|By Malhomme on Monday, January 22, 2001 - 07:29 am: Edit|
It's about 24 hours after the second annual Austin AbsintheDrinkers meeting, hosted again by the very gracious (and generous) host Eric. (Has it been a year already?) In attendance were forumites Eric, Daedelus, my lady friend (Allison), and myself. It was such a treat to share our obsession with each other. I remember some ten years ago, drinking absinthe and thinking, naively, that I might be the only person in nearly a century to have this experience. And there we were last night, four of us together, sharing our love of absinthe. If this were only three years ago we would all have been drinking macerated "hooch" (hearty thanks to Absintheur). But I bet we would still be excited about it.
Let me first say, Eric's collection of absinthe is incredible. There were nearly two dozen different absinthes on the bar (Eric left in a hurry it seemed every five minutes to magically procure another bottle of "liquid alchemy"), far more than I believe(d) I could consume in a single sitting. Over the next eight hours I believe we sampled 9 different absinthes, most of them of the Franco/Swiss variety. Some varieties required multiple tastings, of course. We are professionals, after all.
The evening proceeded much as it did for Daedelus, whose wonderful and insightful tasting notes I can scarcely find anything to add to!!! At the risk of starting another war, there were floaters in Ted's, only from a crumbly cork. There was also some haziness to it. Ted's is nothing like any other absinthe out there. I can't say better, but only because it is so different. So different it can't really be grouped with modern absinthes in a comparison. Very dry and herbal, with hyssop (I think) dominating but somewhat balanced, much like caramel in Coca-Cola. Nicely bitter at the finish. Just a hint of coriander. The fresh infusion of flavor from the coloring step is very evident and is what most separates this from all modern varieties. This is really good stuff. Nothing comes close, though some la Bleues are just as good.
I am struck by how inadequate the descriptions of the la Bleues have been. They have been described as simple, licorice silk, straightforward, yadda-yadda-yadda.... Perhaps it is because I always prefer simpler products to richer ones, I love some of these la Bleues, and was very impressed by their variety and complexity. There were two la Bleues in the sampling that to me appeared to be quite simple, but not disappointing. And another whose earthy, leafy, and spicy aromas nearly transported me back to childhood days hunting in the autumnal woods of SE Texas. I've never before tasted something so impeccably well balanced. I experienced some synesthesia as the flavors spread across my pallet, the flavors became kinetic and with form. This was not licorice silk so much as a liquid epiphany.
Also other notables sampled were la Fee, and Segarra.
I had such a good time sampling with Eric and Daedelus that I giggled spontaneously through most of the next day. The names Candy Kane, and (the mysterious) Deep Throat have taken on almost Masonic significance to me. I hope we can do this again soon. It was so much fun to be with others with this same rare focus. We're very lucky to all be here in the same town together. This was a real gem of an evening. Next time I'll bring pen and paper!
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