Review - Julian Segarra

Sepulchritude Forum: The Absinthe Forum Archives Thru July 2001: Topics Archived Thru Feb 2001:Review - Julian Segarra
By Petermarc on Friday, February 23, 2001 - 01:58 pm: Edit

no, it's not them...i'm afraid to ask about 'come ordinaire'...

By Pataphysician on Friday, February 23, 2001 - 08:33 am: Edit

Petermarc:

Is it "Pacini"? They also make a Limoncello.

http://www.pianeta.com/-/pacini/

By Petermarc on Thursday, February 22, 2001 - 12:36 pm: Edit

pata,
i will write down the name of the producer next time, it was a fine product...make sure to try sardinian grappa, too...they also have started making a beer with myrtle, but the owner said it wasn't good...

By Petermarc on Thursday, February 22, 2001 - 12:34 pm: Edit

interestingly enough, the owner of the restaurant showed me the promotional material for the maker of the mirto (they make a lemon liquor and one out of a special herb that i forgot...mmmm special herbs..)the picture of the mirto poured into a glass was red, but when he served me, it was white...also, the corsican 'vin de myrte' that i first tried was red (sent directly from corsica) but when i went to a corsican deli in paris, all they had were two versions in white...
hmmm...

By Heiko on Thursday, February 22, 2001 - 07:09 am: Edit

As far as we were told, the red Mirto, which contains all the oils from Myrtle, is not allowed to be sold anywhere else than in Sardinia (because it is a very old tradition there, it just cannot be outlawed).
As I said before, only the red variety seemed to have a kind of secondary effect - in my opinion much less than Absinthe, almost not detectable.
But, same as with Absinthe (only the other way round) - others seemed to experience more effects from it than I did. They warned me about not drinking more than two glasses because it was so strong (and it only had about 20% of alcohol).

By Pataphysician on Thursday, February 22, 2001 - 06:55 am: Edit

Petermarc, Heiko, anybody:

How likely is it that I'd be able to find Mirto in mainland Italy (Rome & Tuscany)? In restaurants? Liquor stores? I'll be there soon, and I'd like to try it and maybe bring some home.

Any particular brands to look for?

By Petermarc on Thursday, February 22, 2001 - 05:36 am: Edit

heiko,
had some mirto today after lunch...the white variety, which is much better than the corsican version...served out of the freezer--bitter, sweet, clean but wild taste, 32%...nice digestif...would like to have had more, but work calls...will search for the red...

By Joshua on Wednesday, February 21, 2001 - 08:38 am: Edit

actully this day and age it wouldnt even take something as drastic as murder,just some kid passed out in his, room.will be enough to do it.and could someone perhaps tell me how come america sees fit to ban things that could be harmful,but never repeals bans on products that have proven to have no ill effects?

By Mr_Rabbit on Wednesday, February 21, 2001 - 06:27 am: Edit

Marc, you just made my morning :-D

Let me know when the Green Beaver opens and I will be there with bells on.

Friend of mine told me yesterday, when he lived in rural Georgia, in the 70s he attended the funeral of a friends father. It was the black funeral home (for those of you not familiar with the rural american south, in days gone by and today often, blacks had to have seperate facilities from everybody else, schools, restaraunts etc.)

This two floor structure, off a dirt road and with chickens scratching in the yard, boasted services for the dead on the ground floor, and services for the living (wink wink nudge nudge) on the top floor.

The first combination funeral parlor/whore house I have ever heard tell of.

That might be just the twist the Green Beaver needs! Its very gothic to have dead people in your basement you know.

Ah, the smell of formaldehyde and cheap perfume!

By Marc on Tuesday, February 20, 2001 - 10:57 pm: Edit

Having followed the misinformation campaign against GHB (the New York Daily News called it a "deadly herb"), I'm in agreement that absinthe is vulnerable to a similar scare campaign. Shit, it's already happened once, resulting in absinthe being banned. So, I'm with Don regarding being discreet. I know there have been times where I've ignored my own advice and spoken freely of my drug experiences. An absinthe forum seems to be an appropriate place to discuss taboo subjects, but I don't want to wave a red flag in the snout of Big Brother. So, I'm trying to keep my trap shut on certain subjects.

Vegas is the perfect place for an absinthe underground. Maybe I'll open a gothic titty bar that serves absinthe. I'll call it The Green Beaver.

By Don_Walsh on Tuesday, February 20, 2001 - 10:35 pm: Edit

Mr R., you could've changed your handle to Harvey (the giant invisible rabbit in the Jimmy Stewart comedy classic.)

Anyway I am waiting for HANNIBAL - the video rental.

The brain eating bit was a vivid image, that's all. I don't even like cow's brains. And it's a good way to get kuru (slow virus), y'know?

By Mr_Rabbit on Tuesday, February 20, 2001 - 02:16 pm: Edit

'A coke fiend crank hound H-shooting asshole has an emoty miniature of Deva in his trash when he goes bear-sark and eats his girlfriend's brain...'

Now THAT is a secondary effect, baby.

The Cranial Consumption Cocktail. Best served at body temperature, with an icecream scooper.

Don, did you see Hannibal recently, or do you just, y'know, dig thinking about eating peoples brains? ;-)

OH yeah- for anyone wondering who I am, it's Black Rabbit. I changed my handle to avoid any more confusion between me and Black Jack.

By Don_Walsh on Tuesday, February 20, 2001 - 01:28 pm: Edit

That would be a replay of the Absinthe Murders.

A coke fiend crank hound H-shooting asshole has an emoty miniature of Deva in his trash when he goes bear-sark and eats his girlfriend's brain.

NOT a desirable scenario but, not likely, and unless the media is primed by some interest group, not likely to play out the same way...

Big Liquor is an interest group too. They don't want to see FDA expand their authority. With ATF, well, they know how to do business.

By Joshua on Tuesday, February 20, 2001 - 01:04 pm: Edit

i can see the propaghanda films now,the shirts and buttons,just say NO to 19th century spirits.

By Artemis on Tuesday, February 20, 2001 - 12:06 pm: Edit

"And of course Sentator Steve knows he can get re-elected if he comes out against an emerging party drug."

That's the scariest part right there, an attention-seeking politician. Couple that with an ignorant press and you have disaster. I think it's good to air this issue out now and then, but it's been well covered this time with a minimum of words and fighting, so I for one am willing to let it rest.

By Joshua on Tuesday, February 20, 2001 - 11:47 am: Edit

since im not good at making baskets,point taken

By Black_Rabbit on Tuesday, February 20, 2001 - 11:20 am: Edit

Well, it takes about 15 seconds to do a web search.

Let's say DEA agent Bob reads an article in Maxim or Playboy while taking a break from wanking over the pictures. It talks about absinthe, and of course it mentions hallucinations, because the press tends towards sensationalism, and they don't usually give a shit if they are telling the truth.

Intrigued, Bob boots up his computer. He finds this place, and sees all kinds of discussion about controlled substances, secondary effects, etc.

Suddenly, that promotion he's been waiting for is not so far away! And of course Sentator Steve knows he can get re-elected if he comes out against an emerging party drug.

Soon, Nancy Reagan is beating down your door wearing jackboots, and you are in a re-education camp learning how to make baskets.

By Joshua on Tuesday, February 20, 2001 - 10:39 am: Edit

not meaning to argue the point of mutual self intrest,but wouldnt it be more likely some one will will do something stupid,like killing someone,or something equally as horrendous,when the powers that be search the killers house for evidence,and they spot a bottle of deva,a bunch of odd looking little flat spoons.booya,it would all be over,just like that .wouldnt this be more likely than some dea agent reading something posted here about effects? granted neither is good publicity

By Don_Walsh on Tuesday, February 20, 2001 - 09:37 am: Edit

But TimK is using my argument precisely, against discussing secondary effects, not 'drugs', although I suspect that he would agree that discussing 'drugs' viz absinthe is even worse for same reasons.

Alcohol may be a drug but it's not a 'drug'. When we say a 'drug' we mean a controlled substance. Aspirin is a drug but not a 'drug'. 'Drug' as in War on Drugs. We don't want to be collateral damage do we? Victims of friendly fire? THEN STAY OFF THE BATTLEFIELD. Get it?

Given the stpuidity about GHB and rohypnol it is clear it would not take MUCH to push absinthe into a DEA schedule. Let's not. That's all I am saying and I think that's all Tim is saying. This is not a free speech issue. It is a self imposed sensible act, not censorship. To flaunt the 'drug' thing is a self defeating act for absintheurs. This is true regardless of how as individuals we feel about personal choice and freedoms. We are just suggesting we all act in our own mutual self interest.

By Artemis on Tuesday, February 20, 2001 - 06:48 am: Edit

"But Artemis, if you had to decide to drink one glass of Pontarlier-Anis (not Absinthe) or a glass of (brrr!!) Lasala, which one would you choose??"

Good point, and you made it well. I'm going to lay off the "secondary effects" talk for a while. When Don comes out against it, I know we've gone too far. And he agreed with TimK; there must be a special alignment of the planets or something.

By Hersaint on Tuesday, February 20, 2001 - 04:48 am: Edit

Don

I know its an old argument but surely alcohol is a drug ?

It is more sociably acceptable than the classified drugs, And I am not condoning any drug taking but alcohol IS none the less still a drug that is probably responsible for more health related problems and deaths than all of the rest classified drugs put together the world over.

Although I do understand that we do not want the association with DRUGS, and the bad press that goes along side this, but the only reason I tried it was because of the so called secondary effects (although since then because of the taste) so it has its benefits of being promoted this way as well in the words of Max Clifford "all PR is good PR"

By Don_Walsh on Tuesday, February 20, 2001 - 01:26 am: Edit

I AGREE with TimK (how unusual...)

I have long been making exactly the same argument about all discussions of absinthe vs grass, hallucinogens, coke, etc. The last thing we want is to be tarred with same brush as drugs. It's a liqueur. Not a 'drug'.

I am usually shouted down by Marc about this, but sometimes he also agrees that freedom of expression ought to take a back seat to mutual self interest.

