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minott

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Everything posted by minott

  1. Thanks for the post Brian. We're happy with the direction of the product. It's not perfect. We're still working on color and anise balance but it's definitely an improvement. It will be a little while until we deplete inventories of the current bottles. During that time I'm happy to try to get samples to those who might want to give us further comment. I really do appreciate the feedback we've gotten from the WS on our product and communication. I know we'll never win over everyone but I think we've made progress and are continuing to listen and learn. Thanks. Minott
  2. Ben - I contacted Absintheology earlier today to request these changes. Hopefully these statements will disappear soon. "Inspired By" is a good idea. Thanks. Minott
  3. I appreciate that Joe. It's small steps but hopefully indicative of good intent going forward. We're listening and learning. Thanks. Minott
  4. Absolutely. I have already written to some that I could see currently online requesting clarification. Our site does not even reference the term "thujone". Thanks. Minott
  5. Not unless I was hallucinating!
  6. Hi Alan - You're right that it's confusing. Lots of the recipe was based on a very old formula but modified when we produced in 2007. Sorry if it appears misleading. Such references are not found in our current communications. In addition, the adjustments we are currently making to the product, including increased anise and more natural color, are more reflective of the original recipe. I will try to contact the absintheology site to clarify. Thanks for pointing it out. Minott
  7. I do have a better knowledge and we're making adjustments to the anise and color now. I'm hopeful that we will have a product that you will appreciate. Thanks. Minott
  8. Thanks. I appreciate that perspective. I actually find this dialogue helpful in better understanding the definitions of traditional absinthe and the importance of very clear communication. I think we're moving in the right direction. Thanks again. Minott
  9. I'm very serious about the improvements we have planned. It remains to be seen if how you will judge it but I am hopeful. In the meantime, thanks to those above. I learn a lot here and would like to stay. Minott
  10. Sounds like someone didn't read the first 6 pages! Hi Ben- I'm here. I'll stay unless you prefer I go. Minott
  11. The definition I subscribed to in development is the general one that absinthe is a higher alcohol content spirit 45%+ containing predominant character of anise with fennel and Grand Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) and green color in the case of the french verte type. You can save yourselves the trouble of attacking this. I understand now that following the was probably naive. I've learned a lot since then - much of it here at WS - thus the changes I have planned. I am becoming skeptical myself that even with the changes and best intentions, the general consensus here will be that you don't like Tourment. We are going to do our best however. Thanks for your feedback. Minott
  12. Alan - Not sure where you are but it's very late here and I am exhausted. I look forward (I think) to picking this up in the morning. Thanks. Minott
  13. Alan - I think you're exactly right. Needless to say, I believe Tourment is absinthe and can point to lots of definitions that support that belief. In the WS forums I now see more a specific definition. It is not my wish to argue the relative validity of definitions. I have announced our intent to alter the formula because I think it will improve our product and also because I believe it will meet the WS definition. I am not trying to quiet critics. I am trying to develop the product. Common ground?
  14. Wow. I've just logged on after work and there's a lot to respond to. Where to begin? 1. I joined the WS because I thought I would benefit from the knowledge and insights you all have. 2. I joined at $20 because I thought that was what seemed right to do. No agenda. 3. I announced my intent to change the formula because I believe it will improve our product. And if those changes aren't right I'll change it again. I think products can and should evolve. It has nothing to do with TTB or consumers. 4. I would like our product to be commercially successful but I would also like it to be respected by experts like yourselves. 5. "Starting Over" is not economically feasible for me. 6. I understand your skepticism. The only way I can demonstrate my sincerity is to show you the product. 7. There seems to be an assumption that this is all about money for me. That is not the case. I'd like to be a part of re-establishing absinthe as a viable part of the US spirits industry. 8. There is no bad consultant to blame. I received advice from lots of people as we developed the product. Maybe some of the advice was mis-guided but ultimately the final decisions were mine. 9. I don't see anything wrong with making an absinthe that can be described as made for cocktails or using absinthe in full measure as substitute for other spirits such as vodka or rum. Many mixologists we have met seem to like working with absinthe in this way. I realize this may not be the historical tradition but does that make it wrong? 10. I have never said we are the only one that can be mixed in cocktails. We have focused on this because I think it is an area of serving absinthe that needs education. Many people know about the traditional drip but less know about absinthe in cocktails - at least from what I see. 11. I believe Tourment can and will be an absinthe that you may all enjoy. I need a little time to get there. Finally, I need to ask if you really want me to be part of your forums? The apparent anger and vitriol in your posts makes me think I might be intruding in a place I don't belong. I really do respect your opinions and your desire to protect the integrity of absinthe. Would you prefer I not participate?
