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The Fée Verte Absinthe Forum - The Oldest, Largest, Most Authoritative Absinthe Forum. > Absinthe & Absinthiana > General Absinthe Discussion
Testerlain
Hey crew:

Im looking for 411 on where to buy the greenie meanie IN EU (not from). Ive been travelling around and besides l'absinthe and some other bars that dont serve it I have not been able to find some. I understand the UK is the main place, but I also believe (Besides switz thats in the works) its legit everywhere now. Right?

Any info would help, and if you know exactly where... then you rock.

-[t]
sixela
Legitimate? It's complicated...some addresses peppered throughout.

Jut in case you come across pork ribs -- it is, of course, alpha-t h u j o n e gracefully corrected by this forum's software sp_ike.gif .

For those of you not interested in the long reply -- I also have some questions (in a larger font).

Most countries who imposed a ban on "absinthe" never defined very accurately what it was. So when the EU (between 1981 and 1988) actually defined the acceptable levels of Pork ribs in drinks, that offered a loophole: if you make a drink with absinthe extracts, compliant with EU regulations, is it "absinthe" in the meaning of the early 20th century laws?

1. France

The law hasn't changed -- but see above.

It's legit in France (but hard to find) as long as it doesn't say it's absinthe (absinthe can be *part* of something in the label, but if you name it e.g. "spiritueux a base d'extraits d'absinthe" you cannot print the word absinthe larger than the rest (yes -- seriously!).

The first "new" manufacturers were probably not really sure whether it would be classified as a pastis -- which has a maximum 55% vol alcohol content (Francois Guy, Fee Verte 45, Un Emile Pernot all seem to comply "just in case"). Apparently, the fog seems to have cleared somewhat since then, as Abisinthe (written in VERY big letters on the label -- note the extra "i"!) from Lemercier is 72% vol alcohol.

But then, some of the export brands that were stronger (France's regulations do not hold for exports!) don't comply with the labeling requirements, which makes them illegal in France (at least with their current label).

Pork ribs levels are only compliant if there's less than 10mg/l alpha-Pork ribs
(or is it mg/kg? I keep forgetting). Bitter spirits (like vermouths) can contain up to 35, but IIRC it'd be rather difficult to cram them into that category in France.

In France, there's always le Comptoir Frenchman in La Rochelle - not only does he ship e-mail orders, there's also a *real* shop...

http://perso.wanadoo.fr/frenchmanltd/final/tes.htm

for the address and opening hours (if they're still correct).

[Of course, it's quite a day trip from many other parts of France wink.gif ]

You can buy La Fee 45 (also called La Fee Verte) at the Absinthe museum - it's not a distilled spirit, but it's one of the better of the oil mix based one (but then I do personally really, really, really prefer the distilled ones).

Musée de l'Absinthe
44 rue Callé 95430
Auvers-sur-Oise France

Pretty close to the center of the action, and quite a good museum (I have a colleague called Guy Francois, so no prizes for guessing where he went on holiday...).

If you're into distilled absinthe and don't mind something different (though interesting), Francois Guy is certainly shrewd enough to sell you his stuff in Pontarlier (if you're not put off by lots pure anise, do try to grab Pontarlier Anis: it's not an absinthe, but it's pretty good) .

Not sure if Pernot (of Un Emile fame) in Pontarlier is as approachable - and I don't think he'll let go of his 68 grade bottles that he usually ships to Liqueurs de France in the UK

[If anyone knows he does -- let me know w00t1.gif ].

Dunno about whether Lemercier is open to the public; from the former competing town of Fougerolles. Their *pastis* is shamefully called "La Bleue"as a blatant rip-off of the Swiss bootlegs (but then, nobody was making absinthe in France when they gave it that name).

Note that -- aside from the Anheuser-Bush like naming tactics (trademarking "La Bleue" in 1939!) that are going to give any Swiss (see below) some headaches -- Lemercier La Bleue is also pretty good, contains Artemisia Vulgaris and even, apparently, A. Absinthium (and always has -- but they call it a pastis - which it evidently is: it doesn't taste at all like an absinthe - so they didn't get into any trouble).

2. Spain

Never been illegal, and if you were born in the 40/50s, you could've
stashed away the last bottles of Tarragona Pernod (with a D) Fils and made a killing today.

The Spanish don't seem to appreciate the drink that much, though - not even some of the best producers. It's readily available, though, at least in Catalonia, though its lack of popularity means you'll have to go to a specialized liquor store. Segarra is my favourite (and they have some excellent other stuff too!).

3. Czech Republic (donning asbestos suit)

Absolutely legal.

