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The Fée Verte Absinthe Forum - The Oldest, Largest, Most Authoritative Absinthe Forum. > Absinthe & Absinthiana > Absinthe Brands Discussion
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Lord Stanley
Hey all. I have not been around here in quite a while. Hopefully, everyone has been enjoying good times and better spirits. I find myself to be quite out of touch with recent releases and would appreciate a little input from the Forum. I can't remember the last time I ordered anything from overseas…probably not since American distillers started producing such fine absinthes.

What are the overall impressions of Bugnon's Opaline and Sapphire absinthes? I've always been a fan of his Clandestine. Searching the boards doesn't turn up a lot of info aside from a few favourable mentions of the Sapphire.

Thanks in advance for any input.
Steve
Sapphire is fantastic. It's by far my favorite blanche.
absinthist
Get Sapphire while it is. I like Angelique a tad better than Opaline, but for a verte, I would suggest (Bugnon's, too) Butterfly.
hartsmar
Sapphire is good enough. The Butterfly to me is just a Pontica bomb. Initial impression was I quite liked it, but it all turned to nothing but Pontica in the end. And too heavy at that.
Tibro
Agreed. I finally had a glass of the Butterfly yesterday. Not to my liking.
absinthist
Another reason for not giving you a good absinthe since it is waste of your time and waste of the absinthe itself.
hartsmar
Define good absinthe... Would that be one of your "pre-ban repros"? wink.gif
absinthist
Joining forces with T is very stupid after your long absence and paying not enough attention as well.
sixela
Paying attention is not the same thing as agreeing, Boggy.

And what's this "joining forces" silliness? Everyone who makes a critical comment about something you said is now "joining forces with Tibro"?

That's not far from a paranoid delusional fantasy; you know better than to invest in those.
hartsmar
Ha ha ha!
First of all I'm not joining forces with anyone and I am very much paying attention, mr. Not posting doesn't mean I'm not here...

What exactly is it that you want me to pay attention to there? That others like the butterfly and I don't?
Absomphe
QUOTE(hartsmar @ Oct 8 2010, 12:12 AM) *

The Butterfly to me is just a Pontica bomb. Initial impression was I quite liked it, but it all turned to nothing but Pontica in the end. And too heavy at that.


Give the Berthe de Joux a try.
hartsmar
Oh I've tried it... And I quite like it. It's not my absolute top favourite, but I like it. And to be perfectly honest I am having a glass of it this very moment.
Grim
QUOTE(hartsmar @ Oct 7 2010, 11:12 PM) *

The Butterfly to me is just a Pontica bomb. Initial impression was I quite liked it, but it all turned to nothing but Pontica in the end…

Definitely. And I noted in my review, as an aside, that I don't know if it'll likely revive itself completely from the coloration…

The one I had was 2 months in… I think nearly any fair verte absinthe that isn't shy about coloring has an imbalance toward the coloring herbs in its youth. Moreover, in many instances, it may even be a condition of proper growth before an absinthe matures into proper taste, aroma and senescence as it assumes true age.
absinthist
It is surprising that an absinthe that is a much, much lesser pontica bomb than Austin Osman Spare (which is an exemplary one) or some from the other realm, is considered such a pontica bomb while the core aromas there are coriander, licorice and mint and above all, absinthe is perfectly coloured, on par with the absinthes of the heyday, unlike many absinthes of nowadays.

Pontica is a tricky girl. Used cunningly, it can be discovered on the palate as genepi or even absinthium.

Obviously, what do I know about a certain Butterfly project that has began as "American Absinthe"?
hartsmar
The A.O Spare is more balanced in my opinion and even with a noticable pontica, it's not as heavy...

The color of the Butterfly is pretty. No doubt. And the louche is also very nice. But the balance of the overall profile of the Butterfly is, to me, far from perfect. You can make a wonderfully colored absinthe without it being a Pontica bomb. You can make an absinthe with a noticable Pontica profile without it being overpowering.

The Butterfly is a well made product. It's not that. The maker is as we all know skilled at what he does. It's simply a personal opinion of mine. It just so happens that apparently some others share it, some don't. To me, it's too heavy in Pontica.

But what do you mean with "on par with absinthes of the heyday"? I for one believe that then - as today - there were obvious variations in color between the different brands. It would be strange if there wasn't.

And that leaves me asking what you mean by "unlike many absinthes of nowadays". Unless of course this refers to the terrible artificial crapsinthes.
EdouardPerneau
QUOTE(hartsmar @ Oct 8 2010, 03:12 AM) *

Sapphire is good enough. The Butterfly to me is just a Pontica bomb. Initial impression was I quite liked it, but it all turned to nothing but Pontica in the end. And too heavy at that.



