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Clement Arnoux (Aggelos)

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Everything posted by Clement Arnoux (Aggelos)

  1. The best would be for Luc to participate on that, I fear I must work only from memory nope, only for the first and other batches, the second one I had in my stash Belle Amie first batch would be 2007 Second batch is 2008 Third "generation" starts, if I am not mistaken in 2010 because we used to talk about BA 2010 (and the bottle I have must be a distiller's proof)
  2. Regarding Belle Amie. I have at least tasted almost all of the batches, lived through the painful time between BA II and BA III and have mine own opinion. At a given time, whatever you may have heard about it, BA as always meant "trying to be the best", simply because its creator wants nothing less. Much was said, good or bad about the first ones (BA I & BA II), and they are, IMHO, extremely different from the current ones. Golden and syruppy, they were extremely fruity and floral, much more so than the current ones. I would have to open one of my old bottles to know whether my memories are correct or Nostalgy-Enhanced , but as far as I remember, the only thing I found better at the time was a perfectly aged bottle of Verte Suisse 2006. So, there's that. Now, for the recent batches : they are greener, and greener, proof that VdA have been working a lot on their product (which was yet a wonder), using for example some tricks allegedly found in such litterature as a Duplais authenticated as property of that Henry-Louis Pernod guy. Hipsters. Whatever you like, let's talk objective features : - It has a solid taste, not elusive, not overpowering, just solid - The plants are fabulous - The wine alcohol is perferctly chosen and handled the basics are all there. The recipe has not changed since the first batch. Only the methods around it have changed. Belle Amie changes. All the time. But the spirit is the same. Some changes are drastic (2nd batch and 3rd batch are extremely different, and you have to notice it between 3rd and 4th) Some less. But if you take a bottle every two year, you will notice it.
  3. Oh pulease you're pulling my leg here, just call me Clément will you ? And don't tell too much, I do love my privacy. If you are a good boy I'll send you an autograph
  4. Ok, let me rephrase then. Indeed modern or antique won't make much of a difference as to usage... Most of the time. What we now about Frenchman reproductions is that they are up to par for a few years as for usage. Now for the rest of my argument, I must disclaim beforehand that I am in open conflict with Frenchman himself. Take it as you want, I will just try to be as objective as possible. As for quality : no modern spoon has a stamping worth a vintage's one. Period. Wise as he was when he decided it Frenchman made spoons that would not fool the trained eye, and it's particularly true for the most detailed ones. They are nice, functional, but for a given model, the antique is always nicer. Don't let anyone tell you the contrary. Now they indeed work nicely. But what you may want, for example as I do, is a spoon with small holes. It has been supposed that sugar used to melt differently back then. With basic sugar, too large a hole, and you won't melt it, most of it will fall in the glass. The smaller the holes, the dirtier the stamping. As for metals, well... None of the moderns have crappy metal, that's a given, so go ahead to what you want. But I rest my case : the best way to know how a spoon will resist to usage and time is to have one which have resisted a century of usage and oblivion. And for pete's sake, buying a modern silver-plated spoon is just asking to silver coat a school restaurant fork. Now modern sterling silver are another thing already, but they are far above your budget. I know it's easy for me to ditch reproductions when originals are found for cheaper in France but well... When I throw a few bucks away, I only shoot for quality, whatever the domain, and seldom regret it. I would advise to look for variety in holes size for starters, and then quickly move to vintage with your prefered size. Don't create a variety in shapes "because they are pretty", because in the end, you will only use the most practical ones. Believe someone with dozens of spoons on that. And don't buy "because they are pretty", because the day you have a good vintage one, they will look like crap. Therefore, if you don't want to go vintage, my advice would be to try : - http://www.absinthes.com/fr/product_info.php?products_id=144 - http://www.absinthes.com/fr/product_info.php?products_id=706 - http://www.absinthes.com/fr/product_info.php?products_id=141 - http://www.absinthes.com/fr/product_info.php?products_id=145 - http://www.absinthes.com/fr/product_info.php?products_id=143 all of them differ widely in how they are used and have a specific "bonus". Glasses are another matter already : few modern glasses are up to par with vintage ones. IMHO none of them are available on the US market anymore. There, do I answer you correctly this time ?
