PeterL, I have often thought the same. Will swill in a pre ban bottle be raved over while a nice offering in a contemporary package is snubbed for it's ingredient list or place of origin?
Well, I believe that St. George debunked the latter with it's basil and California origin.
But I do believe a majority is in the mind. Like a buddy of mine who loves Jack Daniels and JW Red. Both are crap to me and are soooo astringent you can't pay me to smell them.
But with absinthe I agree with H. The taste foremost then history and ritual play a MAJOR role in my enjoyment of the experience.