By Aion on Monday, February 19, 2001 - 10:34 pm: Edit

Artemis and Heiko,

You are damned right, I don´t like decaffeinated coffee as well - bad comparison.
Even worse, I drink it only Espresso-style, so strong that it has a thick and oily consistence - SHEER POISON. And I am not smoking.
So better I keep my mouth shut.

But Artemis, if you had to decide to drink one glass of Pontarlier-Anis (not Absinthe) or a glass of (brrr!!) Lasala, which one would you choose??
For me I am absolutely sure.

A.

By _Blackjack on Monday, February 19, 2001 - 11:39 am: Edit


Quote:

Or did anyone care about the maximum nicotine content of a fine cigar?




That's actually a good comparison, because the role nicotine plays in the effect of cigars is, like thujone, something of a contaversy. The fermentation process that cigar tobacco undergoes, according to some, significantly reduces the nicotine content (relative to cigarettes, whose nicotine is purposfully boosted), and, moreover, since most people don't fully inhale cigar smoke, far less nicotine is absorbed into the bloodstream. This accounts for cigars' being significantly less addictive than cigarettes. On the other hand, cigars obviously give some people much more of a "buzz" than cigarettes, and some tobaccos, e.g., Cuban, pack much more of a whallop than others. Is this nicotine, nicotine in combination with other chemicals, or something else entirely? I dunno, but I do know that I go to a fair amount of trouble to get the cigars with the best combination of flavor, body and, for want of a better term, whallop.

By Hersaint on Monday, February 19, 2001 - 11:16 am: Edit

Sebors Absinthe was advertised in FHM (Mens Magazine) in the classified section this Month first time I have seen an ad also came across some Mari Mayans Absenta in Sainsburys (Supermarket) although at £29.99 it can stay there.

And the Secondary effect answer could go on as long as the anti-capitalistic blues thread, but it works for me, lost my wedding ring the other week after a session on the Le bleue, only to find it on my finger on my left hand where it always has been

Absinthe Minded perhaps or just wishful thinking ?

By Heiko on Monday, February 19, 2001 - 10:07 am: Edit

Just got a new thought about this (hehe, no wonder just two glasses of Staroplzenecky for the first time - it tastes a little like industrial alcohol mixed into old, bracky water, sorry "underground spring water" - but from sip to sip I can taste out the wormwood and forget about the rest, start to like it...).
Now, my new thought (not really new, but new at the moment, if this makes sense...): Together with the beginning Absinthe-boom in Germany (very beginning, I could call myself a "second-generation pioneer", not amongst the first, but long before John Doe knows about it...) I realize that Germans seem to come off the "straight-edge" thing - you can again talk about drinking alcohol without being looked at as a strange druggie, it's not uncommon anymore for young people to smoke weed...I mean we are back on the way to fun! It's the twenties again, yippie yeah!

Really, a few weeks ago, when in a really respectable TV-Show, a really respectable person told the public that Absinthe was "in" amongst Berlin society, I realized we are just on the beginning of a new time of excessive fun. A few years ago it would have been impossible that someone respectable advertised hard liquor in that way. Also, when this very respectable Soccer-trainer had to give in he had used cocaine - the press eagerly went after it. For weeks, if you zapped through TV shows, it was "coke here coke there" - no keeping quiet about it anymore. I like this feeling of "now we're all going to tear down the republic, and we don't give a f***, let's have fun". I don't feel so alone anymore ;-)

The only adverse thing might be that government tries to stop it even more, if they get a clue, but:
The solution is: commercialize it, make it as commercial as possible - all the world's governments are weak nowadays, they won't dare to stop big business. Business is taking over the world anyways, no chance for governments (how far are we away from a world-government, and how far has big business gone global? Do you really think that's gonna change?). So let's make the whole thing as big as possible - a big bang is coming anyways, let's have some big fun before.

BTW a mix of about 3/4's Deva and 1/4 Staroplzenecky tastes great, looks great and has a politically correct no effect at all.

Cheers!

By Timk on Monday, February 19, 2001 - 09:23 am: Edit

"I just cannot understand the discussion about the absinthe-effect. This just causes people to assume Absinthe is a drug."
We ara about 150 UNIQUE registered posters, probanly half are U.S. residents, the rest from all over, this is an estimate, but i would guess maybe a further 250-300 people read the forum and dont post. Do you really think anything we say or do is going to have any impact on the U.S. government or its agencies stance on absinthe, its already illegal for chrissake, and they cant check every incoming package. Fortunately I dont have a problem, but now we are in a position to defend absinthe against all the rediculous claims levelled at it in the past, lighten up. It certainly has some mild 'secondary' effects but no more than 3 cups of strong coffee. Why get so worked up, I mean what the hell do you think is going to hapopen, the DEA are gonna reclassify it as a class a narcotic, jeez that would be worth it. Theres probably less than 2000 people in the USA who even drink it its not worth their time to do anything about it.

Tim

By Heiko on Monday, February 19, 2001 - 07:59 am: Edit

To add just one more thought about it:

To totally ignore this will only cause anyone new to the forum shout it out louder and louder because he will think that it just cannot be true that no one even mentions it.

Cigarettes/Cigars and coffee are not a good comparison: Normal coffee and cigarettes only differ in the quality of their contents, therefore in taste - but not so much in the contents itself: it's just tobacco and coffee.

If it was the same as it is with absinthe today, you would buy "cigarettes" and at home find out it's rolled up pine-needles and your "coffee" would be finely ground corn-powder. Something like that...and of course this stuff would lack any effect known to cigarettes and coffee as well...while the price were horrendous.

By Artemis on Monday, February 19, 2001 - 07:39 am: Edit

"I just cannot understand the discussion about the absinthe-effect. This just causes people to assume Absinthe is a drug."

We already covered that ground. Now we know you're one of the people who feels that way, but not everybody agrees with you. I have mixed feelings about it, but Heiko asked the question and I could do one of two things: stand silent and possibly let ignorance and/or hype rush in to fill the gap, or tell the truth as I see it.

"And this creates a drug hysteria that helps some (widely known) Absinthe-dealers to survive in spite of their exorbitant pricing."

As far as I'm concerned, ALL absinthe is exorbitantly priced once you consider the cost of getting it to the U.S. But if your argument holds, lampooning the "drug hysteria" should hurt those dealers, not help them, right? I've pointed out that the "absinthe effect" is so subtle it makes you wonder if its real. From GOOD absinthe. How does that help the hype artists?

"Absinthe is just a drink and the taste is the one and only important thing. Nothing else."

If that was true I wouldn't drink it at all. Fortunately, it's not true.

"Did maximum caffeine content ever influence your decision what coffee to buy?"

I damned sure don't buy it WITHOUT caffeine.

"Or did anyone care about the maximum nicotine content of a fine cigar?"

I don't like wimpy cigars either.

By Heiko on Monday, February 19, 2001 - 06:48 am: Edit

I never bought decaffeinated coffee or light cigarettes :-)

But, I know what you mean and keep my mouth shut... although I don't think someone who looks for drugs would buy an alcoholic beverage for an extraordinary price - and if he did, he would surely not be satisfied!

By Aion on Monday, February 19, 2001 - 03:47 am: Edit

I just cannot understand the discussion about the absinthe-effect. This just causes people to assume Absinthe is a drug. And this creates a drug hysteria that helps some (widely known) Absinthe-dealers to survive in spite of their exorbitant pricing.
Absinthe is just a drink and the taste is the one and only important thing. Nothing else.
Did maximum caffeine content ever influence your decision what coffee to buy?
Or did anyone care about the maximum nicotine content of a fine cigar?
Never!!

A.

By Petermarc on Sunday, February 18, 2001 - 02:19 pm: Edit

a 'vin de myrte' is made in cosica which is almost impossible to stop drinking...it is like a funky port that makes you feel funn-kay...very tasty...i have tried the white variety and the liquor, but it is not the same (taste or effect) go figure...i just discovered a sardinian restaurant near my work...i'll ask them about it...it was there that i had the best grappa i've ever tasted (sardinian)

By Artemis on Sunday, February 18, 2001 - 11:59 am: Edit

"I referred to the line "The absinthe effect is there" at the very end of your review which started this thread."

Ah. Sorry, I forgot I wrote that; this thread has grown very long. Yes, I think Segarra has some "absinthe effects", but I would drink it just for the flavor, which I like. I think it has to be cut no more than 2:1 with water to enjoy all of its flavor, though.

Perhaps the "absinthe effect" has a lot to do with the nature of the drink and its ritual. The quiet contemplation involved in the preparation, watching the louche, etc. put us in a state of mind which is desirable in its own right. The Japanese tea ceremony has the same purpose.
With absinthe, the alcohol and the herbs add their own effect on the brain, and voila! Absinthe high in which absinthe is perhaps only indirectly involved!

By Heiko on Sunday, February 18, 2001 - 11:39 am: Edit

To add something: I had always had the feel that strong liquor gives me a different (better) buzz than beer. F.e. to drink some Gin Tonic gives me a totally different feel from that of beer.
BTW you could talk of "secondary effects" from Gin Tonic, too: The chinine in the tonic is an active substance that increases your heart rate and lifts you up...

That reminds me of a liquor I once had in Sardinia: It was called "Mirto" and was made of red myrtle. It also gave you kind of a euphoric buzz and all the time being there, me and my friends had nothing else than Mirto anymore because it was so great (only the red variety - the white one seemed to lack the effect). Unfortunately this was only a regional thing and I never saw this drink anywhere else. Does somebody know Mirto?

By Heiko on Sunday, February 18, 2001 - 11:08 am: Edit

Artemis,
I referred to the line "The absinthe effect is there" at the very end of your review which started this thread. As I later on said I missed something like this in the review, I'm sorry now because I have not read it thoroughly enough.

Don,
I have to agree now, having drunk some more Absinthe over the last few weeks (pretty regularly) that the effect is not so extraordinary any more as I first experienced it. But as a comparison: years ago, when I had my first alcohol, I was also totally drunk after 2 beer, and maybe thought this to be a "cosmic experience" (as well as my first real encounter with nicotine - that was definitely "cosmic" ;-)). I guess it is just a beginner's thing to be overly excited about the new feel.

