Help - Search - Members - Calendar
Full Version: Germain-Robin
The Fée Verte Absinthe Forum - The Oldest, Largest, Most Authoritative Absinthe Forum. > Absinthe & Absinthiana > Absinthe Brands Discussion
Pages: 1, 2
Steve
From the Ukiah Daily Journal:

QUOTE
His final blend of herbs for the absinthe include rose geranium, lemon balm, wormwood, hyssop, lemon verbena, star anise, fennel seed, and lemon peel. <…> The herbs were placed in a 200-liter tank for two weeks, and then put into the still until the alcohol cooked out. Small amounts of the original sprits are returned to the mixture and the liquid is then screened through a gold filter. <…> an alcohol content of 44.15 percent by volume.


This doesn't sound promising. The article says it will be released Aug. 1.
Tibro
Hmm, I'd think he might need some help with that.
Provenance
GR's brandy is excellent which should give them a good base to work off of. As for their absinthe, Spoon is right, it don't sound at all promising.
Shabba53
From what I've heard, this doesn't use the brandy for its base. It uses Mead. That intrigues me, but doesn't give me the feeling that it's going to be a good absinthe.
Provenance
Mead as an absinthe base? Too weird for me.
Tibro
Metheglin gone mad?
Provenance
Afraid so.

QUOTE
Former Germain-Robin apprentice Crispin Cain has been perfecting his absinthe for over 18 years. He starts with an old family recipe for apple-honey mead, then distills it by hand on the original Germain-Robin pot still.


Fortunately he leaves out green anise and anything else that doesn't belong in absinthe.
Donnie Darko
Wow, if it took him 18 years to perfect his "absinthe", imagine how long it would take for him to learn how to make actual absinthe!
Wild Bill Turkey
Interesting use of the word "perfect". Like saying it took Bush 8 years to "perfect" our economy.
G&C
He forgot to add the juniper berries!
Jaded Prole
But he uses a Golden Filter so it must be good . . .
Donnie Darko
Probably tastes like a Golden Shower.
Jaded Prole
Ha!

You're probably not far off.
Provenance
I thought a silver filter was used for blanches.
Shabba53
Crispin just called me about an hour ago. I should have a bottle within about a week. I'll let you all know what I think. I'd be happy to send out a few samples as well.
Marc
QUOTE(Spoon @ Jul 30 2009, 07:25 PM) *

an alcohol content of 44.15 percent by volume.

No shit?
I would have tried 44.32 personally.
Leopold
The boys at Germain Robin are fine, fine distillers. There's some fine spirits coming out of that place. Have been for decades now.
OCvertDe
Lance Winters is a fine, fine distiller as well. There's some damn good spirits coming out of that place too.

Yet, when they found out what he was planning for his "absinthe", everyone here knew it was going to be crap.

And, while interesting in it's own way and expertly crafted, relatively speaking (i.e. compared to ABSINTHE) they were right.
Kirk
Lemon is not a flavor I associate with absinthe but, who knows?
Jaded Prole
It takes more than distilling skills to make a good absinthe. It helps to actually know what it is and to sample some better brands first.

I'm grateful for those who took the time to learn before marketing their products.
Provenance
I'm grateful to those who learned even if they never marketed.
Donnie Darko
QUOTE(Leopold @ Jul 31 2009, 01:23 AM) *

The boys at Germain Robin are fine, fine distillers. There's some fine spirits coming out of that place. Have been for decades now.


I'm sure they are. Maybe one day I'll taste their so-called absinthe and be impressed, but I'm of the opinion that before one can learn how to successfully break the mould, one must know how to make the mould. Maybe they did and found the mould so unacceptable that they decided to abandon it entirely, but there are zero examples of "absinthes" that have achieved that so far.

I think your absinthe is a great example of how to do break the mould while being steeped in tradition. The base is very non-traditional and contributes an enormous amount to the drink, but it ends up giving it a very fine taste and aroma, exactly what one would expect from a good absinthe, while also being quite unique and completely unprecedented. I'm OK with people creating all sorts of unique interpretations of whatever traditional thing they are trying to emulate, but it seems to me the ones that are the most successful (by successful I mean of high quality, not financial success) are ones that applied the extensive knowledge of the masters that came before them to their own creations, as opposed to chucking most of what came before in favor of some mad scientist amalgamation.
Leopold
Not making judgements one way or another about something that I haven't tried (their absinthe).

