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> La Grenouille, Absinthe Superieure 65%
Steve
post Mar 27 2011, 12:49 AM
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Some of you received bottles of a prototype of La Grenouille that was made by Stefano (Conte d'Ugenta) a couple of years ago (?) in Italy. I was very sad when it didn't go into production, and for a while it seemed that it would never be made again. Last summer Stefano got together with Martin Zufanek at Martin's distillery in the Czech Republic, and they made a commercial batch of this wonderful absinthe (as well as another, which I will talk about in detail very soon).

La Grenouille is bottled in 500 ml bottles at 65% abv. The back label reads (in Czech and English):
QUOTE
A premium absinthe, distilled according to the most accurate historic protocols and enriched with rare and unique herbs. Let its warm, distinctive aroma tempt your senses, enveloping you with its sensual Mediterranean character.


It should come as no surprise that fragrance plays a very important role here. Stefano has a talent for bringing out incredible, powerful and seductive fragrances from each of his absinthes. As with l'Italienne, I find myself spending a lot of time just sniffing the drink in the glass. It's intoxicating, feminine and perfumy, but not to the extreme as in l'Italienne, and apparently they don't share any uncommon herbs. I think it's probably more "approachable" to some people than l'Italienne. That's not at all meant as a criticism of l'Italienne, which I think is genius.

Now that it's available for sale, it has become one of my most preferred drinks.
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Absomphe
post Mar 27 2011, 03:10 AM
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Mine, as well.

It has more of a floral character, as opposed to the almost literal perfume of L'Italienne, and the anise is also more prominent.

That being said, it's still very dry, in the manner of an Italian vermouth, or even a Calvados, and those who don't normally use sugar might wish to make an exception in this case (as Tibro commented regarding the prototype.)
I prefer it sans sucre, onacuz I don't wish to obfuscate any of those delicate floral nuances that seem best enjoyed at close to a 4:1 dilution.


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Donnie Darko
post Mar 27 2011, 09:27 PM
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I had it at his place last week. I was so enamored with the L'Ancienne that I forgot to comment much on Grenouille, which was great in its own right. Absomphe is right about the dryness reminiscent of a very high quality vermouth, and I liked that a lot.

Stefano is leading the pack in terms of shoving lots of complex and alluring aroma into the glass. Nobody else's absinthe has the aromatic intrigue of his absinthes, which make you go back for repeat smells (and tastes!) again and again. Rather than making a fennel/anise/wormwood bomb, he's making drinkable perfume with a well-rounded, seamless and completely unique flavor. I love me an anise/fennel/wormwood sledgehammer, but there's some real appealing craftsmanship evident in Stefano's fragrant productions.

I have also decided not to get sucked in to the "new absinthe every couple of months" trend that in my opinion has over-saturated the absinthe market, making it harder for small distilleries that make just a couple of products to survive. There are enough quality choices out there these days, that, due to my own selfish desire to keep those specific absinthes around, I've decided I'm just going to buy those absinthes and not the new shiny objects. If something new comes along and it impresses discriminating palates and a sample can be acquired so I can make sure it's worthy, then I MIGHT spring for it, but right now, between Cheryl, Zman, and Stefano/Zufanek and Leopold (sad his absinthe can't be got in NYC), I'm satisfied, and want to make sure they're able to keep making what they're making.
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absinthist
post Mar 27 2011, 09:36 PM
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Both are marvellous. Some sort of a lesson for absinthe-makers wannabees-Lord, Joe, Metys, Smuggler and others.

A lesson never to be learnt, btw.


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Artemis
post Mar 27 2011, 09:44 PM
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QUOTE
I have also decided not to get sucked in to the "new absinthe every couple of months" trend that in my opinion has over-saturated the absinthe market


Long overdue. Kudzus to you.


This post has been edited by Artemis: Mar 27 2011, 09:45 PM


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Artemis
post Mar 27 2011, 10:09 PM
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I think I'll go over to Eric's place and cook him some cabbage and hamhocks, pretty soon.

The cabbage has a floral character that makes one fart like a dragon.

The hamhocks contributes some porky goodness.

Maybe we'll crash the Houston event but I don't think either of us will ever pass for steampunks, whatever the fuck that is.


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thegreenimp
post Mar 28 2011, 12:04 AM
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I'm wearing one of my ugly Hawaiian shirts for my little talk.


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Donnie Darko
post Mar 28 2011, 11:58 AM
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QUOTE(Artemis @ Mar 27 2011, 06:09 PM) *

The cabbage has a floral character that makes one fart like a dragon.


That's the hardest I've laughed this year. Thanks.
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Kirk
post Mar 28 2011, 03:00 PM
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Steam punk is so 1890.


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Artemis
post Mar 28 2011, 09:08 PM
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They're going to party like it's 1899.


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Jaded Prole
post Mar 28 2011, 09:48 PM
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Sounds good.
I don't know about "Steampunk" but as an anachronist, I've been buying my clothes here and, aside from dip pens, I've taken a liking to shaving with a straight razor.


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Artemis
post Mar 28 2011, 09:53 PM
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This would seem to be the venue:

http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/1GckekqlsoD...7VKIktUcN0vGILw


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Artemis
post Mar 28 2011, 09:55 PM
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Dressing like that and using a straight razor are some of the things I always thought I might want to do but probably never will. Did someone teach you how to use the razor or did you just wing it?


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Jaded Prole
post Mar 28 2011, 10:05 PM
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"Wing it" is a funny way to describe the learning curve.
Fortunately a minimum of gore and no Van Gogh incidents.
Some areas (around the jugular) are better done with my old fashioned safety razor.


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Donnie Darko
post Mar 29 2011, 11:33 AM
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I've been shaved with a straight razor, but never done it myself. It really is a better shave than any modern razor, but I think I'd accidentally decapitate myself if I were to try doing it in my usual hurried fashion early in the morning.
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