Now I understand.

Sepulchritude Forum: The Absinthe Forum Thru December 2001: Now I understand.
By Missthing on Saturday, August 11, 2001 - 10:57 pm: Edit

Hmmm.. says I can't edit my post... whatever... sorry about the mess folks nothin' I can do about it....


Chrysanthemums Delicious Chrysanthemums
mmmcocktails More cocktails, dreamy!
raise So good they'll raise you right off the ground...
image Dancing 30's style...
girls All the girls
guys All the guys!

By Missthing on Saturday, August 11, 2001 - 10:54 pm: Edit

Well I'm happy to report a very lavish cocktail party was had and enjoyed here in Perth. After some concern by the management ("isn't Absinthe a hallucinating drink?") we managed to persuade them that Absinthe is in fact quite safe and could we please use it seeing as I bought a bottle specially from Spain... so my bottle of Deva was brought in and included int he bar for the evening. The Chrysanthemum was very popular: Benedictine, Vermouth and Absinthe. I had 3 myself! Very delish, well worth a look, the Absinthe is subtle but discernable and very well complements the other liquors.

We have a gazillion photos from the event but mostly dancing shots, only a few featuring our lovely cocktails, but here's some of them for you to peruse, especially if you are interested in 30's and general vintage era clothing & things...

/image{Chrysanthemums} Delicious Chrysanthemums
/image{mmmcocktails} More cocktails, dreamy!
/image{raise} So good they'll raise you right off the ground...
/image{image} Dancing 30's style...
/image{girls} All the girls
/image{guys} All the guys!

We had a fabulous evening, great turn of the century bar which had the perfect atmosphere.

By Don_Walsh on Tuesday, August 07, 2001 - 07:10 am: Edit

That's lye soap they are talking about, and so it was obvious (at least to me) that tyhey were not talking about potable ethanol, and it was also clear that this was a rather old text, certainly this process would not be consistent with GMP in today's cosmetics business.

Hypoallergenic, cosmetics grade ethanol is commercially available, usually in anhydrous form. It is a lot more costly than beverage grades, even premium beverage grades.

By Dr_Ordinaire on Tuesday, August 07, 2001 - 01:29 am: Edit

Actually, Artemis, I found this in a site about perfumery, so I guess they're talking about the purification of alcohol so it won't carry strange odors.

I posted it because the idea of mixing alcohol and soap was just too funny...

Seriously, short of having lots of equipment and expertise, what I've found to work to reduce the "empyreumatism" is to go reeeaaly slooowly: 4 to 5 hs to distill one liter.

By Artemis on Monday, August 06, 2001 - 09:06 pm: Edit

You've discovered the origin of the expression "wash your mouth out with soap".

Seriously, it sounds like a treatment to salvage ruined brandy, and a desperate one at that.

Better (and easier) not to ruin it in the first place.

By Dr_Ordinaire on Monday, August 06, 2001 - 07:38 pm: Edit

Sorry, Don and Artemis, but your secret has been revealed: SOAP!


Deodorizing Alcohol.

1. Spirit of wine, brandy, or alcohol distilled over soap lose their empyreumatic odors and tastes entirely. At about 215° the soap retains neither alcohol nor wood-spirit.

2. The empyreumatic oil, which remains in combination with the soap which forms the residue of the distillation, is carried off at a higher temperature by the vapor of water, which is formed during a second distillation, the product of which is a soap free from empyreuma, and fit to be used again for similar purposes.

3. The concentration of the alcohol increases in this operation more than when soap is not employed, because this compound retains the water and the alcoholic vapors which pass over are richer.

4. Thirty-three lbs. of soap is enough for 100 galls. of empyreumatic brandy, and direct experiments have shown that under the most favorable circumstances the soap can retain 20 per cent. of empyreumatic oil.

5. The soap employed should contain no potassa; it must be a hard or soda soap, and ought to be completely free from any excess of fat acids or fluids, otherwise it may render the product rancid and impure. Common soap, made with oleine and soda by the manufacture of stearine candles, has satisfied all the conditions in practice.

If this soap is employed, it will be better to add a little soda during the first distillation.

The hard soda-soaps, as exempt as possible from fluid fat acids, remove completely the empyreumatic odor.

By Artemis on Monday, August 06, 2001 - 06:45 pm: Edit

Well, the first of the two would pretty much HAVE to be better than the previous :*)?

I guess not. I have often said poor absinthe is not better than no absinthe at all.

