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Alan Moss

Introducing Sachelle

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The best things I've gotten from absinthe are meeting some of the coolest people I've yet to come across, as well as gaining a rich understanding in quality imbibables (it's thanks to my absinthe friends that I'm now a beer snob too).

 

The only part of me that regrets getting into absinthe is my wallet.

 

 

:cheers:

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BS"D

 

Bienvenida! :cheers: Welcome!

 

Strangely, what some of you guys say you don't like about absinthe is one of the things I actually like about it: being one of the very few and selected individuals who not only know about it, but respect it and enjoy it as the great beverage it is, regardless of all the hype and missinformation.

 

What I don't like about it, the lack of availability, the fact that it's still illegal in what it's supposed to be a free country (USA) and the crazy shipping costs that we have to pay to enjoy it. Take out those shipping costs and the price, although still a little steep, is well worth the product you are getting (in case of a real, distilled absinthe, not the crapsinth, steepsinth and any other copycat-sinths you can find)

Edited by JosephMory

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Like: I like the whole mindset and ceremony involved with building the perfect glass of absinthe. It's something totally different from any other drink in that regard.

 

Dislike: Misinformation. It's tough for me to talk to people about how much I enjoy absinthe, without having to get into an hour long debate where I have to dispell so many myths. Luckily I don't have to worry about that with you all! That is, unless I ask about the new Pernod... B)

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The misinformation is definitely a downside. I wouldn't have to sound like such a know-it-all when I introduce people to this drink if every time I poured someone a glass, some other know-it-all didn't start in about it being poisonous/cannibus/hallucinogenic/a drug.

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I love everything about it - it is an experience that completely satisfies all of the senses. The beauty of the louche, the sound of water trickling through the spoon, the aroma as the flavours bloom, the complex tastes that just continue to evolve in your mouth.

 

I do hate the advertising BS, much like everyone else. It propagates misinformation. And I hate the lack of availablility.

 

Welcome to the forum. :cheers:

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I agree.

IMO most marketing campaigns greatly under represent absinthe (assuming they represent real absinthe at all).

 

It's funny how many people seem to feel a bit let down when they discover their drug fantasies are false, but if you didn't tell them it was absinthe, I bet they would be amazed.

 

Ok, I have this drink, it's a nice plant green/clear and is transparent. It has a bit of an herbal anise smell to it, oh and it is often around 140 proof. If you take plain ordinary clear cold water and add it to this clear liquid eventually you will see white streaks appear as each drop falls. These streaks will slowly gather at the bottom of the glass. Done slow enough you can see the milky solution wave back and forth like those blue" ocean" toys with a little surfer you can find at gift shops. While this is happening the herbal smell increases filling the room like you just opened a perfume bottle. When finished the drink has a complex anise flavor with no herb completely dominating and it evolves as it sits in your mouth. When you swallow you get a whole new flavor with a light, nice, bitter background. Oh and the exact flavor can be changed depending on how much water you add. After a half a glass your tongue will be slightly numb and you will have a nice buzz going.

 

I bet people would be lining up to try such a drink. Although maybe not setup for a club mentality there are plenty of wine experts (freaks :) ) that will swirl and stare at a glass of wine and there are entire cocktails built around the idea of layering and that is just the presentation.

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Hi from Victoria,

I'm somewhat new to absinthe, having gone through a Czech 'tour' and arrived, with much guidance and inspiration, through this forum, to other styles and species. I just ordered two bottles of La Fée from Halifax and am very excited to try it. As you know, us Canadians are subject to somewhat limited availiblity. Do you know if La Fée will be available closer to the west coast (Vancouver, etc)?

 

Cheers, Alexander Dunn

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Welcome. :cheers:

Like: What they said. Absinthe is a sensory pleasure. No doubt about it.

Dislike: What they said. "Oh, my God! Is that the stuff that tastes like licorice and makes you go crazy?"

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Do you know if La Fée will be available closer to the west coast (Vancouver, etc)?

Cheers, Alexander Dunn

 

I am hopeful that we can get La Fée nearer to Vancouver soon. Maybe not all the way, but closer ..

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Thanks guys – some nice thoughts giving me a better understanding.

 

When I came for my interview here at BBH I had never heard of absinthe – most people I talk to have never heard of it or still think it’s illegal in the UK and yes those that have think it makes you go mad. It seems to me that somehow the alcohol content has taken over from the actual beauty of the drink itself and maybe that’s what needs tackling – no one seems to realise that when drunk properly it is only as strong as a glass of wine.

