Archive through March 24, 2002

Sepulchritude Forum: The Absinthe Forum Archive Thru March 2002: BETINA ELIXIRS ANNOUNCEMENT...NEW PERNOD ABSINTHE:Archive through March 24, 2002
By Timk on Sunday, March 24, 2002 - 01:59 pm: Edit

Lordh, anorak, I think educated and inquisitive would be more appropriate.

By Lordhobgoblin on Sunday, March 24, 2002 - 01:50 pm: Edit

Jesus this place is full of anoraks. Does nobody get drunk anymore? It's as if we're drinking absinthe for the benefit of science or somthing.

By Timk on Sunday, March 24, 2002 - 01:44 pm: Edit

"Don, who despite using herbs from different sources than the original, different alcohol than the original, different still (and distiller) than the original, dealing with different rules and regulations than the original...will still obtain...an exact copy of the original."

Dr. Ordinaire, thats like saying no scientific experiment is repeatable, sure I may use a different shaped conical flask, but that doesnt invalidate the result. It is more than faesable to replicate a distilled product such as absinthe with a different still, and by carefully selecting your herbs. This is not like trying to replicate a turn of the century laffite, where variations in the year, and grape varieties completely alter the finished product. Grapes are designed to have a wide variety of flavour over the different types, and regions they are grown in, with herbs this is not really a factor. We know how the herbs were grown, generally in optimum conditions, as they would be today, and A.Absinthium is A.Absinthium whichever way you cut it. Sure, they may have used Greek Fennel or whatever, but unless the growing conditions were totally different, or the fennel variety a local varient, the difference would be negligable.

I am presuming Teds research revolves around finding methods to detect the types of herb used, and then tinkering with the proportions to get something that tastes like the desired Vintage absinthe. I dont know really, but thats how I would do it if I had to, establishing how much of what went into the absinthe would probably be futile and quite complicated. Detecting the presence of plant derived essences has got to be complicated, I doubt its necessary to find out how much of what is present via chemical testing, as this is a highly complex mixture of essences and alcohol. But knowing what went in, and looking at period recipes and documents as well as being able to compare your product with pre ban vintages, would allow you to produce an accurate facsimile by a directed trial and error process, as there would be a lot that the research wouldnt tell you. As i say, this is assumption, maybe Ted could clue us in on his scientific research methods.

By Lordhobgoblin on Sunday, March 24, 2002 - 01:36 pm: Edit

I'm taking no sides in this argument but personally I couldn't care less whether Jade tastes like orginal Pernod 68 absinthe or not. For all I know I might not even have liked original Pernod 68 absinthe if I had been alive then. It might have been a load of old shite and anyway I couldn't care whether it was or not.

Just because Pernod 68 was the absinthe that was around at the turn of the 20th century it doesn't automatically follow that it was 'nectar of the Gods'. I couldn't give a shit about tasting something that tastes like the absinthe that was around at the Belle Epoch, I JUST WANT TO TASTE ABSINTHE THAT TASTES GOOD TO ME NOW IN THE 21ST CENTURY! The only thing that matters is the present, the past doesn't exist, nor does the future. THE ONLY THING THAT EXISTS IS THE PRESENT. SO FUCK THE BELLE EPOCH, FUCK VAN GOGH, FUCK OSCAR WILDE AND FUCK ORIGINAL PERNOD 68! FUCK THE LOT OF THEM!

I have tasted Jade absinthe and I have no knowledge or interest of whether or not it tastes anything like original Pernod 68 absinthe but what I can say is that Jade Absinthe Edouard and Jade absinthe Nouvelle Orleans taste fucking good in the 21st century and that's all I bloody care about. All this discussion about whether or not it replicates original Pernod 68 or not is just a load of bollocks, ALL THAT MATTERS IS HOW IT PLEASES YOUR TASTE BUDS HERE AND NOW!

Now I'm going back downstairs to finish off that 2nd bottle of cheap red wine.

Hobgoblin

By Dr_Ordinaire on Sunday, March 24, 2002 - 11:41 am: Edit

"Ordinaire needs a science lesson."

Don't we all, Don? We never stop learning, do we?

I'll be delighted to receive a science lesson from you anytime, but here we are not talking science, but religion. Belief. Faith. Dogma.

In what scientific forum would this statement:

"I have far more information at my disposal than one may assume."

go unchallenged? Specially being only the last of dozens of equally empty, information-less statements inflicted on us over the years? Blatant appeals to blind faith?

So, Don, this is not science. This is a church (or, considering the numbers, maybe a cult). Should we call it "The Church of Absinthe, Scientist"?

Like any church, it has its priesthood (infallible), its True Believers, its Credo.