By Artemis on Sunday, February 18, 2001 - 08:13 am: Edit

Louche, no harm done.

Heiko, if you were talking about that "horsey bit you" line I threw in at the end of my review of the underground stuff, that was always in there, I didn't go back and add it (NOW who's not reading all of the post :^)!) That's the first time that I remember I've ever included mention of "secondary effects" in a review, and I only did it to show there's a difference between commercial stuff that conforms with regulations as to content, and stuff that conforms only with the maker's wishes. I do think absinthe has effects other than those of alcohol, but they are subtle and ephemeral (even with the powerhouse stuff).
I would never presume that somebody else will feel what I felt, therefore no point in mentioning it in a review. That stuff about the glass merging with my hand and all could very easily be attributed to a very relaxed mood on a beautiful June day looking out at the sunset over Lake Michigan, all of which was happening at the time.

By Loucheliver on Saturday, February 17, 2001 - 03:01 pm: Edit

Artemis,
No need for you to write more clearly, big need for me to remeber what I had read a couple of minutes earlier more clearly. You hit the proverbial nail right on it's head, and I should have given props. The effects were definitely effective in effectively making me ineffective at the time I posted.

Sorry,
Loucheliver

By Rupert1029 on Saturday, February 17, 2001 - 01:26 pm: Edit

Besides the great taste, positive feeling, and romance of drinking Absinthe, the big bonus for me is that it never causes a hangover. I too, am somewhat of light weight, so I have never drank more than 3 or 4 in one session. However, 3 or 4 martini's will send me to bed with an upset stomach and headache for 2 days, as will a 6 pack of beer, or 3 glasses of wine. Therefore, when at home I exclusively drink Absinthe.
(When I refer to "great taste", I am only referring to Segarra, Deva, and Serpis. The others, I would prefer to let age in my liquor cabinent.)

By Don_Walsh on Saturday, February 17, 2001 - 12:15 pm: Edit

My personal position is that, apart from some vivid dreams (well worth the price of admission) I have not experienced any profound 'effects' discernible from ordinary inebriation, period.

I do find absinthe to produce a more lucid sort of inebriation, retaining more mental acuity, but that is just as subjective and unquantifiable observation as those of people who claim grand spiritual experiences. It could all be imagination or suggestion. That lucidity is transient anyway and if one continues drinking beyond a certain point, the alcohol does certainly take over. For me, 3-5 glasses is about optimum, but then I weigh about 300 lbs. For someone half my mass it could be 2-3.

By Artemis on Saturday, February 17, 2001 - 10:01 am: Edit

"I agree with Don's and especially Ted's take on this."

I don't see that their take differs from mine, in fact, I know it doesn't. Apparently I have to learn to write more clearly.

By Artemis on Saturday, February 17, 2001 - 09:58 am: Edit

Heiko, could you be more specific? I don't understand what you're talking about.

"Artemis, have you changed your review at the bottom and added this one line about the effect?

If not, I am sorry because I didn't read it carefully enough in the first place - if yes, thanks :-)"

By Loucheliver on Friday, February 16, 2001 - 08:32 pm: Edit

I agree with Don's and especially Ted's take on this. The "effects" are very real to those that feel them, and 1/2 the people I've introduced to absinthe have felt nothing. But, for myself, it was initially, the best "buzz" in recent memory. Since that 1st session, where I downed about .4.liters because I wanted to keep that buzz going, I have found that subsequent forays have varied widely in the intensity of the good "buzz" vs. just plain gettin' drunk.
The variables involved are just too tough to gauge, as Ted has said. Sometimes, one tipple is enough to get me totally feeling fairy fucked, while other times, in a fairly consistent environment, and circumstances, I drink 3 or so and just feel blitzed.
To me, this is the beauty of absinthe. What other drink could bring forth such a passionate outpouring. Every foray w/the Green Fairy seems to be a very personal thing. Suckin' a Bud or 10 doesn't bring on this kind of passionate discussion.
Viva La Verte!!!!!!!!!!!!!

By Midas on Friday, February 16, 2001 - 07:41 pm: Edit

To paraphrase Don, he commented on this issue well a couple of months ago. It was something like absinthe not being a mind fuck, more a subtle mind tweak.

By Heiko on Friday, February 16, 2001 - 05:54 pm: Edit

Artemis, have you changed your review at the bottom and added this one line about the effect?
If not, I am sorry because I didn't read it carefully enough in the first place - if yes, thanks :-)

By Tabreaux on Friday, February 16, 2001 - 04:01 pm: Edit

"..is it beneath the dignity of a real expert to mention secondary effects in a review?"


I feel that could be very misleading, as there are so many outside and inside influences which have a bearing on this. Being that is entirely likely that one person would experience the 'effects' in one setting and not another with the same liquor, this cannot effectively be gauged. Furthermore, there are so many other influences such as stomach contents, general physical and mental state, was tobacco or other substances involved, etc., etc., that it is impossible to gauge something so largely subjective. As much as I trust my own judgement to be entirely objective in this regard, I could never be so certain about this such as to use it to judge a particular product, perhaps unfairly.

I feel that the 'secondary effects' should be left for the individual consumer to determine for himself. Already there has been favorable discussion of products which do not give me an 'secondary effects', yet some others do.

Until the source of secondary effects is isolated, it is impossible to objectively, accurately gauge them without a double-blind study (which seems a bit impractical for obvious reasons). With respect to these considerations, I feel the reviews are fine the way they are.

By Heiko on Friday, February 16, 2001 - 11:04 am: Edit

Thank you Artemis for your long and very detailed answer.

I used the term "secondary" because I saw many people here using it (including the FAQ) and I always had in mind your 2nd point. It is not that I think everyone should describe the effects here all the time, it was more that I thought it wouldn't be bad if a review said sth. like "this one had no special effects" or at least "I cannot comment on effects, as I never felt any"

Anyways, thank you for describing your personal experience, I can totally agree.
For me personally the "at homeness" is very important because my mind unfortunately considers too much unimportant and negative thougths especially when I'm amongst a lot of people. This is probably the reason why I am especially euphoric about being focused, "being me", not having negative thoughts - with Absinthe I can be very sociable and only feel good vibes when I'm with people. I understand that others who don't have this little problem of being extremely sensitive (be glad you are not!) don't feel much or even nothing special from Absinthe.

I guess every feeling described by Fluid or Joshua below, like the need to be creative or seeing lights "shine brighter" or the need for love a.s.o. just originate naturally from the positive clarity and everyone feels different about that.

The subtleness of all these feelings is what I like about it. If -as I told Marc yesterday- Absinthe really made you halluzinate I would not drink it. I have, some time ago, consumed such things that really twist your mind, and I absolutely do not want this anymore - this is why I went on a search for sth. that is mild, that will NOT make me crazy and "see things". I think I finally found this subtle mood-lifter that does not totally drug me, yet gives me a pleasant feeling.
So that you know I'm not freaking out about anything - Absinthe is certainly not something for "druggies" but only for mentally sensitive people, they are probably the only ones who can appreciate it.

By Artemis on Friday, February 16, 2001 - 09:13 am: Edit

"btw the reason that I felt a little looked down at by the long-time experts (I made it clear that I don't want to insult or attack anybody and I appreciate all knowledge - everything irie!) was that in many reviews secondary effects are not even mentioned. As I am very interested in these effects: is it beneath the dignity of a real expert to mention secondary effects in a review? "

Heiko, this is a reasonable question, politely presented, so I will attempt to answer it. I am not an "expert" on absinthe. I don't think there are any "experts" here. There are some people who know more than others, however.

I don't like the term "secondary effects". Let's assume for the sake of the discussion you mean psychotropic effects other than those engendered by alcohol. The subject has been argued in this forum at great length, with participation by every one of the people you probably consider to be the "experts". Everyone has his own reasons for not talking about it, and those reasons vary from person to person, but here are some of them, based upon what people have written here in the past:

1. Some people feel there are no such effects.

2. Some people feel that if those effects are dwelt upon in a place as influential as this forum may or may not be (there has been argument about that too), it can only bring undesirable attention from authorities and others who would be all too happy to look at absinthe as a "drug", and to look at us as "druggies" and treat us accordingly.

3. Some people feel that the effects are real, but so subtle that they aren't worth mentioning, or so subtle that they can't be sure they really exist.

4. Some people are simply tired of answering the question. Before the forum FAQ was created, so much space was devoted here to answering the same questions over and over again, that forum regulars quickly got irritable, and almost every newbie that came in here was ripped to shreds immediately. Ted Breaux, for one, was tireless in his efforts to keep informing people, and he always remained polite, but still the questions kept coming. So Kallisti posed a questionnaire for all the forum regulars, covering all the common questions, including "secondary effects". She collated the answers and created the FAQ. Admittedly, the FAQ also reflects items 1-3 above.

Here is my own view, from strictly my own personal experience:

Absinthe creates a clear-headed drunkenness. There is none of the stumbling, bumbling, slurred speech, and other clumsy physical symptoms associated with other alcohols. The body takes on a very relaxed, satisfied, slightly numb "at homeness" while the mind remains sharp and clear, perhaps even becomes more sharp and clear. The Chinese have a phrase, "Dian Xin". It means to put a point on the mind, in the sense of sharpening a pencil. For me, absinthe can, but doesn't always, have this effect. It entirely depends upon how relaxed I am in the first place. So, how much does the absinthe have to do with it, if any? As Ted has accurately pointed out, it is not possible to know these things without scientific study, and perhaps not possible even then. The physical aspect is very much like the "body buzz" engendered by some strains of cannabis, with none of the unpleasant symptoms, such as increased heart rate, etc. The mental clarity is mental clarity, I don't know any other way to put it.

I don't know what effects are obtained from drinking absinthe all night, as I almost never take more than three drinks in a day. I suspect that one simply gets stinking drunk - the high proof of absinthe guarantees that, and no amount of herbs will ameliorate it. Since I don't like to be stinking drunk, that is unexplored territory for me.

