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About Jay

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  1. I used to think that way about three years ago. Back before I had developed an obsession with absinthe and a much thinner wallet...
  2. I was very very lucky to find a nice 1950s Tarragona a few months ago for just under $600. I'm under no illusions that lightning will strike twice anytime soon, so I'm drinking it slowly.
  3. Those Glencairn glasses are quite effective. Hopefully your dad brought back a good tequila!
  4. This is the most relevant to my own girlfriend's interest in absinthe. She prefers blanches and sweeter/lighter vertes, and she takes a healthy dose of sugar or agave; the fact that she likes absinthe at all (as well as rum and some whiskeys) makes me quite fortunate, as I need her to justify my expenditures!
  5. The PF Tarragona I have had (mid-1950s) is exceptional. In all honesty, I liked it better than the PF 1914 I had. The PF 1914 was elegant and very good, but a bit TOO subtle for my tastes (and it wasn't over-watered). The PF Tarragona was fairly bold and very tasty. I recommend it, especially at the price you can get it for these days.
  6. My main concern in posting my comments was that it might come across as some kind of malicious pot-stirring, but ultimately I felt it was better to give my impressions for the sake of the site. Given your response and that of others below, I think it was worth it. That's interesting to hear. I don't recall having read any reviews or comments on WS indicating that someone disliked a popular CO so much that they chose to sink it, so I just kept looking at the glass in shock, saying to my girlfriend, "why don't I like this? EVERYONE likes this." [snip] I've certainly had more than one sample over the years that suffered in transit, and compared very unfavorably to the same absinthe poured directly from the bottle. Then again, it could well be that a particular herb just doesn't agree with your palate. In any case, hurt feelings shouldn't be an issue when it comes to a taster expressing his or her honest opinion of a beverage, and if they do, the injured party needs to grow a thicker hide. The sample did make a trip from the east coast and all the way to the Pacific NW. Given the extreme temps plaguing much of the U.S. this summer, this is a possibility, as is my dislike for a particular herb or botanical. [snip] If you could, it would be great to see your review in the formal review system, so the average score accurately reflects the different experiences people may have if they try this absinthe. I'll mull this over, Ron. While I do prefer to have 2 or 3 glasses of something on different days before I write a review, my experience with it was markedly similar to my girlfriend's, so I don't think my impressions were an anomaly. On my evaluation sheet I swear that is the very first entry under Aroma Notes. Now that truly is interesting to me. I wonder if you and I (and my girlfriend) share the same unpleasant reaction to an herb which other folks don't. For instance, I know that a small percentage of folks despise the taste of cilantro, and what they're experiencing on their palate is not the slightly "soapy" taste that most folks do, but something completely terrible. My experience with Blues Cat was somewhat similar - it took about four weeks of aging before an unpleasant "wax crayon" taste went away, and when it did, BC became an exceptional absinthe. I believe this sample came from a bottle that had been open at least 3 weeks, though, so I don't think that was the issue here. Thanks to you and everyone else for supporting me posting my thoughts. It's never fun to have bad news to give instead of good, especially when I know how long and hard folks like Stefano work on making the best absinthe they can. That being said, I'm just one person in a small minority, so I'm glad that the overwhelming majority of folks who have tried L'Ancienne have enjoyed it and will continue to do so
  7. I almost never make an absinthe after I've started drinking any other kind of alcohol, but admittedly, that's partly because I generally approach a night of drinking from "the top shelf, down". Absinthe is very refreshing and tends to energize me a bit as well, so those are other reasons why I like to start with it. I've done absinthe to whiskey, absinthe to beer, absinthe to wine, and even absinthe to whiskey to wine to beer, and never had a problem unless I've gone from absinthe to beer/wine and then back again to hard alcohol - that's about a 50/50 shot at not feeling great in the morning. On average, I'll drink one 8 oz glass of water for every 3 servings of alcohol and not have any hangover symptoms.
  8. That was a quick recovery from your "big mistake," sir! Congratulations for that, and thanks for the Rodriguez link - he's new to me.
  9. Someone was kind enough to send me a sample of L'Ancienne, but I don't like to write "formal" reviews based on only one glass, I'll simply say here that I feel as if I'm missing something here. I opened the bottle and took a whiff, and the first (very overwhelming) impression was "nail polish remover". The color was in line with modern COs, the louche was ok and comparable to, say, Pacifique, but the aroma and taste were unpleasant to me. I called in my girlfriend for a second opinion and she shared the same impressions. When I mentioned that one publish review included the phrase "pleasant soft mustiness of wood and leather", she shook her head and said it was more like the mustiness of old books just about to start mildewing, and I hate to say it, but I had to agree the analogy was apt. Perhaps something happened to my sample in transit (it has been a very hot week), or we're both having a strong, shared reaction to some herb in it which we don't like, but honestly, I've had this glass here for 45 minutes and between the two of us, and I don't think we can finish it. I sincerely regret if this hurts anyone's feelings, but I feel obligated to be objective and honest about my experience with it. I'm clearly in the minority on the forum in terms of not enjoying this, so perhaps its me/us. If I have occasion to sample this again and have a different experience, I will definitely make mention of it.
  10. As soon as I read that you'd started with a tequila-based drink, my eyebrow started to twitch. When you went to beer, then had a liquor-based shot before switching again back to beer... well, lemme tell you, the absinthe at the end was the least of your troubles! I'd cheers you, but you'd probably turn greener than a fine verte, so instead I'll just and wish you a speedy recovery!
  11. I see your point to a certain extent Alan, but I think what galls the absinthe community most is not that the Pernod folks don't volunteer the artificial coloring of their modern absinthe on their European label - it's that their modern absinthe is artificially-colored at all. The fact that they were marketing this "reformulation" of absinthe in the early 2000's before the resurgence of historically-authentic commercial absinthe in the U.S. is no excuse for their low standards; if anything, Pernod should have led the charge for the re-introduction of quality absinthe in modern times. The fact that they failed to do so, and instead counted on the fact that no one would notice (presumably since Czechsinthes had lowered the bar and expectations so much in the 1990s) says as much about the agenda of the modern Pernod organization as anyone really needs to know. There's nothing unfair about that conclusion.
  12. I like your style. Welcome to the forum!
  13. You might be unpleasantly surprised. Here are two stats of note: "By 2010, 95 percent of the sugar beets grown in the U.S. were Monsanto’s genetically modified variety. This matters to us all because about 50 percent of white sugar sold here is made from sugar beets." I don't think absinthe sugar should be burned, but as for the hair on Monsanto executives' heads... But I digress ™ Anyway, I still like agave syrup (in particular for younger absinthes that need a little taming) or classic sugar and simple syrup made from sugar. Non-GMO, don't you know.
  14. [incidentally, what you have printed as the recipe for that style of absinthe on the insert doesn't match with what I have as the recipe from Duplais and Bedel - is yours a different version, or is the amount of Coriander listed simply a typo?] Well spotted! I went back and checked my Brevans and due to the old typography a 1 and a 4 look very similar, so yes, it should be 100g Thanks for the confirmation of the proportions, Ian (and for the hints on what's in the esprit vert). I wanted to be sure I wasn't missing out on a Goldberg variation of the Montpelier recipe