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Posts posted by Abs

  1. "...traditional Bohemian Absinthe..."


    Yay! - Does it come with matches?


    "...We also make a Coffee Absinthe and a Spicy Chocolate Absinthe..."


    Damn! - Why didn't I think of that first?


    "...The effects experienced are that of a gustatory, revitalizing, and sexually enhancing aphrodisiac..."


    Aw hell - I'm sold! Put me down for 20 bottles please.

  2. m.a.mccullough, based on your description alone, the Charlotte is the more correct. Retaining that much green is a sign of over-coloring and will lead to a heavy, grassy, vegetal flavor. The thickness indicates too much anise which predicts an unbalanced, "black licorice" flavor.


    I'm not necessarily disagreeing with any of the above preferences voiced, but I need to interject that there's a difference, and often great distance, between a given person's preferences and the actual correctness of character in an absinthe. This depends on the expertise of the taster.


    There appears to be much confusion about the difference between consumer ratings (preferences) and proper evaluations of quality and correctness.


    The results of the New Orleans and OC tastings and many of the comments on the site reviews shows that a large proportion of participants are influenced more by uninformed forum chatter than they are by actual experience tasting absinthe. There are comments that harshly penalize perfectly well-made and traditional absinthes for the characteristics they should have, while praising them for characteristics that are actually flaws.


    This is unfair to producers of exemplary absinthes and is harmful to the category in general. We need to correct this situation if we're going to have public tastings and publish official WS ratings. Inexperienced or misinformed tasters should not be put in a position to give consequential ratings.


    The criteria in the WS Evaluation Guide are based on the characteristics of pre-ban absinthe. Modern absinthes made very strictly according to pre-ban protocols will, in the hands of an experienced distiller, invariably have characteristics identical to those of pre-ban. I can count the number of qualifying modern commercial absinthes on one hand.



    On the Louche in General.

    There is no one perfect louche, but there is a correct range of opacity and character.


    According to Maison Pernod Fils—the standard by which all absinthes have always been judged—a correct glass of absinthe should be six ounces and about 11.3% ABV. This is a 68% absinthe at ~5:1. To get similar results with a 45% absinthe, one would mix it at 1.5 to 4.5. One needn't split hairs or use ml calibrated graduated cylinders to measure, but this should be taken as a general range of dilution.


    Absinthe was not intended to be drunk as a strong liquor, it was intended to be a mild aperitif. If you prefer a stronger mix, that's fine, but that's not how it's intended to be mixed and it shouldn't be judged at that ratio.


    If an absinthe is mixed so that it's 11-12% and is thin and flavorless, or has a very thin louche, that's a flaw. The punch should be from flavor, not alcohol.


    Louche "Action"

    This is an arbitrary and meaningless criteria in terms of quality. This is a carry-over from the FV system and has no place in the WS evaluation system. All it means is that the absinthe provides the kind of show the person wants to watch. It can be entertaining and quite beautiful, but it's not a characteristic that is in any way linked to the quality of the absinthe.


    How quickly an absinthe louches is affected by so many variables that it really isn't an indicator of anything. Water temperature, method and speed of pour, the amount of turbulence caused by the pour, ABV, amount of anethole and its source (star, green, or oil), all of these combine in so many ways that louche action doesn't mean squat. Please reserve your opinions on action for the comments section of the reviews and score only on the finished louche.


    Drip Speed

    In the pre-ban era, only wankers and show-offs obsessed over super-slow drips. It just was not the usual MO. Absinthe spoons didn't come into common use until the 1870s and fountains even later. By far the most common method was to hand-pour from a carafe or pitcher. A slow but steady thin stream of water is slow enough if the sugar is mostly dissolved before the correct water ratio is reached.



    Absinthe was most often described as jewel-like and opalescent. Opalescent is the opposite of opaque here. Opaque means you can't see through it at all: chalky, flat, and dense. You should be able to see an absinthe spoon sitting in the glass. If you prefer your absinthe thicker and strong that's fine, but it shouldn't be scored as though thicker is always better.



    I hereby abolish this criteria. Absinthe should not be creamy tasting or feeling. It should be smooth, yes, but crisp, clean and refreshing. I believe this entered the vernacular from a visual perspective, but has grown in use to describe mouth-feel.


    This is unfortunate because uninformed palates have begun to interpret the inappropriately buttery, mouth-coating, thick sensation given by tails as "creamy."


    That long-lingering, slick, thick, oily feel in your mouth is from tails. That's a serious flaw. It's usually accompanied by the flavor and often aroma of over-cooked cabbage or artichokes. It's grassy and vegetal and acrid, not fresh and herbal.


    I was going to say all of that exactly just like that but Mr. Stone beat me to it.

    All joking aside - that is one helluva post and needs to be stickied. Thanks.

  3. Searching the reviews area of the main site yields nothing regarding Jacques Senaux but a google search shows that this stuff comes in all colors of the rainbow (and a color that isn't even in the rainbow). Too bad(?) there's no name attached to the buggy 92 percenter. I'd give it a go but I can't promise that I'll enjoy it.