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> commercial hyssop in absinthe, Why?
Artemis
post Jan 6 2012, 01:24 AM
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QUOTE
If Absinthe were anything more than a small niche market, perhaps yes.


I disagree. Let's say a small producer finds Kirk's hyssop to be everything we claim and then some, and proceeds to rely upon it to make a product that bears the very signature of said hyssop. Buyers of this absinthe come to rely upon it continuing to be what it is. Then Kirk (or whoever - it matters not that it is Kirk) decides "to hell with growing and selling hyssop". Now the producer is up a creek. And if it's not a small niche market to begin with, the inconsistency is almost guaranteed, because there is not enough fantastic hyssop to go around in a big mass market. We all know that inconsistency is a problem in almost all commercial absinthe from the getgo: small market, big market, it doesn't matter.

QUOTE
And if Peter was a "serious CO operator", he would be asking such questions in private instead of on a public forum.


I don't know if Peter is or he isn't, but to be fair, the question was publicly posed and publicly answered. I thought every answer had merit.


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Steve
post Jan 6 2012, 01:41 AM
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Good hyssop isn't difficult to grow. I had a huge plant in a community garden plot in San Francisco that produced a large quantity of flowers that I had to harvest every week during the summer. I won't say it was equivalent to Kirk's but it was extremely fragrant. I eventually dug the plant up because it was too big, I didn't need that much hyssop, and I wanted to use the space for other plants. I intended to start over with a new plant but the greenhouse got too hot and all the seeds died last spring. Maybe I'll try again this year.
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Artemis
post Jan 6 2012, 01:46 AM
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I never tried to grow it, but it no doubt helps to have the right soil and climate, which Kirk appears to have. I don't think there's any way it grows well just anywhere. I've never been able to grow delphinium anywhere (for example).


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eric
post Jan 6 2012, 01:46 AM
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QUOTE
because there is not enough fantastic hyssop to go around in a big mass market.



There is no such thing as a "big mass market" when it comes to craft distilled Absinthe.
When a small maker loses a source, they simply find a replacement.
Happens all the time.


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Kirk
post Jan 6 2012, 01:55 AM
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QUOTE(pierreverte @ Jan 5 2012, 03:15 PM) *

QUOTE(Kirk @ Jan 4 2012, 04:23 PM) *

What is up with commercial distillers that they put poor grade hyssop in their product when I have available the solution?
I don't get it.


How much can you grow per year in total, what is your ability to expand, how stable is the estimated output per year, how long do you plan to farm and if you stop, will someone be trained to take over?

I get the sense you are implying something, between the lines, are you impugning my ability?
Truth is that last year I grew more hyssop than you and every commercial distiller in the country could ever possibly use Peter.
In fact, I composted over 150 pounds of perfect hyssop. My ability to expand is secure, I would raise less cows, buffalo and pork on my daughters farm, her and my son in law love the work but herbs are less stinky, which answers your last question about who will take over.
My walk in de-humidifier for coloring herbs probably didn't look like much to Artemis when he was here but I can easily process sufficient hyssop for the entire world absinthe production in there. Same thing with the acre of herb beds, the few hundred hyssop plants may not look like much but again, it's enough to supply every absinthe producer in the country. It's no weedy back yard garden either, the rows are laid out straight, well mulched and not a blade of grass in them.
But you're right, when I die, or if I quit, you won't see hyssop like that again, on the scale that I am growing it and am prepared to grow it, it's not just the climate, soil and strain.


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Artemis
post Jan 6 2012, 02:22 AM
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QUOTE
When a small maker loses a source, they simply find a replacement. Happens all the time.


If that's true, it doesn't matter how good Kirk's hyssop is, and the whole thing is moot.


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Artemis
post Jan 6 2012, 02:25 AM
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QUOTE
My walk in de-humidifier for coloring herbs probably didn't look like much to Artemis when he was here


Looked pretty impressive to me, but what do I know?