By Zman7 on Monday, August 06, 2001 - 05:53 pm: Edit

Artemis,
Is there a possibility that you could further elucidate what you mean by

"A light went on in my head when I found the definition, because I was able to tie it to errors that were once made and are now no longer made among certain people struggling with DIY efforts."
As a DIY (just beginning) I have had two somewhat successful batches, each better than the previous.
Thanks

By Artemis on Monday, August 06, 2001 - 05:49 pm: Edit

And your next question is that if Deva is not distilled, how did the empyreuma get in there?

It could have got there during the creation of the essential oil. Once there, it stays there if there is no further distillation.

By Artemis on Monday, August 06, 2001 - 05:46 pm: Edit

"Any elucidation of your intent in using this word would be splendiferous."

It's not really *my* intent - it's kind of a long story.

Okay, I was translating a Fin de Siecle French text on absinthe manufacture, and there was that word (in French of course, but it's virtually identical to the (apparently archaic) English version). The first definition I found was about the moths - yuck!!

Eventually I was forced to seek more definitions in French before I was satisfied that the intent was: the odor (flavor?) particular to organic compounds burned in a sealed vessel. You probably begin to see the connection now - a bunch of plants in a boiler (still)? The operative word is of course burned.

I probably went too far in applying the word to Deva. However, distillation involves heat. Without going into detail (I do know the detail, I just don't want to go into it too far here) too much heat equals funky flavor. Call it overcooked. Call it distillation out of control. At its worst, call it empyreuma. At the lower end of the bad to worst scale, call it funk, muddiness. It adds up to absinthe that is not clean, is funky, has a rough flavor.

Deva has that flavor in spades. La Fee has it to a lesser extent. The very best absinthe doesn't have it at all.

A light went on in my head when I found the definition, because I was able to tie it to errors that were once made and are now no longer made among certain people struggling with DIY efforts. It's a wonderful thing when life experience confirms the words of those long dead alchemists. God bless them.

By Tlautrec on Monday, August 06, 2001 - 03:17 pm: Edit

Artemis-

I'm always thrilled to be introduced to a new word, and "empyreuma" is a doozy. However, in looking this one up on the internet, I came up with two possible definitions, neither one of which helped me see the connection to Deva: (1)a South American moth with pheromones of interest to scientists; and (2) something relating to the aroma of burning cannabis (also some sort of pheromone, in its way???). Any elucidation of your intent in using this word would be splendiferous.

By Tabreaux on Friday, August 03, 2001 - 07:44 pm: Edit

Everything has its purpose. Every once in awhile, I take a small swig of Staropzlneckey just to remind myself of what a cruel world it really can be.

By Heiko on Friday, August 03, 2001 - 07:19 pm: Edit

I think I should try Deva again. I don't have any left and it's been a long time since I've had my last glass of it. Maybe I don't like it anymore?
What I have right now is Segarra, NS, Montana and Herring. I need the Herring and Montana for the "cheap" drinking (like taking it to a festival in big plastic bottles and drinking it with warm water or neat....).
NS on the other hand isn't that good to call it exceptional. It's also on the lemon side, not really excellent... The only one of those I really like right now is Segarra. It tastes even a little better than the (not so good) La Bleue I have left. If it wasn't that expensive, I'd order 5 bottles of Segarra next time...

From this standpoint, I might not like Deva anymore - not "full bodied" enough, only fresh anise flavor.
I just found a rather good metaphor: Every Spanish except Segarra is a mix of fancy flavors without a good basis. Some are a better mix of fancy flavors, some are less. Segarra has a good basis but not enough fancyness. Real good absinthe has both, mixed in a way that you can't separate them from each other.
Maybe this still makes sense tomorrow, maybe not ;-)

By Artemis on Friday, August 03, 2001 - 11:15 am: Edit

I know you have, Don, and you're right - the results prove that such an effort makes all the difference. It's very obvious when you put the glass to your face, even before you take a sip.

By Don_Walsh on Friday, August 03, 2001 - 08:20 am: Edit

We have worked DAMNED HARD to learn how to avoid that 'over-cookedness' and we think the effort was worthwhile.

By Artemis on Thursday, August 02, 2001 - 08:45 pm: Edit

Thank you Marc, I'll try to take that into consideration.

Looking back, I waxed fairly euphoric about Deva myself after my first experience with it.