The Credo goes something like this (sorry, it's not verbatim, I not being a True Believer).

a) Ted is going to taste and/or analyze vintage absinthes. After this step, he will know exactly what changes have happen. He will know how every single molecule (and combinations thereof) has been polymerized, hydrolized, esterificated or oxydized, and to what extent. Then he will "backtrack" from the chemistry and with the help of some secret information he will know exactly how Pernod 68 tasted circa 1890. At this point he will convey the information to...

b) Don, who despite using herbs from different sources than the original, different alcohol than the original, different still (and distiller) than the original, dealing with different rules and regulations than the original...will still obtain...an exact copy of the original.

Well, Don, at this point, True Believers...believe.

Non-Believers (also called Skeptics), knowing full well how Uncertainty creeps even in the most carefully controlled experiments, will take a look at the large number of variables and think of a far-more-prudent: "Maybe". Then every Non-Believer assigns in his mind a number to the probability of that outcome (Jade being exactly like original Pernod 68) becoming true.

Ted, Don, this argument is, for me, purely academical. I intend to buy, drink and enjoy Jade. Even though I think that the chances of it being "an exact replica of Pernod 68" are vanishingly small, I also believe that the chances of it being damn good absinthe are exceedingly high.

It's just that I like my absinthe straight. Hold the dogma.

By Don_Walsh on Saturday, March 23, 2002 - 01:16 am: Edit

Point being, if changes take place they leave tracks. They do not disappear. The new compounds are present. Everything is accounted for.

And now I fade back into the shadows...

By Don_Walsh on Saturday, March 23, 2002 - 01:14 am: Edit

Ordinaire needs a science lesson.

Chlorophyll is unstable. It is DESIGNED to be unstable, that is called photosynthesis.

The essential oil components in absinthe are not unstable and the high proof ethanol acts as a preservative. In the absence of strong UV containing light, or heat, or some other stimulus, there is no reason for chemical change to be going on in a full, sealed bottle.

The entire argument that Ordinaire is making (like a broken record) and that Absintheur made before him, is a bogus one.

Absintheur used to argue that aged absinthe was better and therefore we err in replicating vintage absinthe. He argues the "time machine" case just as Ordinaire does. That is, that only with time travel can we know how Pernod tasted in the Belle Epoque because it can't possibly taste that way now.

Well, he was wrong, and Ordinaire is wrong. In fact it is rather simple and straightforward from a scientific point of view, to so understand, and the fact that several bottles of vintage absinthe have confirmed the quintessentially different taste (as compared to modern commercial absinthes) confirms our hypothesis and methodology, because those different vintage premium absinthes do not contain the same ingredients in every case nor is there any reason to assume that their production techniques were identical in every regard. Nor is there the slightest reason to believe that any supposed (but nonexistant) aging process, which would be chemical changes, would follow identical paths.

The proposition that vintage absinthe is a gnostic scholium is absurd. If so, what of archaeology, palaeontology, anthropology? We are talking about booze of a century ago that we still have intact. Elucidating its contents, and any SLIGHT changes that have taken place, is not very daunting, although it is time consuming and expensive.

We know what went in, and we know how these rather simple molecules break down or change. Alcohols can turn into aldehydes, or ketones; aldehydes into acids. Acids into esters. Esters can transesterify with other esters or alcohols. There is nothing mysterious to a chemist about changes like this. There is no cold fusion going on in an absinthe bottle.

To summarize: In your ear, Ordinaire.

By Destiny on Friday, March 22, 2002 - 07:15 pm: Edit

And preserved in absinthe, no doubt.

By Head_Prosthesis on Friday, March 22, 2002 - 07:12 pm: Edit

E. Pernods brain in a jar???

By Destiny on Friday, March 22, 2002 - 07:07 pm: Edit

>> "FWIW, I have far more information at my disposal than one may assume."

Ted, (or should I call you Dr. Franknfurter?) Are you hinting that you have a (gulp)... TIME MACHINE?

:-)

By Tabreaux on Friday, March 22, 2002 - 04:14 pm: Edit

"Unless you can compare the original and the 100 years old side by side(something, by definition, impossible), how can you know what has changed?"

Consider that certain examples of civil engineering seem 'impossible' to me. This is simply because being that I am not a civil engineer, I am not familiar with the approaches, tools, and techniques available to resolve the obvious problems, much less the ones that are not so obvious.


"What I'm saying is that nobody, including you, knows what those changes are."

I am not certain as to what basis there is to make that assumption. FWIW, I have far more information at my disposal than one may assume.

By Mr_Rabid on Friday, March 22, 2002 - 03:34 pm: Edit

Dr, you postulate absinthe in a vaccuum.

Knowledge of the available technology and methodology available to the original producers, combined with analysis of samples, will yield some very similar results.

Like the scientists who made a mummy, in the old school Egyption style- spells and all- and did so quite successfully.