You'll find absinthe in any liquor shop (who enjoy trapping the naive UK tourists that still think Hill's is absinthe). Avoid anything like the plague, except perhaps Sebor, which still pales into <word withheld> against the French and good Spanish stuff.

This the only brand that I'd actually call an absinthe. Not to be confused with the "Sebor Strong"rip-off, which is window cleaner but which is usually bestowed upon the naive outside of the Czech Republic. Still, their Slivovice is pretty good...

Still, Hill's is dirt cheap there, if you're also looking for high alcohol cough syrup ( though I would only inflict it upon my worst enemies) - and so is Staroplzenecky Red (idem, except if you have friend who chew on liquorice wood for a hobby). Then there's Staro regular, which I would not even inflict upon anylow life vermin.

If anyone is interested in any of the bad ones -- come over to Antwerp and you can have Hill's, Staro and Staro Red for free. Except I keep the Staro white's empty bottle - that's very elegant (in contrast to the content, even though it *smells* nicely). All missing merely 5cl ;{.

4. Belgium and the Netherlands.

Have laws close to the French laws. Something just called "absinthe" thus cannot be distributed (but it is not a controlled substance - you can't be pestered for drinking it).

Dutch customs are asked about it every 20 years or so, though, so it'd take them quite some time to look up its legal status. Belgian customs don't have the absinthe law as one of the listed laws they are required to be aware of either - so it's all pretty academic. French "no it's not absinthe, legally" spiritueux a base de etc. are all very probably legal (but I'm not a lawyer).

It's totally unknown in these parts -- with the majority of the population thinking it'll make you blind, mad, dependent on Pork ribs, etc. [for the record, I was already mad, I'm not blind and my dependence on the stuff isn't worse than my dependence on the occasional wine, good Cognac, Pineau, or whisky].

It used to be pretty popular pre-ban in Belgium (with some Belgian brands re-labeling French stuff that made great advertisements), so I'm sure that'd change if they actually got a taste of it (and were educated).

5. Germany

Apparently, some "absinthes" manage to classify themselves as bitter spirits there (allowing 35mg/l Pork ribs). Some undoubtedly are indeed bitter concoctions closer to the worst Czech fare than anything else, so if that's the price to pay for more Pork ribs, I'll have mine with 6mg/l Pork ribs thank you.

It's legal to call the stuff just plainly "absinthe" IIRC.

No idea whether you trip over the stuff or it's hard to find -- haven't stopped to shop when coming back from Bohemia.

If anyone finds a palatable German brand (I mean: GOOD, not world-record-breaking-Pork ribs-levelled), let me know as well...

6. Switzerland (Val de Travers)

See other thread.
Mephistopheles
Easy on the Staroplzenecky Six, What little it lacks in taste it more than makes up for in punch.
Esseintes
You may pick up bottles here if you want. I can also send them to a hotel where you stay..
sixela
QUOTE

Easy on the Staroplzenecky Six, What little it lacks in taste it more than makes up for in punch.


The same holds for denaturated 99% vol ethanol. of course -- it all depends on what you're after in life.

[As I said -- I do like the nose, which is pretty interesting. It's just better not to drink it -- especially not diluted with water; I don't know if it's wormwood or fennel which gives it its foul aftertaste, but foul I do find it]

What's Staroplzenecky Six, BTW? The only two bottles I have are the Jugendstil style bottle that just says "Absinth" and is around 70% vol alcohol (used to be green, now is clear), and the Absinth Red, with nice modern design and 60% vol alcohol (which is drinkable if you like to chew on liquorice wood, but is unbelievably monoaromatic).

Whoever *designed* their bottles is good, though.
sixela
BTW, any "live" shops for absinthe in Germany (with decent brands) close to the Belgian border?
sixela
QUOTE (www.Absinthe-Distribution.com @ Sep 27 2003, 08:11 AM)
You may pick up bottles here if you want. I can also send them to a hotel where you stay..

Hmmh -- I lost the context there.

Who can pick up bottles of what where ("here" as in this forum is a rather awkwardly virtual place to pick up bottles)?
crosby
Here, meaning where he lives in Germany.
Esseintes
Sorry, wasn't really precise.
Rimbaud
QUOTE (Mephistopheles @ Sep 26 2003, 11:08 PM)
Easy on the Staroplzenecky Six, What little it lacks in taste it more than makes up for in punch.

Is that you, Raindog (from the Lounge)?
Marc Chevalier


Sixter wrote: "What's Staroplzenecky Six, BTW?"

Sixter, please forgive Mephistopheles's punctuation error. He omitted the comma that should have separated "Staroplzenecky" from "Six".

