Personal Experience Vs. Test Results

Sepulchritude Forum: The Absinthe Forum Archives Thru July 2001: Old Topics Archived Thru Sep 2000:Personal Experience Vs. Test Results
By Kona on Saturday, June 17, 2000 - 12:09 am: Edit

Did I write 65? Whoops...Actually, the interesting part of that story is that she drank at most an amount equal to 1/2 shot glass-a 1/3 finger pour?-and nothing else. Apologies, I should have qualified that statement before I posted. No cringes needed, I assure you.

By Morrigan Le Fey on Friday, June 16, 2000 - 08:02 pm: Edit

Hmmm..Kona..interesting post UNTIL I got to the "she was going 65 on the highway" *CRRRINNGE* Driving after imbibing absinthe??!? Can we say "BAD IDEA"??!!

*climbs off her soapbox* ahem...'scuuze me...

- Morrigan

By Kona on Friday, June 16, 2000 - 05:12 pm: Edit

It seems the majority of posts show experiences with the drink have elicited little, if any secondary effects. Are modern incarnations even remotely close to the original of decades ago, or are the formulations the same and the effects never very pronounced in the first place? If VanGogh, Rimbaud, etc had all consumed vast quantities of brandy (possible they did, of course), would we assume that that drink had ignited their creative instincts? Personally, I enjoy the drink, but have never noticed any secondary effects. Of those friends who have imbibed, and who had no preconceptions about what to expect, a few have had varied responses, from "feeling an interesting buzz" to one friend who noticed that streetlights were particularly bright and felt as though she were driving at 10 miles per hour, even though she was going 65 on a highway. Either way, enjoy the drink.

By Bigmike on Friday, June 16, 2000 - 02:42 pm: Edit

Moved to a new subjest thread so as not to spam this one too much.

By Bigmike on Friday, June 16, 2000 - 02:21 pm: Edit

Damn... I've run out of ice...
50/50 MM to Lasala, carefully measured and mixed in the bottom of a sprite bottle. 2 sugar cubes...

Nasty aftertaste, but after one shot I'm getting a deva like head feeling. Will keep reporting as the night continues...


By Bigmike on Friday, June 16, 2000 - 01:35 pm: Edit

Hi people, I feel it's time I posted again.
I think it's excellent that people are testing the different brands for thujone content, but I feel that these results indicate that at least one more substance in absinthe is responsible for the secondary effects experienced.
Perhaps thujone is the biological catalyst or co-factor that lets another substance cause the effects?
The deva/lasala/montana comparison would seem to indicate that deva has something that the others don't, and you've proved it's not thujone.
So.. what is it? I have no idea, but I think I might try a few of my own experiments in the coming months. Has anyone tried steeping using Mari Mayans as the base alcohol? That might put some thujone in it, which might heighten it's effects, or dare I suggest mixing MM with lasala?
In fact i'll do that now... and post what happens in a few hours. I hope I'm not being a complete heretic here, i'm just trying to further the research.

Yours scientifically,


By tabreaux on Friday, June 16, 2000 - 09:21 am: Edit

Rest assured that the solubility of thujone in alcohol is far in excess of the numbers quoted here. All the correlation points out is that these three makers probably do things similarly where the thujone yielding component is concerned.

As for similarities between M. Mayans and herbsaint, going back and tasting them, M. Mayans does seem to taste of star anise. Nevertheless, neither taste like vintage absinthe.

By B.M.Don on Friday, June 16, 2000 - 08:57 am: Edit

Guys, the thing to remember is to treat scientific data as a scientists treats it: nothing is especially believed without others independently reproducing the results.

That is why others will be testing Herbsaint, and Mari, and Red Cinzano no doubt. And reporting either confirmation or contradiction of these astonishing results.

Also pls note that mg/L is not same as mg/Kg unless the liquor in question has a specific gravity of 1.0. Anything that is 45 to 70 % alcohol by volume is going to be far less, so, this will tend to wipe out any 'minus' error in the published results and make these results more likely to be LOW if recalculated on a mg/Kg basis -- which is how the EU limit is written of course.

BTW I see no reason to believe that thujone in alcohol is a saturated solution at the levels in Deva et al.

You don't need a GC to make this estimate:

Go look at some of the better recipes (NOT Arnold) and see how much absinthium herb was used per liter of ethanol at a known %.

We know what the typical oil content is and the typical % of a-thujone in the oil.

Simple arithmetic, lads. Gets you to 60-90 mg/Kg easily.

By frenchquarter on Friday, June 16, 2000 - 08:02 am: Edit

Absintheur tried to calculate the thujone/proof ratio in the old forum, and now we can get those results. Here are the results for this set:

Deva Absenta 26.51
Lasala Absenta 33.29
Montana Absenta 30.02

Normed for proof:

Deva: .59 mg/kg/%alcohol
Lasala: .60 mg/kg/%alcohol
Montana: .60 mg/kg/%alcohol

Which makes it look like they hit saturation at .60 mg/kg/%alcohol.

