Archive through January 4, 2001

Sepulchritude Forum: The Absinthe Forum Archives Thru July 2001: Topics Archived Thru Jan 2001:Absinthe in Canada?:Archive through January 4, 2001
By Royale on Saturday, January 06, 2001 - 07:13 pm: Edit

To respond to the original post...

I have a dear friend in Vancouver, as I am an
ex-patriot myself, who has never had any
problems with customs. He has only used
SC and actually was the one who
convinced me that it would be safe to order
online and have it shipped to LA. Which
brings me to a question...

What is the largest quantity, that some one
can personally attest to, that has been
shipped into the US from SC?

And as an interesting note of curiosity...

There is an old Vancouver family that owns a
number of high end clothing stores. Aritzia
is the more trendy and famous but the
original store, Hill's of Kerrisdale,
obviously uses the family name. I wonder if
there is a connection?

By Admin on Friday, January 05, 2001 - 06:15 pm: Edit

Hehee ... Vladamir is apparently a relation in Canada who has been doing the wrangling for Radomil.

By Tabreaux on Friday, January 05, 2001 - 04:43 pm: Edit

"Sounds like an insider to me. AND, the Vancouver Sun article says Mr. VLADAMIR Hill has been living in B.C. for 30 years and he's the one wrangling with the government."

I know he's an 'old fart' but living since 30 B.C.?

By Admin on Friday, January 05, 2001 - 03:17 pm: Edit


The Toronto Star

By Admin on Friday, January 05, 2001 - 02:54 pm: Edit

Ok, so now I'm just having fun hunting this stuff down. Here's one of the culprits for driving up my bandwidth: news snippet

By Admin on Friday, January 05, 2001 - 02:37 pm: Edit

Ok, doing some research in my very flawed and enormous archives and found at least part of the original Radomilish Post (Time: Mon, 18-Oct-1999):

:Whoever is bashing HILL'S ABSINTH, please be aware that we are
:using 160 year old recipe modified for the CZECH PALETTE,(less
:anise), a compromise of French and Swiss recipes.

Sounds like an insider to me. AND, the Vancouver Sun article says Mr. VLADAMIR Hill has been living in B.C. for 30 years and he's the one wrangling with the government.

Oh, and found the "Hill's admits what we always suspected" article (sending this to the press):

****I'm posting this stuff for the edification of the 2000 new viewers we've had in the past two days <wave hello!>, NOT because I have some dead horse to beat***

By Artemis on Friday, January 05, 2001 - 12:07 pm: Edit

The poster in question did claim to be Czech, and one or more people here accused him of being old Rad, but I'm with you Ted, it did seem far-fetched.

I was never convinced that anybody actually associated with Hills ever posted here. It did make for some laughs, though.

By Tabreaux on Friday, January 05, 2001 - 11:55 am: Edit

I have to doubt the legitimacy of that post. After all, an octagenarian from the Czech Republic, who doesn't even have a website for his operation, having enough computer literacy to find his way here, and post and using vile 'Americanish' street language? I have a hard time swallowing that one.

By Artemis on Friday, January 05, 2001 - 11:40 am: Edit

Kallisti reminisced:

"We even got a couple feisty posts from Radomil early on."

Yes! I remember one in particular, in which he called me "fuckheaded folk", or something. And I never even reviewed his swill here. I think he was pissed that I flamed Hillary Clinton!

I seem to remember Canadian posters writing here that they had experienced some confiscation at customs, and a generally more active enforcement of whatever laws prevail, than is the case here in the U.S. I suppose the only way to know for sure is to go for it. No pain, no gain.

By Lowlight on Friday, January 05, 2001 - 11:13 am: Edit

I guess it depends on whether the rats are smoking themselves, and inhaling.. I don't know how easy that is to do :)

Most anti-smoking laws here in BC (in my city there is no smoking indoors) seem to be against second hand smoke, which is pretty much harmless in terms of cancer...

By Tabreaux on Friday, January 05, 2001 - 11:09 am: Edit

What do *you* think?

By Lowlight on Friday, January 05, 2001 - 11:02 am: Edit

Does smoking give rats cancer though?