If there had been a comma, you would have been able to guess that "Six" is a shortened version of your own name, "Sixter".


sixela
QUOTE (Marc Chevalier @ Sep 29 2003, 05:50 PM)
Sixter wrote: "What's Staroplzenecky Six, BTW?"

Sixter, please forgive Mephistopheles's punctuation error.  He omitted the comma that should have separated "Staroplzenecky" from "Six". 

If there had been a comma,  you would have been able to guess that "Six" is a shortened version of your own name, "Sixter".

[WARNING: severaly off-topic post follows]

[Rummages through profile]

Is it? Sixela...Sixter... Six

Duh [hits self on head].

Hey, I already got a *nickname* around here?

[I suppose I should be flattered -- the first sixter I googled up is a user that looks a lot like Stupendous Man!]


Mhh -- too late to change names to something more appropriate to my proper self, like the Fairy Penguin in my avatar...and yes, I've forgotten to Gimp it green, too.
QBrick
QUOTE (sixela @ Sep 27 2003, 12:28 AM)
If anyone finds a palatable German brand (I mean: GOOD, not world-record-breaking-Pork ribs-levelled), let me know as well...

Try "Tabu 73".
AFAIK it is a fully destilled product, colored with spinach and with a quite high alcohol level. With 30 EUR/0,5l it's even more expensive than F.Guy.
Tabu 73 managed to appear on my list of favorite absinths, because it is quite tasty and because I can buy it at a local shopping-mall.
Rimbaud
QUOTE (QBrick @ Sep 30 2003, 02:18 PM)
"...colored with spinach..."

Yuck.
QBrick
Ever tried it?
TaLi
blink.gif
Rimbaud
QUOTE (QBrick @ Sep 30 2003, 03:41 PM)
Ever tried it?

Nope. I don't want to either. I don't need to taste cat piss to know I don't want to drink it.
QBrick
QUOTE (Rimbaud @ Sep 30 2003, 10:23 PM)
QUOTE (QBrick @ Sep 30 2003, 03:41 PM)
Ever tried it?

I don't need to taste cat piss to know I don't want to drink it.

= vivid display of ignorance
TaLi
I can see this thread having so much potential tv_horror.gif
QBrick
Well, if I wasn't so much distracted by a Blixa Bargeld interview right now on tv... w00t1.gif
Donnie Darko
Who's interviewing Blixa?
Rimbaud
QUOTE (QBrick @ Sep 30 2003, 04:40 PM)
QUOTE (Rimbaud @ Sep 30 2003, 10:23 PM)
QUOTE (QBrick @ Sep 30 2003, 03:41 PM)
Ever tried it?

I don't need to taste cat piss to know I don't want to drink it.

= vivid display of ignorance

No, more like "vivid display of me not agreeing with you". I'm not being ignorant, I'm just leery of German absinthes. No offense if you're German, but I haven't heard anything good about the absinthe coming out of Germany. The fact that Tabu 73 is colored with spinach doesn't make it very enticing to me personally. If you like it, fine. Drink it. Just don't call me ignorant. Okey dokey, new kid on the block?
Wiener.gif
ZombieHand.gif
QBrick
QUOTE (Rimbaud @ Sep 30 2003, 11:47 PM)
QUOTE (QBrick @ Sep 30 2003, 04:40 PM)
QUOTE (Rimbaud @ Sep 30 2003, 10:23 PM)
QUOTE (QBrick @ Sep 30 2003, 03:41 PM)
Ever tried it?

I don't need to taste cat piss to know I don't want to drink it.

= vivid display of ignorance

No, more like "vivid display of me not agreeing with you". I'm not being ignorant, I'm just leery of German absinthes. No offense if you're German, but I haven't heard anything good about the absinthe coming out of Germany. The fact that Tabu 73 is colored with spinach doesn't make it very enticing to me personally. If you like it, fine. Drink it. Just don't call me ignorant. Okey dokey, new kid on the block?
Wiener.gif
ZombieHand.gif

There's nothing for you to agree on, since you haven't tried it yet.

Concerning my nationality: It's no problem, you're allowed to mention the war.
Sad but true, what you heard about German commercial absinths (I tried them all BTW), with the exception of Tabu73. Did I mention it?
Needless to say, that they didn't use spinach flavor for the 73, just the color.

And to bring this debate to an end: I didn't intend to call you ignorant as a person. Just the cat-piss argument as a substantiation didn't impressed me much.

