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Full Version: How much Vintage still exists?
The Fée Verte Absinthe Forum - The Oldest, Largest, Most Authoritative Absinthe Forum. > Absinthe & Absinthiana > Vintage Absinthe
Just a question out of common curiosity, being that I have read numerous discussions, posts, and writings that claim Modern day Absinthes come nowhere near Vintage Absinthes. And that is not the claim I am disputing, I feel pretty confident without having ever tried any Vintage that modern day comes nowhere close. But what I am curious is about how many have claimed to have tried or claim to have several bottles in their possesion. blink.gif So is there any idea of how much is still in existence?

Forum monkey only for today promise headbonk.gif
They are indeed rare, but I'm not once to answer in detail.

I've tried one tiny sample of pre-ban Berger that was exquisite. and one post ban sample of Pernod Tarragona which wasn't as good as the Berger.

but these were samples generously shared by friends.
"I feel pretty confident without having ever tried any Vintage that modern day comes nowhere close."

This is not an accurate assumption.

There is no such thing as "modern day" around which a generic blanket can be tossed.

Today, there is crap absinthe, mediocre absinthe, good absinthe and magnificent absinthe. The problem is that very little, if any, of the last is for sale.

In former times there was poisonous absinthe, crap absinthe, mediocre absinthe, good absinthe, and magnificent absinthe. All of it was for sale. I can't say how much of it still exists, and I don't see how it could matter except from a supply/demand price standpoint. The price is very high, there's no doubt about that.
Very good post and very good point, I was rash in my statement and should have made it not so generic in leaving it open to all pre-bans. I was refering to the more magnificant products of the era to which everyone seems to compare the better modern reproductions. <----- if that makes any sense?
It makes sense, but I can't answer.

Recently, I entered a very serious (apparently) food and drink forum to get Peter's back, because he was introducing absinthe to them, and one or two (utterly ignorant) guys were going, "yeah, like any absinthe from over a hundred years ago actually survives today - yeah right, and YOU tasted some? Yeah right. Do you live in PARIS, or something?"
(he does, but that's besides the point).

People do have bottles of that old absinthe. I know of several such people. I have none myself. My guess is, the quantity in the world is very small, and of that, what is likely to change hands is much smaller yet.
Spanish Pernod Tarragona still turns up quite frequently, occasionally even in case lots - I'd guess that about 40 bottles have come on to the market in the past year, which is perhaps a little more than average. The overwhelming majority of this dates from the 1950's and 60's.

Pre 1915 French absinthe is much rarer. Bottles in poor condition - only two-thirds full, no labels - seem to turn up very month or so (although beware - some are outright fakes, and many have been tampered with). Perfect or close to perfect bottles - four fifths full or better, labels and seals still in good condition - are extremely scarce; less than a handful come on to the market in an average year, and of that small quantity, most are Pernod Fils. Any other brand is a museum level rarity.

All these numbers are estimates of the TOTAL quantities coming on to the market. Only a percentage - sometimes a small percentage - is ever offered on the international market to English speaking collectors.

Actually, given how popular absinthe was, one would expect pre-ban bottles to be slightly more common than they are - its much, much easier for instance to find pre-1915 cognac bottlings than it is to find original absinthe. My guess is that there are two reasons for this - being primarily a bar or cafe drink, absinthe was far less likely to be kept in private cellars than cognac or liqueurs like chartreuse were, and secondly, due to the intense anti-absinthe propaganda of the period, a percentage of bottles were deliberately destroyed over the years.
Donnie Darko
Funny, I thought that bottle in the middle in the bottom left pic looked familiar. Label got damaged in shipping, but the same distinguishing marks are there...
envy........ w00t1.gif
I'm sure this has been asked and answered here before, but since this thread is active, I'll ask anyway...

Is there any difference between Spanish Pernod Tarragona and pre-1915 French Pernod, besides when & where it was made? If so, how different are they? In what ways? What causes the difference?

More to the point - if you taste the Tarragona, are you getting an accurate picture of pre-ban Pernod Fils?

Donnie Darko
QUOTE (Dpanice @ Sep 27 2003, 07:44 PM)
If so, how different are they?  In what ways? 

if you taste the Tarragona, are you getting an accurate picture of pre-ban Pernod Fils?

In my limited experience, 50-60s Tarragona has a great flavour, and the bouquet will fill your entire house, though I've heard the recipe is different from Pre-ban Fils and earlier Tarragona, specifically that it contains added licorice root. It seems to have a certain odd "honey" like aspect to it that earlier tarragona's & pre-ban fils lack, perhaps due to different wine alcohol used in the process.

