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> European Committee to vote for new legal definition of absinthe
Mindshifter
post Nov 23 2012, 12:53 AM
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Hello all,

I'm not frequenting this forum too much, so perhaps this is old news or already being discussed in another thread.
Anyhow, I'd just like to share that yesterday I received an email from the (Swedish) National Food Administration, informing that the European Committee for spirit drinks is likely to vote for a legal definition for absinthe on their next meeting.
This is an excerpt from the draft, according to the NFA:

"25a. Absinth
(a) Absinth is a spirit drink produced by flavouring ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin or distillate of agricultural origin with absinth wormwood (Artemisia absinthum L.) in combination with other plants as Roman wormwood (Artemisia pontica L.), anise (Pimpinella anisum L.), fennel (Foeniculum vulgare Mill.), hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis), mint (Mentha spp.) or with other plants provided that their taste is not predominant, using the following processes or a combination thereof:
(i) maceration and/or distillation at less than 86% vol.;
(ii) re-distillation of alcohol containing grains or other parts of the plants referred to in the introductory phrase of this point;
(iii) addition of natural distilled extracts of the plants referred to in the introductory phrase of this point.
(b) The minimum alcoholic strength by volume of absinth shall be 40%.
© Absinth shall contain a quantity of thuyone (alpha and beta) between 5 milligrams per litre and 35 milligrams per litre.
(d) Absinth shall have a minimum anethole level of 1 gram per litre.
(e) Absinth may have a maximum sugar content of 50 grams per litre expressed as invert sugar.
(f) Absinth shall not be coloured by other substances than those referred to in point (a), except for the colourants authorised on the basis of quantum satis, in accordance with Part I of Annex V to Directive 94/36/EC.”

What to think about this?
The drink is consequently referred to as "absinth", not "absinthe", but I guess that is of lesser importance.
One thing that really stands out is the wording in ©, where it's established not only a regulation for the maximum thuyone quantity but also a minimum quantity (!); a required quantity of no less than 5 mg per litre! blink.gif frusty.gif

In the email, the goverment agency says any comments on this should be submitted by November 29th.

Sorry if this already has been brought up. Otherwise, thoughts on this?


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The absinthe extends life, the absinthe expands consciousness, the absinthe is vital to space travel.
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dr_ordinaire
post Nov 25 2012, 03:35 PM
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Thanks for the post, Mindshifter.

Does anybody know why the macerating alcohol has to be less than 86% by volume?

Re: the thújone content, it seems to me that it makes sense for historical reasons. Absinthe originally was a medicine and, for all we know, thújone may have been one of the reasons for its efficacy as such.

It's like a rule stating that true tonic water has to contain quinine, instead of some other similarly tasting substance, even though we don't drink it to prevent malaria anymore.


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The Standard Deviant
post Dec 4 2012, 08:34 AM
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I'm surprised this subject isn't being discussed more, personally I think a minimum chop.gif limit is a bit bizarre.

Here's more of the text:

http://www.absinthes.com/themag/news-absin…f-absinthe-1072


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Tibro
post Dec 4 2012, 11:23 AM
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The bizarre bit is that if the legislation were to focus more closely on proper distillation protocols and appropriate taste profile the legal statement of minimum and maximum limits of chemical compounds becomes irrelevant. Take care of what goes in and the result takes care of itself. Advice fit for each individually. The means justify the end, not the inverse.


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Père Ubu
post Dec 4 2012, 04:56 PM
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I heard the crapsinthe makers were responsible for some of the weirder bits. But I wasn't there, so you'd have to ask those who were present.


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Zman
post Dec 5 2012, 04:17 AM
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I guess it was the crapsinth(e) makers that had it absinthe defined, in part, by maceration and/or distillation.
"
distillation?" What a load of garbage.


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Jaded Prole
post Dec 5 2012, 05:15 PM
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A fine absinthe is the product of knowledge, craftsmanship, and talent. An exceptional absinthe is the product of those things plus obsession. Most absinthe is the product of marketing.
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L'Assommoir
post Dec 5 2012, 07:34 PM
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I am wondering…

Say a distiller makes a perfectly good and absinthe run, yet it falls just below the minimum porkchop.

What would the options be?

Would there be a temptation to sneak in some laboratory grade t-bones? Thujone-Bottle.jpg

…then fucks up and adds too much, to the point of making it toxic.

Is that a realistic danger?
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Jay
post Dec 6 2012, 04:40 AM
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The afore-mentioned t-bones isn't something you add to a batch of absinthe with an eye-dropper in order to boost the levels, my friend. You'd simply throw in a few sage leaves to macerate and call it good.
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L'Assommoir
post Dec 6 2012, 09:58 PM
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QUOTE(Jay @ Dec 5 2012, 08:40 PM) *

You'd simply throw in a few sage leaves


True.
I was thinking of a situation that a distiller would not want to make a noticeable change in flavor/formula, and boost the tbone level as cheaply as possible.

And come to think of it, I guess if adding pure laboratory pork was economical someone would be doing it already to get the 'max legal' amount.
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Alan
post Dec 7 2012, 09:06 AM
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QUOTE(L'Assommoir @ Dec 6 2012, 01:58 PM) *
the 'max legal' amount.

Some are claiming precisely that.
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Tibro
post Dec 7 2012, 10:06 AM
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Is your wording meant to suggest some skepiticism as to what these unnamed "some" are doing?


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to retain my sanity.

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Alan
post Dec 7 2012, 10:48 AM
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No.
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L'Assommoir
post Dec 7 2012, 07:31 PM
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The whole thing makes about as much sense as tying a definition of beer based on minimum/maximum humulene content.

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Bruno Rygseck
post Dec 7 2012, 09:44 PM
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True, and t-jone is not a flavoring agent as far as I know. While they are at it, they could also define 'bitter' in absinth(e) context. Colored with A.a?


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