By Tabreaux on Friday, January 05, 2001 - 10:58 am: Edit

Well, it's all silly and based upon some hokey 'science'. If I may quote Baggot and his references:

"Even chronic administration of 10 mg/kg oral thujone to rats does not alter spontaneous activity or conditioned behavior (Pinto-Scognamiglio 1968). The literature on the pharmacology of thujone is, to put it bluntly, second rate, and conclusions as to its effects have been extrapolated far beyond the experimental base (Max 1990)."

A 10mg/kg oral dose equals much more absinthe than you could drink in a long time.

By Lowlight on Friday, January 05, 2001 - 10:49 am: Edit

I wonder why they have laws against thujone content, only allowing very weak drinks to be sold...

Why don't they do that with cigarettes? "Only cigarettes with little to no tobacco are allowed"

By Tabreaux on Friday, January 05, 2001 - 10:36 am: Edit

"The only thing a bottle of Hill's is good for is to be thrown flaming thru Randomil's bedroom window."

Ha, good one.

Regarding thujone laws in Canada (or the absence thereof), in most cases, there is no need to pass a law unless, well, there is an acute need. If there is no law, Canadian authorities probably considered laws elsewhere (usually the UK) as a model. This is all for naught, as the thujone argument is highly overrated. Finally, I have a suspicion that there are widespread cases of shortcuts and variations being made to the analytical protocol for thujone testing, as the purported results for Absente conflict with those from a German lab. These disparities are precisely why in my testing program (in progress), there are no shortcuts, and the results are double checked against spiked controls. In other words, when I eventually conclude things and report these numbers, you can 'take them to the bank'. Regardless, Absente and Versinthe are not absinthe, and that has nothing to do with thujone, be it present or absent.

The real travesty here is the profit margin made in selling Hill's. Quite honestly, the packaging (maybe $1) probably costs more than the contents. To add insult to injury, the promoters of this product tell lies and fairy tales about it being 'real' and 'traditional'. The notion that a fine French restaurant would serve Hill's (at $20 per drink) is laughable and speaks for the relative ignorance of the management. Imagine what happens when they find that they've been duped, or even worse, when more astute patrons have a good laugh at the expense of the establishment. After all, can you imagine going into a fine French restaurant and seeing Boone's Farm "Strawberry Hill" on the wine list? It's about an equal faux pas.

I'm laughing out loud just thinking about it!

By Don_walsh on Friday, January 05, 2001 - 10:17 am: Edit

To boycott Hills is to boycott La Fee. Same distributor. I dount anyone would really want to do that. Forget it. It's wrong headed. Just try to avoid buying it...but feel free to buy La Fee. It's good.

By Admin on Friday, January 05, 2001 - 10:16 am: Edit

Hheehe, Martin. We've been doing that for years.

It was one of the early driving forces of the forum ... to debunk Hill's.

We even got a couple feisty posts from Radomil early on.

People who are interested in absinthe generally find out through us (thru one channel or another) but its the average joe just having the cocktail du jour at a bar that we have trouble converting.

By Admin on Friday, January 05, 2001 - 10:13 am: Edit

Unfortunately, probably not. I think what allowed it through finally was that the thujone amount in Hill's is almost nil. While the article mentioned previously is diplomatic in stating:

"[Hill's] has a relatively low content of thujone, according to tests done in Ontario at B.C.'s request."


"For this particular brand, the level of thujone was determined by ... the testing lab at the [liquor control board] in Ontario to not pose any health concerns."

While it is removing the stigma, somewhat, of the *word* absinthe, the liquor board is stating that there is so little thujone in the product that Health Canada didn't think it worth mentioning.

Does anyone know what the thujone limit is for products in Canada?

By Martin on Friday, January 05, 2001 - 10:10 am: Edit

Someone should do something about the whole Hill's thing. I hereby propose an official boycott of that odious product. I know none of us drink it anyway, but I think by raising a commotion about the fact that the absinthe community refuses to be fooled by their hogwash will be a good way to get the general public informed that Hill's should not be considered real absinthe under any circumstances.

They've already gotten a deplorable hold on England, and now they have their green dye-tinted eyes set on North America. $960 for 12 bottles!!! These highwaymen must be stopped!

The only thing a bottle of Hill's is good for is to be thrown flaming thru Randomil's bedroom window.