I meant no offense nor harshness toward Missthing; I was literally trying to tell her what she was tasting in Deva, and there's not much in there but anise and overcook.

I know you're right in that I sometimes act as though the facts are the only important things. Thanks for the wakeup call.

By Marc on Thursday, August 02, 2001 - 08:00 pm: Edit

artemis,

yes, I agree that Nephilim's brew is exquisite
and La Bleue is mighty fine. I also enjoy La Fee.
My comment about "experts will rain on your parade" was a gutlevel response to your no-nonsense post in response to missthing. You tell the truth, but you did so without a bit of warmth. missthing is a newbie and I wish you had been more gentle with her. Sometimes the vibe is more important than the drink.

And, by the way, you know I love you.

By Missthing on Thursday, August 02, 2001 - 07:48 pm: Edit

Actually, in some places people actually eat mud - I think it's either some African or Mongolian tribe. Very fine clay which aids digestion.

So whether it's muddy pudding or not, I am still very pleased to be tasting *something* which is reminiscent of the Belle Époque. I also appreciate the knowledge shared by the more experienced Absintheurs on this forum. I don't feel at all stupid for not having an experienced palate - I stated this first off, and it's nothing to argue about, if I was so thin skinned as to be offended I wouldn't last long on this (or any) forum. If anything I'm possibly dreading tasting the more expensive & higher quality bevvies as I will be probably be spoiled for the more affordable stuff. But time will tell. For now I'll wax lyrical about the new experience of Deva because it's what is currently happening here in my world, and AFAIAC it's worth sharing and may be of use to someone considering making their first purchase (how many wee lurkers out there? I'm sure there are many).

On the topic of my 1930's cocktail party - I'll be happy to post pics of the occasion - the camera will be working overtime and there will be some very lovely outfits worn while we are drinking our cocktails and dancing the night away. We will even have a gramaphone which one friend is providing for the evening. I'd also love to see your dress Morrigan, it sounds divine. Good luck with your big day!

By Artemis on Thursday, August 02, 2001 - 07:42 pm: Edit

"I guess your opinons tend to seem (to me) to be very strong and heavy handed."

It seems that way to you and a lot of other people, and not just on the Internet, either. Believe me, I suffer the consequences and the consequences are not always trivial. But as I said, it's nothing personal, I'm just passionate in the way I express some (most?) things.

"Given your extensive experience and knowledge you probably have the right."

No, I expressed myself just as strongly here even before I had accumulated any knowledge or experience. The old hands have gotten used to it - it tends to offend new people somewhat more.

"I am reluctant to admit it, but perhaps I am victim to a bit of class envy."

Now you're embarassing me. There is only one class of people here, it's the class who have belly buttons.

"Rest assured I will try to be less reactionary to your and other's strongly expressed opinions."

That's probably a good idea here, because a lot of people here have strong opinions and express them strongly. What I learned in New Orleans is that everybody here (at least the ones who went to New Orleans, which was quite a few) is a nice person. On the Internet, it's hard to lighten the mood with a facial expression or a fart, whatever, so lots of things come off more ominously than was ever intended.

By Melinelly on Thursday, August 02, 2001 - 05:47 pm: Edit

"Everything is relative. If the only absinthes available were Hills and Staroplzenecky, and if we had no other means of reference, we may very well have considered Starop as a 'fine' product, and it may very well be reviewed as such. Obviously, this is laughable to us now, but..."

precisely. thanks for the point here Ted =)

back in high school, we all thought Bud was a fine product. that was in comparison to what we usually could afford and drank: Meisterbrau, St Ides, Lucky, Milwakee's Be(a)st, Olympia, Pabst, Old English, and on a bad day Crazy Horse (came in a 60oz bottle, really cheap).

not to put any of thsoe fine products down *grin*... and i'm with Morrigan here with my emotions: I still ENJOY a crisp cold Bud on a hot summer day or at the ballpark... and I will probably enjoy Deva for as long as I'm a drinker.

By Admin on Thursday, August 02, 2001 - 04:33 pm: Edit

Ooo Morrigan, please, please do post pictures. I'd love to see your dress and the shindig!

Kallisti <- costume maven

By Darkdaze on Thursday, August 02, 2001 - 03:49 pm: Edit

Art, I am sorry if I made you out to be something you are not. I guess your opinons tend to seem (to me) to be very strong and heavy handed. Given your extensive experience and knowledge you probably have the right. I am reluctant to admit it, but perhaps I am victim to a bit of class envy. I appreciate your offer of amnesty and graciously accept it. Rest assured I will try to be less reactionary to your and other's strongly expressed opinions.

