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Everything posted by Beowulfgang

  1. Kübler is often available for the asking in the FL/GA/AL area. Apparently it's on the menu for a few southern distributors to your local independent liquor store. Nice find on the Jades, for sure.
  2. http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2018/03/19/elon-musk-posts-bizarre-flaming-absinthe-video-on-instagram.html It's just too painful for me to even comment right now. Do with it what you will.
  3. Just realized the next to last paragraph in my diatribe could be interpreted to mean that the Jades, Marteau, and Delaware Phoenix aren't desirable... Obviously I meant just the opposite. Only meant to say that since we can't find a good selection locally, ongoing online orders are our only real option for variety, which for practical considerations equates to enjoying a little less often and spending more to do so. Meanwhile, the local liquor stores have some odd stock collecting dust on the shelves that I'm not sure anyone ever buys, while distributors seem uninterested in test marketing a few decent absinthe brands. What a travesty to know so little about the products they make their living distributing... Or to pay so little attention to the fact that every bottle of halfway decent stuff they've put on the shelves for the last few years (at least within a ten mile radius of my pantry) has sold with a quickness, many times to yours truly.
  4. Having exhausted the scant decent local offerings, and my wife and I finding ourselves in the next town north, we stopped by a few liquor stores to see if maybe there was anything interesting stocked. We'd love to reward them for carrying something decent with a purchase. Surprisingly... Not only were offerings next to nil (one store had Lucid, which we like as a standby but can get that in our town), but we heard the same comments a number of times...ALWAYS prefaced with "my distributor tells me..." Or something similar, as below: "You can't get the real stuff, it isn't available in the U.S." "The only stuff anyone can buy in this state isn't what you want anyway, doesn't have the active ingredient, you have to take your chances and order online direct from overseas..." "All we have is Lucid, we can't get the good stuff anymore because they banned imports out of Bulgaria" (???) I tried to politely educate via friendly conversation, but frankly I got "the look" and a few repeats of "well, that isn't what the distributor says." I suppose that somewhere around 2008, I began to develop the expectation that by 2014, I'd actually be able to find some upscale local store with more than one decent choice. Where we are, Lucid is rare, Pernod Absinthe Superieur I've seen once, and I've heard of Kübler a two hour drive away but never actually seen it. Of course, there are the rotating offerings of absolute crap faux absinthes that I wouldn't take for free. I suppose the purpose of this rant is to bemoan the fact that some of those that the drinking public may rely on as experts or at least informed individuals in the field of alcoholic beverages - the bartenders, liquor store proprietors, and distributors - are still so badly misinformed that I worry we'll never get to the point that we can achieve a decent local selection. Until then, our next bottles will be mail order Jades, Marteau, Delaware Phoenix and similar offerings, which just means we'll drink a bit less than if some decent offerings - and a little quality variety - were more readily available. I suppose the upshot is that as long as we are relegated to online ordering and paying shipping costs, we may as well order the best stuff we can afford. I just hate knowing that newer folks interested in absinthe will continue to get a near-guaranteed first set of bad offerings and even worse information.
  5. Maybe, just maybe, a step in the right direction anyway.
  6. Aw, Hiram, should you suffer a premature demise, I'll gladly have a couple of flying monkeys sent to your funeral with strict instructions to place a nice Jade in your casket. "Course, you'd likely be dug up thirty or forty years hence when someone realized it had probably aged nicely... Of course, if you're going to be cremated, I'm sure someone would contribute some nice Czechsinth.
  7. I've tried a great number of cigars; my quest in the beginning, as with absinthe, was to maximize both my knowledge of the distinct tastes and the diversity of the ones I tried. Here are the basics of what I found to interest my own tastes: - Te Amo (a Mexican cigar) maduros are very rich and bold without any of the negative mouthfeel, bite, or aftertaste of some maduros (even or maybe especially Cubans) that I've tried. They're one of my favorites. Think of them as the Shiraz of cigars. - Macanudo Churchills are a smooth, subtle, taste that put me in the mind of the pleasant smells of leather and oak. Macanudo ascots taste essentially the same, but are much smaller and retain an even draw throughout. - Price and origin by themselves seem to mean very little with cigars, in my book. While a Cuban Romeo y Julieta is magnificent, I'm not overly impressed with Cuban Cohibas, particularly considering the price. - For the days when you want to "slum it" a little and still have a cigar that is enjoyable, I like Backwoods "Sweet & Aromatic" in the khaki colored pack. It's a bit like a pipe tobacco, Clint Eastwood style ugly cigar wrapped in Connecticut Broadleaf. I have yet to enjoy a single "over-the-grocery-store-counter" brand (White Owls, etc.) and you generally, at the low end, get what you pay for. That particular style of Backwoods, however, is an unusual exception for me. I like them after a long day working in the pasture with the horses, sitting under an oak tree, with sweet iced tea. -Where possible, for economy's sake, try "seconds" of your favorite brand. They are essentially cosmetic rejects, with a discolored or overly veiny leaf on the wrapper, and lack the decorative label ring on each cigar (they come packaged in a labelled bundle), but you can generally get them at about 1/3 to 1/2 the price. In a bundle of Macanudo Ascot seconds I recently purchased, only one had a truly damaged wrapper rendering it difficult to draw. I bought a couple of dozen cigars for the usual price of a half dozen. All but the one were every bit as good as their more expensive counterparts.