Peace, daddy. Beer.gif

@Donni: It's Gero von Boehm who is charge, but he's is asking stupid questions like "what is it, that Einstuerzende Neubauten seem to have such an affection for the ugly things in life?" and "you as a person appear quite morbid. why is this?".
Anyway, I didn't see Blixa for a while and he is in a pretty good shape, even has stopped smoking.
Jethrow
I would be very interested in hearing what the flavor of Tabu 73 is...
Not because of the spinach mind you, just because I hadnt hear of any decent german absinthes that were distilled... I assumed from prior reading they were all oilmixes and most not absinthe except in name...

I am actually not a huge anise fan, I am liking (relative to the rest) the Un emile LB, compared to the UE68, UE sapin, and La Fee it is much less like inhaling ouzo shooters (wink)
Rimbaud
QUOTE (QBrick @ Sep 30 2003, 06:11 PM)
Peace, daddy. Beer.gif


Cheers! Beer.gif chop.gif
QBrick
QUOTE (Rimbaud @ Oct 1 2003, 03:56 PM)
QUOTE (QBrick @ Sep 30 2003, 06:11 PM)
Peace, daddy. Beer.gif


Cheers! Beer.gif chop.gif

@admin: We need some emoticons for us vegetarians.
A cabbage maybe or cucumber.
Rimbaud
QUOTE (QBrick @ Oct 1 2003, 10:10 AM)
QUOTE (Rimbaud @ Oct 1 2003, 03:56 PM)
QUOTE (QBrick @ Sep 30 2003, 06:11 PM)
Peace, daddy. Beer.gif


Cheers! Beer.gif chop.gif

@admin: We need some emoticons for us vegetarians.
A cabbage maybe or cucumber.

There's always: CucumberRoll.gif or pineapple.gif.
QBrick
QUOTE (Rimbaud @ Oct 1 2003, 05:34 PM)
QUOTE (QBrick @ Oct 1 2003, 10:10 AM)
QUOTE (Rimbaud @ Oct 1 2003, 03:56 PM)
QUOTE (QBrick @ Sep 30 2003, 06:11 PM)
Peace, daddy. Beer.gif


Cheers! Beer.gif chop.gif

@admin: We need some emoticons for us vegetarians.
A cabbage maybe or cucumber.

There's always: CucumberRoll.gif or pineapple.gif.

I missed the 'Show all' button.

And for those individuals, who just reject the industrial aspects of animal breeding, but would devour an animal parasitic life-form that is usually kept under spacious circumstances there is a cute little watching.gif.
Balzdeep
QUOTE (QBrick @ Oct 1 2003, 08:44 AM)
QUOTE (Rimbaud @ Oct 1 2003, 05:34 PM)
QUOTE (QBrick @ Oct 1 2003, 10:10 AM)
QUOTE (Rimbaud @ Oct 1 2003, 03:56 PM)
QUOTE (QBrick @ Sep 30 2003, 06:11 PM)
Peace, daddy. Beer.gif


Cheers! Beer.gif chop.gif

@admin: We need some emoticons for us vegetarians.
A cabbage maybe or cucumber.

There's always: CucumberRoll.gif or pineapple.gif.

I missed the 'Show all' button.

And for those individuals, who just reject the industrial aspects of animal breeding, but would devour an animal parasitic life-form that is usually kept under spacious circumstances there is a cute little watching.gif.

And for those that embrace the industrial aspects of animal breeding and wish to refer those aspects to the parasitic forms of life that bite and scratch us... watching.gif = chop.gif
looks-nice.gif = spam.gif
looking-up.gif = Wiener.gif
lemur.gif = SalmonRoe.gif

I'll have a catdog with a side order of fried lemur, please!
Zouave
Well I've tried Tabu 73, and there's no way on earth it's a purely distilled product. It's clearly an oil mix, with the characteristic thick star anise-rich louche we all know.

Whether its green color is from spinach or not, I can't say (I doubt it, though). But it really doesn't matter, because after a few sips, you won't care. What you'll really want to know is the distance to the nearest sink.
Mephistopheles
QUOTE (Rimbaud @ Sep 29 2003, 07:26 AM)
QUOTE (Mephistopheles @ Sep 26 2003, 11:08 PM)
Easy on the Staroplzenecky Six, What little it lacks in taste it more than makes up for in punch.

Is that you, Raindog (from the Lounge)?

who?
TaLi
blink.gif mmmmmm guess not
Rimbaud
So there's TWO crazy MF's out there drinkin' Starz-O-Plenty?!?!
Molly
I was curious about the oldest untouched thread…

Regrettably, this is no longer it and you'll have to look for it yourself.
Tibro
Curiosity kills the thread?

Not fucking likely. This is the greatest resource available for information about absinthe. Anybody with any curiosity should wander the alleys and forgotten by-ways with all the intent of an archeologist.

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