By Morriganlefey on Thursday, August 02, 2001 - 03:48 pm: Edit

You and I have drunk Jade and Nephilim in each other's company. Can you deny that Deva cannot touch either?

Nope. Not with a 10-foot absinthe spoon.

I'm trying to separate an objective appraisal of absinthe from an emotional appraisal.
Very true, and in that sense, your points have good value. I suppose that's where I have trouble - my emotions nearly always win out over objectivity. Sometimes I hate it, but I can't deny it.

Now, to subtly and artfully (heh) change the topic back to Missthing's original post - I'd be very interested in seeing pictures posted of your 1930's cocktail party. I'm quite the 30s/40s buff, and even had a gown made for my wedding - which is next weekend (*choke*) - from vintage ivory silk and a 1938 Hollywood pattern. Tis lovely.

Now 'scuse me while I run off & take a handful of valium...

- M

By Artemis on Thursday, August 02, 2001 - 03:19 pm: Edit

"True, you did not verbatim say those things, that's why I put the quotations."

But that's what quotations mean, that you're quoting someone, not the opposite. Quotes or not, I don't see how I could look at it any other way than that you were putting words into my mouth. Or rather, thoughts into my head, which aren't really there.

"Yes, I believe you have helped many people. If you're bothered by trying to help the new people, then don't, I'm sure another long standing member with a lighter touch would be delighted to assist and be supportive and less condescending."

If I was bothered by it, I would quit doing it. What bothered me about your post was that you attributed an attitude by me toward ABSINTHE as being an attitude toward PEOPLE. You're still doing it, calling me condescending. There is nothing personal about it. You are reading condescension when there is none.

"Ok, go ahead, just don't hit the face..."

I have nothing whatsoever against you and no desire to flame you or argue with you. No harm done, okay? Just don't try to make me a snob, because I'm not.

By Zack on Thursday, August 02, 2001 - 03:00 pm: Edit

Not to be a snob, but after tasting good La Bleues and Homemades, it is hard to put them in the same category as commercial "absinthes." There is hardly any similarity between them IMO. When I get a craving for absinthe I can't reach for the Czech or the Spanish labels, it's a totally different taste I'm wanting. If I try hard enough I can put La Fee in with "real absinthe." And, if I do that then Deva and Segara may follow, but it probably wouldn't happen if they didn't already claim to be absinthe.
I think it's odd that common semblance of those 3 brands is the "over-cookedness."

By Darkdaze on Thursday, August 02, 2001 - 02:40 pm: Edit

I know I'm going to regret keeping this going, Art, but...
True, you did not verbatim say those things, that's why I put the quotations. I can see how my attempt at interpreting your tone could be seen as a direct quote. For that I apologize.
You're also right about the upper level absinthes being accessible through certain channels. I should have just said they were too pricey for the average enthusiast.
Yes, I believe you have helped many people. If you're bothered by trying to help the new people, then don't, I'm sure another long standing member with a lighter touch would be delighted to assist and be supportive and less condescending.
And finally, Ted Breaux and Jade. I suspect Ted Breaux is less annoyed by my comment than you are. When the Jade line becomes as available as Deva and the like, I'll be glad to try it.
Ok, go ahead, just don't hit the face...

By Tabreaux on Thursday, August 02, 2001 - 02:27 pm: Edit

The differences in opinions here are simply due to differences in perspective. I think we can cast a different light on this by looking at it in another way.

Everything is relative. If the only absinthes available were Hills and Staroplzenecky, and if we had no other means of reference, we may very well have considered Starop as a 'fine' product, and it may very well be reviewed as such. Obviously, this is laughable to us now, but it was a genuine possibility not so long ago. I mean, who knew better? In the same sense, if all wine production ceased today, and some 85 years from now, MD 20/20 emerged as a product claiming to be legitimate wine, who would know enough to argue? Some would but most would not. Ditto for absinthe today.

Regardless, when Deva first became available, you better believe it was 'fine' in comparison to the alternatives (Hill's). In that respect, it still is. Of course, in light of what knowledge we have amassed since the original reviews were written, being now much better educated, and with much better educated palates, we may change our original descriptions slightly to reflect our enlightened perspective.

