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About Steveski

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  1. Whoops...as I posted to Brian's comment, I did look around for the right place to put this and ended up in the main thread...then I didn't see it this AM and thought it hadn't been posted right the first time, so I did it again. Low tech guy in a high tech world, I guess.
  2. Mea culpa...I actually did wander around the site to figure out where to post this(the first time) and ended up in the main thread. Then when I didn't' see it this morning, I figured I must have posted it wrong so did it again. Sorry. Oh and btw...GREAT interview with Gary Vay Ner Chuk!
  3. The Wall Street Journal's Eric Felten published a story on Absinthe in the Weekend edition May 9/10. It included a color photo of a drinkn on the front page, and a story and some product reviews inside. The online edition featured the story on the home page as well. He's definitely not a fan but I think the story is going to help the category grow. For those who don't know me, I represent Mata Hari in the U.S., which Eric gave top (dubious) honors. Others rated include Lucid, Pernod, Kübler, and Le Tourment Vert. Hyperlink above and here: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124182520537702421.html
  4. OK, so I'm a bit biased, but Eric Felten authored a great story in the WSJ Saturday, May 9 which had a color photo on the cover page of the print edition, and also on the home page of the online edition. Clearly, he's not a fan, but I think the publicity will do a world of good for the category. Our past experience is that when he writes a story, things sell in stores across the country. Eric reviewed Mata Hari, Lucid, Pernod, Kübler and Le Tourment Vert. The article can be viewed at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1241825205....html#printMode
  5. Paul, you're fast! I had just finished my Sunday Times and was gonna post this for the community only to find it already had generated 20+ comments. Definitely a biased article written by someone who sat down at the typewriter with a granite block on his shoulder. What was his problem? Surpirsed that Absinthe tasted like licorice...that's liking being suprised that Kahlua tastes like coffee. But instead of trashing him in our little world, anyone have any ideas on how best to educate him on another point of view? Paul, from a newspaperman's point of view...how can we reach out to him to do a follow up?
  6. Your retailer has a book called the Maryland Beverage Journal which lists all the distributors and all the brands they carry. He probably keeps it next to his cash register. He should be able...and happy...to look it up for you. If he doesn't have the book, then I would suggest going to another retailer and asking them. i tried to look it up for you but I only have access to the CT beverage book. Good luck.
  7. Thanks all for your comments. I'm just sharing the info (and yes, would have posted it no matter what Mata Hari scored). We can all draw our own conclusions. But, the real significance is not what we think in this forum, it's the commercial impact the BTI results have out in the trade and on consumers. While you may criticise the organization, the process or the conclusions, the reality is it is taken quite seriously by the trade and consumers. That's why I made the point of Grey Goose...we always pooh-poohed the fact that they made their name on a now-ten-year-old event that hails a new king every year. Yet the reality is Sidney Frank sold the company for $2B (that's billion), and the foundation for that was the BTI review. So, you can expect us to be promoting the review results for Mata Hari for one simple and compelling reason...it means something to consumers. It's a credible third-party validation and quality cue to the consumer and a reason to reach out and select that brand. But,Hiram, you ask some good questions, so I'm going to forward this thread to Jerald O'Kennard and Catrina Cerny who run the show at BTI and let them respond...and I'll post it here. *click* I don't mean to be a jerk, Steve, but this reminds me of those poetry contests I won a bunch of when I was 17.
  8. The Beverage Tasting Institute just announced the results of their first ever Absinthe review: Here are the results 94: Pernod -Gold Medal 93: Mata Hari -Gold Medal 92: Kübler-Gold Medal 91: Obsello- Gold Medal 90 Libertine-Gold Medal 90 Australian Vodka Co. Moulin Rooz-Gold Medal 82: La Muse Verte- Bronze Medal A couple of observations for those not familiar with BTI reviews. The category they put absinthe in was Liqueur Schnapps. Ratings matter more than medals. And while there probably isn't a statistical difference in one rating point, the numbers are meaningful to consumers...90+ in the wine industry (usually associated with Robert Parker or Wine Spectator) can turn a brand from a nobody to a global superstar. Also It may seem that they give out a lot of gold medals, but it's more a case of not getting a gold than getting one. (e.g. SFWSC gives out "Double Golds"!) I don't know how many or what other Absinthe's were entered, they don't report that. And some more background, it was a BTI top award that Grey Goose won back in 1998 that established and validated Grey Goose's positioning as "The World's Best Tasting Vodka" and they've stuck with it every since event though they've been topped by other vodka's in subsequent years. (Don't know if they ever entered again...I wouldn't...how can you do better than best?)