How I describe pernod fils pontica-wormwood bomb with an back ground of anise
Absomphe

blink.gif

I don't know what absinthe you've experienced.

How I describe Pernod Fils…an impeccably balanced symphony of seamlessly interwoven herbs from beginning of the taste, and on through the finish.
Donnie Darko
What makes Pernod Fils so impressive is that you can't typically taste individual herbs. It's seamless, with a big aroma that defies ingredient-listing descriptions (though I myself have tried to describe it that way).
EdouardPerneau
As I had already spoken with Marc about that every palate is diffenrent and some would sense less something else and more another thing

I had Pernod
1910,
1913,
1914 green
in blind test ( with an taste that crap to introducte the product) ,I focused on other herbs to see what was the crap part peter was talking about … when he told me that was pernod my mind goes back to the first focus I had when I had my first pre-ban .

After that my opinon about absinthe have changed forever .Now I taste Modern CO like I would do with HG… Also I taste modern like preban and like HG

even if something is 100 year old it doesn't mean directly quality …
G&C
Are you channeling tits?
Donnie Darko
Google translate is an axe wielded to do a scalpel's job.
EdouardPerneau
I do not use google translator witch part is unclear ?

I meant in the last part that every absinthe should be rated like the same

preban should be tasted like the way that you taste an modern absinthe not by giving an "Holy Aura" that is associated with preban







sixela
QUOTE(EdouardPerneau @ Oct 10 2010, 07:44 AM) *

I do not use google translator witch part is unclear ?


Uhm…when people tell you you are channeling Tits, it means the grammar is so poor everywhere that it becomes hard (but still just possible) to guess the meaning after having read the sentence three times.

Oh, and for or your birthday add "Eats, Shoots & Leaves" to your book list.

QUOTE

witch part is unclear

If you have unclear witch parts in your basement, you must be a black magician. I'd better stop making jokes at your expense…
hartsmar
QUOTE(EdouardPerneau @ Oct 9 2010, 07:58 PM) *

After that my opinon about absinthe have changed forever .Now I taste Modern CO like I would do with HG… Also I taste modern like preban and like HG

even if something is 100 year old it doesn't mean directly quality …

Certainly, I've had several pre-ban and post-ban vintage absinthes that were far from specacular...

when it comes to tasting absinthe regardless of age one should of course try to "treat them equally". However, when tasting a pre-ban you cannot not consider the effect that ageing had on it and in that way, you must taste it with that in mind.

What is maybe more crucial is that so many speak about repros of pre-ban absinthes and try to replicate the taste. What should be done is of course to try and replicate what the products tasted like before 100 years of ageing. That means you must really understand what the ageing does to the various ingredients, and - as Donnie says - a really good pre-ban like Pernod Fils, Legler Pernod etc is more or less seamless and just a perfect harmony of all that's in it. This makes it quite hard for anyone to make a really really good replica without the actual recipe. It's all guesswork from there.

Just my 2 cents...
Absomphe
QUOTE(hartsmar @ Oct 10 2010, 03:00 AM) *

as Donnie says



Indeed.

I only wish I'd said that very thing immediately prior to his post. wink.gif
EdouardPerneau
QUOTE(sixela @ Oct 10 2010, 03:04 AM) *



Uhm…when people tell you you are channeling Tits, it means the grammar is so poor everywhere that it becomes hard (but still just possible) to guess the meaning after having read the sentence three times.




all right ! … I will try to get back to a proper grammar
sixela
…and punctuation!

Really, you must read "Eats, Shoots & Leaves". Not only because it's educational but also because it really is a hoot.
Grim
QUOTE(hartsmar @ Oct 10 2010, 02:00 AM) *
when it comes to tasting absinthe regardless of age one should of course try to "treat them equally". However, when tasting a pre-ban you cannot not consider the effect that ageing had on it and in that way, you must taste it with that in mind.

In a way reversed I think we need to apply the same logic to young absinthe.
OCvertDe
Try to imagine how it will taste in a hundred years? blink.gif
EdouardPerneau
I meant, regardless of the age, Pernod was oak aged for about 2 years.
it been said, in an distiller treatise ,when absinthe goes in the bottle, it's not going to age anymore …

So it might still age a bit, since the period is so long and concentrate since most of the bottle, have accumulated a good lost, about 100+ ml , essential oil that are too heavy to evaporate ,stay in the bottle along with the coloring herbs that make a deposit in the bottom.