Here's another viewpoint:
Remove the "Absinthe" label from every absinthe imaginable, and taste and categorize them. Speaking for myself, I wouldn't know how to categorize the 'Czechish' products, as they would be unrecognizable as 'absinth' to me and nothing tasty at that. Much of the Spanish products I would characterize as liqueurs d'anise. I mean, how would one know they were absinthe? With better artisnal products like JL however, I feel there is sufficient difference in appearance, texture, and flavor to find them deserving of yet a different category. All nostalgia aside, the few who are presently aquainted with such products will inevitably tend hold products like Deva in lower regard. However, since the great majority of persons on this BB at the present are familiar with the best commercial offerings (Spanish) only, that seems to be the current standard by which everything else is judged, and persons like myself are in the overwhelming minority where perspective is concerned. I feel that when the JL products emerge, people will experience a higher, more historically authentic standard, and the bar will be raised again. While the JL offerings will most likely remain somewhat niche products, what they will do is enable one to compare anything with the standard exactly as it was a century ago, which up until now, was impossible. Until or unless that viewpoint is attainable, who would know that Deva wasn't a fine, authentic product? I wouldn't.

As far as JL goes, it is very real but currently unobtainable. I consider that as perhaps a whole step up from a fantasy.

By Artemis on Thursday, August 02, 2001 - 01:45 pm: Edit

"Ok that`s fine, we got the point",

Some did and some apparently didn't.

"No need to argue"

I like to think of it as a discussion.

"Personaly, I suggest to all newbies to taste as much "cheap" absinthe as they can before tasting the best La Bleu and Jade's so they will appreciate the difference."

Excellent suggestion. I did that myself.

"I'm not willing to spend over 2000$ a year on it"

I'm not willing to spend anywhere near that on it, which is why I have no La Fee or La Bleue, and will never have much Jade either.

"Ok, let's have a drink"

Okay, I'll break out my La Sala. I've finally found a way to drink it. I simply grin and bear it. With ice cold water in the right proportion, I can get several glasses down. See, I'm not a snob, nor do I have money to burn.

By Panks on Thursday, August 02, 2001 - 01:40 pm: Edit

What's with all the love in here?

By Wolfgang on Thursday, August 02, 2001 - 01:27 pm: Edit

Ok that`s fine, we got the point, no need to argue.

Personaly, I suggest to all newbies to taste as much "cheap" absinthe as they can before tasting the best La Bleu and Jade's so they will appreciate the difference.

I also like absinthe as an almost dayly drink but I'm not willing to spend over 2000$ a year on it so I realy think I will still buy cheaper absinthes from time to time and save the bests for special occasions (or at least for the weekend ;-) ).

Ok, let's have a drink...

By Artemis on Thursday, August 02, 2001 - 12:57 pm: Edit

Morrigan, I love you too, but I'm trying to separate an objective appraisal of absinthe from an emotional appraisal. You and I have drunk Jade and Nephilim in each other's company. Can you deny that Deva cannot touch either?

"Someone here once said "the best absinthe is the one in the glass in front of you". Simplistic, but so right-on."

Yea, that was me. I lifted that from Cheech Marin in an interview he did with High Times years ago, wherein he said "the best weed is the weed you have". It's true when you only have one weed (absinthe). You have to look at it in a different light when you have a bunch side by side to compare, and when you're trying to express the results objectively to other people.

By Artemis on Thursday, August 02, 2001 - 12:52 pm: Edit

"Not all of us have access to the obscure and esoteric brands you mention."

Everybody has access to La Fee or La Bleue through Bettina if they are willing to pay her price. Everybody will have access to Jade when it is offered.

"Hell, for most of us, including the other lurkers, Jade is a fairy tale."

Tell that to Ted Breaux and see what happens.

"Perhaps you could have just agreed that Deva maybe tops in the area of bottom level consumers."

Could have, but that would not have been as informative as what I did say, and I don't recognize "bottom level" among people, just among absinthes.

"Telling someone that "No, what you like is for plebians. __________ is better, but you'll never get because you're not me, ha ha" doesn't help them at all. It just makes them feel stupid for trying to reach out and communicate with you people."

I never said anything remotely like that. YOU said that. I would be feeling stupid if I tried to put words into somebody else's mouth as you've just done. I would also submit that I've gone further to helping people here than you just did, or ever did. But I increasingly wonder why I bother, given responses such as yours.

