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Sachelle

New La Fée X•S Suisse

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I'll wait on the reviews. It sounds like it's been well thought out but it's the hype that gives me pause.

 

I hope it's spectacular. Oh yeah, the money issue, maybe some smaller, less expensive sample bottles may help.

 

La Fee was my first so I am curious but not wealthy. Hell, I'm not even comfortable. ;)

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Here are my initial remarks upon tasting the XS pair three months ago:

The French:

I'm glad it's green, but it's too pale. People will find fault with that. Those French guys need to stop filtering the hell out of their absinthe. The flavor is pleasant, but I'm not picking up much wormwood or fennel, another modern French foible. Mint in the coloring? Nice mouth-feel. I'd recommend it.

 

The Swiss:

The base and the mint immediately remind me of the Pays des Fées, although I do wish I still had some Kallnacher to compare it to. Good louche, nice nose before and after water, I detect the grape base in the nose. The flavor is very nice and again, well-balanced but maybe a teence heavy on the mint for my taste. That's just a personal thing. I always feel like mint can round out and smooth a flavor, but should be just barely detectable. Also a bit shy with the wormwood, although, I'd have no problem recommending this one either.

 

If these are priced competitively, I think you've got a couple of winners. Coupled with BBH's marketing acumen, I have no doubt that these will become very popular indeed.

 

My only real criticism would be that they are so similar to what's already out there.

 

If you can increase the wormwood profile in both, and get a good pontica thing going in the coloring, I think you'd have a shot at a top shelf product. Maybe even teach the head-banging, shooter-shooting college crowd what absinthe tastes like.

So, I'm sitting here revisiting the X•S Suisse. It's got a great louche and the aroma is soft and promising. The mint has certainly mellowed over the months and the other herbs have melded pretty well. It's smooth and round and goes down pretty easily. Nice anise content but not too much tongue-numbing. As earlier, it could use more wormwood flavor.

 

Anyone who likes the Suisse Blanches that are out now will most likely like this one as well. Unfortunately, it turns out not to be priced competitively. It's in the same quality range as Kübler, Clandestine, Pays des Fées, etc. and should be priced accordingly. The cynic in me wants to say that the high price is just a bluff to suggest to the uninformed public that this product is as good as or better than the Jade line, and it's not.

 

If it were priced in the same range as the above absinthes, I'd probably buy it.

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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.

 

Currently working on samples for X•S launch next year

 

I pretty much expected a knee-jerk response when this came out. Some of you guys are never happy: you complain because La Fée's stuff wasn't distilled, so they try to come up to standards and you still aren't happy.

 

I tasted the X•S products some time ago and they're quite good and distilled by reputable distillers. I'll dig up my notes when I get home today.

 

 

HOWEVER, Sachelle, as per usual, I'm pretty disappointed in the choice of copy.

 

 

Hiram, I am sorry that you feel that the copy was over hyping thujone, it was not our intention I was just merely trying to explain to people what the 'amer' is - its at the top because that is the generic X•S point in the copy (I’ll review it). X•S is a superior absinthe that has been uniquely commissioned and priced accordingly which generally takes it out of the shooter-shooting college crowds reach. FYI The La Fée site will be going through a major re brand early next year and your comments will be taken on board.

 

We are as keen as you to have absinthe legal in the US and our company ethos is to educate where possible. I've been in the absinthe business now for a few months and have learnt and tasted a lot - yes I still have much to learn – as it stands, (now for a very controversial statement...) I think that the La Fée range has the only collection of absinthe that can cater for all types of 'absinthe drinkers' and is the perfect way to educate the uneducated by moving them through the absinthe ranks. The high brand profile in bars means that we reach many more types of drinkers. We also sponsor many events, only last month I personally re educated those ‘shooter guys’ at a book launch.

 

 

Price seems to be the biggest issue here so let me explain our pricing policy and how we intend to move forward - also I believe that any fair comparison should always take shipping and handling charges into consideration.

 

For a single bottle price is £60 plus £20 shipping to the US.

