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JohnC

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  1. As the bottle itself is translucent amber the level was completely apparent before opening and indeed before purchase. The wax covering the cork and neck of the bottle was extremely thick and consequently I believe little or no evaporation has occured since bottling, possibly explaining in part the exceptional standard of preservation. I am currently storing the bottle in absolute darkness to preserve the wonderful green colour for as long as possible but as I am also intending to drink the contents over time, say twelve months, I have confidence that merely resealing with a T cork will be sufficient to inhibit oxydation for as long as I need. Should I detect any deterioration then I'll just drink it more quickly.
  2. That surprises me.. Does it not preserve any longer than a year? I just wonder - if I would have bought such a bottle - whether I could drink it up in a year Just this idea hurts Believe me if you'd have bought such a bottle you'd have found it impossible not to drink it within a year.
  3. What better way of educating one's palette than drinking the best? Don't necessarily judge absinthe experience by numbers of postings on WS either.
  4. I'm not much of a photographer .... though I maybe could prevail on my wife. I hacked off the wax and uncorked it, no point in messing about. Oxy suggested that merely recorking it with a normal wine cork and keeping it in the dark would be enough to preserve it for a year or more, though it won't be around that long anyway.
  5. Picked my bottle up this morning. I was in the happy posotion of being able to choose my preferred bottle out of ten, all were the antique St Raphael Quinquina bottles. I chose a bottle whose contents are perhaps atypical of what is the current norm for vintage absinthes. I enjoyed a fabulous aperitif this evening. Opening the bottle presented immensely powerful anise, pouring a measure revealed, as promised, a completely limpid liquid of the palest possible green. Adding water the louche formed slowly, was very oily and at around 3:1 was completely opaque and an opalescent green/white. All trace of the anise disappeared and the bouquet was spicy and very floral. In the mouth total smoothness, no trace, either in taste or feel, of the underlying alcohol, profoundly mouthfilling with an amazingly subtle but powerful manifestation of grande absinthe whose taste has lingered for hours. Worth every penny (or cent). The only problem is that it's likely to vanish far too quickly.
  6. Hence the relatively (?) easy on the pocket price.
  7. Those of us who view the FV forum regularly or who are subscribers to Oxy's VAM mailings will be up to speed on his amazing discovery of 76 bottles of 1914 Pernod Fils. Those who haven't had details of the find of the century should visit the VAM website. I'm picking up a bottle from the cache on Thursday and am planning to drink it over time rather than put it on a shelf. I will share my experiences once my excitement has subsided.
  8. Can anyone, possibly from LdF, shed more light on the three new Pernot distilled absinthes which I've just been reading about on the Vert d'Absinthe site? A red (?!), a new blanche and a verte named 1797 after the date of the original recipe, all small batches and available in Paris from Nov 7.
  9. Welcome and enjoy the Ed. May it be only the first of many different absinthe styles and variants.
  10. Both really. And I think the many postings received are answering my implied questions perfectly
  11. Many thanks to the absintheurs who took the trouble to reply to my posting. All replies were enlightening and I now have a much better understanding of the difficulties faced by modern day distillers. It is clear from Oxy's and Grim's replies that consistent pre-ban quality was maintained by a solera style system which smoothed out seasonal variations. But no one, however distinguished, has really cast much light on how two guys, tending their 26 alembics during their 11(!) hour shifts in Pernod's still room, were able to produce absinthe of the quality to be piped downstairs into the solera system in the cellar. I guess we'll never know.
  12. Ooops, just to clarify matters I have absolutely no connection commercial or otherwise with the Swiss absinthe distillery whose URL I posted a couple of days ago. I just thought that it was an interesting blog with lots of info for French readers. In fact the section at the end dealing with the history of clandestine distilling in the Val de Travers is really informative and amusing.
  13. This will be a fairly long post and maybe I'm answering my own question as I write but I'd like to place a problem that's been puzzling me for some time in front of an audience of experts. My reading about modern absinthe distillation techniques suggests that the process is essentially hands on with plenty of subjective judgement on the part of the distiller in respect of taste,colour and smell at different points in the process. Quantities produced are tiny, often in the scores of litres per run. The resulting product is marketed as hand crafted (it is) and priced accordingly. Despite the endeavours of the craftsmen distillers their products aren't always well received by informed absinthe drinkers and sometimes vary considerably between one batch and another e.g. Montmartre editions 1 and 2. Turning to pre-ban absinthe. Although bottle aging may play a part, the consensus amongst those lucky or wealthy enough to have tried some (not me!) seems to be that it was always a superior product. This is true right up to the Tarragona products of the 40's. In my ignorance I'd assumed that the Pernod distillery at Pontarlier, say, must have been full of alchemists scurrying round the alembics tasting, tweaking etc, etc, but nothing could be further from the truth. In the late 19th century two workers, presumably following strict procedures, managed 26 stills and 22 colorators (info courtesy Virtual Absinthe Museum) capable of producing 20,000 litres per day of high consistent quality. After all Pernod was the leading international brand. I guess my question after this lengthy preamble is why do we find so difficult today to do what two 19th century workers on the day shift at Pontarlier found so easy? I don't buy into the 'they had 100 years experience' argument as clearly Pernod management didn't have 100 years production line experience. Is it volume? Perhaps the ex-Pernod stills at the Combier distillery don't work properly unless at full capacity. Is it loss of supplier infrastructure? Poor quality ingredients? Have the Pernod 'how to do it' manuals been lost or are they hidden in the company's archives? Or all of these and more. Views sought.
  14. Hiram, apologies for having breached etiquette for posting before introducing myself. I'm from the UK but have strong connections with France. I've been an enthusiastic drinker of most things alcoholic for over 40 years and had the good fortune to try absinthe for the first time at the end of 2005. More by good luck than anything else my first bottle was the not too bad UE Blanche since then with guidance from this forum and others I've had the pleasure of trying VdF, BdF, Bugnon's La Clandestine, the Montmartre, Jade VS and Duplais. I'm currently awaiting delivery of both flavours of Ike. As is apparent I've been pursuing my love affair pretty assiduously. Absinthe has been a jaw dropping revelation to me. I could never have imagined such powerful spirit could be transformed into such a delicious, perfumed, complex drink. truly an elixir. An unintended side effect (no, not one of those secondaries) has been a loss of interest in what were previously my favourite wines and spirits, they seem thin and dimensionless now. It's no surprise to me that absinthe was banned.... its just too damned good! Having been lurking here for I while, now that I've broken the ice I hope to make more postings. Yours in absinthe......
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