By frenchquarter on Friday, June 16, 2000 - 07:45 am: Edit

Hey I love herbsaint more than most of these brands of absinthe I've tried. Except Mari Mayans 45%. It tastes exactly and I mean exactly like it. I've got two bottles of each, and I bet I could fool anyone in a blind taste test, all that's different is the color, which is yellow in herbsaint

By tabreaux on Friday, June 16, 2000 - 05:21 am: Edit

FWIW, Herbsaint is made from star anise, which has a much more acrid flavor. It does not taste like M. Mayans.

By BayAreaAbsinthe on Friday, June 16, 2000 - 03:04 am: Edit

re: experience. I've got an unopened bottle of
Deva which is waiting the arrival of a friend from
another state.

I've had Mari on many occasions, and have shared
it with up to 6 people. The only ones present who
seemed "alert" were those who had at least 3
glasses. Those who only had 2 or less just seemed
imbibed. I figured since it tasted more of anse
than anything else it was possibly low.

Still, there were at least 3 of us on 2 occasions
- only menioned in retrospect the next day - that
felt caffinated after drinking such a high proof
product (which hardly seemed logical in the

I'll also agree with my surprise that if Herbisant
has more Thuj. content, and also tastes as mellow
as Mari - and has the same "jolt" - then I'll be
getting a case after my first bottle.

Lastly - I think the percentages need to be taken
into account on the accuracy disclosure (if Mari
is low then so be it - it's still tasty) - and
most of all the blend of herbs. Even Chartreuse
without a smidge of wormwood still has some very
pleasent effects as opposed to vodka, whisky, gin,

(PLUG)one other note - 12 days to 4 weeks someone
mentioned? Yeesh! I went from Colorado to
California and spiritscorner arrived even FASTER
from 6-7 days down to 4-6 days(/PLUG). This last
line is meaningless because even with the new BBS
- the script is still cutting off my posts from
this iMac (a green one of course) bla bla bla.

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

Of the absinthe from Spain:

Lasala and Montanta always tasted stronger in terms of wormwood.

On the other hand, only Deva had secondary effects.

Thus, I thought my tastebuds were lying and the Deva was higher in thujone.

The results: Deva having less thujone than other brands (and Hills having none) makes me think the test is valid.

If Hill had tested with thujone, then I might have doubted the test.

By hippy on Thursday, June 15, 2000 - 09:11 pm: Edit

Well, I'm somewhat skeptical about the results.
The thujone content of Herbsaint is a stunner, to say the least. The fact that my favorite of the Spanish brands,Mari Mayans, has no thujone, is making me reevaluate my whole perception of the "secondary effect". I could have sworn I was experiencing noticeable, yet subtle,mindbending
effects from Mari Mayans. Was I? Was it just auto-suggestion. Was the reason I enjoyed Philip LaSala as much as I did, despite the fact that the
taste was not my favorite, because I was experiencing the "secondary effect" but was not focusing on it as I did with Mari Mayans?

These thujone results open up more questions than they answer.

I'll really be disappointed if the La Bleue tests
like Mari Mayans. Though La Bleue does have a wormwood taste that Mari Mayans doesn't, so I doubt that the results would be the same. But, at this point, it seems anything could happen.

The topsy turvy world of the Green Fairy.

It's nice to see the old gal Deva holding it's own.

Hill's is no surprise.

The real story here is Herbsaint being powerful and Mari Mayans being limp. Plus the pleasent returns on LaSala and Montana.

By tabreaux on Thursday, June 15, 2000 - 09:06 pm: Edit

I find the results to be believable if not expected. M. Mayans has a very monochromatic flavor, and although I suspected the thujone to be low, that fact that it is non-detect is surprising (i.e. no absinthium = no absinthe). Herbsaint is the biggest surprise, and I intend to cross-examine it this coming week. If it was made with anise (as opposed to nasty star anise), it would be a legitimate version of M. Mayans. Finally, the Herb Pharm extract is obviously made not of absinthium, but of something else.

By Absintheur on Thursday, June 15, 2000 - 08:36 pm: Edit

With a hearty thanks to Mr. Wormwood, I'd like to open the floor to a discussion of "personal experience vs. test results."

Do you feel that you were totally prepared for these results, given your personal experiences with the drinks in question?

Were you particularly horrified to find that your favorite brand didn't measure up?

Here are the results as reported:

> Sample a-Thujone b-Thujone
> ====================== ========== ==========
> Deva Absenta 26.51 mg/L nd
> Hills Absinth nd nd
> Lasala Absenta 33.29 mg/L nd
> Mari Mayans (70%) nd nd
> Montana Absenta 30.02 mg/L nd
> Sebor (#1) Absinth 13.35 mg/L nd
> Sebor (#2) Absinth 12.35 mg/L nd
> Serpis, Absenta nd nd
> Herbsaint pasits 38.48 mg/L nd
> La Muse Verte pastis nd nd
> Ouzo nd nd
> Angustra bitters 8.88 mg/L nd
> Red Cinzano Vermouth nd 14.38 mg/L
> Herb Pharm extract 10.72 mg/L 136.15 mg/L

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