  15. New Tourment press release. come close to knocking copy. If Tourment criticises other real absinthes as less ideal, then they should not be surprised if they get criticised in return. We are not trying to knock anyone and can revise this wording if it offends. As for the historical association, we are not trying to piggyback but just communicate the great association with creativity through the past. This benefits all absinthes and I think we should be able to say this. Thanks. Minott
  16. Not really: absinthe is/was/should-be a high-proof, unsweetened, distilled spirit whose primary flavor is derived from anise and Artemisia absinthium wormwood. That's what it always was; we have the recipes, we have many different surviving samples, and there has thus far been no evidence that any absinthe prior to 1915 deviated from this. Every class of spirit has a known and expected set of ingredient/flavor/aroma/appearance characteristics that are what makes it what it is. When you depart from those radically, you can expect friction and you risk falling outside the class. It's just that absinthe happens to be so obscure that most people have yet to learn what to demand of it. Exactly. Minott, for this reason, before you started posting here with the stated intention of getting feedback to make an authentic product, I had the perception that LTV was doing what they did because they did not care what real absinthe was and had no problem making a buck off of customers who didn't know better. Quite frankly, hiding behind the fact that there's no public expectation (or legal definition) to make up whatever product you want to would be a piss poor excuse. Kudos to you if you really want to turn things around. It really would be fantastic if you are sincere in your intentions, and are successful in executing a flavorful and profitable transformation. I have tremendous respect for absinthe and am not as cynical as you might expect. I'm hoping our modifications meet your approval. Thanks. Minott
  17. Not really: absinthe is/was/should-be a high-proof, unsweetened, distilled spirit whose primary flavor is derived from anise and Artemisia absinthium wormwood. That's what it always was; we have the recipes, we have many different surviving samples, and there has thus far been no evidence that any absinthe prior to 1915 deviated from this. Every class of spirit has a known and expected set of ingredient/flavor/aroma/appearance characteristics that are what makes it what it is. When you depart from those radically, you can expect friction and you risk falling outside the class. It's just that absinthe happens to be so obscure that most people have yet to learn what to demand of it. On absinthe in cocktails: The Swiss version of Marteau, Verte Classique, released in 2007, was formulated and marketed specifically as a "cocktail absinthe." The idea came to me while at Tales in 2006, when I realized how well certain botanicals in a prototype worked with gin and vermouth. That's also when and where I realized that the gap between the cocktail community and the absinthe community still needed to be bridged: there were few knowledgeable cocktail geeks in the absinthe community and precious few cocktailians who had any clue about absinthe. I'm proud to say that WS was a major bridge of that gap and I feel that the subsequent cross-pollination has enriched both communities enormously. About anise: Adding more anise to LTV could—in my personal opinion—possibly bring LTV nominally inside the absinthe category if enough was added, but not well within. LTV's flavor is more reminiscent of a Central/Eastern European herbal schnapps: while in absinthe anise is dominant and the other botanicals are mere accents, LTV reverses this formula. Mata Hari does the same thing, only going a step further by adding an adjunct specifically to produce a louche, as though the louche was a goal in itself, instead of an indicator of proper anise balance. The fact that virtually every liquor store in this country stocks Pernod anis, ouzo, anisette and Sambuca—and many also stock raki and arak—is testament that the popularity of the anise flavor is widespread, consistent, marketable and mixable. It sells, and millions of people like it. The question is whether enough of it sells to satisfy one's expectations. Likewise, altering the traditional flavor to such a radical extent so as to make a product more mixable in "full measure" is about selling more in a serving, not selling more out of popularity. Absinthe is supposed to be used in dashes and splashes, like a bitters. That's its American heritage, and the hundreds of perfectly delightful pre-ban or pre-pro cocktail recipes which call for absinthe use it in that way. It's the nature of the beast. Absinthe is an extract, a concentrate. It was enormously popular in the late 19th century, and only binge-drinkers drank it neat. Would it be appropriate to make bitters that weren't bitter? A lot of people don't like bitterness, that's a market that could be tapped with a non-bitter bitters. A lot of people don't like sour either, but is it possible make a non-sour vinaigrette dressing to capture that market? Hi Gwydion - Thanks for your note. I appreciate you helping me with the historical perspective on anise. As for serving in cocktails I do understand absinte's tradition is in dashes and rinses. Do you think it's acceptable for us to want to see it mixed in some cocktails in first measure? I personally think it would be great - and I know many consumers and bar owners who would agree. This seems like it would be positive for all absinthes. Things can eveolve and not stay completely rooted in the past, right? Thanks. Minott
  18. I look forward to hearing your thoughts if / when you try it. Thanks. Minott
  19. Thanks Jay. I will keep everyone on the WS site informed of our progress. It's underway! Minott
  20. Thanks. Hopefully I won't let you down! Tough audience.
  21. Thanks for your response, Minott. Mixologists might be able to address the third point you raised (though I'd be inclined to answer: who cares if there's an ounce or a dash of absinthe in your cocktail as long as the flavor comes through and marries well with the other ingredients?), but your first two claims (that the flavors and proof of absinthe are too intense for broad scale consumption and that the serving of absinthe with water and sugar is impractical and gimmicky) seem to be based on some kind of marketing research (done by the same marketing firm that recently damaged your brand?). I wonder if you have facts or statistics of the kind that Ben recently collected with his absinthe survey to back up these claims or not. If so, I'd prefer that they be shared openly here on the forum rather than in a private conversation--if it's all the same to you. AIO - The claims were just based on anecdotal observations. I don't really believe in focus group research, nor can we afford it. The claims I make are based on conversations I've had with retailers. For example, TGIF cannot serve products over 100 proof due to liability issues. The statement about water and sugar refers more to the traditional fountain service which bartenders and mixologists claim can be cumbersome on busy nights. I probably overstated these and didn't mean them as absolute. Apologies.
  22. Only a very few miles south of Whitefish: Kalispell. Not a bad place to live <yawn> if you can stand the scenery. Have you ever been to the Great Northern Brewery in Whitefish? I built it in 1994. Great area!
  23. Thanks to all of you for your welcome to the WS. I don't expect us to agree on everything. But I can already tell I'm going to learn a lot. Hopefully you will too. As much as you might not appreciate my current formula, I hope you all understand how committed I am to help make absinthe an enduring success in the US. Working with the US government as well as the wholesale and retail trade is not always the easiest. And proper marketing and education is challenging. With your advice and consent I think I can add real value in these areas and am happy to help. I appreciate your honesty and hope you'll keep it coming. Thanks all. Minott
  24. so what do you tell all the barmen (who made special signature cocktails), liquor stores, restaurants, celebrities, airlines, etc. that have supported, promoted, used and claim to have liked your original formula? I think everyone involved - wholesalers, retailers, mixologists and consumers will appreciate the change. Thanks. Minott
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