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The Fée Verte Absinthe Forum - The Oldest, Largest, Most Authoritative Absinthe Forum. > Absinthe & Absinthiana > Absinthe Brands Discussion
Hopelessly Lost
With the number of quality brands of absinthe verte exploding - and expanding beyond France - this poll is meant to take the current pulse of the market, insofar as FeeVerte members are representative of dedicated anglophone absinthe connoisseurs.

Questions I hope this poll helps answer are -
Have non-French brands been catching on in the French-style traditional absinthe market?
Have any other brands successfully challenged Jade's monopoly on the image of "highest quality"?

Included in the poll are all the commercial brands of distilled absinthe that are (a) green - I consider la bleue to be a different drink, deserving of a separate poll, (b) intended for mass production - i.e. no one-time limited editions, and (c ) that have a rating of 80+ in the Absinthe Buyer's Guide, since that seems to be a good starting point. I found 11 brands that fit the description, almost half of which are non-French.

My warmest thanks to all those who vote.
Jaded Prole
If you want to know what's worth buying, why don't you read the Buyer's Guide?
absinthist
Mebbe specification that we will be stuck there with a several cases of verte is needed?
Steve
Two words, "Doubs Mystique".
Nephrite
QUOTE(Jaded Prol @ Feb 3 2008, 09:21 PM) *

If you want to know what's worth buying, why don't you read the Buyer's Guide?


This could be considered the lazy man's Buyer's Guide and confirms what I have learned from the Buyer's Guide. I'm very interested in the "Other" category and where brands like the affordable Canadian Taboo fall. Great poll… even if I'm not qualified to cast a vote yet.

Like Hopelessly Lost, I'm tagging along before shelling out 1-2 weeks of wages to get started… which is relative to our savings account. Mine doesn't exist.
Wild Bill Turkey
The one thing that's kind of cool about this poll is that it gives you a chance to see what percentage of the respondants chose which absinthe as their single favorite ( Or "Beest" , which I'm guessing is a hip new word that means really cool) which is different information than the reviews in the guide. I don't put a lot of stock in these forum polls, but this has the potential to be interesting once in a while.

Heure Verte forum did a formal top-ten poll of current favorite COs for 2007 last summer that was really interesting, I'm assuming they'll do it again this year, and we ought to do one here at least once in a while. It provides quick answers of a different sort to newcomers and a certain amount of insight for all of us, as long as the results are taken in sufficient perspective for how it's ultimately meaningless.

The HV poll allowed eveyone to list their top ten in order, and the results were tallied to allow you to see the number of times various brands were selected for different postions on the list.

The results were surprising to me, and showed a cultural difference in preferences and tastes, which is why I think it would be interesting to try it here. But FV has a different culture, in several ways, than HV, and the poll would have to be done differently.

While it would be great to see how the different established personalities would rank their top ten favorites, on this forum it's unlikely that a lot of the more interesting players would take the trouble, or state their honest opinions publicly. Almost as informative, however, would be an anoymous poll that allowed greater freedom and less pressure. It could take the form of a subforum, with multiple topics each representing a single absinthe. Each brand's thread has a poll asking where in your top ten you would place that absinthe. After a week results of the individual polls can be tallied and compiled into a single useful list.

That format would be a bitch to vote in, forcing you to go into and out of ten subfora to complete your list. But it would once-and-for-a-year-or-so give a definitve single answer to all newbie questions about what people on the forum like and in what order.
Marc
What about a separate forum allowing unregistered users to post ?
You would then obtain an anonymous Top Ten list.
If possible of course.
Wilson
If you allow anonymous to post, the board would fill up with spam.
Provenance
QUOTE(Hopelessly Lost @ Feb 3 2008, 12:27 PM) *
Included in the poll are all the commercial brands of distilled absinthe that are (a) green - I consider la bleue to be a different drink,


Not if you're green-blue color blind.

Hopelessly Lost
Just a little clarification -

I didn't intend for this to be some kind of "simplified buyer's guide." I think the individual reviews are a much better way for a potential buyer to get oriented, since they include much more information.

But it's one thing to give an absinthe a good-enough rating in the guide, it's entirely different to come out and say "this is my single favorite."

The idea here was to see if any of the new brands, like Doubs Mystique and Belle Amie, were providing good competition for Jade Liqueurs when it comes to who makes "the best" absinthe, and to see if non-French brands are catching on. Based on the responses so far, it seems like the answer to the first question is "yes," and the answer to the second question is "somewhat."

Nonetheless, when I first started drinking absinthe, no one would have seriously doubted that Jade Liqueurs made *the best* contemporary absinthe. A lot has changed since then, and it's interesting to see the market for top-quality absinthes expand and diversify.
Provenance
The "best" absinthe is the one you enjoy the most. It's a matter of personal taste, not group consensus.
jmark
Odd that Duplais wasn't represented on the list after winning Gold and Silver metals within the last 2 years…
Hopelessly Lost
That's true, the Duplais Verte should probably be included on the list. I used an arbitrary cut-off of an average rating of 80+ in the Absinthe Buyer's Guide to determine which absinthes to put into the poll, because I didn't want to be personally subjective in the brands I listed, and with a cutoff of 70+ I would have to have included 40-50 brands, which would have made a poll impossible. Duplais Verte is rated 79 in the ABG.