 

I don’t believe you will ever get rid of those wanting to get drunk – your reference to wine is interesting – as we all know historically drinking wine is a social experience involving food (wine geeks, no I’m not one, are not all freaks! Honestly… :) ) – correct me if I am wrong, but absinthe doesn’t seem to have such an angle and therefore unfortunately sits comfortably in the ‘get drunk’ category.

 

However, I think there is hope – my partner is a wine buyer – and has recently had his first experiences with absinthe and loves everything about it as do many of my friends who appreciate wine. They find the whole experience enjoyable and are surprised by its complexity. Maybe that is a corner of the market absinthe needs to attract to improve its image or it may be that due to me having a wine background I have blurred vision!!...

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I think you'll find a lot of people here who disagree that absinthe doesn't enter into the culinary world. Lots and lots of ways to use absinthe as a flavor enhancer.

 

But, you're right, there will always be those people who want to get drunk as fast as possible and 'trip ballz'.

 

My sister in law is in the former category, despite my efforts to turn her more towards appreciation of the overall drink. So, she is relegated to the staroplensky and other czechsinthes.

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Spot on, Sachelle. Fortunately there is a small but growing market for absinthe as a fine drink.

 

Of course, like wine, well-informed connoisseurs expect a much more well-crafted absinthe than the college crowd, who are happily ignorant of what real absinthe is and will drink anything green, strong, and weird-tasting and rejoice that they've drunk absinthe.

 

Part of the reason the Wormwood Society exists is to put absinthe in that light—to educate consumers and fight the stereotypes which all seem to promote overindulgence and abuse.

 

Unfortunately, too many businesses are all too eager to capitalize on, and promote, absinthe's bad reputation, and the ignorance of the consumers is their goldmine.

 

What we have is a situation similar to what would happen if the majority of the populace didn't know the difference between fine wine and bum wine: a field day for unscrupulous entrepreneurs. The dominant businesses are happy to sell cheap crap at premium prices—and even call it a premium product—why not, when you can readily sell a product that costs less than a couple euros for upwards of 50 or 60?

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I don't think it's the get drunk crowd as much as the "I wnt tRiP ballz gve 2 me hIghezt thuyon" blah blah blah crowd.

 

There seems to be a great divide between the club and connoisseur scene, they are separate worlds. Someone doesn't order wine at a club to try and hallucinate, then gags down something that tastes like jet fuel just so they can say they "did wine." But that is often the absinthe club scene.

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That's not entirely true, Ari. Sure nobody really talks about how they "did wine," but there's still plenty of wine ignorance out there. I had a friend who worked for the Biltmore winery in Asheville while he was in college. Legion were the people who would turn their noses up at the winery's best Cab in favor of its low-end sugary-sweet crap. Why? Because the only experience they'd had with anything calling itself wine was Boone's Farm and Bartles and James. In their minds, that's what drinking fine wine was.

 

Granted, most people at least have an idea that Bartles and James isn't actually wine, but wine's enjoyed several uninterrupted millenia as the drink of choice in many homes. Absinthe's only been back for a decade or so. It'll take some time for the ignorance and the myth to pass.

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Martin: Ok, that's a bit sad (I can't remember, aren't some of the B&J bottles malt beverages and not even "wine coolers"?)

 

However you generally don't have people and companies out there completely misrepresenting wine as a whole. 'I went to a club and did me some wine, it was brown, 151 proof, they put it in a shot glass, set it on fire and I downed it. The walls are changing colors' is rarely said. :)

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Yeah, but like I said, wine's been around for over a thousand years. People are accustomed to it. There's never (to my knowledge) been a serious campaign to portray wine as a lethal poison or a hallucinogenic drug. And wine wasn't banned worldwide for almost a century. Right now, absinthe's enjoying its rebirth, but with that rebirth, there's going to be a few pains (look at me with the metaphors!).

 

The misrepresentation on the part of businesses selling and making absinthe really bothers me, but it isn't surprising. There's always going to be people waiting in the wings to make a buck off of the ignorance of other people.

 

But I have a certain faith in survival of the fittest. Ballz trippers are more likely to kill themselves and their mates in tragic flaming sugar accidents, which makes them less likely to pass their information on. Additionally, they're less likely to ever leave their parents' basements.

 

Ballz tripping. It's a one-way ticket. Yeah.

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And if absinthe becomes more well-understood by the population as a whole, and if it becomes legal in the US... then all the idiots will just say, "well, the reason why you can get it now is because it's not the real thing like back in the 19th century. That stuff made people trip ballz."

 

Perhaps, though, there will be fewer idiots on the whole.

Edited by peridot

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I agree with Andrew's reply wholeheartedly. My fascination with absinthe has enhanced my knowledge and appreciation of history, art, drinking in general and even food. I've also met a few really great people along the way. Oddly enough, when our goal is met (high quality absinthe available everywhere), such a quest will not be necessary. Would all of this have happened had I been able to walk two blocks to the liquor store to pick up a bottle of Clandestine? It's hard to say.