By Fluid on Friday, February 16, 2001 - 08:45 am: Edit

LOL!!

By Pataphysician on Friday, February 16, 2001 - 08:37 am: Edit

>and an urge to create.oh god i know what im doing when i get off work.

If my employers didn't have this silly "No drinking absinthe on the job" rule, my work would be much more creative!

By Joshua on Friday, February 16, 2001 - 08:25 am: Edit

i agree,if there is much going on around me i notice little to no effects,but by myself,they are quite pronounced.for me personally the effects are hallucinations,very slight but intresting,such as a haze around objects,things appearing wavy,deep introspective thoughts,and an urge to create.oh god i know what im doing when i get off work.

By Fluid on Friday, February 16, 2001 - 07:55 am: Edit

Heiko, I don't know if it is "beneath dignity" to mention secondary effects or not, but my experience is that absinthe is always a little different from other alcohols in that some of the effects of drunkeness are delayed for about an hour.   With the Bleues (for me) this seems to translate into vivid-yet-subtle hallucinations, which no doubt sounds more intense than the actual experience.   In a quiet setting with my girlfriend, perhaps candle-lit with some odd new age dolphin music in the background, the effects are more apparent.

I've had sudden disconnections with my body (walking into objects and then realizing I'm 33cm left or right of my head), feelings of being watched or visited by spirits, distorted spatial and color relationships, a complete reduction of the ego's protective walls (a "need" to speak and hear the absolute truth), a euphoric desire for physical love, a sense of being merged with whatever my attention is on (music, my chair, girlfriend, artwork - really anything), and on and on and on.

However, at a party filled with distractions, I didn't notice any effects until I suddenly felt like a trainwreck...

That is my experience.   I am a lightweight and perhaps more sensitive than most; even sensitive to the point of over-creating the effects.   My feeling is that every person is going to experience absinthe in their own way.   To declare here that this-or-that happens with absinthe is misleading... the particular experience is no doubt personal.

I have no doubts about absinthe facilitating some rather fun interactions, but I also believe that the effects are going to be modified by our mood, cellular memory of past experiences, the setting, interactions of food and spices with the absinthe, yadda yadda yadda.   I hope this answers your questions.

Back to Segarra, my impression is that the herbal content is higher than that of Deva.   Of course, I've only had that one glass.   And about the Bleues, I've found other sellers on the 'net but I wouldn't order from anyone but BEI or Betina.

By Heiko on Friday, February 16, 2001 - 07:18 am: Edit

Fluid:
I knew that the La Bleue's or all underground brands have more herbal content - I guess to mention secondary effects with these is pretty much unnecessary as it is much stronger than in any commercial brands anyways. The thing about the commercial brands is: there might be "as much as possible", "very little", or "nothing at all" secondary effects - and I don't want to spend much money on 'normal' liquor (can have that for less money...).
I am a lightweight as well - I know what you mean. But it's good, cos you don't have to spend as much money as others to get drunk ;-)

Does any one of you know a way to order the La Bleue's in Europe - I mean they are made in Europe, but seem to be easier to get in the US (through Betina Elixiers), this is kinda weird!

By Fluid on Friday, February 16, 2001 - 06:17 am: Edit

Heiko, the effects are subtle from just one glass, if existent at all.   The Swiss La Bleues have more herbal content than the readily available commercial brands, and if it's secondary effects you want, have 3-4 glasses of one of those in a short period of time...   of course, when the herbs wear off you will be completely blotto if you are anywhere near being the lightweight that I am...

By Heiko on Friday, February 16, 2001 - 05:34 am: Edit

What about the Absinthe effect from Segarra? I know it might not be the same with other persons, but if f.e. two or three people say there's absolutely nothing - the chance is something like 90% or even more that I will feel nothing, too.
In my opinion, if someone feels something truly distinct from alcohol, long before being drunk - it might not be the same what I feel, but there's a good chance that I feel an Absinthe effect too.

btw the reason that I felt a little looked down at by the long-time experts (I made it clear that I don't want to insult or attack anybody and I appreciate all knowledge - everything irie!) was that in many reviews secondary effects are not even mentioned. As I am very interested in these effects: is it beneath the dignity of a real expert to mention secondary effects in a review?
-- Just a question to understand all of you better on my long way to become an expert myself someday (which I will hopefully achieve). Please don't get me wrong on this.

By Fluid on Friday, February 16, 2001 - 04:34 am: Edit

Segarra... what a gorgeous louche!   So opalescent, reflecting yellows, blues and reds in soft light.   Then I wondered if that was from unwanted oils (?)... I mixed it 2-to-1 and tasted the butterscotch flavor which seemed very smooth over the anis.   I added a lttle more water, and finished the glass with a 2.5-to-1 ratio.   Segarra is pleasant without any sugar.

I like this absinthe more than Deva, though I have yet to try that one unsweetened.   Thank you Mr. Segarra!

By Fluid on Thursday, February 15, 2001 - 02:25 pm: Edit

I'll open my Segarra tonight and give it a whirl (then a taste).

By Artemis on Thursday, February 15, 2001 - 11:48 am: Edit

To bring this thread back around to its title (now that IS fresh), I have my bottle of Segarra in the refrigerator, and it has clouded up completely. I've never seen any other absinthe do that.

Also, to detect the "buttery" flavor I noted earlier, you have to cut it no more than three to one, or even two to one, as Martin did. I find that when you water it down too much, it pretty much just tastes like anise, and isn't nearly as nice a drink.

By Artemis on Thursday, February 15, 2001 - 11:45 am: Edit

Heiko, no problem. I seem to frequently come off more confrontational than I really intend to be. Your English is fine, certainly better than my German.

Bob, I can't say I really like Killians, but frequently it's the lesser of the evils available in the small town bars and restaurants in my area, so I drink it in those circumstances. I wouldn't buy a six pack of it or anything. I will drink nothing at all if my only choice is Bud, Miller, Coors, etc.

I haven't tasted Absente, so I can't comment on it, but hell, if people want to drink it, that's okay with me.

By Bob_Chong on Thursday, February 15, 2001 - 10:26 am: Edit

Artemis:

You actually like Swillians? I'm amazed. What's next? You're going to bat for Absente?

BC

By Heiko on Thursday, February 15, 2001 - 10:15 am: Edit

Artemis:

"You made the remark that American beer was not really beer because it did not meet the German beer purity law. What I was trying to say is, much of "American beer", throughout American history, was not only in conformance with that law (because it's easy to comply with - you don't NEED anything but those basic ingredients to make beer)[...]"

I totally agree - I made this remark only to show that I consider this Reinheitsg.-criterium to be not applicable: I would never say that Am. beer isn't beer! What else should it be?

I guess it's just hard for me to pose a rhetorical question in English - I might think it's clear, while you native speakers don't really know what I try to say. Just a problem of my English...

Sorry, I was the one who mentioned beer, then it all began (the beer-wars ;-))

By Fluid on Thursday, February 15, 2001 - 08:34 am: Edit

I concur...   looking through the posts yesterday I wondered when the next absinthe thread might come along...   There's certainly plenty o' forums out there for non-absinthe topics...   though I must say that this diverse group makes other forums sorely lacking in entertainment value...

By Artemis on Thursday, February 15, 2001 - 08:28 am: Edit

Fluid, nin tai kechi (get out your Mandarin dictionary). I have been trapped, but seldom with a trap set so obviously for a swelled head.

The smoke on the latest beer war settling, let's move on in friendly fashion. Maybe talk about absinthe. That would be fresh.

By Artemis on Thursday, February 15, 2001 - 08:06 am: Edit

HEIKO:

" ... but I guess you just thought "this damn german wants to attack our beer" without reading all of what I wrote."

That's presumptuous of you. I never respond to ANY post here without reading all of it. Usually I download it and read it several times. I don't look at American beer as "my" beer. There's nothing personal about it. You made the remark that American beer was not really beer because it did not meet the German beer purity law. What I was trying to say is, much of "American beer", throughout American history, was not only in conformance with that law (because it's easy to comply with - you don't NEED anything but those basic ingredients to make beer), it was essentially German beer anyway, being made by Germans according to the way they knew how to make beer.

"It seemed to me like you felt attacked by somebody - no one here intended to do so."

Be careful about "no one". You can only speak for yourself. But FWIW, I thought I was *doing* the attacking. But attacking ideas, not people, which I try to avoid. There's no need to get personal in this place.

"If someone tells something wrong and you know it better, just correct him"

I thought I had.

"- no need to kill him right away ;-) "

Threats of murder have been heard in this place, but not from me.

"And if someone says that he likes x better than y, you cannot change his mind with arguments because it's just a matter of personal taste."

I don't care who likes what and don't want to change anybody's mind, either. I say what I think. I've been in this forum a long time, you've been here a couple of weeks? I've seen it all, and the regulars have seen me. If I respond to something you post, IT'S NOT PERSONAL, okay? Believe, me, if I get personal, you'll know it.

By Fluid on Thursday, February 15, 2001 - 07:55 am: Edit

Artemis, you're awesome.

Good to see that we're on the same page.   About the Lambic, I'm clueless; I wasn't around for that product launch.

About win/win, yeah that's always the way to go.   Glad you didn't fall for the set-up; it says a lot about your character... which you can take as a compliment!

Fluid

By Artemis on Thursday, February 15, 2001 - 07:51 am: Edit

"Blue Moon is made by Coors, eh? Pretty amusing, I guess it just stands as further proof that the big beer makers are capable of quality."

Of course they can. Killian's is also made by Coors. All of the mega-breweries have a "boutique" label or two under which they market their best beer. They pretend it's made by an entirely different brewery. It's strange, all right.

And FWIW, I like Blue Moon White more than Hoegaarden (sp?). Some Belgian stuff is too overpowering and NEEDS a little lightening up.

By Artemis on Thursday, February 15, 2001 - 07:45 am: Edit

Fluid:

"perhaps the real issue is the term "lying." By my definition, promoting the "good" while ignoring the "bad" isn't lying, it's just good PR."