  9. Again, some good points that I've addressed on the site. I think the wording on the ban is sufficiently clear. One thing we've learned definitively through our quant and qual research on other brands is consumers don't want chemistry lessons or legal interpretations...just simple statements that answer the most common questions I've found consumers are asking...is it "real", and is it legal to buy it.
  10. Very interesting discussion. My/our point of view coincides with PeterL and Doctor Love (great screen name btw). One of the first things I do when developing a website is a very rigorous keyword review. "Thujone" came up second on the list after several spelling variants of Absinthe. So we know for a fact that people are frequently using the word "Thujone" in search queries, therefore it should be included in the copy, becaue that's how Google will know a given website is relevant to the search. As to the issue of how it's referred to, I agree with the comments that it should be presented as a factual statement. I've made some additional changes to the site that I think address that. I dunno about that. These are American consumers, they haven't been treated to as much of the thujone hype as the European markets. It doesn't do anything at these concentrations, so what difference does it make how much of it is in Mata Hari? Why not list all the other ingredients then as well? Now obviously plenty of potential consumers of absinthe in America still have misconceptions about absinthe making you trip ballz, and certainly I think it's important to dispell that myth, but I'd consider that at this point in time mentioning thujone on the site is going lend more credibility to it having some effect, even if it's done as a straight statement of fact. But you're probably right, it needs to be a comprehensive website, maybe my objection is more about the fact that it's mentioned so prominently in the first paragraph on the front page. In other words, instead of this: Made with Grande Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) which is the source of thujone, the component of controversy which was the reason for the ban on Absinthe in the U.S. and Europe in the last century. I think it's more effective to have this: Mata Hari is made with Grande Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium), the component of controversy which was the reason for the ban on Absinthe in the U.S. and Europe in the last century. I'd also follow it up with something like: Today, science has shown that having Grande Wormwood in absinthe is not dangerous or hallucinogenic, and we are allowed to once again enjoy this famous beverage.
  11. Thanks for your comments. I think about websites this way...you never get it right, you just keep getting it better. So this is a work in progress. I'm making some changes that address these concerns. In some parts of the site, you discuss how thujone doesn't have the 'effects' that people think it does, but you also have smatterings of passages such as the above, which indicates that there may indeed be something else that is unspoken. In the above passage, you kind of shoot yourself in the foot. In the first passage I quoted, you mentioned that there need to be a lot of wormwood in an absinthe to make it 'potent', but then in the above passage you downplay your absinthe, representing it as one that doesn't have much at all. So, all in all, the site basically keeps saying 'Yes it is. No it's not. Yes it is. No it's not.' But again, it's definitely an improvement. The removal of the fire ritual was a welcome change. I hope to see further improvements!
  12. Ok guys, we've set up a new Mata Hari website for the U.S. www.AbsintheMataHari.com that adheres to the social responsibility guidelines we've been discussing. It's still a work in progress, but I'd welcome feedback from the group. On a related subject, I had an interesting conversation with Alan Moss of La Clandestine...we were talking about how the manufacturers should consider getting together to promote the category. What stimualated the idea was how the gin folks got together for the Juniperlooza session at TOTC. I don't have specific ideas yet, but did want to get some feedback.
  13. Reuter's ran a story datelined Aug. 1. Here's the link Reuters Aug 1 story on Absinthe. Brian Robinson is quoted
  14. Hey, I thought you were going to call? Anyway, why don't we set up a conference call with you, me and Gwydion to discuss this further...nights, weekends all work for me. Steve