


By Bob_chong on Thursday, November 30, 2000 - 07:04 am: Edit

I tried to send some Segarra to a friend recently but the package was returned (my fault, no FDA problems, don't worry)--when I opened it, the Segarra was a bit cloudy, which I assumed was due to the cold weather (the box had been outside for a few hours before I got it). Now warm, it is clear.


By Absinthedrinker on Thursday, November 30, 2000 - 06:52 am: Edit

I assume that in a fridge the low temperature might cause some of the oils to seperate out. I always keep my absinthe in a fridge as I can't stand warm absinthe - never had any problems

By Grimbergen on Thursday, November 30, 2000 - 06:48 am: Edit

Hmmm...the plot thickens...

I too had wondered about the stability of these products, that is whether they vary much from batch to batch. My guess would be that there is variation. Don can correct me if I'm wrong, but I assume the quality (and qualities) of herbs available to distillers varies throughout the year. Assuming they produce year round, I would assume that they would not have the means to keep production constant.

What do you think of Oxygenee's oxidation theory? You also said that a bottle was in the fridge, could that have had an impact? I believe some pastises say not to refrigerate. Does anyone know why and if the same reasons apply to absinthe? I've been wondering about this question for some time.


By Artemis on Thursday, November 30, 2000 - 01:31 am: Edit

Oh, and I would have liked to do the blind taste test thing, but I had no one available to assist me. That nasty furniture wax aftertaste made me regret the whole adventure.

By Artemis on Thursday, November 30, 2000 - 01:30 am: Edit

Grim, I agree the samples you have in the pictures look identical. Mine were not identical either before or after the louche, although the difference was more apparent after the louche. Sorry, I don't have a digital camera.

My bottle of LaSala is indeed much older than the Herring. It is almost empty. In fact, I've had it for almost a year, I think. The Herring, I bought sometime after I read here that it had been "reformulated".

I have no way of knowing if the two products were made by the same company or in the same pot, but at least in the two bottles I have, they are NOT the same, i.e., the bill of ingredients is different as to what's in it or the quantity of what's in it, or both, as a minimum. As I've said before, I don't consider either of them to be worth drinking, so it's almost moot.

By Oxygenee on Thursday, November 30, 2000 - 01:01 am: Edit

Ooops, sorry, just reread my post and saw an error - must be due to tasting absinthe at 9.00am!

The "open bottle oxidation theory" is wrongly stated - it was the Lasala bottle that was already opened in our tasting, and thus possibly slightly oxidised, yet the louche was brighter and the nose slightly more piercing - generally the opposite of what one would expect from a slightly oxidised bottle (although of course not necessarily - oxidation effects can be very unpredictable).

A slight batch to batch variation is perhaps the more likely explanation. Our overall conclusion that these two are the same product still stands.

By Oxygenee on Thursday, November 30, 2000 - 12:45 am: Edit

Just opened a new bottle of Herring received about two weeks ago from Spirits Corner, and compared it to an almost full bottle of Lasala shipped about 5 months ago. 3 of us tasted - all 3 of us are qualified wine judges, 2 of us are experienced absinthe tasters. We tasted first Lasala, then Herring, then a "blind" batch of 5 samples, randomly mixed up. Conclusions?

1.The packaging of the two products is too similar to be coincidental. They use the exact same bottles, same capsules, same "R.E." number: 1274-B, almost sequential "L" number: 281017 and 29029, identical front and back label layout, same paper, almost identical printing.
If the two products are not ultimately made by the same firm, one or the other manufacturer is inviting a lawsuit, such is the degree of similarity.

2. There were VERY small differences in colour, louche, nose and taste between the two bottles. The differences we detected were broadly in line with Artemis' observations (Lasala has a more piercing lemony nose, Herring has a very slightly darker and more opaque louche).
Significantly however, both Artemis and ourselves compared a newer bottle of Herring with an older, opened bottle of Lasala. I think the differences between the two are most likely due to some degree of oxidation in the Lasala sample (a less pronounced nose and a darker louche both fit in with what one would expect from a slightly oxidised bottle). Our bottle was almost full, Artemis' was apparently almost empty, implying a greater degree of oxidation and perhaps explaining why we detected the same variations as he did, but only to a far lesser degree.
Of course batch variation (the Lasala bottle being presumably manufactured several months before the Herring bottle) might also be an explanation.

3.The differences between the two, small as they were, diminished yet further when the samples were allowed to stand in the tasting glasses for an hour. This tends to support the oxidation theory.