I know how to bring logic to bear when I see an old-time pissing contest arising in the forum. I do know about that. Been on both sides of it. Happened all the time.


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Donnie Darko
post Jan 6 2012, 02:52 AM
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I like Kirk's answers. That's a man who gives a shit.
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Steve
post Jan 6 2012, 02:56 AM
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QUOTE(Artemis @ Jan 5 2012, 05:46 PM) *

I never tried to grow it, but it no doubt helps to have the right soil and climate, which Kirk appears to have. I don't think there's any way it grows well just anywhere. I've never been able to grow delphinium anywhere (for example).

I'm sure that's true. I tend to think things are easy to grow when certain things grow vigorously for me with no effort. I would bet hyssop would grow well anywhere rosemary or lavender grow well. I can't grow tomatoes.
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Steve
post Jan 6 2012, 02:59 AM
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Kirk, I'm pretty sure Peter wasn't implying anything about you. He was just making the point that a commercial absinthe distillery would be foolish to rely completely on one source which may or may not be there in the future. As one of my old bosses said, "Steve, what if you are run over by a truck?".
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Kirk
post Jan 6 2012, 03:12 AM
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By that logic nobody should strive to be the best because of the pressure to live up to what you once did.
My point is that if the bar is raised, everyone and his brother will feel like living up to it. If I can they can and I'm saying they should.
It sounds like you are saying it's better to make a mediocre product than to make the best because it might be too hard to replicate. I see people replicate the best every day, like it was common practice.
It breaks my heart to see people make and sell bullxit, worse than that is when they excuse it by telling honest craftsmen what they are working so hard for is foolish.


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Kirk
post Jan 6 2012, 03:16 AM
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Yeah, Petr was just trying to lay a paternal hand on my shoulder but it looked to me like "Hey kid, let me tell you how the real world works"
Kind of like when Ted used to tell everyone "don't even bother trying, you can't do this"
I'm not the only person in the world that could supply a distiller with good product, if you want to try that, talk to me, I think there are thousands of people that could, you may be one of them and I'll help you.


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R3al Caravano
post Jan 6 2012, 03:17 AM
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I so enjoy this conversion: that I will add something I enjoyed today as well.
"There’s no measure for that distance. – But
you. Eventually you’ll be called; you’ll go, and be
a standard unit through incredible space. No
I don’t want to turn from the pleasures of mattress,
glass, the well-bound book, the well-glazed duck
l’orange with almond slivers, electrical pylon
softened in morning snow, the nylon bunched about
her toes then straightened transparently over a thigh…
But we’ll be called, so must prepare; must even
understand our hands on rocks, in sun, regress
to lizards; even learn to love the light the way the nuclei
of algae do, entire; even learn to love the dust and
even the subatomic bones of dust; and make
the tarpan and aurochs, name them, know them eye to eye."


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Keep it r3al.
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Steve
post Jan 6 2012, 03:17 AM
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QUOTE(Kirk @ Jan 5 2012, 07:12 PM) *

It sounds like you are saying it's better to make a mediocre product than to make the best because it might be too hard to replicate.

Not at all. I think everyone should do as Martin did and grow their own or at least find a couple reliable sources.

I have seen shit hyssop and it's really not worthwhile making anything from it.

By the way, Kirk, your herbs are fantastic and I would highly recommend them to anyone.
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Kirk
post Jan 6 2012, 03:24 AM
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Well, I was talking to Artemis; "to make a product that bears the very signature of said hyssop. Buyers of this absinthe come to rely upon it continuing to be what it is. Then Kirk (or whoever - it matters not that it is Kirk) decides "to hell with growing and selling hyssop". Now the producer is up a creek."
We are talking of hyssop, last year I couldn't grow enough lemon balm, Pontica and Genepi, hopefully I can live up to everyones needs next year. The main reason I came up short on those is that I underestimated the demand. At the same time I burned 200 pounds of finished wormwood. It's a careful juggling act to not process too much of one and not enough of the other, very difficult to predict needs, very costly to work up herbs that later get composted.


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