Archive through March 20, 2002

Sepulchritude Forum: The Absinthe Forum Archive Thru March 2002: Archive thru March 2002:What constitutes absinthe?:Archive through March 20, 2002
By Lordhobgoblin on Wednesday, March 20, 2002 - 03:28 pm: Edit

Ted's right on this one but in the end does it really matter whether something is 'real' absinthe or not? If it tastes good to you then why worry? So what if it lacks in fennel or contains rosemary or whatever the fuck else? If it tastes good to you then that's all that matters. Surely we drink the bloody stuff because we like the taste of it?


By Destiny on Tuesday, March 19, 2002 - 07:50 pm: Edit

Oh please Ted, just release Jade so we can leave the Spanish to the Spanish!

By Tabreaux on Tuesday, March 19, 2002 - 07:10 pm: Edit

In defining what constitutes "absinthe", my understanding of it grants the creator of absinthe the benefit of the doubt where the method of manufacture is concerned. His prescribed method was clear and deliberate. If made differently, I consider it to be an imitation. While, some imitations are better than others, all differ from that which is made via the prescribed method.

With regard to content, I see a significant content of A. absinthium as the only necessary requirement, as it is the herb where absinthe specifically derives its name. Anything else simply lends qualities which either adhere to or deviate from that which is considered to be 'traditional'.

By Wolfgang on Tuesday, March 19, 2002 - 07:08 pm: Edit

I don`t know if Segarra can be called absinthe but for sure that`s the only Spanish absenta that I will probably buy again.

If I was to show someone what`s absinthe, I wouldn`t serve Segarra doo, because it`s not typical.

As for La Fée, I don`t understand what the fuss is about. It`s a nice oil mix nothing more. Would I order it in a bar ? Yes. Would I pay a fortune to get a bottle by mail ? No.

But hey! I always order good old fucking Ricard so that's no surprise.

What really piss me off is those damn Absente ads. Those are insults in the face of the Green Fairy and insults to Van Gogh.

By Louched_Liver on Tuesday, March 19, 2002 - 07:04 pm: Edit


Thanks to you, I decided to have some Wolvie's Green to top the night off.


By Etienne on Tuesday, March 19, 2002 - 07:02 pm: Edit


Thanks for the reminder about the butterscotch. I'll end up with the Segarra before the night's over, I'm about out of the NS. I'll have to remember to look for it.

By Mr_Rabid on Tuesday, March 19, 2002 - 06:35 pm: Edit

I like inclusivity better than exclusivity.

If it has anise and wormwood, and is either distilled or mixed from oils in my book it's absinthe. Straight up macerated dreck (like Absinthe King) doesn't count as there is no distillation involved.

Whether it's good absinthe or not, well, ask your tongue.

The stories my tongue could tell if only it could talk... wait...

By Louched_Liver on Tuesday, March 19, 2002 - 06:28 pm: Edit

I don't mind oak, but I sure don't like that butterscotch thingy goin' on in Segarra.

By Etienne on Tuesday, March 19, 2002 - 06:15 pm: Edit


I think we agree about the Segarra, I don't doubt the quality and care that goes into it, but I just don't like the stuff all that much. It seems that all I can taste or smell is that oak barrel.

By Destiny on Tuesday, March 19, 2002 - 06:02 pm: Edit

Point well taken, Etienne. Just having some fun. Is Mr. Segerra a big guy? If not, I'd like to poke him and his mother in the sternum and tell him to knock it off with the brandy!

And Marie-Claude should say something about the color!

Solving everyone's problems (except my own.)


By Etienne on Tuesday, March 19, 2002 - 05:56 pm: Edit

Knowledge is a great thing but don't worry too much about labels, drink what you like.

By Petermarc on Tuesday, March 19, 2002 - 05:50 pm: Edit

la fée and pernod 68° are so close, it wouldn't surprise me if they were made in the same place (they are both made 'around paris') given that la fée was made by those who were legally -not allowed to taste it-maybe they did use spanish absinthes as a guide...since i know from first-hand experience that marie-claude has tasted vintage absinthe, it surprises me that la fée is what it is...she does seem embarrassed by the color...

By Destiny on Tuesday, March 19, 2002 - 05:49 pm: Edit

Yup, it's that Segerra/brandy thing that drives me nuts. Considering that it's so well made, I wonder where it would rate against the best if it wasn't a brandy hybrid?

And if Segerra wasn't a "producing absinthe is a pain in the ass and I'm Spanish so I'm doing my own damn thing so fuck you" kinda guy, the world would have another top quality green - readily available from the good folks at SC!

By Destiny on Tuesday, March 19, 2002 - 05:41 pm: Edit

I'm not clear about the labels. I defined "subpar" as still absinthe while combined "pseudo-sinth" and "not absinthe".