4.We could not reliably identify which absinthe was which, when tasting the randomly sorted set of 5 samples.

5.In our considered opinion, Herring and Lasala are the same product.

By Bob_chong on Wednesday, November 29, 2000 - 09:42 pm: Edit


Try here

By Grimbergen on Wednesday, November 29, 2000 - 09:23 pm: Edit

Justin. Sending an email your way.


By Chrysippvs on Wednesday, November 29, 2000 - 09:17 pm: Edit

If you can let me know, but don't go out of your way. I just need some for parties that are nice and dosed...I don't like the idea of people roaming about with my vintage Cordons and Eggs having already downed 3 glasses or some of my rarer imports..know what I mean.

Thanks again!

By Grimbergen on Wednesday, November 29, 2000 - 09:00 pm: Edit


I didn't see them on www.deandeluca.com. You might see if the other companies that Absintheur mentioned have websites. If you can't find one I can put you in touch with the store where I got them. They might be willing to send them to you.


By Anatomist1 on Wednesday, November 29, 2000 - 08:20 pm: Edit


Too bad you didn't get the skinny before you laid out the cash. I heard something vaguely good about it on here somewhere too, which is why I bought a bottle. I've never had LaSala, but it sounds much better than the Herring I bought... perhaps you should count your blessings.

Here's my belated brief review, though I have no delusions it will make it into the Guide:

"Herring sucks... really, really hard. Save money by making your own: 1 part cheap cooking sherry, 2 parts Popov vodka. Suggested marketing slogan: 'You'll wish it tasted like fish'."


By Chrysippvs on Wednesday, November 29, 2000 - 08:20 pm: Edit

anyone know a website...would like to get some for parties...

By Absintheur on Wednesday, November 29, 2000 - 04:00 pm: Edit

"Don't know what kind of glasses. I picked up for $3 a piece at my local over-price kitchen store."

They're very heavy Italian bistro shots. I've seen them sold at most Cost Plus Importers, Sur La Table, and Dean and Deluca locations.

They're dose is perfect, but they only hold about 3.5 more doses of water, so they're best used with lower proof absinthes. They look narrow, but they will support a smaller gauge absinthe spoon.

By Grimbergen on Wednesday, November 29, 2000 - 03:47 pm: Edit


Don't know what kind of glasses. I picked up for $3 a piece at my local over-price kitchen store.


By Grimbergen on Wednesday, November 29, 2000 - 03:44 pm: Edit

Please see the pictures bellow. They were exactly the same, in every respect, before and after adding water. My guess is that you have the old Herring.


By Chrysippvs on Wednesday, November 29, 2000 - 03:15 pm: Edit


What kind of glasses are those?

By Artemis on Wednesday, November 29, 2000 - 02:53 pm: Edit

Okay, I can add something to this discussion sooner than I thought. I was under the impression I had Herring with me, but not LaSala (I maintain residences in two states, and move back and forth a lot). But I just looked in the fridge and found a bottle with a couple of ounces of LaSala left.

They are not the same. Herring has a darker, more intense yellow than LaSala, but you have to look close to tell the difference. LaSala is much more intense with the "lemon pledge" thing. Herring louches much more opaque than LaSala, which is almost greenish-white by comparison with the whitish-yellow of Herring. Herring retains more of its original color in the louche than LaSala (artificial coloring?). The lemon pledge hangs in there strongly with the LaSala after louching, whereas with Herring, it tails off to the extent it was there in the first place. The flavor of the Herring is brighter, sharper, than the LaSala, but not as offensive with that (dare I say it again - furniture polish). The conclusion is, strictly personal with no way to proove it, that at least for the bottles I have (circumstances described earlier in this thread) the products are NOT the same.

By Bob_chong on Wednesday, November 29, 2000 - 02:38 pm: Edit

"My observation helps Herring."

How so? If they are, in fact, identical, then price alone dictates that one buys LaSala (save the three bottle dealie), not Herring. If anything, it helps LaSala.

Unless, of course, it's worth paying a couple bucks more to have a label that says Herring instead of LaSala.


By Tabreaux on Wednesday, November 29, 2000 - 12:07 pm: Edit

If they are indeed the same product, that would raise several questions. We'll find out soon.

By Grimbergen on Wednesday, November 29, 2000 - 11:56 am: Edit

Thanks Ted. Once you get the herring it'll take you all of 5 seconds to confirm that these are indeed the same product.

