Archive through November 20, 2000

Sepulchritude Forum: The Absinthe Forum Archives Thru July 2001: Topics Archived Thru Nov 2000:Oxygenee Reviewed - Tabreaux:Archive through November 20, 2000
By Tabreaux on Monday, November 20, 2000 - 08:14 am: Edit

I think the picture of absinthium on the label is what has Justin feeling it contains absinthium. I might also point out that Herbsaint has absinthium pictured on the label and certainly has none. It also plainly states that it is thujone-free. Use of absinthium in a beverage in France is as illegal as cocaine, and the penalties are very stiff. I feel the 'catch phrase' is the clarification needed to allow the term "absinthe" to be used, and is akin to the phrase commonly used in U.S. food products, "97% fat free", which is also misleading.

Unless my testing shows otherwise (highly doubtful), this product is a pastis, and seems to employ other plants of absinthe (e.g. 'petite absinthe'), which is somewhat misleading (e.g. Crillon) and IMO, improper use of the term. After all, if the product made no mention of "absinthe", and mentioned A. vulgaris instead, how attractive would it be?

As far as secondary effects, which are entirely subjective, I'll attempt to form an opinion on that in the next day or so.

By Don_walsh on Monday, November 20, 2000 - 01:49 am: Edit

Ted concludes this is absinthium free and thujone free. Pending testing I take that as pretty definitive.

By Don_walsh on Monday, November 20, 2000 - 01:45 am: Edit

Justin

Have a care. Thujone does not make an absinthe.

Absinthium makes an absinthe.

Go chug some sage oil and I'm sure you will see 'secondary effects', that does not make it absinthe, does it?

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

I'm surprised you overlook this simple fact.

By Chrysippvs on Sunday, November 19, 2000 - 09:37 pm: Edit

As far as price..this absinthe isn't cheaper than La fee...it is around 30 EU in France..with GB taxes I would imagine the price would skyrocket. with shipping (fedex) and everything it cost me close to 70 bucks a bottle for this stuff.

One thing that I am willing to wager in the corner of it being an absinthe in the stead of a pastis is the presence of very heavy secondary effects. Three people, two of which are regular absinthe drinkers, reported that this absinthe produced a more potent effect than Deva, and equal or superior to that of la bleue. Also the wording on the side of the label indicate to me that the AA is present just in low amounts, I wish I could contact the producer..I am sure we could get a more straight answer from them.

- J

By Don_walsh on Sunday, November 19, 2000 - 08:52 pm: Edit

So someone finally made a pastis that is better than most 'real' absinthes?

Now we must see if the market supports such a thing.

And it is a bit of a pity that the labelling lends itself to the same obscurantism as Trenet and Kermann...thujone free and perhaps no absinthium...

So this product is neither fish nor fowl but anyway not foul!

By Tabreaux on Sunday, November 19, 2000 - 08:52 pm: Edit

What you just said regarding that statement confirms what we've been saying. The use of that phrase implies that like Trenet and Pere Kermann, there is no A. Absinthium in Oxygenee. I believe their use of this phrase as a description/disclaimer is why they can use the term "absinthe" and not get into trouble. After all, in France, it seems to be as illegal to sell a non-absinthe as 'absinthe', as it is to sell absinthe itself.

FWIW, Trenet, Pere Kermann, and Oxygenee all seem to be pastis, and they probably all employ A. vulgaris, which is quite dissimilar from A. absinthium.

By Franglais on Sunday, November 19, 2000 - 07:03 pm: Edit

Yes, the meaning is not really vague. It is
pretty clear in translation that this refers to
plants in the absinthe family (i.e. of absinthe,
not "the" absinthe). Probably meaning petite
absinthe and possibly others.

The price is actually pretty good for this stuff,
considering it is about 1/2 the price of La Fee.

By Chrysippvs on Sunday, November 19, 2000 - 05:35 pm: Edit

Exactly...that is why "Aux Extraits de Plants D'Absinthe" is somewhat more vague, allowing more than just Atremesia Absinthium.

-J

By Tabreaux on Sunday, November 19, 2000 - 05:34 pm: Edit

Just about every vintage absinthe label I own and have seen says "Extrait D'Absinthe". However, the current products we are talking about say "Aux Extraits de Plants D'Absinthe", not "Extrait D'Absinthe", and apparently, there seems to be a difference in the meaning.

By Franglais on Sunday, November 19, 2000 - 04:31 pm: Edit

FYI, almost all vintage absinthes contain the
phrase "Extrait D'Absinthe" or something
similar on their labeling.

By Tabreaux on Sunday, November 19, 2000 - 02:58 pm: Edit

I recently had an opportunity (thanks to Justin) to sample Oxygenee. This product comes in a 700mL clear glass bottle, and is nicely labeled. It's presentation is certainly a step up from the typical fare.

On first appearance, the label appears to say "Absinthe Oxygenee". When you look at it more closely, paying attention to the smaller verbiage, the label actually reads, "Aux Extraits de Plants D'Absinthe Oxygenee". What has me wondering is that both Trenet and Pere Kermann use this exact same wording, and neither of these products contain A. absinthium. Therefore, I am curious as to if this phrase is used as a brief clarification or disclaimer which allows use of the word "Absinthe" in the product name. Your guess is as good as mine. Nevertheless, as Justin pointed out, the verbiage on the side of the label seems to imply that it is thujone-free.

The color is a nice neutral green with just a slight olive tint. The color looks convincing, but is almost certainly artificial. The strength of the liqueur is 55%, and the bouquet is mild. Like the old products, the louche is mild (nothing like modern pastis), and the all-too-typical flavor of star anise is remarkably absent. I left my sample of La Fee at home, but the taste of this product seems somewhat similar to La Fee, in that I taste what I interpret to be the same herbs, although in different proportions than La Fee. Additionally, I taste something else a bit 'citrusy', not much unlike what you taste in Deva. Regardless, the flavor has pretty good balance, and only a hint of bitterness which is too faint for me to interpret.

In conclusion, I find this product to have a more interesting flavor than the pastis-style absinthes, and it does seem to have a fairly authentic flavor. Since it has been distributed in France, and due to the Trenet/Kermann 'catch phrase', I strongly believe this product to be a pastis. Even if it is as pastis (I believe so), it gets my vote as the best one I've had. It isn't cheap, but it's certainly worth having a bottle on the shelf if you can get one.

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