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Blue Star

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  • Birthday 09/11/1956

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  1. Now that we are going into limited distribution, after the initial release of a limited bottling last fall, we at Quincy Street Distillery wanted to announce availability of Prairie Fairie™, our absinthe blanche made from our Prairie Sunshine™ honey spirit and distilled with the holy trinity of grand wormwood, green anise, and Florence fennel. The result is a highly approachable absinthe in the Swiss style. This current release of 375ml bottles at 130 proof (65% alc by vol), retails for $40 (plus tax) at the distillery Speakeasy and Retail Shop. It is distributed in Illinois by Burke Beverage, and in California and later in New York by Liberation Distribution. We hope a few of you on the forum will have the opportunity to try it, and give us your feedback.
  2. An update: Prairie Fairie™ is going into distribution. We expect product to be available this month in Illinois from Burke Beverage and in California from LibDib, a web-based distributor. We expect it to be available in New York from LibDib in June this year.
  3. What Gwydion said at the end has been documented scientificially to be the only ingredient in absinthe that has any measurable psychotropic effect other than the alcohol. Ironically, it is also in the pastis made to replace absinthe when it became illegal. Traces of anisole may also be found, it is a simpler molecule related to anethole, with greater toxicity and likely more psychotropic effect, but should not be present in measurable quantity in well made product.
  4. Just a brief reintroduction, we've been away from the forum for more than 4 years. 6 years old now, at Quincy Street Distillery we recently released our first absinthe, Prairie Fairie™, currently available only at the distillery. It was a long road. We first made the spirit more than 3 years ago, but it took more than 2 years to get TTB approval of formula and then COLA. Prairie Fairie™ is an absinthe blanc that uses just the holy trinity of botanicals, but unusually uses our honey spirit as the base. We'll post more about the absinthe elsewhere in the forum, but now with our own absinthe on the market, we look forward to be around the forum regularly.
  5. Well, our Water Tower White Lightning TM (an unaged corn whiskey) has been out for a couple months now. Not in distribution yet, but if you are in Chicagoland, stop by Quincy Street Distillery and have a taste and tour. We double distill, and cut conservatively for hearts on both distillations, to avoid the "corn-cob" tail waggin' the white dog ;-) And now that our Prairie Sunshine TM (honey spirit) formulation is approved, we can start making our absinthe that will be based on the honey spirit. We'll let you all know when it is available, hopefully before the end of winter. Meanwhile, I am playing around with cocktails that would incorporate both our absinthe and our white lightning: something along the lines of a Sazarac.
  6. Blue Star Potables LLC owns and operates Quincy Street Distillery, which indeed is up and running. We are selling 2 products in the retail shop: "Water Tower White Lightning" unaged Illinois corn whiskey and "Old No. 176" American gin. Both are based on the same corn mash, with about 84% corn and balance rye and barley malts. We have put some in barrel for our first bourbon, in a small cask for a 5-6 month "rested" bourbon, and then in full size barrels for a straight bourbon. We are waiting on formula approval for our honey spirit, which is the base for the absinthe.
  7. TTB requires not that it just have juniper, but that it be the dominant characteristic of the spirit. Although how one determines THAT remains subjective. I generally share your opinions, though, on both gin and absinthe. Our first gin is out and is also something inspired by a 19th century treatise, and something quite unusual. Our absinthe, which should be available by Christmas, is fairly traditional, and like you, based on the classic text descriptions, but differentiated by the choice of the base spirit. So, we are trying to pull back a bit on the anise/fennel to allow the wormwood and base spirit to emerge. We'll see how our first attempt goes. Oh, and we call our unaged corn whiskey a "white lightning" since "moonshine" is more often reserved for a corn whiskey whose mash includes sugar in the wash.
  8. I guess it could be describes as yellowish-orange, but it tastes good. My wife doesn't care for it, but she's not much for alcohol anyway. I chatted with the distiller last Saturday, and he pointed out that the challenge with hibiscus coloring is that it fades much faster than the chlorophyll in a traditional absinthe verte. It is indeed hibiscus colored (an amber-tinged dark pink) when first produced, I can attest. However, the flavor and nose should be more long-lived than the color.
  9. Well, even my wife liked it. Said it was very Christmas-y. And she doesn't like absinthe, egad!
  10. OK, this inspired me! I love a good rye based hot toddy. I usually muddle citrus and bitters with sugar, an ounce of good rye, and fill the cup with boiling water. But I am also a great fan of a Sazerac. So, the absinthe toddy pretty much cries out to inspire a Hot Sazerac Toddy: 1 tbsp granulated sugar 3 dashes of Peychaud's bitters 1-3 cloves 1-2 inch narrow strip of lemon peel 1 ounce of rye whiskey (I used Journeyman's, a new craft distiller in Michigan) 1/2 ounce of absinthe (I used Ridge Verte) boiling water Muddle the sugar, bitters, cloves, and lemon peel in the bottom of a cup or heat resistant glass. Add the rye and the absinthe, then top up the cup with boiling water. Stir to dissolve the sugar, and enjoy! Great on a winters evening...
  11. Cheryl Lins makes Walton Waters and Meadow of Love absinthes plus I have heard she makes some good whiskeys. As for you spreading the wealth among vendors, I do the same thing. They all appreciate it. Cheers! Cheryl's Rye has already gotten noticed in the national press. Good for her!
  12. Get it while you can. It is out of production, I think stock remains at the distillery (New Deal). Was just there for Thanksgiving. Also, I purchased the balance of their bottle stock, and I am thinking of using it for our absinthe when we go into production.
  13. Same here. The problem is trying to clean the mead well enough to get a clean neutral spirit and still have a hint of honey. It's such a slow fermenting sugar, it needs to bring something to the party to make the wait worthwhile. Sugar beet? No residual flavor, please. Bleck. Clean it. Scrub it. Clean it again. Yup, yup, and yup! Our honey eau de vie is best described as a smooth vodka with a full mouth feel and floral and honey aromas on start and light honey finish at the back of the tongue. Mead takes forever to ferment to completion. Beet syrup ferments fast, but you have to get it to settle to move the wash off the sediment, leaving behind as much of the blech as you can. Then distill and discard a healthy head. Again. Maybe again. Although I actually like sipping the first distillate, but I wouldn't serve it to anyone.