Okay, I'll buy that. Not all PR is lying. But pasting the word "Lambic" on a bottle when there's no Lambic inside is lying. I'll confess, I have a really dim view of advertising in general.

"Lying to me has always meant falsifying the truth..."

See above.

"You are right and I am wrong and now you get to sing the "I was right" song!!"

No. Let's not look at it like that. You brought out some truth and so did I. Let's both be winners.

"Thanks for the compliment on the PR work, though I can't take much of the credit, it still feels good."

Well, it wasn't really meant as a compliment, but I have no problem with making you feel good, and certainly never intended to make you feel bad!

By Black_Rabbit on Thursday, February 15, 2001 - 06:20 am: Edit

Coors lite is pee-pee in a bottle. Anatomist is right- it doesn't taste like anything much. What taste is there is not good. That is why I hate it.

Rolling rock 'extra pale' is to me along those lines as well. It doesn't suck as bad as coors lite, but I still avoid it.

'The silver bullet- won't fill you up, won't slow you down, won't even give you a buzz, and it's great for killin werewolves!'

By Martin on Thursday, February 15, 2001 - 12:30 am: Edit

No way K, Rolling Rock trounces Coors Light any day of the week.

Anyway, back to Segarra... I got my first taste of Segarra today, and Damn! that stuff is good! Very good. I can really smell the fennel (and maybe coriander?) in it. It certainly doesn't need sugar, and it does good with a 1:1 mix of water (like most modern brands). It's also quite good "neat". The lower alcohol content makes it mellow enough to have straight (for my palate anyway).

I can't wait to drink more of it. If my first impressions are any indication, I'm going to really enjoy that bottle, and I'll miss it sorely when it's gone.

-Martin

By Don_Walsh on Wednesday, February 14, 2001 - 09:04 pm: Edit

Lord H, Singha is preserved a la mode francais, which is to say like '33' beer, with formaldehyde rather than being pasteurized as God intended.

This is the source of the notorious Singha hangover which afflicts chronic Singha drinkers after awhile, and that is precisely why longterm Thailand residents avoid it.

Chang with 2X the alcohol content is much gentler on the system longterm than Singha.

By Anatomist1 on Wednesday, February 14, 2001 - 08:51 pm: Edit

Sorry Martin, but I have to say that Rolling Rock is just Miller High Life in a chic bottle. It sucks, but their PR triumph is that it isn't perceived to suck as bad as all the other beers that taste just as stale. I say this having had a profound sentimental attachment to it: when I went to Simon's Rock College, it was like the school's mascot beer. Eventually I had to own up to the fact that it tastes awful.

I also have to disagree with your review of Coors Light. I hear people say stuff like that about Lite and Bud Light too, and it sounds more like posturing than perception to me. These beers don't taste like dishwater unless you drink them at room temperature. If Lite, Coors Light, or Bud Light are suitably chilled they have almost no taste whatsoever. They are basically soda water with alcohol and about 2 grams of carbohydrates. If Rolling Rock tastes good to you and Coors Light tastes awful, then you're tasting with a staid self-perception and not your tongue.

K.

By Loucheliver on Wednesday, February 14, 2001 - 03:24 pm: Edit

Man oh man Grim, you've got a good one pegged in Hoegaarden! Yummy, and not very much $$$$ either.

By Grimbergen on Wednesday, February 14, 2001 - 01:28 pm: Edit

Martin,
Before you sing the praises of Coors any futher, go out and try a real belgain white beer. You should be able to find Hoegaarden pretty easily. Coors, of course, had to "dumb down"/"mainstream" this beer. They represent everything that is unholy.

Grim

By Grimbergen on Wednesday, February 14, 2001 - 01:24 pm: Edit

"How are they unbalanced? Aren't the hops appropriately high for the amt. of alcohol and malt used? Balance is contextual."

Bob,

Here are the BJCP style guidlines for IPA's and Strong Scotch Ales (wee heavys).

Strong Scotch:
IBUs: 20-40
OG: 1.072-1.088+
FG: 1.019-1.025+
ABV 6.9-8.5+

IPA:
IBUs: 40-60+
OG: 1.050-1.075
FG: 1.012-1.016
ABV 6-7.8

Some styles, and beers, are strongly scewed toward maltiness or bitterness. If you want try an very good unbalanced beer, go buy a vintage Tomas Hardy's Ale. Or if you are really feeling ballsy a Samiclaus.

Grim

By Martin on Wednesday, February 14, 2001 - 12:18 pm: Edit

Blue Moon is made by Coors, eh? Pretty amusing, I guess it just stands as further proof that the big beer makers are capable of quality. Of course, the fact that they can make something as good as Blue Moon makes their regular piss that much more shameful. It's like they're saying, "Yeah, we can make good beer, but why bother." It's a sad state of affairs.

-Martin

By Heiko on Wednesday, February 14, 2001 - 10:41 am: Edit

QUOTE:
-----------------------------------------------
What I wrote:
"So, theoretically, almost every beer drunk by Americans throughout their history was considered to be "some alcoholic brew" - but not "beer"."

What Artemis wrote:
"By that criteria, a lot of Belgian beers that blow anything from Germany out of the water would not be "beer"."
--------------------------------------------------
Hmmm, looks like we just said the same thing :-)
That's what I wanted to point out, but I guess you just thought "this damn german wants to attack our beer" without reading all of what I wrote.

It seemed to me like you felt attacked by somebody - no one here intended to do so. If someone tells something wrong and you know it better, just correct him - no need to kill him right away ;-)
And if someone says that he likes x better than y, you cannot change his mind with arguments because it's just a matter of personal taste.

By Lordhobgoblin on Wednesday, February 14, 2001 - 10:21 am: Edit

Thanks Don,

Singha beer always reminds me of The Pogues who had a song about Pataya beech with the line "Singha beer don't ask no questions, Singha beer don't tell no lies...".

Hobgoblin

By Don_Walsh on Wednesday, February 14, 2001 - 08:08 am: Edit

Lord H, until the arrival on the market of Chang beer, Singha from Boonrawd Brewery had a 90-95% market share in Thailand. Now they probably still have 35% or more, to Chang's 55%, with the others (Amarit, Kloster, Mittweide, Heineken, Amstel, Carlsberg, etc) fighting for low single digits each. But only Singha has any export market.

By Fluid on Wednesday, February 14, 2001 - 06:44 am: Edit

ohhhh Artemis, we agree completely... it seems we are arguing about different things.   I too like Sam Adams out of a keg, but I don't touch any of the others.   Boston Beer Co. does have a small brewery in Boston which brews Sam Adams for the local market; outside of Boston it's all contract brewed.

I'm not taking it personally... perhaps the real issue is the term "lying."   By my definition, promoting the "good" while ignoring the "bad" isn't lying, it's just good PR.   Lying to me has always meant falsifying the truth... it's a fine line, and I'll choose to be corrected.   I've been out of the PR biz for a decade now, and I'm surprised to find that I still hold onto that philosophy.

You are right and I am wrong and now you get to sing the "I was right" song!!

Cheers

ps.  Thanks for the compliment on the PR work, though I can't take much of the credit, it still feels good.

By Artemis on Wednesday, February 14, 2001 - 06:31 am: Edit

"If you are beer hound, there a lot of microbrews, brewpubs, and the oldest brewery in America in these parts"

The Stoudt Brewery, in Adamstown, Pennsylvania, makes some of the finest beer on the face of the earth, and unlike most U.S. brewpubs, they make German style lagers, not ales. I highly recommend a visit. They do sell beer to go, in big champagne style bottles.

By Artemis on Wednesday, February 14, 2001 - 06:17 am: Edit

"Blue Moon" is nothing more than a Coors product with a fancy label. But it's good, especially on draft. It's a decent rendition of a Belgian "white" ale. Coors (Blue Moon) pumpkin ale is good, too.

FWIW, I like Sam Adams Boston Lager out of the keg; none of their other beers are anything special. And they never were, compared to the beers other small American breweries of quality. But Sam Adams had better *PR* than all the others!! That's why Sam Adams is better known, and for no other reason. As far as being sent to Germany, who cares? Plenty of horse piss is drunk in Germany. All the best beer in the world is consumed within the immediate vicinity of the brewery that made it. That's true in Germany, USA, and everywhere else.

By Artemis on Wednesday, February 14, 2001 - 06:12 am: Edit

"Sheeez Artemis, what crawled up your ass today?"

Beer ignorance. I've forgotten more about beer than I'll ever know about absinthe. Somebody posts some bullshit here about beer, I'm not going to let it stand.

"If they were lying about the ingredients, the authorities in Germany would have caught it."

Make that beer ignorance AND beer naivete.

"The company has since produced many other beers, including the lambics which of course can't pass the Reinheitsgebot."

You aren't listening. Sam Adams has NEVER produced anything even remotely resembling a lambic, although their PR department continues to lie in claiming they have. They have also lied about brewing in a tiny "boutique" brewery, whereas in fact their beer is contract-brewed at other breweries that have extra capacity.

I told you it was nothing personal, but you show me a "PR department" and I'll show you a lying machine. That's my view of advertising. The exceptions are so few, they aren't worth mentioning.

By Martin on Wednesday, February 14, 2001 - 05:03 am: Edit

I forgot to mention my favorite American beer... Rolling Rock. I love it. And yes, we ARE stopping at the Latrobe Brewery on our way to Harrisburg tomorrow.

Why are you people even talking about Sam Adams? Blue Moon fucking annihilates it. Now THERE'S a quality esoteric American beer.

-Martin

By Bob_Chong on Tuesday, February 13, 2001 - 11:03 pm: Edit

Furthermore, balance is not a requirement of a good beer. Try a good british barleywine or a scottish wee heavy.

How are they unbalanced? Aren't the hops appropriately high for the amt. of alcohol and malt used? Balance is contextual.

Maybe we have different operational definitions of balance. So be it.

As for introducing new flavors to someone, that's a poor rationalization for making/letting someone drink S.A. That's like calling McDonald's a good "starter" restaurant for someone who has only eaten school cafeteria food.

BC

By Grimbergen on Tuesday, February 13, 2001 - 10:31 pm: Edit

"Sam Adams sucks big dog balls"

are english teachers allowed to say stuff like this?