Don, I don't expect kallisti to take my word on this, that's why i asked someone to second my findings. Ted has kindly offered to do this. Furthermore, I haven't 'slimed' anything. Stating two products are the same is does not imply any qualitative judgements. If anything, my observation helps Herring, as some people here seem to like Lasala.

"Grim, the results will be released when they are finished and not a minute sooner, and that will not be dictated by your or anyone else. "
Try to be a little charitable in your reading of posts. I wasn't dictating anything.


By Tabreaux on Wednesday, November 29, 2000 - 10:30 am: Edit

I'll be able to look at the chromatogram and tell definitively right off the bat. Quite honestly, I'll be able to tell just by examining it.

By Don_walsh on Wednesday, November 29, 2000 - 09:56 am: Edit

Grim, the results will be released when they are finished and not a minute sooner, and that will not be dictated by your or anyone else.

And 'activist' I may be (Puh-lease not Nader!) but I wouldn't acquiesce to sliming any brand on the strength of your opinion and your opinion alone, photos notwithstanding.

And I doubt Kallisti would either.

By Tabreaux on Wednesday, November 29, 2000 - 09:01 am: Edit

I'll buy some Herring and see if it is different from what I remember. My senses are pretty acute where this is concerned, and I'll give an opinion for starters.

By Grimbergen on Wednesday, November 29, 2000 - 08:48 am: Edit

Ted's results will only tell us anything if he has the reformulated herring.

Ted, here is a little test for you so that we can tell what herring you have. According to the JACOMB review in the BG Herring barely louches. If it louches well (see pic at begining of post) then you have the new Herring and your results will be valid.

"Regardless of your discovery, there are precious few who would have made the mistake of buying Herring. Your discovery merely confirms the decision not to buy."
Go read the recent review in the BG for Herring. It is not a negative review. The "didsane" in this for Herring in this forum doesn't show through in the BG or in any recent discussions.

"I think you go too far, moderation is called for here. "
Huh? How so? Why? This is strange coming from our own Ralf Nader. What happened to informing the consumers? We should attack producers who use deceitful practice to market unabsinthe, but ignore them when they pull this shit? I wouldn't mind waiting for Ted's result if you two gave us any indication that they are to be released soon.


By Bob_chong on Wednesday, November 29, 2000 - 06:32 am: Edit

Grim wrote:
I would rather not have purchased 2 bottles of [Herring]. I do not think anyone else would like to make that mistake either.

Regardless of your discovery, there are precious few who would have made the mistake of buying Herring. Your discovery merely confirms the decision not to buy.


By Don_walsh on Wednesday, November 29, 2000 - 01:18 am: Edit

Grim, you are welcome to your opinion, but I'll await GC signatures from Ted before I declare that Lasala and Herring are the same product in different packaging.

I think you go too far, moderation is called for here.

By Bob_chong on Tuesday, November 28, 2000 - 10:49 pm: Edit

The problem, dear Grim, is that you are asking people to drink Herring, which has been (nearly) universally disdained on this forum. But with the reformulation rumors and your new assessment...

I've enjoyed LaSala the few times I've had it, but if these are the same products, I can't see myself buying 3 bottles of "Herring" just to save sixty cents per bottle. Rather, I'd buy one bottle of LaSala, which is a bit less on the single bottle pricing. However, I think I'll stick with Segarra until something Jade comes along.


By Grimbergen on Tuesday, November 28, 2000 - 10:28 pm: Edit

Jesus Christ! I tell everyone that Lasala and Herring are the same product and no one bats an eye? Come on, I am not making any claim like Absintheur's recent post about two products being very similar, THEY ARE THE SAME PRODUCT IN DIFFERENT PACKAGING. Not only would I like major brownie points for this discovery, there is a more serious issue here too: I would rather not have purchased 2 bottles of the same mediocre absinthe. I do not think anyone else would like to make that mistake either. I am still relatively new here and don't expect Kallisti to take my word on this, so it would be nice for someone to confirm that they are the same. This fact should be reflected in the buyers guide. Heed my call to arms!


By Midas on Tuesday, November 28, 2000 - 06:24 am: Edit

Like Perruche, I've not tried Herring, but I have a bottle of La Sala, and I definitely found it to be an aquired taste. In fact, I think I'm still in the process. La Sala is the absinthe I take to parties, because if 3/4 of a bottle gets consumed, I won't lose any sleep over it.
Judging by the pics, it is a strong resemblance, isn't it...