When La Fée X•S Française is released in a few days customers will be able to buy any combination of two from the X•S range for £100 (2 X•S Suisse/2 X•S Française/ 1 of each). Simply this equates to £50 per bottle. Both absinthes have gone through very special processes and are from absinthes historical homelands and all those who have already purchased a bottle of X•S will be receiving their voucher for their second bottle.

 

I hope this addresses some of your issues – but in true wormwoodsociety fashion I am sure will not address all…

 

:)

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Sorry, Sachelle, but even if they're that good I still can't see any justification for charging more than £40 at most. £50 each for two is unreasonable and £60 for one is absolutely insane.

 

The XS sounds tasty but I'll never buy it at that price.

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Same here. Waaaay too expensive for a bottle that is trying to break through the Fee stereotype. It should be priced at a point that will 1) still fend off the tripballzers and 2) attract the absintheurs by being competitive (i.e. cheaper) than the already well established top shelf brands.

 

Most people would not pay more for a new Fee bottle that may or may not be good, when they can pay a bit less and know for a fact that they are getting something great from Ldf or something similar.

 

Once word of mouth has been built up, then you may be able to raise the price a bit, but as an intro, it should be priced lower than the bottles already known for their great quality.

 

You may not profit as much 'per bottle', but that would be made up by increases in sales volume.

Edited by Shabba53

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Rowley, 42, an absinthe expert and entrepreneur largely responsible for the modern absinthe revival...

 

Rowley...has an interesting theory that some of the astonishing output and quality of works produced by artists during the French impressionist period in the late 19th century was largely down to absinthe, at a time when the strong green spirit was more popular in France than wine.

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Some additional thoughts...

 

We are as keen as you to have absinthe legal in the US and our company ethos is to educate where possible.

You still sell La Fee Bohemian, which is not absinthe, but you associate it with absinthe. Dropping the "e" at the end doesn't change the intentional connection. That is misinformation. That's selling the history and atmosphere of absinthe to people who don't drink absinthe. It's also legitimizing Czechsinth. Your business is your business but that's not educational.

 

Price seems to be the biggest issue here so let me explain our pricing policy and how we intend to move forward - also I believe that any fair comparison should always take shipping and handling charges into consideration.

Good idea. I have. Hiram seems to be the most supportive person here and his opinion is that the product is of similar quality to CLB, K53, etc. So I'll work from that standpoint (and also because I don't have any reason to believe that it's better at this time).

 

At LDF a bottle of CLB costs £40.00, plus £20.00 shipping and £5.00 handling. That's £65.00 total.

 

At Lion (converting to pounds sterling), a bottle of CLB costs £33.07 and shipping is £37.12. Total is £70.19.

 

Your product is £60.00, plus £20.00 shipping. £80.00! That's £10.00-15.00 difference, and right now we're at nearly $2 per £1.

 

Without breaking it down, two bottles at LDF would be £110, two at Lion would be £106.63. And with you two would be £120.00 if there isn't a shipping increase on for two bottles.

 

I don't see how that's competitive.

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Classic Good News/Bad News.

 

La Fée has finally started making a range of absinthes intended to appeal to connoisseurs, but they've taken their marketing approach from King o' Spirits: overpricing and thujone hype.

 

They need to decide who their market is for this. BallzTripperz™ won't be impressed by the extra care taken to make a quality product, and connoisseurs know when they're being overcharged and misled.

 

 

Beautifully put. As many know, I have had a soft spot (for reasons even I am starting to forget) for La Fee. I was very, very excited to see them come out with a new, premium offering. I agree with Hiram that a lot of folks on here are in the 'never happy' camp, regardless of what a particular producer does. That said, the PRICE, and the poor and misleading marketing, bother me a lot.

 

Even if it was a great-great absinthe, a price of essentially $150 American for a bottle of absinthe is absurd when there are VERY good choices out there for around 1/2-2/3 that. I would love to try a bottle, and I have no doubt that it is a good absinthe (everyone I have talked to who has tried it has attested that it is), but not at that price. Get it down to at least 50Euro, and I'd consider it.