By Lowlight on Friday, January 05, 2001 - 09:54 am: Edit

Actually, I stumbled across this site entirely by mistake. I always had a small fascination with Absinthe (and yes, I believe the BS, this site is a Godsend, I was reading the forum and the site until the sun came up this morning), but kept it in the back of my mind. I was actually looking for sites related to Brandy and other drinks... I saw that Yahoo had it's own category, so I took a look at some of the pages.. This was the only site I found with current information :)

If it weren't for this site, I eventually would have found Hill's and probably would have been turned off from Absinthe forever! Thanks guys!

Now back to legality issues.. As mentioned, I looked all over the forum last night, I couldn't find ANYTHING related to Absinthe in Canada.

Since they can get Hill's, I am assuming they will be able to get the good stuff eventually? Hmmm

By Admin on Friday, January 05, 2001 - 07:59 am: Edit

Nice newsy person sent me article that appeared in the Vancouver Sun on 1/3. This article doesn't mention this site, but I think it may have been the spark for this hitting the news in the past two days.

Its too big to upload here (250k) and too long to type, if'n anyone wants a read, email me and I will send out en masse later today:

Basically, along with some of the usual mis-information (thujone is like marijuana) it says that the B.C. Liquor Distribution branch says that Hill's will be available in the next few months.

"It will only be available through special orders of 12 bottle cases, which will cost a whopping $960 (canadian dollars)."

"Those wanting just a taste, however, will still be able to get it at numerous clubs and restaurants."

By Don_walsh on Friday, January 05, 2001 - 07:04 am: Edit

Ted will be addressing the issue of thujone in absinthe in the not very distant future, the timing will be his own.

I won't steal any of his thunder.

To Canadian forumites: pls go see what your fellow Canadians had to say in the old threads. My memory is not to be relied upon, I'm a southrun boy from Nawlins and long have I been in Bangkok.

The Canadian FDA may be saner than the American one, for your sakes I hope so. They may respect the opinion of the UK agencies more than US does. The US FDA attitude is "Whatthefuck do they know?"
And that was universally the attitude of every MD and pharmacologist I have spoken to about this. None of them want to be confused with the facts. It's "Let sleeping dogs lie."

It's such a crock!

By Admin on Friday, January 05, 2001 - 06:40 am: Edit

Well, apparently the story is hitting the airwaves.

I'm getting beau coup hits from Canadian radio stations, but I can't find the actual source page on their sites.

It seems they've actually paid some attention to the guide on this site and are curious as to why we consider Hill's "windex". Hehe ... I did some debunking yesterday. But please post any specific Hill's info in hopes that they are reading.

Apparently the thujone levels of Hill's are so low that Canada's version of the FDA didn't even mention it.

By Lowlight on Friday, January 05, 2001 - 04:24 am: Edit

So Absinthe is actually legal here? That would have to be the case if govt liquor stores get them for you!

I ordered 2 bottles from 2 different sources (SC and so I hope one gets through to me! If none of them come, it would be a shame to lose out on almost $200!

(I bought a bottle of 70 MM and a Segarra, for the curious)

By Tabreaux on Friday, January 05, 2001 - 02:31 am: Edit

The rumors about being able to buy absinthe in BC are pretty much just that, unless you consider Hill's as legitimate absinthe. Versinthe and Absente are pastis, so those aren't even considered.

By Don_walsh on Thursday, January 04, 2001 - 11:34 pm: Edit

My recollection is that you are supposed to order absinthe through your ABC stores or whatever government owned liquor stores are in Canada. I gather they will special order for you.

There have been a number of threads about buying absinthe in Canada. I think this is well trodden ground.

By Hersaint on Thursday, January 04, 2001 - 09:51 pm: Edit

I Have heard rumours that you may be able to buy absinthe in Brithish Columbia soon anyway

perhaps someone else has more info ?

By Lowlight on Thursday, January 04, 2001 - 05:39 pm: Edit

After reading through the site, and most of your posts while waiting for my forum account to be approved, it seems as though it is quite easy to order absinthe in USA (I noticed most people order from SpiritsCorner).

I was wondering though, has anyone in Canada had bad experiences with customs? I get a lot of stuff from USA (computer equipment, I write reviews) and it seems 1 in 5 are opened by customs... I wonder if there is a bigger chance of it being opened (and then confiscated) if the package is coming from Spain?

Well, I'm going to take my chances anyway... I just ordered a bottle from SC...

I'm just curious though... How many Canadians have had a rough time?

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