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I finally made it here - whew!
I have a question - after much lurking - how does one "breathe" a bottle of absinthe? Does it make a real difference? I would like to know the method so I can try it.

Any help would be appreciated - I'm new here - be gentle. I have used Fee Verte in all my purchases, I know some of you from the buyer's guide.
Be well!
I think it depends on the absinthe.

I had a sample bottle (three or four ounces) of some absinthe that was over a hundred years old. It was topped up when I got it, and probably at a reasonable height in the bottle from which it came. I tasted it and then let about half of it sit in the sample bottle for a couple more years. I then offered it to someone confident that it would be the absinthe experience of his life. And I tasted it myself. And it was mediocre at best, even shitty. I know absinthe is an ephemeral thing, but this was totally unexpected. WTF?
Didn't pierreverte keep his Berger (that fed the world) on top of a cabinet in a doseur?
This wasn't Berger - I had some of that Berger but that was all consumed at one sitting, which is apparently the way to go. This was Pernod - it was kept in a cabinet out of the light. Should I have put the remainder in a smaller bottle, such that there was no air at all on top of the liquid?
That should work. You can even put a louched absinthe in storage that way.

how does one "breathe" a bottle of absinthe? Does it make a real difference? I would like to know the method so I can try it.

You know, absinthe is bottled at a really high strength and less susceptible to the effects of oxygen as a wine, but if you dilute it (a single glass) just as you would for normal drinking and allow it to warm slightly in your hand… over a calm, drawn out glass… it'll open up in a similar way.
I've kept a bottle of vintage Pernod stored in a dark cool climate for a couple of years now occasionally having a glass. I've not noticed a change at all. In fact I've shared several glasses with another member and I think they could attest to the fact that it's stayed virtually the same.

I would have assumed just that. Maybe I imagined it. It's by no means the only time, tasting the same absinthe, that it struck me as wonderful one time and shitty the next.
I've noticed that phenomenon as well. It's even mentioned in the context of some brown spirits, which are not known to age in the bottle. But once opened and exposed to the air, oxidation reactions can continue to occur. And that's not always for the better. Grimmy can probably inform us all better as to specific reactions.
Well, afaik, not all absinthe breath the same way. Most of them do, actually, with one whole brand not being subject to the phenomena to my knowledge, which is Matter.

Some absinthe especially take a little breathing until they are perfect. Coquette is, imho, the best example, after a 1 month breathing.

Two ways to experiment it : open your bottle, taste it at opening, taste it several weeks later.

The way I do it : when sampling a new bottle, I will put some of the content in a topette . Since topettes are less air proof than bottles, the breathing occurs much faster, without totally deteriorating the absinthe though.

The other opening, refered by Grim (louched glass kept in handà, I've noticed also, and is, in my experience, much stronger with a good wine alcohol. (as is the breathing) I tend to attribute it to the warming of the glass though, and not the breathing

Ideal absinthes to experience it ? I know I'm gonna irk some of you but… Devoille. 65 in particular
When half of the bottle is drunk, it is advisable to transfer the rest into a smaller one. Moreover, it is good to decant 100ml of each new stuff and put aside in a cellar and check after few years.

You give a young bottle a large head-space of air, it may improve slightly, it may turn slightly, but often it does not remain as you initially found it.
QUOTE(absinthist @ Apr 19 2010, 04:23 AM) *
When half of the bottle is drunk, it is advisable to DRINK THE REST.

I fixed it for you.
QUOTE(StormySeas @ Apr 18 2010, 03:08 PM) *
how does one "breathe" a bottle of absinthe?
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