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> Premier Absinthe
Artemis
post Jan 21 2014, 11:44 PM
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I had always thought that "Premier" was supposed to be descriptive of a certain brand of absinthe (in short, advertising copy), but it wasn't, it was the family name of the man who started the distillery. Anyway, someone posted a 1930s newspaper article about him at the French forum and I translated it. Rather than chew my cabbage twice, I'll just link it here rather than post the whole mess.

http://www.museeabsinthe.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=2719


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Jaded Prole
post Jan 22 2014, 12:47 PM
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Thanks. Great work, I could feel the pain of dumping those great vats into the river. Though I've never had the chance to taste Premier fils. I'm grateful for the reawakening, however gradual, of the green fairy.


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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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Provenance
post Jan 22 2014, 04:44 PM
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I think I tried it. I remember it as being quite light and floral.


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L'Assommoir
post Jan 22 2014, 08:19 PM
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Nice work! Thanks for the translation!
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Artemis
post Jan 23 2014, 01:08 AM
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Thanks, guys.
It proved to be not as informative as I had hoped at first glance, but it contained some nice details, such as the dumping of the absinthe, and the fact that the government promised to compensate people and never delivered (go figure).
I'm not sure if I've ever tasted Premier.
Some further rudimentary research indicates that probably a lot of wormwood came from the Vercors area and the Dauphine Alps in the late 19th century, so I doubt Premier was the only distiller to use it. I don't know what the situation is today, but surely the same quantity of wormwood isn't produced there today, even if the quality is the same, which maybe it's not. It goes to an issue that's been discussed here and at the French forum - why aren't people making something that good anymore?


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Hillbilly
post Jan 23 2014, 03:57 AM
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Thank you for the translation. That was a very enjoyable read. Even for a simple fellow like me.
Although I did feel a tinge of sadness reading where after all those years of hard work, and growing your passion into a thriving business, to have it yanked out from under you and told NO MORE! Having your livelihood stolen by an ignorant mass of misinformed gubment and public officials.

Yes, I felt a small piece of his pain.

And shame.


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Jaded Prole
post Jan 23 2014, 11:21 AM
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QUOTE(Artemis @ Jan 22 2014, 08:08 PM) *

It goes to an issue that's been discussed here and at the French forum - why aren't people making something that good anymore?

I would say that what was being made by then was the product of a century of knowledge and an infrastructure of agriculture that no longer exists. I also doubt that there was as much government regulation as the liquor industry has today -- especially toward Absinthe. Finally, the period in which pre-ban Absinthe was made was a time of high craft where products were a mark of pride, not simply commodities to squeeze as much profit out of as possible from production shortcuts to market. Even then, as the article states, " The great producers could be counted on a few fingers. "


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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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Kirk
post Jan 23 2014, 02:12 PM
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Industrial agriculture is a deal with the devil.


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Tibro
post Jan 23 2014, 03:14 PM
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I doubt that the devil of industrial agriculture was as sinister then as it is today. I'd be inclined to think it might have been as benign, in many ways, as much of modern mom and pop production is today. Better living through chemistry and all.


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Artemis
post Jan 23 2014, 05:22 PM
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Which brings to mind a question I might as well pose here. With some states easing up on cannabis, someone asked me (not in these exacts words), how is the supply side being addressed? I didn't know. Is the stuff being furnished by the government? I know the federal government has (or used to) a cannabis farm at the University of Mississippi. Or will growers be licensed and taxed? Or what? It's an agriculture that could put a lot of people in the green, so to speak. Not that they aren't already, but I mean legally. The government can always find ways to fuck such a thing up, but at least it's not the nightmare that prohibition is.

EDIT: I received an answer privately that satisfies my curiosity, so nobody needs to address it further. I can understand why it's a sensitive subject, and it was out of place in this thread to begin with, but we don't do moving, hiding, and deleting of posts here, so I'll leave it up.


This post has been edited by Artemis: Jan 23 2014, 09:39 PM


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Artemis
post Jan 23 2014, 05:45 PM
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QUOTE
I would say that what was being made by then was the product of a century of knowledge and an infrastructure of agriculture that no longer exists.

Well it's not that the question remained unanswered. I answered that way myself, but it's nice to get validation from old published sources. Old commies, too.
QUOTE
a time of high craft where products were a mark of pride, not simply commodities to squeeze as much profit out of as possible from production shortcuts to market
.
Speaking of that, also over there, it was announced (for the how many-eth time?) that Pernod is going to make a real absinthe. Yawn. Someone (an American, actually, I think the same person who posed the first question) said yay! I disagreed, to put it mildly.


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Artemis
post Jan 23 2014, 06:17 PM
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QUOTE
after all those years of hard work, and growing your passion into a thriving business

Check this out:
IPB Image


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Jaded Prole
post Jan 23 2014, 09:51 PM
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Nice!


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Artemis
post Jan 23 2014, 11:32 PM
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I tried to find photos of the town today, but none of them were satisfactory. I did run across that old bill of sale, and the size of the factory amazed me. Apparently that's the place in the suburbs that was built after the original at the Place de Fontaine in town was too small. If I understand correctly, when they resumed operations to make pastis, it was back at the Place de Fontaine, and not at the bigger place. It's likely gone today. Note that the bill of sale is not for liquor of any kind, but for "empty sacks", 250 of them at 35 (cents, I guess) each for a total of 70 (francs, I guess).


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Hillbilly
post Jan 24 2014, 01:44 AM
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That header is a thing of beauty.


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