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The Fée Verte Absinthe Forum - The Oldest, Largest, Most Authoritative Absinthe Forum. > Absinthe & Absinthiana > General Absinthe Discussion
Your favorite or not, which absinthes would you consider to now be classics and offer the whole spectrum? These could be the biggest sellers or some of the rarest. What's on your recommended bucket list?
I have too many things on today's to do list to do anything but laugh at an absinthe bucket list.
However, you should try a properly rectified absinthe before you die.
A vintage pre ban is bucketlist worthy
Jack Batemaster
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Jack Batemaster
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I agree that a person who wants to know what absinthe really is should try a pre-ban absinthe that's in good shape (I mean, not spoiled).
It's a good idea to try a top quality HG as well.
That's it.
And with those come a perspective that makes exploration of whatever else is out there more enlightening. That's the way to experience absinthe before you die; it's better than putting faith in anybody's list.
End of story™.
Absinthe? Won't that xit kill you? The real stuff, I mean.

Okay, so now I know the meaning and origins of the term "bucket list". So I guess I got something out of this.

My suggestion is get in touch with your inner absinthe. However you can. Personally, it's not even about absinthe anymore. But your path may be different. I get a contact high from being around people that know something about the stuff, and find that satisfying. In a spiritual kind of way. Mebbe. Sometimes. Prolly won't make any difference when I'm dead though.
QUOTE(Tibro @ Dec 12 2014, 06:49 AM) *

Absinthe? Won't that xit kill you? The real stuff, I mean.

Only because it will drive you insane, so you'll probably slice off a physical protuberance and die of blood loss.

Red Herring!

Ditto on what Artemis said about properly rectified.
It's more work, which is why so few commercial distillers do it.
"Artisanal" should not simply mean "small business," but the term
seems to have been hijacked by many lone wolves who are anything but.

There are a few artisanal lone wolves out there, however.
Kirk said properly rectified.
I said a quality HG.
But properly rectified certainly goes a long way toward quality.
QUOTE(Kirk @ Dec 11 2014, 06:16 AM) *
a properly rectified absinthe

That's an interesting concept but I'm not sure what it means. Is proper rectification a standard or a technique? A fixed or moving target? I've very much enjoyed absinthe samples that were doubtless made using different rectification protocols. Are any or all of them correctly rectified?

There's a sticky wicket. But I think it might be one in which the water solubles are largely removed.
Good answer.
I was confident Kirk was talking about Texas rectification, which is a technique (not a standard).
Rectification in general, as it concerns absinthe, is indeed a method for excluding water soluble nastiness (such as absinthins) from the distillate.
On the other hand, there are water soluble goodies (fragrant oils) in the pot as well, and Texas rectification does the double duty of capturing those.
I won't describe the method, because I'm pretty sure Eric wouldn't. Suffice to say it's different from what's described in those old protocols that go into any detail for dealing with these issues (and none of them that I've seen go into full detail).
At least, this is what I had in mind when I said that proper rectification goes a long way toward quality. Of course, there are other factors, such as quality herbs, etc.
Also, there are absinthes that are just okay, not nasty, but not all they could be, and this can be a matter of not driving the process hard enough, which means it came out clean, nothing to rectify, but it might have been better (richer, more oily, more fragrant) if it had been driven hard and then cleaned up (rectified).
Lot's of replies an still no serious answer. I've got about 30 absinthes on my "tasted" list now (I know many of you must have hundreds), and want your opinions: what are a few of the classic, must-have-tried absinthes on your list? So without getting too philosophical… what do you think?
I think you're hard of thinking. I don't have a list. I never kept a list. I doubt anybody else here has a list. The people still around here are not the list-keeping kind.
I gave you an answer and I was entirely serious. Absomphe, Tibro, Sbmac, Kirk, and Assomoir gave you similar answers, and they were serious.
The answers you got will serve you better than the answers you want.
If you want an answer that's tailor-made for your approval, ask a mirror.

What you have to do before you die is to make a permanent pocket in your mind with a note that says something to remind you that the goal is leave the world with a smaller total sum of suffering than when you got into the game. Then to pull it out of that pocket at regular intervals to consult and remember the goal. Seriously.

