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Robert (DrinkBoy) Hess

In Today's San Diego Union-Tribune

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On the plus side, he responded politely and seems interested in gathering more information.

 

Most authors of similar articles don't bother to reply at all, or respond with "Well, bless your heart!"

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As far as I know the Swiss are the only ones who regulate what ingredients absinthe must contain.  France only says not to call something "absinthe" (in too large a print).

 

But you can't call something "aux extraits de plantes d'absinthe" in France either, unless you are using wormwood (Duh!).

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I haven't read the actual paper and don't know if it names names but I have heard of one study by Emmert, et al that uses thujone content to question whether a number of lower quality brands contain any wormwood.

 

It all depends on many factors; the actual wormwood used (and the balance of the alpha- and beta-isomers), the distillation process, and for oil mixes, the extraction methods for oils. You *can* use wormwood and still end up with as little as 3mg/l of thujone.

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This guy sounds like he thinks he's done enough research and knows all he needs to know.

 

No one person can know it all. If this is a serious interest, he might look into it more. Let's not forget that his article is full of inaccuracies, and retracting bad information is not easy and very humiliating.

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Dakini, more press of a positive nature would, I hope, have two effects:

 

1.  Flaming Frat Boy types would realize it ain't gonna get them high, so they'd not buy it.

 

2.  Intelligent people, possibly even in politics (if that's not an oxymoron) might realize it's not poison.

 

[edited]

 

That said, perhaps a WS press release wouldn't be a bad idea . . . or maybe a better choice would be an absinthe lobbying group, not (officially) affiliated with a particular website or producer?  You know, a PUPPET!

 

All very good points. And the Frat types probably would drink KoS or something similar just to get drunk. Actually they would try to get the girl to drink it. :shock:

 

And my brain is completely incapable of coming up with a fancy acronym like this. My hat (if I wore one) is off to you (and Ari and Doc too!).

 

And like anything else, beer, wine, etc., there'll be average quality stuff that's not half bad and there'll be artisan-crafted products catering to the aficionado. I'm stating the obvious, aren't I? I'll just sit in a corner and drink my beverage (coffee at this time of the a.m.).

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But you can't call something "aux extraits de plantes d'absinthe" in France either, unless you are using wormwood (Duh!).

Good point. Although do you know if they require A.A. or can it be any "wormwood"?

 

It all depends on many factors;... You *can* use wormwood and still end up with as little as 3mg/l of thujone.

I'll see if I can find the abstract. If my memory fails me right I think he was just looking for the presence of thujone, under the assumption that the use of A.A. would leave at least a trace amount of thujone in the bottle (not a fool proof assumption but reasonable). It was found that a number of bottled lacked thujone and thus brought their use of A.A. into question.

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On the plus side, he responded politely and seems interested in gathering more information. 

 

Most authors of similar articles don't bother to reply at all, or respond with "Well, bless your heart!"

 

Quite right Trainer. He has promptly followed up on my replies and has asked for more information on what I consider are the qualities of a good absinthe versus a lesser absinthe.

 

This is a good start. And I almost was too tired to send a first email.

 

Did anyone receive a reply from Soto concerning his article?

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A while back, there was an article in a Danish newspaper with about 3/4 of correct information and 1/4 of misunderstandings.

 

I wrote to the journalist and got a reply in which he stated that he had to choose his sources, and that some of them obviously would contradict my knowledge, but be backed up by some others' information instead. A rather arrogant answer, as the information he had chosen to rely on obviously was the usual unfounded stories.

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As I said earlier, the article was out of the bag. Retracting is an embarrassment, even if he does research it later and finds you were right. He's not about to admit that.

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But you can't call something "aux extraits de plantes d'absinthe" in France either, unless you are using wormwood (Duh!).

Good point. Although do you know if they require A.A. or can it be any "wormwood"?

 

"Absinthe" is A. absinthium. "Petite absinthe" is A. pontica, but it's also commonly called "armoise pontique" instead of "petite absinthe".

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I'll see if I can find the abstract. If my memory fails me right I think he was just looking for the presence of thujone, under the assumption that the use of A.A. would leave at least a trace amount of thujone in the bottle (not a fool proof assumption but reasonable).  It was found that a number of bottled lacked thujone and thus brought their use of A.A. into question.

 

That study also presents results of rather low levels of thujone in HG absinthes made according to Bedel (or was it Duplais) recipes and with two different sources of wormwood but identical amounts.

 

Regarding the Swiss regulation on what's absinthe and what's not I believe it requires it do be distilled and only to contain natural ingredients. No artificial color or taste enhancers.

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Shhh...

 

We wouldn't want Hartsmar to lose his taste for the stuff.

 

Who could we count on to take one for the team if that happened? ;)

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Ahem

 

I wouldn't be surprised if we start seeing other known distributors selling flask-sized bottles at the border…

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No artificial color or taste enhancers.

 

Care to elaborate? Not sure what "taste enhancers" means when it comes to absinthe or other alcohol. Something akin to MSG in Chinese food?

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Lemercier adds Anise oil and in the case of the Amer72, Wormwood oil post distillation to their Absinthes. This practice would not be allowed in Switzerland.

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