By Artemis on Tuesday, November 28, 2000 - 01:54 am: Edit

The LaSala I have, I've had for a long time (last winter, I think). The Herring I have, I've had since May or so. When I tried the Herring, I didn't think it was identical to LaSala, but I can't say as I've ever tried them side by side. I will, first chance I get, to see if I can add anything to the discussion. I know for sure that Herring and LaSala are more like each other than either is like Deva, et. al. I don't like either enough to ever buy any again.

By Perruche_verte on Monday, November 27, 2000 - 11:35 pm: Edit

I haven't tried either Montana or Herring. I have tried Lasala and wasn't that thrilled by it -- it's drinkable and has interesting flavors but I like Deva better and I like Segarra a great deal better.

The accounts I read here told me Herring is pretty undistinguished and the only reason to try it would be to get the promo deal from SC, 3 bottles for 30-some euros. I thought about it and decided it's not thrifty at all to buy three bottles of something I might not care to finish.

By Grimbergen on Monday, November 27, 2000 - 10:31 pm: Edit

Sorry Anatomist, I didn't realize you were responding to Ted's mention of Montana.

By Tabreaux on Monday, November 27, 2000 - 10:24 pm: Edit

I tasted Herring only once, and I didn't pay much attention. I suggested being similar to Montana only in that I recall it seeming equally simple, typical and uninspiring. I wouldn't post a review (as I have not done) unless I scrutinized it more carefully. If it has changed since I've tasted it I do not know.

By Grimbergen on Monday, November 27, 2000 - 09:04 pm: Edit

I wasn't discussing montana at all. I havent tried it.

By Anatomist1 on Monday, November 27, 2000 - 08:30 pm: Edit

I bought a bottle of Herring about 2 months ago, and I received a bottle of Montana via the same shipment. The two did not appear related at all. Montana louched, Herring did not. Montana tasted like a toned-down version of Deva or Mari Mayans, which did not taste that different from one another to this virgin tongue. Herring tasted like a high-alcohol version of the ancient bottle of cooking sherry my parents kept on the top shelf above the spices when I was in junior high school. In short, Herring was absolutely awful. After one glass I didn't give a rat's ass whether it was a true absinthe or not... I had no intention of finishing it. In fact, I found myself wishing it tasted of rotten fish, so that I could have a more colorful tale to tell about my insipid experience with it. Luckily, the ETOH sponge I call a roommate made the remainder disappear before I was forced to plan an indecent burial...

In short, I'm no connoiseur, but I saw no relationship whatsoever between Montana and Herring. If Lasala is the same as that fish-sauce, I shall stay far away from it.


By Tabreaux on Monday, November 27, 2000 - 06:32 pm: Edit

From memory, the one I tasted more akin to Montana then Lasala. Perhaps I tasted the old Herring. Perhaps this 'liquid' is made by a third party, and these two 'producers' simply slap their own label on it and sell it. Not as unusual a scenario as you might think.

By Grimbergen on Monday, November 27, 2000 - 05:41 pm: Edit

The BG says Herring was reformulated (or i guess my claim implies they started filling herring bottles with lasala). Do you have the new or old Herring. Again, this claim is about the new Herring.


By Tabreaux on Monday, November 27, 2000 - 05:34 pm: Edit

I've only tasted Herring once, and I wasn't really impressed. I didn't pay enough attention to determine if it is the same thing as Lasala. I'll have to taste it again to form an opinion.

By Grimbergen on Monday, November 27, 2000 - 04:02 pm: Edit

Ok, I don't know why this hasn't come up here before, or if it has, but Lasala and Herring are the same fucking product. I just received my first bottles of these brands, so I am making no claim on previous versions of these brands. My shipment was mailed on the 3rd of Nov. by SC.

Ok here is my argument for these being the exact same product:

1. EXACT same color before water added (see pic).
2. EXACT same louche and same appearance after water added (see pic).
3. EXACT same smell.
3. EXACT same flavor, anis and lemon cleaner. Going to have this double checked by a couple brewer friends of mine who have better noses than I do.
4. EXACT same alcohol content.
5. EXACT same bottle.
6. Similar labels.
7. Very similar spanish tax seals. I don't know how the numbering on the tax seals works, so this might not mean a damn thing. With that said, the numbers on my bottle of Herring and Lasala are very similar to each other, and very different from Serpis, Deva and Mayans.

Anyone else have recently purchased bottles of Herring and Lasala and want to weigh in on this? Ted, are your samples recent? Can you lend anymore validity to my claim?

I have asked S.C. for some info on the distillers, I will post their reply.


Lasala on left, Herring on Right

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