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> Thujone content of authentic absinthe, A few revelations
dr_ordinaire
post Feb 12 2004, 04:10 AM
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A little historical data and then I yield the podium to the Forum experts.

Chemists may have had problems measuring winnie.gif', but nobody can seriously say that they couldn't measure the volume of essential oil extracted from an herb. Pernod tells us that their finished absinthe had 150 ppm.gif of essential oil of wormwood. How much winnie.gif is that?

As per TABREAUX, June 2000:

"FWIW according to Sacco and Cialva (1988), oil of Artemisia absinthium typically is comprised (w/w) of 59.9% alpha and 2.3% beta, which equals 62.2% total. "

So it's 150ppm x .62 = 93 ppm.gif (or mg/Kg)


93 mg/Kg coincides nicely with what Don Walsh (Ted's distiller) said in 2000:

"The EU allows absinthe of commerce to contain up to 10 mg/Kg -- equivalent to parts per million -- which is mild compared to the estimated 60-90 mg/Kg of premium Belle Epoch absinthes. "


This coincides also with what Ted had found about levels of winnie.gif in vintage absinthes, over many years of research and several analyses:

On June 5, 2000, TABREAUX said:

"Using every bit of information I've processed over the past seven years, my calculations indicate that quality original Pontarlier labels contained anywhere from 50-100mg/kg total winnie.gif. "

http://www.feeverte.net/archive/messages/16/138.html

Since they were making a faithful reproduction of Pernod, what levels of winnie.gif could we expect in Jade? Lets see what Don revealed on June 5, 2000:

"Yes, pre-ban Pernod was probably close to 100 mg/Kg. As we are preparing to market a (non-EU compliant) authentic recreation of Pernod, and as we have the original pre-ban products to comapre it to, our product will be in the 90 mg/Kg class."
http://www.feeverte.net/archive/messages/16/138.html

Of course they put 90mg/Kg, since TABREAUX declared in June 18, 2000

"Granted, a product with little winnie.gif is generally representative of a poorly crafted, non-authentic product,"


http://www.feeverte.net/archive/messages/16/42.html

But now, Feb. 8, 2004, Ted thinks different:

"If the concentrate is a properly distilled product, it will contain only a very tiny concentration of , and certainly nowhere near 100 mg/kg!! "


Excuse me? Jade's Authentic Pernod Absinthe, in 2000, had 90mg/kg of winnie.gif' but Jade's Authentic Pernod Absinthe, in 2004, has next to none. Will the authentic Authentic Pernod Absinthe please stand up? They cannot BOTH be authentic, you know.

Could it be that Ted is so horrendously incompetent as a researcher and a chemist that he spent 7 years researching and analysing vintage absinthes and only could come up with results that are wrong by a factor of TWENTY!

No way. Ted is a very competent chemist. And the numbers he posted on June 5, 2000 (50-100 mg/Kg) are the REAL numbers for winnie.gif' in vintage absinthe.

Don mentioned 90mg/Kg in Jade, not because he wanted to lure the "get-me-high" crowd, but because 90mg/Kg is what you get WHEN YOU MAKE AUTHENTIC ABSINTHE. Not a good or bad number, just what it is.

Were they bullshiting us in 2000 or are they bullshitting us now?

So what has actually changed in the last four years: the chemical composicion of vintage absinthe...or Jade's marketing plans?

< 10 mg/Kg = European Market Open > 10 mg/Kg = European Market Closed

You have to reach your own conclusions. Phil's indignation, though poorly expressed, is valid. This is an historical travesty. They are trying to sell us Premium Absente as Authentic Absinthe.

The history and the very essence of absinthe are being changed under our very noses.

Anyway, let's finish this post with a funny note. According to Ted on June 5, 2000, those who buy the new "thujone-free" Jade looking for secondaries are shit-out-of-luck, because Ted thinks that:

"I do agree that I feel that winnie.gif is not the only player in the secondary effects, although I'm convinced it plays an important role. "


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traineraz
post Feb 12 2004, 04:16 AM
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Dr. O --

Would you mind reviewing George Dubya Bush's speeches and statements over the last, say, 15 years?

Thanks! hyper.gif

The stuff you quoted was largely "before my time," so to speak. Surely there is a point where Ted announced that his early findings were wrong. Did you find that, or did you stop looking . . .


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dr_ordinaire
post Feb 12 2004, 04:19 AM
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One bullshitter at a time, Trainer, one at a time...


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I_B_Puffin
post Feb 12 2004, 04:34 AM
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I think in 2000 Ted was going by calculations based on others research and the assumption that close to all the chop.gif made it through the distillation process.

Now in 2004 he has had actual test results and accurate measurements.

If you don't believe Ted, read the article from LDF. They tested vintage Pernod.
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I_B_Puffin
post Feb 12 2004, 04:42 AM
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Of course that is just a guess since Ted hasn't actually published any of his work.

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BlackJack
post Feb 12 2004, 04:43 AM
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What IS it with you, man? Gee, you don't think that in 3-odd years, Ted's research may have uncovered that his initial estimates were INCORRECT?! It happens all the time in science.

What motivation, exactly, would Ted have for low-balling the -chop.gif- content of vintage absinthe (and absinthe in general)? If he ever did end up selling a commercial product (for which I hold no breath), it would be more to his advantage to do what the rest of the absinthe-makers do and make unsubstantiate claims of HIGH -chop.gif- levels. It's not like there are enough people with the skill and equipment to test them. If anything, by telling the TRUTH, he undermines the mass appeal of any theoretical future product, since most people just look for high Pr0K-RiBZ.