I don't actively promote consumerism. I don't actively promote the depletion of finite resources to gain a limited return of happiness.

I promote philosophy. It offers an endless bounty and the possibility of immortality. And anyone who feels pained by it can ignore it, with my blessings.

That said, fuck off. You're harshing my buzz.
the goal is leave the world with a smaller total sum of suffering than when you got into the game

Or that you later encountered, or brought upon yourself. Very well said.
Here's another thing.
Let's suppose I had a list. It would cover a span of 15 years or so. It might include something I tried five years ago. The vagaries of absinthe production being what they are, there is no guarantee that this something will not taste like shit today. There is no guarantee from one batch to the next, even if they're separated by 30 days. The risk of disappointment for the person putting faith in my list is very high. And I risk being assessed as someone who doesn't know what the hell he's talking about.
Burn lists, not bridges.
Here's another totally serious answer that isn't the answer you want either, but may hit closer to the mark:

go join the Wormwood Society, and ask your question again there. Then get ready to write… and spend.
Indeed. I considered giving the same advice. Not just WWS, but lots of places.
I appreciate the fact that he chose to ask here, and I think it was the best place to ask, but ...
I think we took your question very seriously and respectfully.

Bucket List --- something you have to try before you die?

That, is a most philosophical question. And you set that tone with the original post.

Now, what do you mean by "[/u]classics" ? Like, classical music or classic rock? That implies something which has stood a test of time. Or at least has been around for a long time.

I'd rather think about who I'd like to sit down and have a glass with than what will be in that glass. Stimulating company can smooth over a lot of flaws. And is more likely to make a lasting impact with real consequences. At least that's my experience.
In that mode, best glass I ever had was Deva, in a wine glass with a pinch of sugar in the bottom.
Jaded Prole
As Deva was the first commercial absinthe I tried, I agree. If I had one absinthe on my "bucket list" or for that matter such a list at all, it might be C.F Berger. The best absinthes I've had are either pre-ban and no longer produced or those produced in small batches non-commercially by dedicated and obsessed artisans. That said, I like what Artemis said. We have a "Buyer's Guide" with plenty of reviews but taste is relative. Much of what you want to know can be gained from actually reading what is already posted here and on other sites.
Berger is the best absinthe I ever had, but I remember Deva, up in the attic of the haunted house I rented near Chicago, on Halloween, looking out the window at the flaming maple trees. And the telephone rang, and it was "The Nephilim", who had somehow obtained my phone number. I would not say one experience was better than the other.
Jaded Prole
I still have about a third of a bottle of Deva -- probably over 12 years old. It is the first love in a long and continuing affair and it definitely had more of an effect on me than any other modern commercial absinthe I've had since.

Deva - Peridot green. Not at all alcoholic in the face, faint anise smell with an earthy background. Louched to the greenish opalescent white you see in the 19th century paintings of absinthe. After louche, its smell had actually gotten stronger, blossoming into a powerful wormood/anise, well balanced, but with anise prominent. The flavor is fairly sharp anise, but with the earthy undertone still very much evident, and not at all unpleasant. Becomes MUCH sweeter with sugar. No sugar is needed either for sweetness or to mask nastiness, of which it has none.

That does it, I'm putting it on my, Oh-fuck-it list straight away. The one I'm starting on my smart phone, so it'll always be at my fingertips. The smart phone that I don't own. Oh, fuck it.
QUOTE(Artemis @ Dec 21 2014, 10:38 PM) *
And I risk being assessed as someone who doesn't know what the hell he's talking about.
It did louche well (star anise).
It was sweet (star anise).
It was earthy (the funk of forty thousand years). I had tried to tell myself, against better judgement, that wormwood was somehow responsible for the dirt flavor.
It was nasty, too. I wasn't trying to lie, but I had lied to myself.
Nephilim on the phone.
It was thanks to him that I first realized what absinthe is supposed to taste like.
I drove 1000 miles one way the following Spring, and waited half a day in a dangerous area for him to get home from work so I could learn some more.
Two tears in a bucket, mother fuck it.
No bucket?
An old coffee percolizer rem-nant will do.
Click to view attachment

To paraphrase a Robert Creeley title: Is that a real still, or did you make it yourself?

