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Everything posted by AndrewT

  1. I stopped by Alexandria today and picked me up one of those spoons too. Same style with the same stamp on it. It was paired with a glass that, while somewhat similar to absinthe glasses, was out of proportion (the diameter was too big to set the spoon on). They wanted $75 for the set, I got just the spoon for $35.
  2. Nice find! I might have to head out that way as well.
  3. That is correct. The Aa in the coloring step ruins the mouthfeel, not the taste. It's quite a decent absinthe before you swallow.
  4. Razzouk and Massaya are both very good. Razzouk has a very crisp bite to it, and Massaya is incredibly smooth. Take your pick as to which one sounds more appetizing. As far as quality goes, I have yet to find a bad arak. It's very unlike absinthe or even beer in that respect.
  5. I knew it was inevitable. Welcome!
  6. I have to agree that 1) Angelique is a ruined product, and 2) Angelique is most definitely not a wormwood bomb. If the overwhelming bitterness was what we enjoyed most, we'd just drink wormwood tea and save ourselves the hangover. I don't taste wormwood in Angelique very prominently at all. I feel the wormwood after I swallow. The entire reason wormwood is put in the distillation is so that you taste it rather than feel it. If Bugnon had an issue with finding good Pontica and wanted to make a unique verte, how about a verte with no artemisia in the coloring step at all?
  7. I hate to use two Jack-isms in a row, but Um, no.
  8. There was a Japanese absinthe called Hermes. I believe it's discontinued now, and from what I've read, it was mediochre at best.
  9. If you're worried about customs getting suspicious or anything, I doubt ordering a few times in a short period of time will raise any flags. Finances are pretty much the only limiting factor.
  10. Yeah, the Wormwood blance was a bit thicker than the 1797, but neither of them were as thin as the standard Un Emile lineup. I really wish they'd improve those, since I really want to like them.
  11. I'm fairly skeptical about wormwood, or other non-anethol oils contributing to the louche. I know they can be brought out of solution under certain conditions, but I doubt in the amounts found in absinthe. If a distiller were to cook up a batch with no anise or fennel (or star anise), I doubt you'd get any louche at all. I also realize that some people think of the little swirlies that happen before the louche as an indicator of oils coming out of suspension. But you get the same thing adding water to everclear.
  12. Okay, so it is the anise that makes the weaker louche or not? Let me simplify a bit- Anise, fennel, and star anise all add anethol content, which is responsible for the louche. The more anethol in the drink, the thicker your louche is going to be. Anethol is hard to get into the drink because of its chemical properties. A good louche either means lots of anethol-bearing herbs were put into the pot, or that the distiller was able to get the maximum ammount of anethol out of the herbs. Likewise, a thin louche either means that there aren't many anethol-bearing herbs in the pot, or the distiller was unable to get much out of them. Whether or not a weak louche is a bad thing depends on the reason it's weak. How fast the louche develops is mostly due to alcohol content. Lower strength absinthes have more water in the bottle, which means less you have to add yourself.
  13. The biggest factor in how soon something louches is the alcohol content, not the star anise content. A La Bleue at 53% is going to louche a hell of a lot quicker than something at 72% (or still strength). The anethol doesn't start coming out of suspension until it's around 45% alcohol, regardless of how much is there. One of the biggest reasons for a poor quality louche is distilling technique. Anethol has a much higher boiling point than anyone's going to take a still to (500 or 600 degrees celsius if I recall correctly), so it takes some real finagling to get as much as possible through. That's most likely the reason for the lousy louche of Un Emiles. Absinthes like Montmartre and (particularly) 1797 have weaker louches because there's less anise in the recipes. That's nothing to be faulted, whereas the Un Emiles warrant points off for the weak louche. It sounds like the batch in question is a new run of the second recipe that maybe had some problems. Hard to tell, though.
  14. Beautiful pics there, Stanley. I'm amazed at how green the louche is. As far as the reasoning for 20 points on taste, I believe the reason was that mouthfeel was considered a subcategory of taste. That gives 30 points for looks, 30 for smell, and 30 for taste, with 10 points for overall. I think the idea is sound, but some can argue whether or not mouthfeel really deserves to be considered part of the taste category.
  15. Samples would be a good way of getting the word of mouth out. If it's good, that is. It's actually bad for business if it's not that good. Looks promising, though. (I wonder what MCD will have to say about its authenticity...)
  16. Of course you were. It's intended to be mixed with 3-5 parts water.
  17. I've been working on converting the 1705 recipe into something more usable. According to this chart, there should be 12 ounces to a pound in this system, which makes the line "Three pounds, twelve ounces" somewhat mystifying. I, like many others, have a theory- three actually. The first one being that either the author was horrendous at math, or was copied by someone who didn't know their measures. Second is that it's the result of conversion from another measurement system, and something like "11.9 oz" was rounded up to 12 ounces. The third, which would really suck if it were true, is that this text is using a completely different system of measure that uses the apothecary system in unit names only. Should one or both of the first two be true, that leaves the levels like this: 16 gallon batch: Anise - 634.51 g Common wormwood - 1144.61 g White sugar - 2985.94 g (Addition) Cinnamon, cubeb - 189.73 g Anise, sweet fennel - 385.29 g Clove, caraway, nutmeg - 148.13 g Dry wormwood - 373.24 g White sugar - 1492.97 g 3 gallon batch: Anise - 151.63 g Common wormwood - 326.59 g White sugar - 559.86 g (Addition) Cinnamon, cubeb - 37.91 g Anise, sweet fennel - 75.82 g Clove, caraway, nutmeg - 29.16 g Dry wormwood - 93.31 g White sugar - 373.24 g As far as batch sizes go, the imperial gallon wasn't standardized until 1824. If anyone knows how to calculate a gallon during 17th-18th century, now's the time to speak up. I tried wielding my mighty (by which I mean incredibly rusty) algebra skills to match the herb content with the Duplais Pontarlier recipe and figure out what a 95 liter batch would be. If anyone's interested, I can post it, but it involves using over 30 kilos of sugar. It seems to me that the method is pretty obvious here, although it's very possible that I'm being influenced by the modern method. Seems that the (addition) part means that those herbs are added after distillation. I'm somewhat baffled as to why you need to add sugar both before and after you add the additional herbs. I think it's fairly certain that "common wormwood" is A. absinthium. Whether "dry wormwood" is A. pontica I can't say. It could be something like Southernwood or Mugwort as well.
  18. There were a few other recipes in that book with wormwood, anise, and fennel, but all listed towards the end of the ingredient list. Thanks for the resources, Lars. As an interesting side note, I tried a search for "absinthe" in the 18th century archives, and pulled up a single French document. Nothing too interesting as far as absinthe goes, just mentioned the wormwood plant, not any sort of liquor. When I'm done writing the essays for my comps I plan on heading down to the Library of Congress to do some more research on the origins of absinthe. I'm also going to try to "translate" the English recipe into something we can understand better.