By Grimbergen on Tuesday, February 13, 2001 - 09:57 pm: Edit

Sam Adams was definitely at the forefront of the US brewing revival. And yes, they were a great help in starting the revival. What irks me, as well as many other beer geeks, is that they've proven that they can make a great beer, and yet they chosen to make mid-range beers. They're sellouts. We aren't talking about some small mediocre micro brewery that doesn't know how to make a good beer. They have the experience and knowledge to make great beer, and yet they choose not to. It was probably a great business decision; they saw a market for beer of this quality and they went for it. That's fine, but they shouldn't expect much respect in the brewing community. If you let the quality of your beer be undermined by business decisions, then you will be viewed like bud & co.

And then there is the additional gripe that through marketing they have convinced much of the population that this is a premium beer, which helps to obscure the truly great beers.

By Fluid on Tuesday, February 13, 2001 - 09:38 pm: Edit

Grim, 12 years ago Sam Adams was just about the best beer anyone could buy here because the beer revolution was just getting rolling.   Now that microbrews are abundant, I concur that Sam's is "second tier" or a "starter", but that's a comment on our improved tastes.  

It wasn't very long ago that we only had two choices for beer: domestic and imported. The domestics had no taste and the imports were mostly skunked. Then came Sam Adams... I remember a few places calling it a "domestic import"  lol...   hah, I remember paying $1 for a 20oz Yuengling back then, when it was considered trash, and now it too is a quality second-tier beer.

Funny how improved tastes sank Sam's reputation while boosting Yuengling's.   For whatever its faults, Sam Adams was at the forefront of the beer revolution (the first to combine craft beer with good marketing) and I think we should at least acknowledge that.

Secondly, I was mistaken about it being imported into Germany.   Actually it was the Gambrinus Brewery in Nagold FRG that brewed it under contract, and that was 1987.

Fluid

By Grimbergen on Tuesday, February 13, 2001 - 08:40 pm: Edit

And for the record, as much as I hate to say it, they have pulled off a couple good beers. Of course none of thier main beers, that would be too much to ask for. Try their triple bock or scotch ale.

By Grimbergen on Tuesday, February 13, 2001 - 08:31 pm: Edit

A lack of balance doesn't prevent it from being a good starter beer. Sam Adams beers are good starter beers because they introduce new flavors to drinker. As if a lifelong bud drinker would be able to perceive balance in a beer.

Furthermore, balance is not a requirement of a good beer. Try a good british barleywine or a scottish wee heavy.

"Another reason is that they can use whichever grain is currently cheapest to be the main adjunct."
Yup. Corn and rice are dirt cheap sources of fermentable sugars. But I doubt that they will significantly shift between grains to take advantage of price shifts (ex. bud isn't likely to shift from rice to corn, if the price of corn drops). Remember, consistancy is a key factor for them. On the other hand, they probably would change their recipes if the price changes were viewed as part of a long term trend. But, this is just speculation as I'm not sure about their capacity to switch grains without affecting the final product.

By Bob_Chong on Tuesday, February 13, 2001 - 07:39 pm: Edit

Grim's right--Sam Adams sucks big dog balls. But, Grim, I'd take it a step further and refute that it is a good "starter" beer. It's shitty no matter what: absolutely no balance whatsoever. It tires out my palate after one swig.

You also wrote: One of the reasons sugar, corn and rice (bud's grain of choice) are commonly used by large US breweries is because they allow them to make bland tasting beers without compromising alcohol strength (which they often do anyway).

Another reason is that they can use whichever grain is currently cheapest to be the main adjunct.

Just like Jack in the Box can choose from kangaroo meat, etc., to make up their burgers. j/k

BC

By Loucheliver on Tuesday, February 13, 2001 - 07:23 pm: Edit

The door to Louche Liver Manor is always open to those of the Forum! I am off from early on Sats. til Tues. Plenty of time to explore the world of good local beer. Well, never enough time, but a goodly amount.

By Grimbergen on Tuesday, February 13, 2001 - 07:01 pm: Edit

thanks, I'll check it out if I ever get a chance to spend some time in PA.

By Loucheliver on Tuesday, February 13, 2001 - 06:55 pm: Edit

Grimster,
No need to apologize, honest mistake. Didn't really understand your post, I knew you were more on the ball than it sounded. If you are beer hound, there a lot of microbrews, brewpubs, and the oldest brewery in America in these parts. An excellent book:http://shop.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?userid=2O3AOWF2E6&mscssid=1LL721Q02FQD8LA2XK22PNE5D1NQF698&isbn=0811728986

By Grimbergen on Tuesday, February 13, 2001 - 06:41 pm: Edit

sorry. I thought you were referring to malt extract.

By Loucheliver on Tuesday, February 13, 2001 - 06:38 pm: Edit

Sam Adams uses real cherries in their Cherry Wheat? Right, they use fruit extracts. That's why it tastes like someone stirred 4 Luden's cough drops in it. The Cherry Wheat was the last time I could choke down a Sam Adams. Someone bought it for me, so I had to be polite.

By Grimbergen on Tuesday, February 13, 2001 - 06:15 pm: Edit

Louche,

using extracts isn't very feasible in for almost any size brewery. Occasionally you will find a brewpub with an extract system, but they are usually very small, even by brewpub standards. The 2 that I've heard of had both gone bust.

They almost certainly use fruit extracts in their fruit beers.

By Loucheliver on Tuesday, February 13, 2001 - 05:41 pm: Edit

I believe Sam Adams is largely contact brewed. Lots of extracts used. And tastes like it. At the restaurant where I work, we have had trouble w/every keg, in every style of Sam Adams being over carbonated. It is made at the local Pabst, formerly Stroh's, brewery. 'Nuf said.

By Pataphysician on Tuesday, February 13, 2001 - 04:43 pm: Edit

I didn't mean to imply I drink Bud. I hate the stuff. I meant to point out how ironic it is that even if you choose the finest ingredients you can still make piss. I agree, Bud is market-driven: Beer for people who don't really like beer much.

Chimay.

By Grimbergen on Tuesday, February 13, 2001 - 04:02 pm: Edit

oh yeah, and I seriously doubt that the germans would ever have caught them if the broke the purity law.

By Grimbergen on Tuesday, February 13, 2001 - 04:01 pm: Edit

Fluid,
Us serious beer folk don't take too kindly to the likes of Sam Adams. Through marketing (a la Bud) they have portrayed themselves as a world class beer. In reality they are a compromise brewery. Their stuff is much better than the mainstream beers, but still doesn't come anywhere near the great beers out there.

The one good thing that I can say (as many people before me have) is that they make a good 'starter' beer. That is a beer that makes people realize that all beer doesn't taste like bud, miller, coors etc. After realizing this, it is a lot easier for people to then move on to the really good stuff.

By Tabreaux on Tuesday, February 13, 2001 - 03:11 pm: Edit

Regarding absinthe, Pernod Fils used a method which was common to quality makers of various brands. Basically, Pernod was debunking those who used inferior methods and materials. Ironically, the inferior methods and materials are in widespread use today (probably as a result of both ignorance and economics). The difference today is that modern food laws prevent these makers from using anything which could hurt you. Those who lived 100 years ago were not so fortunate.

Inevitably, Pernod Fils was the originator of absinthe, and thus was the 'Coca Cola' of absinthe. Because of this, they were the standard by which other products were judged. Had they not been successful, none of these other makers would have been as well. To say that RC or Pepsi are not 'authentic' would be misleading. On the other hand however, to put some sugar in some carbonated water and color it brown and call it an 'authentic' reproduction of Coca Cola would be equally misleading. I think this points out some very applicable analogies.

By Fluid on Tuesday, February 13, 2001 - 03:01 pm: Edit

Sheeez Artemis, what crawled up your ass today?   Back in '90, Sam Adams was the only American beer to be allowed in Germany as an import.   If they were lying about the ingredients, the authorities in Germany would have caught it.

The company has since produced many other beers, including the lambics which of course can't pass the Reinheitsgebot.   Sam Adams is a fine beer.   It isn't my favorite, and I no longer do work for them, and even when I did do a little PR, it never included lying.   Sheeez, with Sam Adams, we didn't have to.

By Artemis on Tuesday, February 13, 2001 - 02:57 pm: Edit

"My brother sells hops to beer companies. He says Budweiser accepts only the highest grade hops and they are a real pain in the ass about it. Corona takes whatever is rejected."

Everything about Anheuser-Busch's operation is first class. It's just that they make beer for unsophisticated palates, because that's where the market is. Corona is skunk piss. If you see a beer in a clear bottle, it is skunk piss no matter who made it. Beer must be protected from the light. Daylight and artificial light both turn constituents from the hops into eau de skunk.

By Artemis on Tuesday, February 13, 2001 - 02:49 pm: Edit

"What exactly is authentic Absinthe?"

If you successfully made what you tried to make, it's authentic. Hopefully, you don't lie about what it is you were trying to make.

I used the word "authentic" in an earliler post to mean "the way Pernod did it". I refuse to accept the premise that Pernod was the only maker in France producing quality absinthe, or even the only one producing absinthe the way they made it. I can't prove it, but it's so far-fetched it's just impossible to accept.

By Artemis on Tuesday, February 13, 2001 - 02:41 pm: Edit

"Sam Adams does fit the Reinheitsgebot; I used to do PR work for them way-back-when."

Fluid, if you tell us you were a brewer for Sam Adams, I would consider you qualified to comment on what is or is not in the beer. If you say you "used to do PR work" for them, I'm sorry, but you were just part of a lie-telling machine. No offense intended, obviously you had to do as you were told. But Sam Adams is just as full of shit about their beer as Anheuser-Busch ever was, they just lie about different things. See Grim's comment about Cranberry "Lambic" for one.

By Artemis on Tuesday, February 13, 2001 - 02:35 pm: Edit

"So, theoretically, almost every beer drunk by Americans throughout their history was considered to be "some alcoholic brew" - but not "beer"."