I've had wormwood that tastes like dirt. Others say it tastes like carrot tops, even swear to it, but I still think it tastes like dirt.
"Is that a real poncho? I mean, is that a Mexican poncho, or a Sears poncho?"
Frank Zappa

That was Nephilim's rig, the source of the elixir that blew many a mind, and was carried into New Orleans, lo, into the very alley in which Jade was revealed to the world, into the midst of Ted's coming out party, yea, to the lips of Ted himself, and he did quaff thereof, and he did pronounce it good. Actually, he said "I could drink this", which is the highest praise he ever gave to any absinthe I ever presented to him.

I had taken notes at Nephilim's and later made an AutoCad rendering of the rig, with a bill of materials that could be obtained at any good hardware store. Nobody had heard of Portugal in those days. We wrote up a protocol, too.

At the same time, Don Walsh was secretly building an army of rotovaps in Bangkok, but I had been following his bids on a lab equipment auction site, and I was well familiar with his order of battle.

Such was the tribal warfare that boiled under the surface of Sepulchritude Forum back in the day.
And then an angel was thrown to the dogs…

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The angel made the mistake of confronting Big Mango Don on the public board about his robot army.
I had warned him not to do it.
The result wasn't pretty.
Luger, the Swedish third part of the unwashed triad with me and Nephilim, actually built a rotary still, all glass. No junk store rem-nants for him.
He also made a video of Don as the green fairy (looked like a drag version of Heidi) dancing around a factory (the Volvo plant where Luger was an engineer), touching various components with a magic wand to produce the magical reverse-engineered green elixir.
I begged him not to link that to the board, but I think he sent it to Don anyway.
QUOTE(Tibro @ Dec 24 2014, 11:22 AM) *
And then an angel was thrown to the dogs…

Angels, dogs. same-same.
Actually, the Nephilim weren't angels, but the bastard children of angels.
Took 40 days and nights, and a hell of a lot of water, to clean up the mess.
Now that I remember about it, I remember why our resident Nephilim wrote me off ...
I gave him advice that he didn't want to hear ......
There's a hole in the bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza
QUOTE(mxreb0 @ Dec 11 2014, 06:39 AM) *

Your favorite or not, which absinthes would you consider to now be classics and offer the whole spectrum? These could be the biggest sellers or some of the rarest. What's on your recommended bucket list?

I'm a little late to the game here but you have been around a long time, what is your list?

I don't know if there is current product that offers "the whole spectrum" For a bucket list I would say any pre-ban absinthe you can get your hands on.

If I had the chance, I'd buy more of the following:

Eichelberger verte (68%)
Blanchette (1st run)

Bruno Rygseck
I am saving three bottles from around 2006-2007 for that day… or maybe open them all tomorrow:
  • Helfrich blanche
  • Blanchette (the original)
  • Verte de Fougerolles
VdF is of course still available -- I'd buy a small one and compare the two side by side. A bottle of Duplais (verte) from that time period would also be nice to have.

Edit: After reading Hartsmar's review at his site, I really really want to get a bottle of Grön Opal. Good reason for a trip to Sweden.

I much, much prefer the BdF to the VdF.
And to every other blanche I've tried, for that matter.
I think I have half a bottle of BDF left. VDF, very little.

I do have a couple unopened bottles of Montmarte from 2005. I still enjoy that spicy kick in the winter.

I think I have another couple bottle of L'Artisinale as well, I've not really bought commercially available absinthe in 3-4 years.
I would rather drink BdF than any Blanche and most Vertes. Not that Enigma crap either! I know, I know. It's the same shit. But still, it's a matter of principle. It's gay (not that there's anything wrong with that). It's just not my speed. Thankfully, there's still some original bottlings available and Andrew is still willing to dig them out for me. Or, was. I'm not sure how much longer that can last, surely not forever…
I saw something about Serpis in my junk email folder the other day, I'm thinking that is going to be my next purchase. I'm not sure I'd put it on a bucket list but a guilty pleasure list, most definitely.
I'm pretty sure I have an un-cracked liter of that around here somewhere…
I pretty much live on guilty pleasures.
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