By Morriganlefey on Thursday, August 02, 2001 - 12:47 pm: Edit

There are apparently a lot of people drinking Deva and thinking it's great, or making it their "favorite", because they don't know any better.

Now Artemis, though I love you dearly (you know that) please don't go sounding like an absinthe-snob! As noted in my forum profile, Deva still holds a special, *if over-cooked*, place in MY heart. I certainly hope you don't include me in the aforementioned "because they don't know any better" category. I've sampled over 25 different absinthes, including the beloved Jade, and I've certainly had better (and better THAN!) Spanish - NS and Segarra among those.

But for many of us, Deva was "our first", and so holds a special emotional bond. Like a lover, when looking back, your first may not have been your best, but they are held dear and not easily forgotten nonetheless.

Someone here once said "the best absinthe is the one in the glass in front of you". Simplistic, but so right-on.

- M

By Darkdaze on Thursday, August 02, 2001 - 11:53 am: Edit

Not all of us have access to the obscure and esoteric brands you mention. Hell, for most of us, including the other lurkers, Jade is a fairy tale. Perhaps you could have just agreed that Deva maybe tops in the area of bottom level consumers. Telling someone that "No, what you like is for plebians. __________ is better, but you'll never get because you're not me, ha ha" doesn't help them at all. It just makes them feel stupid for trying to reach out and communicate with you people.

By Artemis on Thursday, August 02, 2001 - 11:22 am: Edit

I was talking about Deva, not "favorite Spanish brands" or Spanish absinthe in general, although all of it is flawed in some way, though not all in the same way as Deva. Mari Mayans, for example, doesn't taste "burnt", but it would be hard to tell due to the overwhelming dose of star anise in it.

Deva has the empyreumatic flavor of either carelessly prepared oils and/or a distillation done improperly. That is a fact, that is not my opinion. I don't know how I can put it any more plainly than in the fairly extensive discussion I've already posted. That is what I'm telling the readers of this forum.

*I* cringe from drinking Deva, The Nephilim cringes from drinking Deva, Ted Breaux cringes from drinking Deva, but then we've all tasted good absinthe.

Have you tasted good absinthe, Vera? Have you tasted La Fee (better than Deva, but still overcooked)? Jade? Nephilim? A good Swiss bootleg? If not, you are not prepared to debate this with me.

There are apparently a lot of people drinking Deva and thinking it's great, or making it their "favorite", because they don't know any better. It doesn't make them bad people, and I don't give a shit what their "favorite" is. I know the difference between good and bad absinthe. I point it out for the benefit of others and for no other reason.

By Verawench on Thursday, August 02, 2001 - 10:40 am: Edit

Are you telling most of the people on this forum they're consuming rotten eggs or burnt pudding? I don't see anyone cringing from having to drink their favorite Spanish brands.

By Melinelly on Thursday, August 02, 2001 - 10:09 am: Edit

or Jello instant to a nice flan or creme brulee...

By Artemis on Thursday, August 02, 2001 - 09:48 am: Edit

Horseshit.

I'm not talking about the difference between pudding and a tarantula.

I'm talking about the difference between pudding with fresh eggs and pudding with rotten eggs, or burned pudding.

How can you "prefer" Deva to something you've never tasted?

By Verawench on Thursday, August 02, 2001 - 09:07 am: Edit

In some parts of the world people eat tarantulas and use its fangs as toothpicks.

It's ALL about personal preference.

By Artemis on Thursday, August 02, 2001 - 08:57 am: Edit

Marc, ask our mutual friend The Nephilim what he did with his last bottle of Deva. It's either gathering dust in his closet or he poured it down the sink.

Fifty percent of the allure of absinthe may be romance, but the other fifty is flavor.

I'm not trying to be an "expert", I'm trying to tell people the truth. People may well say they like Deva as well as Jade (or some other well-made product), but it's like saying you like your pudding with mud in it. That's a fact, that's not an opinion, much less a snotty opinion.

By Marc on Thursday, August 02, 2001 - 04:02 am: Edit

missthing,

50% of the allure of absinthe is the romance.
enjoy it. the experts will rain on your parade, but fuck em. dream on.

By Frater_Carfax on Wednesday, August 01, 2001 - 08:10 pm: Edit

Chinotto...brilliant!!!

I used to drink the stuff like water back in my uni days.

Might be time to revisit an old friend, maybe I can finish off that bottle of Lasala.....