 

Oh, and I really like the taste.

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And if absinthe becomes more well-understood by the population as a whole, and if it becomes legal in the US... then all the idiots will just say, "well, the reason why you can get it now is because it's not the real thing like back in the 19th century. That stuff made people trip ballz."

 

Perhaps, though, there will be fewer idiots on the whole.

 

Idiots say lots of things. If I could get a bottle of Ike at a liquor store, I'd be perfectly happy to let the idiots think what they wanted about it.

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I think you'll find a lot of people here who disagree that absinthe doesn't enter into the culinary world. Lots and lots of ways to use absinthe as a flavor enhancer.

 

I cook with absinthe. I love the flvours it brings to things. I love to experiment with it. :P

Edited by Alyssa Dyane

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In talking about the coexistence of Fine wine and Bum wine, connoisseurs and club kids, with their different needs, and the marketeers that curry to them, I'll add something that Absomphe said over at FV in another discussion:

Every segment of the alcoholic beverage market sells products ranging from craptacular to artisanal, and it is always the producers of the mediocre product (produced in vast quantities for the masses) who have the most capital to invest in advertising, and resort to vaying degrees of advertising gimmickry to sell their product.

 

Those of us with educated palates, and a little background knowledge of the beverage we are imbibing, have no trouble separating the proverbial wheat from the chaff, while those who don't know any better, or can't afford any better, will continue to drink their Meisterbrau, MD 20/20, or Sheep Dip Scotch.

 

There's no reason to assume that the absinthe market should respond any differently, as a whole.

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I agree with that completely.

I don't think it is a reasonable goal to get everyone drinking top of the line absinthe. On the other hand I do think it's a reasonable goal to get everyone drinking something that kinda resembles absinthe and to stamp out completely false views of absinthe.

 

What absomphe said is also why I don't worry about the "mystique" going away if it were to become legal in the US. The connoisseurs will always be the connoisseurs, legal or 'illegal'.

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I agree with Ari on that point. I don't think that different people consuming drinks of differing quality is an issue. I don't get riled up when talking to people who don't know the differences that make some absinthes finer than others. I get irritable when talking to people who don't know what makes absinthe what it is, yet have insane ideas and will argue them to the bitter end.

 

Martin, I think your point diminishes mine. I'd be happy with letting fratkids and such think whatever if I could just go to the local store and pick up good absinthe. If they think they're going to do better by ordering some "real" Czech stuff, they can enjoy that. I'll enjoy my product and they won't.

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Now that I have a better understanding and appreciation for absinthe, I'd gladly walk to the liquor store for higher end product. The uneducated and less appreciative folks will continue to buy the balz trip'n xit and leave the good stuff for us. How this fits, who knows, time will tell.

 

Until then, louche on folks!

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The worst thing may be that there isn't a current legal definition, allowing spurious liquors to muddy the wonderful louche that a consumer should be able to expect. Really, quite a few problems would disappear if the label wasn't allowed to be applied to sundry novelty and dreck drinks.

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I think you'll find a lot of people here who disagree that absinthe doesn't enter into the culinary world. Lots and lots of ways to use absinthe as a flavor enhancer.

I'd love to hear them...

 

Those of us with educated palates, and a little background knowledge of the beverage we are imbibing, have no trouble separating the proverbial wheat from the chaff, while those who don't know any better, or can't afford any better, will continue to drink their Meisterbrau, MD 20/20, or Sheep Dip Scotch.

 

There's no reason to assume that the absinthe market should respond any differently, as a whole.

 

But as they mature a % of those drinking their 'Sheep Dip Scotch etc' will move on to the real thing. No?

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Ok, I have this drink, it's a nice plant green/clear and is transparent. It has a bit of an herbal anise smell to it, oh and it is often around 140 proof. If you take plain ordinary clear cold water and add it to this clear liquid eventually you will see white streaks appear as each drop falls. These streaks will slowly gather at the bottom of the glass. Done slow enough you can see the milky solution wave back and forth like those blue" ocean" toys with a little surfer you can find at gift shops. While this is happening the herbal smell increases filling the room like you just opened a perfume bottle. When finished the drink has a complex anise flavor with no herb completely dominating and it evolves as it sits in your mouth. When you swallow you get a whole new flavor with a light, nice, bitter background. Oh and the exact flavor can be changed depending on how much water you add. After a half a glass your tongue will be slightly numb and you will have a nice buzz going.

 

I bet people would be lining up to try such a drink.

 

After that description they certainly would! :cheers:

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