You have more than 100 year old sour milk to work with here- you have the legacy of knowledge left by the farmers and the technology they used. Ted has not been forced to construct a bull milking machine and find out the hard way. Granted, there are gaps, but it isn't as if he was handed a black box.

By Destiny on Friday, March 22, 2002 - 03:26 pm: Edit

Just make sure it's a cow and not a bull.

By Dr_Ordinaire on Friday, March 22, 2002 - 03:03 pm: Edit

"Your point is perfectly logical, with the only significant exception being your assumption that attention to changes in absinthe over time have been ignored (by us)"

Ted, I'm quite sure that you have not ignored that there are "changes in absinthe over time".

What I'm saying is that nobody, including you, knows what those changes are. Unless you can compare the original and the 100 years old side by side(something, by definition, impossible), how can you know what has changed? Which flavor was there in the beginning and which is the result of the interaction of two (or more) flavors over 100 years?

I believe I said this before, but I'll run the risk of being repetitious. To try to reconstruct absinthe from a 100 year-old sample is like trying to determine the taste of milk from a 100 year-old sample. You will spend a lot of time figuring out what has changed and still not be sure of the result.

The other option, far more logical, is to go and milk a cow.

By Head_Prosthesis on Thursday, March 21, 2002 - 08:07 pm: Edit

Oh Ted. You slay me.

By Destiny on Thursday, March 21, 2002 - 07:58 pm: Edit

You tricky monkey, Ted! Your lips are tighter than a {insert favorite tight thing here}

By Tavarua on Thursday, March 21, 2002 - 07:47 pm: Edit

Well, all right then, but there better damn well be some leaves and twigs in the bottom of the bottle. The maceration step is my favorite part.

By Tabreaux on Thursday, March 21, 2002 - 07:41 pm: Edit

For packaging, we've decided on clear recycled glass bottles, Eastern European style labeling (with a graphic lifted from B. Conrad's book), and screw cap tops that don't seal properly. You can expect a bar code, but only because recycled waste requires tracking information.

Enjoy.

By Destiny on Thursday, March 21, 2002 - 06:14 pm: Edit

Ted - Will Jade labels have barcodes? Barcodes are icky!

By Tabreaux on Thursday, March 21, 2002 - 02:22 pm: Edit

Your point is perfectly logical, with the only significant exception being your assumption that attention to changes in absinthe over time have been ignored (by us). This is not the case.

By Dr_Ordinaire on Thursday, March 21, 2002 - 01:45 pm: Edit

"Ordinaire is also wrong in saying that old absinthe bottles are necessarily oxidised, and thus inaccurate or even worthless in conveying to us today what the original drink tasted like."

Oxy, I'm not a chemist, I used the word "oxidation" because I read it somewhere in the Forum. Truth is, I have no idea of what processes happen in a bottle of absinthe over 100 years. I don't feel too bad about my ignorance, since NOBODY knows what happens.

All I know is that something happens. The color changes. Something happens to the chlorophyll (and to who knows how many more compounds). Does this affect the taste? Nobody knows.

You compare it with cognac (100 years old vs. new). This comparison may or may not be adequate. Cognac does not change color with time. Cognac has no chlorophyll or (as far as I know) essential oils. You may be comparing apples and oranges.

Anybody who has tasted absinthe "fresh off the oven" and the same absinthe a year later knows that there is a difference. A year in the bottle improves it. How can we know that 10 years would not improve it even more, and 100 years even more so? (Of course, with diminishing returns).

To affirm that "vintage absinthe DOES taste like the original" is a meaningless proposition. Cannot be proven. Or, if you wish, it's not science. It's dogma.

Something for you to ponder. I read here some time ago that, even during absinthe's time, those that showed the "feuille morte" color (i.e. older ones) were highly appreciated.

Did the people of the time know something you guys are trying to ignore? Vide, that absinthe improves (i.e. changes) with time?

By Baz on Thursday, March 21, 2002 - 06:23 am: Edit

HI_HO!

By Verawench on Wednesday, March 20, 2002 - 11:07 pm: Edit

We interrupt this thread to bring you joy.

Kick back, have a few glasses of your finest green goodness, and watch:
http://newtown.hi-ho.ne.jp/raibo/raidersei/image/agency/cm/

By Rimbaud on Wednesday, March 20, 2002 - 07:51 pm: Edit

No thanks.

By Giovannigray on Wednesday, March 20, 2002 - 07:48 pm: Edit

Since this thread started with Betty, I'll redirect it there for a moment. I just got 2 bags of her La Bleue-filled chocolates. They're very good.. The liquor and the dark chocolate play surprisingly well together

Don't know what their availability is right now..but, for future reference, they're nice.

Administrator's Control Panel -- Board Moderators Only
Administer Page |Delete Conversation |Close Conversation |Move Conversation