Just posting a general opinion for those who may be unfamiliar with Germain-Robin, is all. Neat company.
Donnie Darko
Yeah, I've heard nothing but good things about them.
Provenance
My understanding is that distilling quality brandy (at which GR excels) takes quite a different skill set than distilling absinthe.
speedle
QUOTE(Kirk @ Jul 31 2009, 09:11 AM) *

Lemon is not a flavor I associate with absinthe but, who knows?


There's too much lemony goodness in most American absinthe, so far. Lemony-ness and ginny-ness seems to be the template, with the exception of a few including DP's and Pacifique. Even though I really like Leopold's, it's even in there a tiny bit.
Steve
I will reserve final judgment until I taste it, if I ever do. I can believe that rose geranium, lemon verbena, and lemon peel might be reasonable additions (in small quantities) for a blanche. I am pessimistic because a) no green anise and b) the extremely low ABV.
Leopold
QUOTE(speedle @ Jul 31 2009, 11:21 AM) *


There's too much lemony goodness in most American absinthe, so far.


FWIW, I use a relatively small amount of Lemon Balm in my Absinthe. IMHO, what you are tasting are esters from the Pisco.

Of course, that doesn't mean that is isn't too lemony from you taste…it's just that that flavor is coming from a non-traditional source.
OCvertDe
So what you're saying is,

just because Absinthe makes some people think of black licorice,
that doesn't mean it's got any in it.

No, that's not what you're saying at all. Never mind.

And to my taste, the lemony goodness in your Absinthe is fresh and delicious.
speedle
Ha! No, I can certainly appreciate that comment Todd, and I guessed as much. After all, there's no chocolate in most wine either, is there? Whatever it is in yours, it's just right, for sure.
Absomphe
QUOTE(Leopold @ Jul 31 2009, 10:43 AM) *

FWIW, I use a relatively small amount of Lemon Balm in my Absinthe. IMHO, what you are tasting are esters from the Pisco.

Of course, that doesn't mean that is isn't too lemony from you taste…it's just that that flavor is coming from a non-traditional source.


I get an almost exclusively buttered rum ester from the Pisco, Todd, and what restrained lemon there is, I assume comes from the melissa, but maybe that's just me.
Grim
QUOTE(Leopold @ Jul 31 2009, 09:43 AM) *

QUOTE(speedle @ Jul 31 2009, 11:21 AM) *



IMHO, what you are tasting are esters from the Pisco.

Agreed.

[Not directed to anyone specific] GR is not GR anymore. You won't know what's really going on with their spirits for some time. You've got a strict regiment of ageing and handling that has to follow its course - deciphered as best as possible without the original distiller present.

Hubert is now doing his own thing as an international consultant. Make sure you consider that.

Now absinthe… wow… that's a COMPLETELY different issue. Mead base?!

Wow.
Grim
I haven't talked to the distiller I know from there in quite a while. We poured brandy together back in May, but I have absolutely no clue what he's up to now…
Wild Bill Turkey
Seems as though that makes two of you.
Grim
Ah. Thanks, Bill.
Wild Bill Turkey
Well, okay, obviously he does have a clue what he's up to.

I just feel that going so far afield of absinthe's core structure and calling it by the same name is, well, disrespectful. And at a time when most of the world still doesn't know what to expect from absinthe, reputable distillers such as this should be labeling their experimental variations on a theme as such. I feel the same way, as has been mentioned before, about the St. George. I'd have liked this drinkable beverage quite a bit more if it hadn't been released to such media frenzy as "the return of absinthe", but rather as a modernist's re-imagining of a lost spirit.
Jaded Prole
Or as something else entirely.
speedle
This kinda pisses me off though. I mean, how many more distillers are going to do this before we have a real live definition?
Kirk
Iron turns to rust ,
and it's glove is red velvet
Donnie Darko
Only if there's oxygen.
Wild Bill Turkey
And if you can't be with the one you love…
Provenance
rust never sleeps.
Shabba53
Just got my bottle of Germain Robin.

Here's the promo verbiage:
Former Germain-Robin apprentice Crispin Cain has been perfecting his absinthe for over 18 years. He starts with an old family recipe for apple-honey mead, then distills it by hand in small batches on the original Germain-Robin pot still.

