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GeorgeB

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  1. Their selection is varied, to be sure. They have to bring a lot of this stuff into the country untasted, so it's a lot of hit-and-miss for them. If an absinthe sucks, they either have to sell it anyway, or take a loss on the bottle (and they probably still have to pay the taxes to the government). I suggested they get a membership on this site so they could check the reviews before buying.
  2. I tried both while I was there. I don't have official tasting notes, but I wasn't that impressed with either the La Grenoulle or the St. Antoine. I found both rather harsh, from my recollection. Of course, that's just my opinion.
  3. The front door... The sign behind the bar: One half of their selection: The other half of their selection:
  4. My first experience was with Hill's. I was so dumb I didn't even know how to prepare it, so I drank it straight. Yeah. Ouch. My second experience was much better - a bottle of Doub's in South Africa, which not only included the spoon but also had a little pamphlet on how to prepare it. I went through two bottles of Doub's in four weeks in S.A., and brought a third home with me. I should have brought more home.
  5. Just got back from 3 weeks in Singapore. I can report that they do, indeed have absinthe, with a couple of caveats: 1. What they have commercially available in stores seems to be La Fee (including their NV, Czech-style, and hair-dye-green French versions) and Jacques Senaux, a Spanish brand I'm not familiar with that comes in four colours, including red, blue, green, and black. 2. The average Singaporean doesn't seem to have much of an appreciation for "classic" absinthe preparation - the bartender at Absinthe Artisan was telling me that they do more business in mixed drinks containing absinthe than they do in absinthe with water. And that brings me to: 3. There is indeed an absinthe bar, Absinthe Artisan, at 60A Boat Quay. It's hard to find, but it's worth looking for. They have a 4-spigot fountain on the bar and 24 varieties of absinthe behind the bar (pictures to follow). The absinthes vary from very good (La Maison Fontaine, Un Emile 68) through mediocre and down to piss-poor. As in, Mythe (which the owner gave me a free glass of because he wanted to know if it was "off" - I had to explain that, no, it's just Mythe). As soon as I find my camera I'll post some pictures I took in the bar. Other brands they carry at Absinthe Artisan include (off the top of my head, in no particular order): Mansinthe Clandestine Green Tree Distillery's absinth (whatever it's called?) Angelique all three La Fee's mentioned above Moulin Roo, reportedly Australia's only absinthe Black Cat coffee absinthe Pernod Kübler St. Antoine (a French-style Czech absinthe?) So, a very mixed bag indeed. I was there two nights, and got to try probably 10 different absinthes in that time. I believe they do "tasting flights" on Thursday nights (four absinthes), but I only made it there on a Wednesday and a Friday.
  6. If you mean the stuff from BC, I have a couple of bottles of original Taboo, but I haven't seen the Myrrh or Gold here in Toronto. I was surprised to see a bottle of Lucid in my local liquor store this evening - I already have two, or I'd have picked it up.
  7. The only good thing about Absente was that they used to include a spoon with the bottle (not sure if they still do), but approx. $50 for an absinthe spoon is a bit much...
  8. Hi Petr - the SAQ store down on Rue St Catherines by the Eaton Centre used to have Clandestine, although when I was there in July of this year they didn't have any. And welcome!
  9. LCBO = Liquor Control Board of Ontario. It's the government-owned, government-mandated monopoly on the distribution and sale of spirits in Ontario. Given that it's run by the government, well, you can probably figure out what their idea of "selection" is.
  10. It should be doable in theory - as long as the source alcohol (wine alcohol, I guess?) and the added herbs are all organic, and nothing else (i.e. solvents, dyes) is used in production. It would almost certainly be a lot more expensive, though. Organic certification is tricky, though - there have been some scams in the past, so regulatory scrutiny is increasing. Now, if (for example) your organic fields are down-wind of someone spraying pesticide on their own crops, and there's some contamination, you could lose your certification on those fields for three years (basically, the fields have to re-certify, which requires a 36-month transition period). And if your fields were growing grapes that were used to make the alcohol for organic absinthe, well, the distiller could also lose their accreditation if any "contaminated" goods got through. So, not impossible, but a big pain in the you-know-what, and not something to be pursued lightly, I think. Just my $0.02.
  11. Around here, we refer to Lindt 99% as "weapons-grade"
  12. Hmm, it's amazing what happens when I go away for five years or so. I'm certain that is true. Sadly, however, the Long Bar is not at all what it was, and the Singapore Slings are pre-mixed. If you're after a good Singapore Sling in Singapore, I'd recommend the Stamford instead. Pre-mixed? Man, that place has gone to heck in a handbasket. Except, now the country has absinthe. Hmm, I think that's still a net gain overall.
  13. When I was last in Singapore (2006), my understanding was that absinthe was illegal there. However, I'm going back there in a few weeks, and today I discovered that an absinthe bar has opened there - Absinthe Artisan. They have a Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/absinthe.artisan) if you're on Facebook. They seem to be doing it right, as well - their page talks about the louche "ritual". I can't really tell what all the brands are (picture's too small), but it looks like La Clandestine (yay!) and La Fee (um...) are among them. As I said, I'm supposed to be going there in a few weeks, expect a full report once I can get on-site. If anyone here is in Singapore, it's at 60A Boat Quay, near Raffles Place and Clark Quay. Oh! Just did a quick search, and there's also a restaurant in Singapore that serves absinthe - http://www.absinthe.sg/ Man, I'm going to have to try to find time to work in between all my visits to the bars of Singapore... (Just as an FYI, Singapore is indeed where the "Singapore Sling" was invented, at the Long Bar at the Raffles Hotel, or so it's claimed.)
  14. The majority of those bottles were brought back through customs without them so much as batting an eye, so I'm not worried about it. I'm planning a trip south of the border (but not down Mexico way!) in November, I'll keep my eye out for the brands you mentioned. I'm always looking for new acquisitions!
  15. Yeah, for a while I was considering seeing if I could get one of every colour in the rainbow, but I don't think anyone makes a purple absinthe. There's a black one down near the front though - Absinthe 80, so named for the alcohol content (%, not proof), from Spain. It's, um, interesting.
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