I guess it's Segerra that bothers me. Although it's technically a quality product, it's flavor makes me think of it as a hybrid, perhaps less deserving than even Deva of being called absinthe.

How about La Fee? Oils and fake color (right?) But even Don gave it a semi thumbs-up. KInda sounds like a French version of the Spanish brands.

By Petermarc on Tuesday, March 19, 2002 - 05:36 pm: Edit

holy trinity (thanks artemis) of absinthe:
green anis, grande absinthe, fennel ***distilled***
coloring step: petite absinthe, melissa, hyssop

coloring step is not a requirement, HOWEVER...the green color IS the fairy or the wicked witch, what defined the legend also killed the beast in the wrong hands when profit was the sole motive, without concern for the consumer (see pernod thread that morphed into debate on capitalism and regulation)
base alcohol: distilled wine spirits/beet alcohol( or clean, neutral consumable alcohol)

after that, many variations...
segarra is just green anis and grande absinthe, in a brandy alcohol...
technically not absinthe, but distilled and aged and a better made product than most beverages that call themselves absinthe...
macerated products should not be allowed to be called absinthe, however,it seems anyone can(and historically did) put 'absinthe' on a label without much (or any) regulation...there seems to be no modern legal standard/definition or recipe for 'absinthe' as a consumer product...maybe we all wouldn't be so interested if there was...

By Joalco on Tuesday, March 19, 2002 - 05:24 pm: Edit

I *am* a cheeky monkey... :)

Let's see...

Segarra, Jade (not available, but prerelease samples are renowned), Wolvies, BEI (not sure if still available), Betty's Bleues. I will be sampling Francois Guy soon, but can't comment as of yet.

Most of your Spanish brands fall in here, as does (most probably) Sebor.

Not absinthe:
Czech swill crap that'd be better used to clear your pipes.

Help any? Or did I just further confuse?

By Destiny on Tuesday, March 19, 2002 - 05:15 pm: Edit

Joalco, you are a tricky word-monkey! If you had to, how would you break down the current crop into theses catagories?

subpar, but still absinthe
not absinthe (aka "pseduo-sinthes")

By Joalco on Tuesday, March 19, 2002 - 05:08 pm: Edit

That would be pure speculation on my part. I really don't have a clue. I would imagine it's similar to people who drink good German beer as opposed to those who swill Bud Light.

Chemical adulterants and sub-par alcohol bases could quickly add up to subpar pseudo-sinthes...

By Destiny on Tuesday, March 19, 2002 - 05:08 pm: Edit

Ahhh, Boone's Farm... the memories smells of teen spirit!

By Destiny on Tuesday, March 19, 2002 - 05:06 pm: Edit

So then what "commercially available" products would pass the test? Including the "commercially available" bootlegs?

I know there were good and bad vintage products. So, besides those that drank premium brands, was the average person of 100 years ago drinking absinthe or "subpar pseduo-sinthes"?

By Joalco on Tuesday, March 19, 2002 - 05:00 pm: Edit

I like to think of it this way:

MM and many of the mass-produced products are absinthes in the same way that Mad Dog or Boone's Farm are wines...

By Joalco on Tuesday, March 19, 2002 - 04:59 pm: Edit

I'd say there are many things that are "defining issues," especially if we define absinthe by the rigorous standards of the quality vintage producers (knowledge of which has been shared on this forum by Ted and some other noble souls).

Distillation, proper coloring step, use of certain necessary herbs, etc....

By Destiny on Tuesday, March 19, 2002 - 04:54 pm: Edit

"Subpar" isn't the issue. Is distillation the defining thing? Proper coloring step?

*If* MM has no thujone, does that mean it has no wormwood? If not, is it absinthe?

By Joalco on Tuesday, March 19, 2002 - 04:46 pm: Edit

Deva, and most of the available brands today, are subpar pseduo-sinthes. Most are macerated rather than distilled, simply blending oils together.

As for the vodka question, it's debatable. If you followed the traditional procedures, using differing amounts of flavoring herbs and the same amount of A. Absinthium, then I'd say yes, it would be an absinthe...


By Destiny on Tuesday, March 19, 2002 - 04:42 pm: Edit

*** NOTICE ***

Yeah, it's been discussed before... just go away if you don't want to contribute.

Whether you like the taste or not, most seem to agree that Segerra is a higher quality product than most other Spanish brands. However, if someone used vodka as the alcohol, used an undetectable amount of anise and cinnamon was the dominant flavor, would you consider it absinthe? It had everything else, distilled, grand wormwood, a "genuine" coloring step, etc.

Is Deva, although considered lower in quality than Segerra, more correctly called "absinthe"?

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