 

 

I will say that I DO love the name for it... see, here, I think they have found a way to MARKET it PROPERLY- they gave it a cool-sounding name, based off current and modern marketing trends in the booze-biz, and I think that this alone would help it to do well in the club scene. A cool blue bottle with a cool name could go a long way... but not if a bar has to charge $20 a shot.

 

 

I would be extremely interested in trying a sample, if you are willing to send me one. PM me, and we can chat. I'd be happy to post a full review. But at that price, unless this is nectar of the Gods good, I doubt I'd ever buy a bottle.

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Both absinthes have gone through very special processes and are from absinthes historical homelands

 

So have Clandestine, Kübler, François Guy and certainly Markus Lion's Duplais.

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Hiram posted...

 

"Anyone who likes the Suisse Blanches that are out now will most likely like this one as well. Unfortunately, it turns out not to be priced competitively. It's in the same quality range as Kübler, Clandestine, Pays des Fées, etc. and should be priced accordingly. "

 

 

Agreed. And most of us won't spend more for something that sounds VERY similar to what we already can get, and already KNOW is good. You are basically asking us something akin to paying $1.70 for a bottle of something that we have heard tastes like and is similar to Coca Cola, when we can get Coca Cola for $1.00 a bottle. Why would I do that?

 

I also agree with the posters that said that considering XS is new, and that La Fee is trying to move away from /upmarket from the college shooter crowd, a price BREAK would be the wisest way to build market base. Selling it a hair cheaper then CLB, K53, or any of the other already-known-to-be-decent swiss absinthes out there would do wonders to convince a lot of us to buy a bottle. Selling it fully 20Euro more is just plain crazy.

 

 

That, and reading over this entire thread, which is basically a pretty damn good look at your target audience... we have ALL said pretty much the same thing (whether the poster likes La Fee, as I and others do, or doesn't). A company that doesn't listen to their core market doesn't get its product off the ground.

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Before people heard about the XS they were content ordering what they normall do and had no intention of buying the XS. Now they're pissed off and insulted, ordering what they normally do, and still have no intention of buying the XS. Great marketing strategy.

 

And as for the upcoming one, made by FG, a lot of people don't have a lot of faith in him or his abilities. I like his absinthe but it's cheap and simple. His bizarre ideological issues with fennel and such, as well as his disbelief that absinthe can be naturally coloured green, doesn't inspire a lot of confidence that something he makes will be worth as much as La Fee wants for it.

Edited by peridot

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From peridot above

his [FG] disbelief that absinthe can be naturally coloured green

 

It is a fairly simple matter to prove that clear absinthe can be colored green. Naturally. From things called plants. They happen to be naturally green.

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If the bad news about FSC and Canada is true, XS might find a market in Canada. If they could drop the price, it might prove mutually benefitual for LaFee as well as our Canadian friends. Here's hoping for the best. :cheers:

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I'm hoping that that reported FSC seizure is a rare occurence and otherwise things will continue as usual with them. I mean, it is just regular mail after all, seizures are bound to happen here and there. I've never had a prolem, and Brooks just got a shipment in a few days ago. Thankfully, there are a few other hopeful positive changes on the horizon for us "hosers", one of them being a possible Canadian distributor, and a note on Oxy's Absinthe Classics site stating that they hope to be able to start shipping to Canada again soon (which I assume also means LdF will hopefully be able to resume shipping to Canada soon?).

 

Anyways, back on topic - yeah, I think that would be a smart move for La Fée...I certainly won't buy it at the price it's currently at, and I think they're going to find that a problem across the board come New Year. I think they have to lower the price, unless they have a serious group of hardcore loyalists in tow...

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I too, cannot afford the XS, much as I'd like too. If all the vendors were no longer shipping to Canada, I think I would be stuck with LF Parisian, as the XS price is a turnoff. I was very excited to receive the notice from LF, until I saw the price... :shock:

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