  8. Thanks for the review. You're right about tarragon imparting an absolutely wonderful aroma - powerful without being overpowering. It's one of the few food seasonings that is quite forgiving of errors in measurement as well.
  9. I can't speak to alembics in particular, but copper tubing historically as well as in modern times has been connected via compression couplings - a brass fitting that compresses a flange on the end of the copper tubing to form a seal. This would eliminate the need for solder in that particular portion of the alembic.
  10. Possibly a bit like the macronutrient, vitamin, and mineral labelling on food: consumers will know how much carbohydrate, sugar, fat, sodium, potassium, "trans-fats", "net impact carbs", phenylalanine, and you-name-it is in a product, but ultimately it's the battle between concept marketers, product advertisers, the news media, and nutritional/medical research that tells them to what, if anything, they should pay attention. You probably have a valid point that the death of thujone hype may come, if at all, from its irrelevancy rather than its suppression.
  11. Ah, the alternate definitions of vegetarianism. Mine: they're vegetarian (ovo-lacto veg), but not vegan. I rarely eat eggs, unless they're the "cage free" variety or they're already in something I buy, but I don't limit dairy. At any rate, with a good honey dijon they're even less vegan, but still excellent. As for dairy and the purpose of this thread, I'm drinking a glass of Organic Valley whole milk before bed; the difference over store brand is phenomenal - taste, mouthfeel, karma, everything.
  12. I'm toying with the idea of acquiring a fountain, but recently I found four identical small carafes at a thrift store. Bulbous at the bottom, small neck, pour spout, small handle. I've seen similar ones used for oil and vinegar, but these have a capacity of maybe 300 ml. Makes for an easy way to provide a few friends with their own individual-sized carafes so that they may indulge in the ritual at their leisure; total cost was $2 US.
  13. Welcome aboard and great introductory post!
  14. The Morningstar Farms veggie corndogs? Those are, in short, *incredible!* Unfortunately, I can't buy more than one pack at a time; I'll eat all four and start on the next box. Beware - I believe they're substituting coca leaves for beef OR soy. And Glenlivet? One of my favorites, and you made me remember a bottle I've had stuck in the back of the liquor cabinet. I'm enjoying it very much right now. Oh, geez... thanks, Sandpedlar. I had no cravings in life a few minutes ago, and now someone's going to find my veggie-corndog stuffed, Glenlivet-soaked carcass when I don't show up for work for a few days. :P
  15. Oh, and by the way, as to the likelihood that anyone was producing enough to fill a bathtub, it wasn't even a matter of "a few large scale operations that could have filled several bathtubs" - it probably would not have been unusual to have a couple of operations in any given county in Florida (and, I assume, elsewhere in the South) that were producing that much, particularly as more folks began abandoning their home stills and sought to just buy from someone else with a larger operation. You're probably correct, however, that the modifier "in a go" (as in, at a single distillation) would greatly reduce this number, since most of the stills were at best of a few pints to a few gallon capacity. Nevertheless, it wouldn't be unusual that multiple stills would be cooking at once on a rotational basis.
  16. My understanding is that it's a term that originated during prohibition and that, at the time, there were large-scale moonshiners producing enough ethanol in a go to fill several bathtubs. <{POST_SNAPBACK}> My progenitors produced "bathtub Gin" during the Prohibition period; they said it was primarily done because you could just "teabag" sugarcane liquor with juniper - plentiful in Florida; (in fact, we have the "Juniper Prairie Wilderness" in the Ocala National Forest) without any aging. While (by their own admission) an inferior product, it elimintated the necessity for storing batches for long periods of time to age - an added liability for a bootlegger operating illegally. Sounds rather like the equivalent of an absinthe macerate, since "good" Gin is, I believe, made with multiple distillations. After Prohibition, they largely switched to corn whiskey/moonshine or just made sugarcane "white lightning" moonshine (capitalizing on another plentiful Florida resource, I suppose) and ran "good, clean stills" (I took this to mean something NOT involving old car radiators and such, which they used to gripe about in reference to Old Man Canon, a friend and competitor). Their friends and family were drinkin' the stuff, after all. While still illegal, it seems the locals had lost their taste for Gin (maybe due to supply-side economics?) and wanted decent homemade liquor since many counties were then "dry" (some allowing beer and wine only as the strongest libations). Florida still has a few "dry" counties. It made for good money out of low-dollar crops. To the best of my knowledge, their pursuits ended with the generation before mine, with the exception of my uncles making wine from elderberry and blackberry, a few (not so good) tries at homebrew beer, and an annual trial-and-error distillation of a sort of brandy from their winemaking that, while not too bad, was really not artisanal and was pretty time consuming to make at a time when alcohol was cheap and readily available. Like growing your own carrots, I suppose; fun but not terribly efficient.