The 1930s Tarragona I sampled honestly tasted more interesting than the 50s, the bottle was a darker green colour, and the colour seemed to be preserved better. And that still tasted inferior to pre-ban Pernod.

Keep in mind tasting comments on vintage Pernod are highly subjective, as it's not often you find a sample in excellent condition which has a flavour that's an accurate representation of what it was like when it was first bottled. The effect is similar to trying to pick out details from a fuzzy old photograph...

Again though, Oxy could answer this question better than I...
And has recently. Do a search in the old forum to find the discussion.
QUOTE (crosby @ Sep 28 2003, 01:08 AM)
And has recently. Do a search in the old forum to find the discussion.

Thanks, Crosby. Admittedly, I was being lazy. av-80.gif

Anyway, I searched the old forum and found a rather interesting thread on the subject:, if anyone else who wasn't here in March is interested...

Herr Hepcat
So, has anyone heard of this brand?

From the 70's?
Marc Chevalier

"Do a search in the old forum to find the discussion. "

That advice also applies to you, Herr Hepcat. Try searching for the word "Argenti". You won't be disappointed.

QUOTE (Herr Hepcat @ Oct 6 2003, 09:12 AM)
So, has anyone heard of this brand?

From the 70's?

(sigh) - I would like to try the Tarragona...or purchase a CASE!!!

This is one that is missing on my shelf. Oxy, any samples? AAAAAHHH...shameless.


Impy...I'm still looking for that "Authentic" Herbsaint.
Herr Hepcat
Marc, thanks, I did. biggrin.gif

Crosby, WOW!! THANKS!!
Marc Chevalier

I'm glad you found what you needed to know. All of us, even the people who have been on this forum forever, have to do an archive search now and then. It can be the best way to find answers.

That case of Tarragona looks farmiliar......Oxy?
does anyone know how the Pernod Fils being produced today compares to that of the vintage? Or is there no comparison?

From my understanding, although I have never tried the vintage, there is no comparison.

Modern Pernod (US) and Pernod 68% euro-absinthe are not even close... strike that.... even in the same solar system as vintage Pernod Fils (pre or post ban).

I can barely manage compare Modern Pernod to Un Emile...
How much Vintage still exists?

just ask betty wittels. w00t2.gif
Also, the new pernod isn't even distilled. I'm sure it would be a lot better if they at least distilled it.
Modern Pernod is ghastly. I'd take Deva or Serpis
over it any day.
Deva and Serpis in comparison to vintage Pernod?

Lutefisk in comparison to Australian lobster tails? sleepy.gif
Modern Pernod is one of the worst drinks I have ever tasted. It's a really bad pastis.
Thanks in part to the labor of unseen friends, I recently got to try another sample of pre-ban Pernod Fils (from a different bottle than the first I'd tried) and a sample of '50s Pernod from Tarragona.

Unfortunately I have no photos, no proof, no empty bottle, nothing but memories.

However, the difference was really striking. The Tarragona had a little in common with modern Abisinthe 72, thanks to the star anise. On the whole it was less impressive than the pre-ban Fils, which can't really be compared to any modern commercial product, though it has some elements in common with Un Emile 68. Imagine UE68 with 'more of everything' and you'll have some idea.

I don't need to do this again, and probably won't (good thing for my bank balance, too), but I'd recommend it to anyone who has the opportunity.

Many thanks to the source(s) for making this possible.
I just wish the modern Pernod would try to make their product a little better rather than worrying only about their profit. Just think how much more money they could/would make if they strived to get their product up to par with the preban. I'm sure more of us would buy it if it were up to that level or even at the same level as products from LDF.
I don't think they could make that much more money. To most people, some green dye and the word absinth(e) on the label is enough to make them buy an overprized bottle.

It's business, and who cares about a few hundred conoisseurs/nerds, when there are gazillions of idiots that are ready to buy anything.
QUOTE (Touch-money @ Jun 1 2004, 11:58 PM)
I just wish the modern Pernod would try to make their product a little better rather than worrying only about their profit.

A couple of months ago, I took the time to write an email to the Swedish division of Pernod-Ricard. Since they stated on the swedish website that the modern Pernod 68 is made according to the same receipt as during the "Belle Epoque", I thought I'd inform them that there are people who actually know better... They didn't bother answering. Not even an automated "thanks for your e-mail"... So, who gives a shit?

No one.

Pernod = poop.gif
Very early in my interest in absinthe, before I knew anything but what I had read in Conrad's book, I wrote to Pernod to ask them if it was true that Pernod (the "pastis" so popular in France) was the old Pernod absinthe, without wormwood. I got some sort of automated reply to the effect that they would get back to me on that. They didn't. In time, I knew the answer without their help. As for their modern "absinthe", well I can't add anything to the previous psot.
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