HUH? Considered by who? This is nonsense. Who do you think was brewing most of the beer in a growing USA? German immigrants. And the Reinheitsgebot was nonsense too. By that criteria, a lot of Belgian beers that blow anything from Germany out of the water would not be "beer". Ted is right, its original intent was as a food purity law, but it has long outlived its usefulness.

By Martin on Tuesday, February 13, 2001 - 02:22 pm: Edit

"...Budweiser accepts only the highest grade hops and they are a real pain in the ass about it."

How odd. You certainly wouldn't think it from the taste. Taste-wise you'd think Budweiser was made from rice and soap. They must have a "secret process" that magically transforms quality hops into the watery mess that is Budweiser.

I think Coors Light is absolutely the weakest American beer. That stuff is fuckin' wretched. I think what they do to make Coors Light is take regular Coors (which is alread about as weak as you can possibly imagine) and dilute it about 50% with used dishwater. Absolutely worthless.

My favorite beer would have to be Guiness. It's just so damn good! I also like Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale, Warsteiner, Heineken (good ol' Heineken!), Harp, Bass Pale Ale, Dos Equis Amber, and Mackeson XXX (beautiful red!). There's a few others I like too. I'm always trying new stuff. Blue Moon Belgium White Ale is one of the most interesting American Beers I've had. Rogue also makes some good ones. There's alot of quality American micro-brews, it's just most of the big commercial brands that are crap, though I would drink a Miller before a Bud or Coors any day. Miller isn't that bad, it's just not all that great either. Budweiser, I only drink on very seldom occasions when it's offered to me and I don't want to be rude (and I want to feel like white trash). Coors, I always turn down and never drink under any circumstances. Poison.

-Martin

By Grimbergen on Tuesday, February 13, 2001 - 01:56 pm: Edit

A bit of history here. The german beer purity laws were largely enacted due to the political power of hops growers/traders. The alternative at that time was to use a mixture of spices in the beer. It doesn't really do anything to make the beer healthier. One of the advantages to drinking beer way back when, was that it is boiled, and kills any parasites in the water. In this regard, beer that conforms to the purity law are no safer than beers that don't.

In modern times, a lot of beer companies have used it as a marketing ploy. The law is mildly useful in that it prevents breweries in germany from using adjuncts like sugar in their beer. One of the reasons sugar, corn and rice (bud's grain of choice) are commonly used by large US breweries is because they allow them to make bland tasting beers without compromising alcohol strength (which they often do anyway).

On the other hand, it handicaps the variety in german beers. To see what beer can be when these laws are ignored, look at Belgian beers (and I don't mean a belgain pilsner).

As for Sam Adams, many of their beers conform to the 'law' and quite a few don't. For instance their cranberry lambic (which isn't a lambic at all) does not meet the requirements (which Heiko listed correctly).

As for Heiko's story about people not being able to tell beers apart, that is quite common, but reflects poorly on the people, not the differences in beer. My father likes to tell a story where he was at a meeting with the top executives of a major UK beer company. They did a blind tasting of a stout, a pilsner and a traditional british ale. Not one person, apart from my dad (who I suspect was just lucky), was able to guess them all correctly. One of my favorite party tricks is to take a large line up of beers, and correctly identify them blindfolded. I am usually able to tell all the beers apart by smell alone. If someone can't tell the difference between 2 considerably different beers, then they simply have an uneducated palate (probably close to 99.9999% of people).

By Lordhobgoblin on Tuesday, February 13, 2001 - 11:46 am: Edit

Don,

Is Singha Beer rated in Thailand? I'm partial to a bit of Thai food and Singha is the only Thai beer that Thai restaurants in the UK serve. It tastes good to me.

Hobgoblin

By Don_Walsh on Tuesday, February 13, 2001 - 11:42 am: Edit

Well, I have a 5 liter tinnie of Warsteiner draught in my living room, that I did most of the emptying of, a gift from a German friend, but the beer I drink most days is Chang which is the Thai licensed version of Danish 'Elephant' malt liquor, 8-10% abv. Chang now makes up 55% of the beer consumed in the Kingdom.

By Heiko on Tuesday, February 13, 2001 - 11:33 am: Edit

Something comes to my mind here: People in Cologne say they would never drink Bavarian beer, people from Hamburg have their own special brews and say they only like that ones...

I once saw a hilarious test on tv: The owners/barmen of brewery-bars in Duesseldorf (the specialty there is Altbier) were blindfolded and given different beers - some of them weren't even able to point out their own home-brew and they mistook Bavarian stuff for Hamburg-Pilsner and so on. The result was that -without the difference in looks and the different special glasses- all their usual talk was pure nonsense (and especially in Duesseldorf they tend to call everything else than Alt total crap...)

By Pataphysician on Tuesday, February 13, 2001 - 11:08 am: Edit

Miller is the weakest tasting of all American beers (er, malt beverages), but I understand you, Heiko. On a 90 degree August day, I'd reach for the Miller instead of the St. Pauli Girl.

My brother sells hops to beer companies. He says Budweiser accepts only the highest grade hops and they are a real pain in the ass about it. Corona takes whatever is rejected.

By Fluid on Tuesday, February 13, 2001 - 11:00 am: Edit

Man I'd give just about anything for a 10 litre fass of Frankenheim Alt aus Duesseldorf.

By Heiko on Tuesday, February 13, 2001 - 10:50 am: Edit

Hmmm, actually I don't know - I just assumed there were some beers that matched the criteria because I didn't want to say there are none :-)
Most (or all? sorry...) swiss beers state that they are brewed according to it.

But as I said before: In my opinion there is german beer I don't like, while I actually think the american Miller is real good - this is what I wanted to say at all: Something that differs from "the very authentic" might even be better, given that it differs from the original because the maker wants it to be better, and not just because he wants it to become cheaper (this might be the problem with Absinthe today).

By Fluid on Tuesday, February 13, 2001 - 10:47 am: Edit

Sam Adams does fit the Reinheitsgebot; I used to do PR work for them way-back-when. Sam Adams was the first import into Germany (save for the Czech Pilsners Budweiser and ummm I forget the name of the other one) and that was back in '90 I believe.

Fluid

By Tabreaux on Tuesday, February 13, 2001 - 10:42 am: Edit

There are some American beers that outwardly claim to satisfy the criteria, but I do not believe they are exported. Sam Adams is one such example.

By Lordhobgoblin on Tuesday, February 13, 2001 - 10:33 am: Edit

Heiko,

Just out of interest what foreign beers were allowed to be sold in Germany before the law was changed?

It would be interesting to know what non-German beers satisfied the "Reinheitsgebot" crieria.

Hobgoblin

By Tabreaux on Tuesday, February 13, 2001 - 08:45 am: Edit

With respect to the law written in 1516 about beer, that may have been written for several reasons, purity being one of them. Back in 1516, this was a good thing for reasons of health if nothing else. Had laws been enacted to similarly regulate the production methods of absinthe, it may have never been banned. There is something for you to consider.

"Authenticity" can be a 'fuzzy' word. In absinthe world however, there is not one product around today, *not one*, which complies entirely with the basic protocol and standards perfected by the most prevalent maker (and quality imitators) of the time. To draw a parallel, if beer coinnesseurs worldwide had only typical American 'beers' to choose from, it would be rather disappointing and a real setback for those who have a genuine appreciation for 'real' beer.

Therefore, while some persons consider typical American beer to be 'authentic', there are at least as many who do not, and the vast majority of those persons probably have a little more appreciation for good beer than those who do not. The same basic parallel can be applied to absinthe.

By Heiko on Tuesday, February 13, 2001 - 08:26 am: Edit

About the authenticity of Absinthe:

What exactly is authentic Absinthe? I guess only the original Pernod could be called "authentic". Wasn't there a great range of different Absinthe's around 1900 too? There were good ones and cheap imitations, and I guess they all tasted different. I also assume that there were people who preferred another brand over Pernod because in their opinion that one tasted better.

"Absinthe" is what linguists call a "fuzzy concept" (like the expression "soft" f.e. is a f.c., too): There's no clear borderline where Absinthe ceases to be Absinthe - the only thing that is clear is that there is the original Pernod in the center around which other products are situated.

If you are too strict with "authenticity" it might end up with strange situations like this:
In Germany, only about 10 years ago the very strict laws considering beer were loosened (thanks to the EU) - before, almost no foreign beer was allowed to be sold here, because it wasn't brewed according to the so-called "Reinheitsgebot", which was written in 1516(!), stating that nothing is allowed to be sold as "beer" if it contains anything else than water, malt, yeast and hops (I guess I got it wrong in some way - I'm not a brewer!). One reason for this was btw to permit the use of wormwood and/or other active substances in beer ;-)
So, theoretically, almost every beer drunk by Americans throughout their history was considered to be "some alcoholic brew" - but not "beer".

I personally like the fact that I can now buy other beer, including something like the Tequila-flavored "Desperados" - while my dad would never touch that stuff, caught in his purist consideration that "anything else just HAS TO taste bad"

By Tabreaux on Monday, February 12, 2001 - 05:00 pm: Edit

If we look at it that way, no, it still is not 'authentic', simply because the dye they use currently was not in use in the old days (a good dose of copper anyone?). After all, what's an artificial color if you don't get the authentic metallic afertaste?

On a more serious note, only the inferior brands were colored with chemicals, and this was done to mimic the better brands (poorly), albeit with abbreviated manufacturing methods and reduced costs. While inferior, horrible brands could be called 'authentic', it's not what most people have in mind when they use the term. Most legitimate products were modeled in some way shape or form after the Pernod products, for the same reasons why the cola makers imitate Coca Cola.

By Martin on Monday, February 12, 2001 - 02:47 pm: Edit

It seems well established at this point (correct me if I'm wrong Ted), that many of the vintage "authentic" absinthes (Pernod excluded, of course) were colored with dyes. Therefore the use of dye isn't really all that out of the picture as far as "authenticity" is concerned.

-Martin

By Artemis on Monday, February 12, 2001 - 02:07 pm: Edit

"That is primiarly because La Fee is effectively a spicier 'La Bleue' more so than anything else.
This is also one of the apparent limitations of La Fee's claim to authenticity."