That being said, the wonderful thing about a forum format is that you can post your favorite if it's not up there.
EdouardPerneau
For me the best verte ever is : roquette 1797 I tried it today and I like it over verte suisse .

doubs mystique is very nice too :
my # 1: roquette 1797
my # 2 : doubs mystique
and #3: verte suisse
Fredfry
QUOTE(jmark @ Feb 4 2008, 05:28 PM) *

Odd that Duplais wasn't represented on the list after winning Gold and Silver metals within the last 2 years…


More specifically Duplais Balance which scores an 88 in the buyers guide should have been included…just my 2 cents abs-cheers.gif
Hopelessly Lost
15 votes each for the Combier distillery in Saumur and the Pernot distillery in Pontarlier - and a neck-to-neck race between Belle Amie and PF 1901 for the most votes. Very interesting.

abs-cheers.gif
Two Distilleries Duel
jmark
My own top 3 to date…

#1 Jade Verte Suisse
#2 Duplais Balance
#3 Verte de Fougerolles
josh_t
I find it difficult to choose between Eichelberger (Limitee Verte) and the Jade Nouvelle-Orleans, but I've decided to vote for the Eichelberger because I love the spiciness and the citrus notes. I'm surprised by the lack of support for Nouvelle-Orleans, which I perceive to be tastier than the PF1901.

I like the Montmartre and the Helfrich too. It's a shame that LdF don't sell the latter.
Patlow
I agree on Nouvelle-Orleans.
Hopelessly Lost
That's funny - so much sympathy for the poor Nouvelle-Orleans, but the poor bottle is still at zero votes.

Of course, many absinthes are very good without being anybody's favorite, and all of the ones listed in the poll are very much top-shelf. I would gladly give up my future firstborn if I could have a bottle of each, to sample at leisure.

The Pernot and Combier (Jade) distilleries are dominating all other producers, with 35 out of 44 votes.

Belle Amie is currently the favorite, at 25% support. Not a bad debut for an absinthe that has been on the market for a few months.
Tibro
I absolutely adore the NO, one of my very favoritest, but I could never stand a steady diet of that without interruption. I see it as kind of frilly and fancy, in a delightful kind of way, but I'm not really a frilly and fancy kind of person. Frilly and fancy would get tedious to me if there were no other context in which to appreciate its special qualities. For everyday forever I choose a clean, straightforward and yet slightly idiosyncratic workhorse. I could live with only that.
Absomphe
QUOTE(Hopelessly Lost @ Feb 6 2008, 04:01 PM) *

Belle Amie is currently the favorite, at 25% support. Not a bad debut for an absinthe that has been on the market for a few months.


And off the market for almost that long, which should tell you something.
Hopelessly Lost
Alright, I know this sounds a little extreme, but it only took 5 minutes to make this comparison.

I looked up the forum at the Wormwood Society that asked everyone to make a top 10 list, and gave each absinthe 3 topless absinthe fairies for being a top choice, 2 for being a second choice, and 1 for making it into someone's top three.

The Results:
PF 1901 - 29 topless absinthe fairies
Belle Amie - 25 t.a.f.
Edouard - 14 t.a.f.
Doubs Mystique - 10 t.a.f.
Nouvelle-Orléans - 10 t.a.f.

The implications are apparent. WS's recurring top 4 absinthes were the same as the top 4 here at FeeVerte, with Belle Amie and PF 1901 riding on top, just like they are here. And all of the top absinthes are, like here, products of the Combier or Pernot distilleries.

My conclusions based on these two polls:

1. The recent release of Belle Amie and Doubs Mystique by the Pernot distillery have caused it to rise to the rank of Jade Liqueurs in terms of absintheur appreciation.

Say what you will about "the best absinthe is the one you like most," the point is that, just like in 19th century France, a few distilleries have a reputation for excellence. Note that both of these new absinthes by Pernot are much cheaper than the Jade offerings.

2. Non-French Verts are probably simply not being sampled by enough people for them to have a fair hearing.

A few people really stand by their Eichelberger or Duplais, but there are - for now - few such people, and they probably have funny German-sounding names anyway.

Perhaps the rest of us should give these non-French absinthes a try, because we might be pleasantly surprised.

3. Nouvelle-Orléans - more than any other brand - is an absinthe that a lot of people really like, but that very few people would choose if they were stuck with one brand.

Is this perhaps due to its unusual flavor? Is its unusual flavor linked to its unusual color? Questions, so many questions…
G&C
Just shows how little they know at H5.
Fredfry
QUOTE(Hopelessly Lost @ Feb 7 2008, 02:38 PM) *


A few people really stand by their Eichelberger or Duplais, but there are - for now - few such people, and they probably have funny German-sounding names anyway.



Funny how Duplais Balance typically shows up on current top 10 list consistently, just read the WS thread
http://wormwoodsociety.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=3204 Duplais Balance shows up no less then on 13 top 10 lists. When you get done reading the thread we can all have a good laugh after all who we gonna believe, you or your own eyes? frusty.gif

Oh, by the way I didn't see to many German names on that thread.
Hopelessly Lost
I'm sure the Duplais is excellent. It's just that very few people list it in their top 3.
Wild Bill Turkey
QUOTE(Hopelessly Lost @ Feb 7 2008, 11:38 AM) *

Non-French Verts are probably simply not being sampled by enough people for them to have a fair hearing.

The same thing you noticed about the Nouvelle Orleans also accounts for the other non-french-style vertes. In general, they tend towrds "different" tastes. The Montmartre, Eichelberger, etc., tend to have other flavors or spicier profiles that deviate from the smooth, harmonious traditionally balanced flavor of a great french-style absinthe. These can be great, and in short bursts even be preferable to the "norm", but in selecting one absinthe for a desert island, most of us would play it safe with something we know we could drink every day.

I think the German and Austrian absinthes have gotten plenty of exposure. They're well liked by many. The Dutch Helfrich is on a lot of top-three lists here. The Nouvelle Orleans, as you say, is a big favorite. But most people wouldn't pick them for their one and only absinthe.
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