So the pre-ban is in fact, an "concentrated" version of what it was
Grim
QUOTE(OCvertDe @ Oct 10 2010, 07:55 AM) *

Try to imagine how it will taste in a hundred years? blink.gif

It would be fun to think it could be done, but why even take stabs in the dark.

No. I wasn't clear.

I should have said that absinthe changes so much from the day it's distilled & coloured, to a year or two years later, that it could be said:

"when tasting a [young absinthe] you cannot not consider the effect that ageing [will have] on it and in that way, you must taste it with that in mind."




EDIT: Quote of OCvertDe's post added to show who I was responding to.
hartsmar
QUOTE(EdouardPerneau @ Oct 10 2010, 07:56 AM) *

it been said, in an distiller treatise ,when absinthe goes in the bottle, it's not going to age anymore …

So the pre-ban is in fact, an "concentrated" version of what it was

Nah, we do know that it does develop and age in the bottle...

QUOTE

In a way reversed I think we need to apply the same logic to young absinthe.

Grim: That's very true.
EdouardPerneau
But, I think that absinthe got a peak of aging in glass … Great pontarlier " boutique" producer, aged in oak for at least one year and even up to 7 years …
hartsmar
I do have a hard time following your english sometimes... :)

Anyway, With the quantities produced by the major producers at the time, the barrels were - as we know, huge. Today if you were to age the little absinthe that is produced in oak barrels, it would be far more concentrated and the few "barrique" absinthes I've tried really haven't been any sensational drinks. Interesting - but certainly not something I would reach for to get a great tasting absinthe...

Then again, absinthe wasn't produced to be aged for many years but to be sold and drunk, and as they drank a lot of it there would probably rarely be any "aged" absinthe on the market.
absinthist
QUOTE(hartsmar @ Oct 10 2010, 02:00 AM) *

What is maybe more crucial is that so many speak about repros of pre-ban absinthes and try to replicate the taste.


Someone somewhere said:
QUOTE
Replicating is a very thorough and subtle process that requires as little mistakes as possible. The choice of herbs (nowadays we cannot get EXACTLY the same herbs as the grandes marques had used, but only these that are SIMILAR in terms of taste, aroma, chemical composition, colour, etc) is probably the very first step up the sloppy mountain top. The adherence (a strict one) to the recipe, to all the methodologies applied even before the main operations start is another crucial factor in the success or the nail to its coffin.

The consistency of the product is another important aspect, what as regards the particular brands (like Pernod, or Duval-Dubied e.g.) has not been achieved all at once-it was a gradual and slow process. The changes in the herb-bill, the development of a brand, the changes caused by the conditions had had their say: Duval-Dubied of 1798 vs. Duval-Dubied of 1806, or Pernod fils of 1805 vs. Pernod fils of 1855. Lest we forget about the changes and discernible modifications some of the extraits have undergone within the years 1910-1914 prior to the ban.

Thus far, while tasting various absinthes, these do contain some of the nuances that approximate the pre-ban quality (colour, louche-action, aroma, taste would be the most desired), however none of them has been close to pre-ban in EACH of these aspects, if in some of them the right direction has been obviously taken. Still, it is just the second step up the sloppy mountain top and if one doesn't get discouraged by then, it is possible to arrive at the perfect pre-ban replica, but in a a long run.


Aside from that, it should be defined what makes an aged absinthe and what makes a young absinthe? Looking at the list of product versions offered by, e.g. La Pontisalienne, or Vichet, and more:

60° De choix
- 60° Supérieure, rassise
- 68° Fine
- 68° Surfine
- 68° Extra-fine
- 72° Vieille
- 72° Vieille sur mère
- 72° Trés vieille, de réserve

The last three should constitute the group of aged extraits, still there are three of them.
hartsmar
Absolutely. I know that several brands had variations of their absinthes, possibly (or probably) different recipes all together. I have this same price list (as it's so easy to come by) and this is one of the few I've seen listing "very old" absinthe. I have one or two more from another brand I think do the same, but it's certainly not the most common. Most simply have different grades of alcohol strength listed or grades of "quality" such as ordinaire, superieur etc...

I can't remember right now, but I don't recall reading just how old the "very old" actually is.
Hmm... Must go home and dig that out to see if they mention it...

Regardless, the whole idea of replicating a pre-ban can be approached from two different angles. Either you replicate now what the pre-ban tastes like now, after 100 years. Or you try to replicate now what the pre-ban absinthe tasted like 100 years ago. I'd say the latter is of course the most challenging but also the most interesting.
Tibro
Clearly you're not alone in your thinking judging from this quote from a recent distiller of record:
QUOTE
It's definitely possible to make an absinthe that tastes today what pre-ban tastes like today, but how about making an absinthe that will taste like pre-ban in 90 years?