  5. Or... Buy one vintage instead of three repros. If it did not move through time, then you know it will not move at all
  6. Not only are there very nice things, the way you presented them is quite gorgeous. I love the museum vibe There are some things that are we plan to have in our collections beforehand. Am I correct if I assume you are looking for a Joanne ? Or is there another reason for such a peculiar picture ? Anyway, working with Michelle and Marc, you couldn't go wrong
  7. I'll add a picture and price, for reference This spoon is available there http://www.absintheoriginals.com/spoons.html for 40€ I dunno when you bought your first repro, but a few years back the prices for antiques were a bit out of hand as far as I can report. But well, never to the point where I would continue buying repros after my first antique There are a few repros with a fine stamping, but for an equivalent model, the antique is always better stamped. That leaves the question of the plating or surface aspect. Some antique models, chiefly "semis d'étoiles et de trèfles" like yours, can be made in crap metal (let's call a cat a cat shall we ?) which, by no means, affects either value or usability. It affects "desirability" though, to the untrained eye. But, to the point : there is no lack of common antiques with a fair price (the above spoon can go as low as 5 to 10 euros if you get lucky here in France) and they are indeed of a better quality than repros, every time. Stated otherwise : there are modern spoons with real value and real quality, only one of them I would qualify as a repro worth the money (and I'm talking about Kirk Burkett's reproduction of the Frenay, believe me, you don't want to compare prices here, it's just that you can't simply buy a Frenay :p ).
  8. Would need other pictures : - lettering - bottom - close up of the "patine" on the striker as much as you can. If I can't answer here, you would still need these pictures (and maybe some more) if you want to have a clear opinion
  9. No, as a matter of fact, there are already a few markers of the presence and the appreciation of absinthe in Victorian England and also later. Wilde, Crowley, Hemingway, there is definitely something there... But they are part of a very specific demographic subset : wild-spirited upperclass men. What the article points to is actually that some absinthe was distributed to the commoners, with the same risks and consequences as in France at the same time. Still no proof, but enough material not to consider the thing as excluded.
  10. Shit people ! I am freshly fiancéed (at still am, not sure whether I should thank Scott or not), and while the date is not set, the theme is (geek and chic). Her wedding dress and my groom's costume will both be proudly brassed-and-leathered steampunk. And oooooh boy mark my words, there will definitely be absinthe pouring, and high grade stuff too. So don't you dare go around hypothesizing whether absinthe may or may have not been English enough for it to be steampunk or not. It was, end of the discussion. And though it's in my veins to say the opposite as often as may, England is France's twin sister. Our cultures and vocabularies are so intertweened that sometimes we don't even know which invented which word (as it happens their national anthem is about one of our kings' anal fistula). That, and I'm a fan of Doctor Who like any good Brit. The only difference between both is that one of them was too fond of absinthe to let it go after 1915. No, I'm not talking about France (that, or Hemingway died faaaaaaaaaar sooner than I expected) Absinthe and steampunk ? Hell yeah, what else ?
  11. With Swedish heavy metal in the background. No ill feeling besides, I knew the man would hit hard too. I hope he does not resent me too much too. That's the trick there, I'm a cocain-addict living in Columbia. The stuff comes cheaper, so you can still have your fix without the hurt on the wallet, provided you don't only deal in the 100% pure and refined.