Cripsin macerates select hers in the brandy: rose geranium, lemon balm, wormwood, hyssop, lemon verbena, star anise, fennel seed, and lemon peel, among others. Then he carefully distills the brandy with the herbs. Subtle, complex, and absolutely beautiful.

Now for my review:

Color: absolutely clear
Aroma: before water, there seems to be quite a bit of cinnamon and spice. The star anise is quite pungent. Ater water, it becomes more citrussy and floral with almost a dairy-like silkiness. The honey distillate aroma is obvious.
Louche: Literally begins the moment the first drop of water hits. Quite thick at 3:1. It's attractive, but I'd actually penalize it for the quickness and thickness of the louche. Obviously the star anise plays a big part here.
Flavor: Surprisingly light. You've definitely got the star anise there, but you also have some 'rooty' qualities like with Gentiane, as well as a sort of menthol-like cooling sensation, which evolves from the wormwood (which is present, but light). It's quirky, but tasty and refreshing. There is a hint of sweetness from the mead as well. I do miss the green anise though. At 3.5:1, the anise gets toned down a lot and you're left with the vegetal and citrus hints along with the cooling.
Finish: Here's where you definitely feel the cooling sensation. Hyssop and some citrus. Quite complex.
Overall: Overall, this is an enjoyable beverage. It's definitely not your traditional absinthe profile, so it's going to have its detractors. I like it better than the St. George though. It's not on the same level as something like CLB, but it's enjoyable. I don't know if I like the menthol sensation though.

So, all in all, I'm on the fence. It's tasty, but it's on the same level (maybe a little less) as St. George in regards to the 'is it absinthe' debate.
Chris
QUOTE(Shabba53 @ Aug 5 2009, 12:27 PM) *

Louche: Literally begins the moment the first drop of water hits. Quite thick at 3:1. It's attractive, but I'd actually penalize it for the quickness and thickness of the louche.



Why? I'm not picking on your review, but I've seen this idea, that an absinthe can/should be penalized for having too thick of a louche, thrown around and I don't understand what it is based on, or where it comes from.
Shabba53
In this case, it's probably evidence of a low proof and also of a LOT of star anise used.

For example, I can't drink the new batches of St. George because they are SO thick, it's literally like drinking milk to me, unless I want to dilute it to 8:1 or something. That's not a quality I find desirable.
Chris
Agreed; but in cases such as that, where too much star anise is used, it should be marked down for taste because process can affect the density of the louche just as much as large quantities of badine. As I said, my post wasn't necessarily detected at you, just the idea of penalizing for a thick louche; which based on many of the pre-bans I have seen and or had isn't always a bad thing.
Donnie Darko
A thick louche isn't a problem. A rapid louche is the issue. It foreshadows what will likely be a flavor imbalance, or excessively low alcohol content. Based on Shabba's review the Germain Robin appears to suffer from both.

Traditionally the highest quality absinthes were described as having a slow-ish dynamic louche, and at the time, badiane/star anise was viewed as a cheap short-cut alternative to the better louche provided by green anise. IMO badiane also fights the other herbs in absinthe as opposed to complementing and enhancing them, unless it is used very sparingly in combination with green anise. It's a LOT cheaper to use star anise than to use green anise, and flavor-wise perhaps some less discriminating drinkers are OK with it, but I don't know one serious absinthe drinker who thinks star anise is a perfectly adequate or even superior substitute for green anise.

That doesn't mean the use of star anise isn't traditional. Oxy even pointed out a couple of pre-ban recipes that call for star anise to be used instead of green anise, so I guess one could call it "absinthe", if the name is more important than what it tastes like. But I don't think anybody would say it's better to use star anise than green anise, and if they do, then they're either not very discriminating or have an absinthe that contains a lot of star anise to sell you.
Provenance
I'm still wondering why it took 15 years to develop menthol tainted like absinthe. And why it was done in the first place.
Jaded Prole
From a commercial standpoint, it will always be easier to produce a non-traditional interpretation of absinthe with readily available inexpensive botanical like Badiane and Menthol then it is to produce a quality traditional absinthe.

All the more reason to be appreciative and supportive of those who do so in spite of the difficulty and expense.
Provenance
true dat.
This is a "lo-fi" version of our main content. To view the full version with more information, formatting and images, please click here.
Invision Power Board © 2001-2018 Invision Power Services, Inc.