By Missthing on Wednesday, August 01, 2001 - 07:52 pm: Edit

I can appreciate the difference even at this level (ie utter novice) as I tasted the Montana miniature - bleargh. Nothing but licorice. Still waiting to open the MM with company so can't compare that yet.

Also, I tried mixing with Chinotto - couldn't resist. Looked dodgy with a muddy browny greeny louche but actually the taste was quite pleasant. I think I'll be preferring to drink it with nothing but water as a mixer though (aside from the cocktails I'll soon be experimenting with!)

By Artemis on Wednesday, August 01, 2001 - 05:46 pm: Edit

"If this (Deva) is not the top of the range ..."

As a member of the set which currently constitutes the range, it is near the top, but that's not saying much.

"There's much more than just anis in this, but with my inexperienced palate, I couldn't guess as to what."

Empyreuma. It's not a good thing. See the discussion on Pontarlier absinthe, particularly "phlegms". I was as excited as you when I first tasted Deva, but my experience wasn't broad enough to know why I shouldn't have been. When I last tasted it, I could barely choke it down. Jade products are on a whole different plane, lacking the errors (or shortcuts) which lead to that muddy, nasty tone.

By Missthing on Wednesday, August 01, 2001 - 04:39 am: Edit

It's been a very long day. Cycling home from work just about completely took my last vestiges of energy and it was with some difficulty that I reached up to put the keys in the door. However, nothing could have revived me more effectively than the sight of the very large, discreetly-wrapped-and-tied-with-string parcel sitting somewhat smugly on my kitchen bench. My SC order has arrived!

Huge sigh of relief. 14 days exactly from order date to arrival in Australia - well within the deadline date for my 1930's cocktail party next week. No customs issues whatsoever and securely packed - if a little heavy going on the packing tape! The spoon was taped to the bottom of the glass and it took a while to get the tape goo off. 1 bottle of Deva 50, 1 bottle of Mari Mayans 70. What a beautiful bottle the MM is! Even if I don't like the taste of it, it still has aesthetic value. I like the glass too, nice heavy base, good size. The spoon is cheap & nasty but what can you expect for $3.00?

Surveying the wreakage of packing materials on the kitchen floor I grabbed the precious cargo and hoofed it to my room. Unfortunately no friends were available to share the first tasting, so I set to solo and very very excited!

From all I've heard on this very informative forum, it was the Deva I had to try for my first taste. Merely the scent from the open bottle was enough to indicate that there was a reason I had been so excited and, even, obsessive, to obtain some of this legendary stuff. Through the raw alcohol the anis scent was most prevalent but there was a complexity to it that I was not expecting. There's much more than just anis in this, but with my inexperienced palate, I couldn't guess as to what. If this is not the top of the range, I'm very much looking forward to the real stuff (Jade Liquors, please please be within my budget when you release your product!)

Taking the first sip neat, I was struck by the richness and uniqueness of the flavour. This doesn't taste anything like any other anis flavoured beverage I've had before - though admittedly it has been some time since I've tried any. I can certainly understand the notion of this Absinth as a health tonic - there's a freshness in the herbal flavours which is certainly on the side of the medicinal.

It's very sweet (to my taste) and I didn't feel a need to add sugar as I poured in water to see the strong cloudy louche. I could certainly handle something alot more bitter (and I like bitter tastes, Chinotto and lemon,lime & bitters are staple drinks for me and I would like them stronger too!) I've now been sipping away quietly for about 15 minutes or so. I don't think I can really talk much about "effects" - there's certainly an alcohol buzz, but it may be a bit clearer than I'm used to - certainly I feel pleasantly relaxed, a little outside of myself. Yes, definitely clearer than normal for this proof alcohol!

I'm actually very tempted to mix this with Chinotto. Don't know how the anis will go with that but the subtle herbal flavours definitely will. I wonder if it's something about bitterness that is refreshing?

After the first few sips I felt the anis taste stronger and can still taste that mostly in my mouth. I feel like I could drink alot of this - but I'm not going to, I've been warned, and I have lots to do tomorrow so I'm not risking a horror hangover!

I just realised what it reminds me of too. I bought some herbal toothpaste which was made in Italy which has some similar tastes, not just the anis, the other herbs too. More the smell in the glass (now it's empty) than the taste in my mouth though. The anis is very persistent on the tongue.

Well, all in all, I'm definitely impressed and I understand what the fuss is about. There's something in the scent and taste which is so evocative of another century and a different way of life. Can't wait to share it with my friends.

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