  12. And again (yes, I'm spamming this topic lately, sorry) Found yesterday. It's a little sick (milky clouds in the glass), but for 8€, would have been a shame not to take it And finally got the last spoon I wanted absolutely in my collection
  13. It so happens I have a cristal bubble glass (now confirmed to be of spanish make, but genuine all the same) on which my Joanne used to sit with difficulty, what with it having too wide a diameter at the stem. At least now there is a spoon, this one, resting quietly on it You know, often, in my dreams, I have a scene on a flea market where I find spoons with shapes never seen before. Two things happen then : first I live the dream, then, quickly, it's the scene that helps me understand I am dreaming. (true story) Thank you Marie Claude Delahaye, knowing your book helps me keep rationnal. But right now... I am waking up and definitely feeling strange
  14. Ok, here it goes, the famous spoon that I had to see confirmed before I could brag about. While there are now 3 accounts of it existing, it is not referenced in Marie Claude Delahaye's books... "Cuillères" Maison Arthaud With its well known sister
  15. Well, I've looked, I've tried, and found nothing matching my expectations for you kind sirs. There was a lot of common spoons and glasses, but everything was "wrong". Cordon glasses had their dose filled with glass, east glasses were too expensive and in bad shape, there was one Yvonne which was quite acceptable, but I did not inquire for the price, as nobody asked for an Yvonne. As for me... I found for myself something so exceptionnal that I will not talk about it further until I have confirmed with more experienced collectors that it is a genuine article
  16. True enough, I should have quoted your answer too, sorry for that. And indeed, as I have stated about the first version, your book is a lover's book, not one for collectors MCD's book about the spoons is a collectors' one for anyone who would like to compare, and they definitely not have the same hum feeling emanating. Way better to have your book rather than "all you can get for the price" on antiques markets : old basic items are just what they are, that is, tools. Gosh, my mother as a child used her grandmother's spoons for gardening as a kid. What you propose is showing "treasures" (I chose the word for it's broad semantic aspect) under their best aspects.
  17. Tomorrow's a big one. The trick is, professionals could access the brocante today, and that may be that. But it did not prevent me finding good things there in the past (a year ago I found two tour eiffel after all). Stay tuned
  18. I could not answer on your blog, but here is a quick remark Errr... well... No, Alan. What is true today of the price of an antique could be wrong by tomorrow. There are many things that can alter it : as all collectibles, many prices vary in terms of offer and demand. Some samples : at the time Marie Claude Delahaye's "les cuilleres" was published, several "semi d'étoile et de trèfles" were seen as rare, and were therefore pricey. Ebay changed a lot of that. Now you can grab a handful of them for a few euros. Besides, sometimes an object may be rare for a time, and then a bunch of them big enough to content all collectors will go out, and the price will drop (Maison Arthaud, and the sterling silver grille for example) Sometimes, like for the "amourette" "brouilleur", you discover that an object was never an absinthe related antique at all (in that case it was a holder for a fuse used to seal a pot and the price went from several tens of € to 0). And some items have no price. Such is the case for the unique pieces. But it stands true for some spoons. For example the feuille 1 : 4 of them went out of the wood recently, and while the first started around 1000, the last was at 1400, almost the double of the price I paid mine, on the same auctions site. What is still true is that you can have a full service for the price of the modern things. But you can't ask for too much in that case And for all of you who want a full service for 60/80€ (two torsades and two matching spoons), there is a post for that
  19. Come on, you would add 40 mn for the trip back and forth, and would be able to discover a distillery settled right in the birthplace, introduced by no less than Alan... You can't miss that
  20. Well... There are some absinthes that call for a "petite soeur", that is another glass of the same But I follow the main trend : one good first (sometimes a Tarragone, a man has his pleasures), then less and less qualitative. Unless I am in Couvet, of course (and then again, mainly at the chalet where only La Petite flows)
  21. nice smelling indeed, I sometimes remember my drip only because of the fragrance (and sometimes not)
  22. Don't tell me about it... Even antique sellers tell crap to their buyers when I am not around. Yes absinthe has too much of a stigma in France, and yes, we have developped since the ban a culture for other beverages of the same family, pastis in particular. Doubtful in these conditions that we might seen a new boom in the coming years
  23. Well... All the distilleries are absinthe lovers friendly AFAIK. If you pass by Pontarlier, then yes Guy and Pernot may give you the tour, but that stands equal for Devoille (Fougerolles, north of Pontarlier), and Combier (Saumur) AFAIK. Just contact them beforehand to see if they are not swamped and would have time to see you in correct conditions, but otherwise it should be ok.
  24. Well, you are welcome, and I'm glad to hear they are finally up to the task. Last time I went there was with Maison Fontaine's Sven, and the drinks service and quality were far below par (broken glasses, absinthe gone bad...). As it happens, the next day we were at Luc's place, and the owner of La Fee Verte came by, and was horrified by our experience She apparently threw a tantrum and had her team trained anew