I am more than a little puzzled by the claim of "definitely" though. Makes it sound like he's tasted a modern example.

Organoleptic analysis being what it is I'd have to defer that it's "possible". For someone, somewhere to make such a claim and swear by it. But the human life span being what it is I think our feeble constitutions make it unlikely that the answer to "the most challenging but also the most interesting" question of replication is going to be experienced by anyone visiting the forum today.
hartsmar
I'm going for immortal...
dakini_painter
I hope that someday, someone (other than Oxy) discovers a cache that contains a number of ordinary absinthes from the day. Then there'll be the hint that a lot of it may not have been much to the liking of the forum folk. And people will wonder how the hell did this shit become so popular? Different tastes, different folks, different era.

The equation for the costs of production are completely different today. To really recreate a pre-ban absinthe in the Pernod style (any brand with the word Pernod on the label) you'd probably have a $300 retail price on it, and you'd never have enough customers to stay in business beyond the first run.
absinthist
We cannot forget that most of the CO and HG makers are not necessarily that interested in pre-ban replication. Those, that are, are a really small minority. And yes, even if a maker is successful with herbs, process, applying certain methods post-distillation might lead to great expenses, surpassing the initial efforts, meaning it will cost a lot to make it and even more to profit from.
pierreverte
You just need someone with alot of money, who doesn't care what happens to it, who is really interested enough in absinthe to throw it without care at someone else, who has all the 'perfect' connections for the ideal base alcohol, herbs and an antique still in perfect working order, and not least, all the skills and time required, to experiment without limitations of said time and money, until his or her desired result is accomplished.
Oh, and then get unanimous agreement, from a tiny group of self-acclaimed experts (as no officially recognized industry organization exists, let alone a specific legal definition of absinthe) who typically change their minds and opinions about what absinthe is the best and why every couple of months (to the point that all the criteria once held by them a few years back for authenticity: base alcohol, herb source and bill, minimum alcohol percentage, now for some reason - oh, yeah, it just has to taste good to everybody's taste who knows what good absinthe should taste like! - no longer are adhered to or required if they personally like the producer or his investors) that what has been created is what it is supposed to be and have once been.
And THEN they need to pay the $300 (or whatever) a bottle to support the project and the producer, but won't want to risk their own money on the purchase of a bottle they might not like drinking, even though it has been deemed by its creator as THE perfect pre-ban replica, so someone will offer to buy one bottle and split it up with 10 - 15 people, who will probably never buy a full bottle themselves, and they'll all eventually disagree on something about it, including the bottle and label itself, and then ask why no one has yet really put any effort to try to recreate a truly authentic pre-ban absinthe, especially since they're sure that one of their friends could make one (and probably already has, you know) in his kitchen.
Alan
If this was Facebook, I'd click the "Like" button.
hartsmar
QUOTE(pierreverte @ Oct 11 2010, 05:20 AM) *

And THEN they need to pay the $300 (or whatever) a bottle to support the project and the producer, but won't want to risk their own money on the purchase of a bottle they might not like drinking, even though it has been deemed by its creator as THE perfect pre-ban replica, so someone will offer to buy one bottle and split it up with 10 - 15 people, who will probably never buy a full bottle themselves, and they'll all eventually disagree on something about it, including the bottle and label itself, and then ask why no one has yet really put any effort to try to recreate a truly authentic pre-ban absinthe, especially since they're sure that one of their friends could make one (and probably already has, you know) in his kitchen.

Badum-tsh!

abs-cheers.gif
Jaded Prole
Lots of frustration being vented here.
I think there are a few commercial (and non commercial) absinthes that are in the range of pre-ban quality. It is pointless to fight over the impossible recreation of a long gone marquee and even if it happened people would disagree about its authenticity. We need to support those brands that we like regardless of historical perfection or we will be moving backwards in the availability of quality commercial brands leaving nothing but the crap.

I wish I were in a position to spend more but maybe things will improve.
Tibro
QUOTE(hartsmar @ Oct 11 2010, 01:05 PM) *

I'm going for immortal…

I like a guy who just goes for it. Without all the whining. When the rest of us are dead and gone who wants to compete with their own whinging history for all eternity.

Or is that why vampires prefer to remain in the dark?
hartsmar
I don't know, I just really want to try the absinthe Pierreverte is talking about...
Tibro
I'll bet it'd be bitter.
hartsmar
So there I'll be... Alone on earth with an aged bitter absinthe. Oh well, it could be worse.
pierreverte
Bitter(s) is better
hartsmar
I would have to agree, and especially if it happens to be a Classico. And a Grand one at that!

Mmmm-mmmmm.
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