So, yes, you're right. Ted and Don, like the rest of us old-timers, initially held incorrect ideas about the levels of -chop.gif- in absinthe. The difference is, Ted went to the trouble to TEST those ideas, and to then admit his error. What have YOU contributed to the sum of absinthe knowlege, besides a few paranoid rants and absinthium in the coloring step?
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thegreenimp
post Feb 12 2004, 04:53 AM
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Ordinaire forgot his "Winston" that he received from the Lounge, the last time he started this garbage.


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BlackJack
post Feb 12 2004, 04:57 AM
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Oh, sorry, I didn't see the bit where you explain that you think Ted is low-balling to let him market his absinthe in Europe. Brilliant. Except he seems in no hurry to market anything just now.

How then do you explain products like Versinthe Blanche, and other "bitters" which claim to have 30mg/kg, but barely register a blip on assays done by people OTHER than Ted? Are they in on the conspiracy too?

It doesn't take an incompotent chemist to get false-positives for alpha-chop.gif, if I'm reading the German report correctly. There are other terpenes that spike very close to alpha-chop.gif and pretty much EVERYBODY has been making the same mistake.
Ted is one of the people clever enough to figure it out.

Listen, Dr. O. If you are so convinced you are right, put yout gas chromatographer where your mouth is. Go do your own research and show us the numbers. Until then, anything you say is nothing more than wild speculation.
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tabreaux
post Feb 12 2004, 05:28 AM
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I did make the above quotes, just as did Dr. Wilfred N. Arnold and numerous other researchers who preceded us by well over a century. It should serve as a fine example of how researchers sometimes find themselves in error, simply by taking for granted a widely accepted, age-old belief that later proves to be false. In fact, I also took these antiquated assumptions for granted through the extent of my historical research in the '90s.

As I pointed out in another thread, it all seems plausible enough until one has proper means and the materials, and takes the initiative to make a thorough examination. This had not been performed previously for various reasons, perhaps the most prevalent of which being the fact that the technology capable of resolving such questions has only been available in recent times, and another being the unavailability of original material. Even so, a former member of this board once clearly demonstrated that despite having the necessary equipment, if the protocol or setup is compromised ever so slightly, the result is false positives (remember when Herbsaint supposedly checked out at 35mg/kg? - which is absolutely false).

It wasn't until I was well into the analytical phase of my research that I attained the required analytical resolution and happened upon this revelation, which proved to be startling. So significant was it that it caused a profound change in my thinking, which set off a rather fascinating chain of events. Others who follow suit by following the specified protocols to the letter will realize the same result (as Ian has demonstrated). Whether or not vintage absinthe contained detectable concentrations of thu-jone or any other compound never made any difference to me whatsoever. Nevertheless, it remains a fact that it did not contain significant concentrations of the lone compound selected to demonize it by those factions who had political/economic reasons to do so.
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Head_prosthesis
post Feb 12 2004, 05:55 AM
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Here's a rhetorical question.

If chop.gif is bad, and causes seisures and what not
and it's not naturally present in well made absinthes
(such as Vintage Pernod) why would producers want
to add a poison to a drink that doesn't necessarily
need it in the first place?

"Enjoy the cool, fresh taste of Chesterfield"



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hartsmar
post Feb 12 2004, 07:31 AM
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Excellent point Head...


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Aion
post Feb 12 2004, 07:49 AM
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Umm, the thrill of suicide?
Marketing slogans like:
"magic poison for the rotten people"
ranting.gif
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Dr. Paul
post Feb 12 2004, 11:58 AM
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I guess the thrill and danger could sell to some idiots (of which there are alot of). Like smoking - it kills you, gives you very little back, yet makes you look "cool" while doing it. Or at least thats an argument i got back a few times when asking people why they smoke.

Guess its just another one of those "the public in general are idiots".

Yes, i know i am.
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Absomphe
post Feb 12 2004, 03:23 PM
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I was going to respond with comments like the last few, but suddenly the definition of "rhetorical question" flashed brilliantly in my otherwise addled brain, and I demurred! dev.gif


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Hiram
post Feb 12 2004, 03:54 PM
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It's because it makes it more of a vice. We had a thread here a while back about our favorite vices. Poison in absinthe makes it more so to the popular (i.e. ignorant) mind.

I could give a shit less about thujone, but if I can expect no "absinthe effect" (I refuse to consider it "secondary"), then I'll be god-damned if I'm going to spend $100 for a bottle of booze unless it's damned fine single malt scotch. When I want an anise flavored liqueur, I'll buy a pastis for $30. I don't care if the effect comes from thujones or from Tom Jones, or a combination of other herbs, but that's why I pay exorbitant shipping rates. That, and I'm a die-hard romantic who loves the ritual of it all.

It seems to me there was a lot of dissing of Absente going on not long ago. Wasn't the derision because it didn't contain the all-important (at that time) thujone? Maybe we should all reconsider Absente. Without changing, it has gone from fake absinthe to real absinthe! It's got wormwood and anise and it louches, so it's absinthe, right? Or isn't it? Doesn't Southern Wormwood count? It's a traditional ingredient of absinthe. It's not as bitter as Grand Wormwood, but now we all hear real absinthe wasn't bitter (contemporary accounts to the contrary). It doesn't have any appreciable amount of thujone, just like real absinthe.

The question we are again facing, and whose answer keeps changing, is: what are the criteria for a drink to be considered genuine absinthe?


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