This is kind of cryptic, but if I read Ted correctly, he's saying that the "La Bleue" makers stop short of natural coloration for more reasons than one. It's hard to use herbs to make the product green without masking and/or screwing up the flavors obtained during distillation. La Fee tastes better than La Bleue because it has more herbs (thus spicier). But Green Bohemia dasn't try to color it with herbs (maybe they tried and failed). So they use green dye. Thus, not authentic.

By Tabreaux on Monday, February 12, 2001 - 08:03 am: Edit

"I don't taste any faults at all in La Fee, maybe the least bit of tannin bitterness, but the stuff is so smooth, silky, and well-rounded (nothing else like it that I've tasted, including the underground stuff)....."

That is primiarly because La Fee is effectively a spicier 'La Bleue' more so than anything else. This is also one of the apparent limitations of La Fee's claim to authenticity.


A final note regarding the perception of herbal flavors, admittedly, what throws me off is the use of extracts and/or oils, whereby something presents itself as a certain flavor, but in a strange way that just doesn't seem right. I've witnessed such flavors in many products, ranging from commercial offerings to some more prevalent 'underground' products, and while a flavor is there, it presents some weirdness along with it. I don't work with oils, so I may never become an expert in that aspect. I just know when something is 'fishy'.

By Artemis on Monday, February 12, 2001 - 06:44 am: Edit

"I'm curious to know if you folks detect any such flavors in La Fee or if you'd consider it a
"cleaner" product."

I don't taste any faults at all in La Fee, maybe the least bit of tannin bitterness, but the stuff is so smooth, silky, and well-rounded (nothing else like it that I've tasted, including the underground stuff), any off-flavors are very easy to overlook, whereas with Deva, for example, they're so in my face I can't ignore them.

As to the underground stuff, I'm not trying to show off or anything - it's out there and I think it should be acknowledged. I count myself EXTREMELY fortunate to have tasted it at all, and that was largely through a simple twist of fate.

Ted's explanation is right on the money. It's hard to know where a flavor comes from - a single herb, a combination of herbs, a defect in the process, a purposeful aspect of the process ...
But since my senses are the only tools I have, I'll have to go with that and give it my best shot.

I would add that herbs on the bush don't taste the same as dried herbs. Herbs after distillation can taste nothing like herbs before distillation. It's very easy to be fooled. I'm not at all confident that my personal perceptions will be shared by anybody, and reluctant to post reviews as a result.

I just read a private review by Kallisti that was downright deadly in its accuracy, so much so, that I think it might be better if she just took over that chore .....

By Don_Walsh on Monday, February 12, 2001 - 05:05 am: Edit

'Diacetyl' is a trivial name for 2,3-butanedione, which boils at 88 C. This is <10 degrees higher than ethanol, so diacetyl, if present in the fermented mash, would be a relatively tough cogener to remove. It is used if food and cosmetics techology as a carrier for the aromas of butter, coffee, vinegar and other foodstuffs.

By Tabreaux on Sunday, February 11, 2001 - 07:23 pm: Edit

Without detailed analysis, it is virtually impossible to determine which products are 'clean' and which are not. You can't do it by taste, simply because there are a variety of substances you can add (perhaps unwittingly) which give off flavors or aromas which present themselves as impurities, or even convincingly as certain herbs (especially absinthium, fennel, and 'citrus'). As far as alcohol goes, it is reasonable to assume that cheaper products are made with cheaper alcohol, ingredients, and methods of manufacture. As far as the more expensive products, it's anyone's guess. Chances are if it looks wrong, tastes 'bad', or gives you a nasty hangover, it isn't a quality product.

By Perruche_Verte on Sunday, February 11, 2001 - 06:43 pm: Edit

I'm curious to know if you folks detect any such flavors in La Fee or if you'd consider it a "cleaner" product. As I know from my morning experiences after overindulging a couple of times with Deva, this certainly does have cogeners.

Segarra is currently my favorite and I haven't wanted to check out other possibilities because they're either mostly unavailable (La Fee, Haut-Doubs #9 and the underground absinthes Artemis writes of so tantalizingly) or only available at a premium (La Bleue).

Speaking of which, if any UK friends would be willing to remail a La Fee order, please email me (check my profile).

By Grimbergen on Sunday, February 11, 2001 - 02:35 pm: Edit

CH3
'
C=O
'
C=O
'
CH3

By Don_Walsh on Sunday, February 11, 2001 - 01:58 pm: Edit

Grim, you did right. So did Art

As to b.p. I'll have to look it up. I can't even discern the structure from the name, it's not proper nomenclature...rather than guessing I'll hit the books. And get back to you.

By Grimbergen on Sunday, February 11, 2001 - 01:29 pm: Edit

Don,

My experience with diacetyl is from brewing. US micro breweries often have diacetyl problems due to improper yeast care (as Artie correctly pointed out).

When Ted first mentioned the buttery-bitter flavor I did make the speculation that it could be diacytle was from the fermentation process. But, not being a chemist, I was at a loss to say whether it would likely be present after the wash had gone through an industrial rectification column. Does diacetyl have a similar vaporization point to ethanol?

I haven't noticed the flavor in any absinthe, but then again I don't drink the czech stuff, and haven't looked for it in Segarra.

Grim

By Don_Walsh on Sunday, February 11, 2001 - 12:17 pm: Edit

Reasonable, that's why I asked, to get an answer. I wasn't setting anyone up for a counterpunch, I only do that to TimK.

I like butterscotch, although I might not in absinthe.

By Artemis on Sunday, February 11, 2001 - 11:28 am: Edit

Diacetyl is a known factor in some British ales, where it's there on purpose, and in some other beers, where it's regarded as a fault (wrong yeast or yeast out of control). It tastes like butterscotch. I think Grim's speculation, like mine, was due to the fact that we couldn't understand why butterscotch would be put into absinthe *on purpose* and absinthe ultimately is derived from a fermentation, so ....

By Don_Walsh on Sunday, February 11, 2001 - 08:20 am: Edit

Grim, diacetyl is sometimes mentioned as an undesirable fermentation cogener in various national and commercial standards for potable ethanols. I have not obtained the Cz standard (if there is one) but if it like the other former Warsaw pact potable-ethanol standards -- it sucks.

So I was wondering on what basis you were speculating about diacetyl.

It is not usually assayed for.

By Artemis on Sunday, February 11, 2001 - 07:37 am: Edit

"As for Segarra, it is a fairly sweet product, and the sweetness only partially hides some sharpness to the flavor, which has an earthy or almost woody type of texture ... "

I wouldn't dispute that, but since I now think of "earthy" and "woody" as descriptors for tannins (Deva), I wouldn't use those words myself for Segarra. What I think of as definite defects in Deva, I don't detect in Segarra, but that's not to say they aren't there. For sure it isn't as "clean" as the La Bleue I've had, or the American product, but that's part of its charm, whereas, I can barely stand to drink Deva anymore.

By Tabreaux on Saturday, February 10, 2001 - 04:39 pm: Edit

The flavor common to those Czech products is a bitter 'buttery' flavor. It may result from the use of extracts or oils, neither of which taste like an alcohol distillation of the same herbs. As for Segarra, it is a fairly sweet product, and the sweetness only partially hides some sharpness to the flavor, which has an earthy or almost woody type of texture. I would be curious to taste the same product with less anise.

By Grimbergen on Saturday, February 10, 2001 - 04:19 pm: Edit

It's interesting that you noticed a butterscotch flavor. Ted said a while back that he noted a buttery flavor in many of the czechs. I speculated that it might be diacetyl, but it isn't clear why it would be present.

Grim

By Artemis on Saturday, February 10, 2001 - 01:34 pm: Edit

I'm somewhat late among the members of this forum to experience the absinthe of Julian Segarra, but good things are worth waiting for. I like this absinthe far better than any other Spanish absinthe I've tried.

The absinthe is yellow as are LaSala, Herring, etc. but that's where the similarity ends. There is no trace of that nasty furniture polish tang in Segarra. Actually, its honey yellow color leans toward the peridot green of naturally colored absinthe, although Segarra is NOT colored with chlorophyll - its alcohol content isn't nearly high enough to support such.

Segarra is thick, almost syrupy, and has perfect, sparkling clarity. I saw no trace of the flakes, oil slicks, etc. that have been previously reported here.

In the nose, I had to hunt for the scent of wormwood in this absinthe. It's there, but this is a well-balanced, sophisticated product, and no one herb seems to stand out. My first drink, tossed off quickly because frankly, a long stint with no absinthe at all had left me with the envie for an immediate buzz, left me with the impression that Segarra is a tastier version of La Muse Verte. It seemed completely herbal. I could not understand why anybody would attribute a "candy" aspect to it, as I seem to remember one or more people have done.

But a more careful sampling (I must have put half a shot glass of Segarra to my nose and set it back down fifty times over the course of 15 minutes) brought out the candy. And it's butterscotch. Brewers may know what I'm talking about if I mention diacetyl, which, depending on the beer style, is desirable in the flavor profile or a curse to be avoided at all cost, but in any case, Segarra has a butterscotch presence. Is there diacetyl in Segarra? Who knows? But there is butterscotch. In the scent and in the mouth.

This absinthe has a complexity other Spanish products lack. It's the only absinthe I've ever tasted that I believe I could drink neat. The fact that it's only 90 proof, has something to do with that. Also, it's sweet and tasty; certainly needs no sugar.

Segarra louches to a very impressive, thick, milky, snot-yellow. Sorry, but that's the color. I don't think I've ever seen such an impressive louche. And the taste - it tastes at one sip herbal, the next candy ... I like this stuff. There is anise, of course. Strangely, the now empty shot glass has an anise aroma that perfumes the room, but anise is not overwhelming when drinking the stuff - again, this is a well-balanced product, well brought off.

I find it easy to drink Segarra at a ratio of 3:1, which is how I drink all absinthe lately. It needs no sugar, yet has a dry finish down the throat. The absinthe effect is there. This product has much to recommend it, and Mr. Segarra is to be congratulated.

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