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Absinthe: The American Remix

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Mmmhmm...I'm wondering. If this is the case, the one gaurantee I can make is that those who already know will have a fun time watching everyone jump into the fray with speculation.

 

Things are a little fishy, but it's a fresh market smell, so far as I can tell so far...not the smell of a dirty harbor after a massive fish kill.

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Wow, Alan... thanks for that Dr. Absinthe link...

 

It would probably be pretty easy to figure out what Drabsinthe's alias is here in the WS. It's someone who's logged in during the past day. From there, we can weed out many people who we already know. That only leaves us with a few... But of course it won't matter, because he'll never speak up in this forum, because he knows he has no relevant argument.

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While obviously a step forward the small production run (assuming comb hasn't bought another distillery or ramped up production a hundred times or so) and high price will limit this product to a general niche market(which is why I find the hipper bottle style interesting).

 

It states that it meets US and EU 'standards for content'. Maybe there are good things on the horizon.

Yes, no, maybe so. (I believe they say thujone free A.A. though)

I've heard from multiple sources that Canada sells the american version of Absente and that their tests show it has a small amount of thujone. In which case it could be anywhere from an actual regulation change to the realization that the outdated US testing method isn't accurate enough to pick up tiny amounts of tjones.

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I did some checking and out of around 25 liquor stores in nyc, That range from the village to midtown to the upper eastside, no one had it. And in fact they hadn't even heard of it. Does anyone know when the marketing campaign starts. The said in May so the stores should have at least heard about it.

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Well, maybe it's just a little bit too soon for liquor store checking. There seems to be precious little detail beyond the "May" time frame, so if we take that to mean perhaps late in May, and then only actually to the distributors during that time frame, then it could be June umpteenth before your average party mart has a bottle of something that expensive and low volume on the shelf.

 

I'd be curious what Alan thinks of your investigative results.

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The stores that I checked are top rated by zigat and known to have high quality and hard to find liquors and wines, which is why I choose them. Also, if any stores in NYC would hear or know anything it would be them.

 

I sent Lucid an e-mail lets see what they say.

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I'd be curious what Alan thinks of your investigative results.

Assuming you were referring to TR Willy's comments (posted just above yours), I don't know how quickly distribution works in NYC. It's frustratingly slow in other countries, and I could give examples of 2/3 month lead times from importation happening to stock being in outlets that want the product. Also remember that many drinks companies focus on the bars first: it's easier getting trial by the glass at $10 than getting someone to buy at $ 60 bottle.

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Sorry, that's a question for Ted!

 

Different companies have different roll-out strategies and timetables, depending on many different issues (capacity, market throughput, investment and payback requirements). I'm aware of another very successful drink in a different category that took nearly two years to go national.

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Wow, this is funny. I stumbled upon a link to the Lucid site completely independently of the WS. I then came here to see if anyone had heard about this yet (which I figured they had) and what do you know?

 

Well, FWIW, I'm excited at even the prospect of it. As long as it's made with the correct plant and tastes decent, I'm happy because this will very likely open the door to other folks and distributors looking to do something like this.

 

Oh, and Alan, was that you who posted that Dr. Absinthe link? What a tool. That idiot really made me mad, so I posted a response. Did anyone notice that he's got a "Czech Absinthe Buyer's Guide?" I chuckled when I saw that and thought "Wow...that ought to be a blank page." But alas, it was pages of brands with the ability to leave reviews. I wonder if he filters the ones that say stuff like "This shit tastes like Windex, Dr. Absinthe! I want my money back you asshole!" Probably does.

 

Also, I read someone also on here said that their idea is that the method for thujone detection here in the US is probably to old and not finite enough to detect low levels of thujone? That was mine as well. I posted that on Dr. Assbinth's site. It's funny that two of us had the same thought. I'd guess that somewhere on the way to less than one mg. is undetectable, but that's only speculation from looking the way they do the analysis. It's a very simple and outdated thing. I'd never looked at it before today...my gosh.

 

Aaron

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Don't anybody take this the wrong way, but part of me thinks that any further debate about this is just fanning the flames, and we just have to wait and see what is in the bottle. I'm excited about it, let's talk about it in July.

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Don't anybody take this the wrong way, but part of me thinks that any further debate about this is just fanning the flames, and we just have to wait and see what is in the bottle. I'm excited about it, let's talk about it in July.

Fanning what flames speedle? I didn't think there were any flames to fan here, did I miss something?

 

I think this thread has been quite nice actually. I like debating and or hearing what other people have to say about things like this.

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Oh, no worries about fanning the flames... I believe a brushfire has just started, thanks to the Viral Internet. Lucid just showed up on del.icio.us and doggdot.us... I can just imagine the discussions this will generate: "But will it be as hallucinogenic as real absinthe?" A whole new generation to be educated, and perhaps taken advantage of by the Drabsynthsters... But I guess having absinthe's profile raised one way or another would cause this, and at least this is a positive situation, as opposed to some sordid absinthe-related crime spree.

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I think what Speedle's saying is that everything at this point is speculation. I've been thinking about this a lot and there's a possibility for a couple of different things to happen -- some good, some bad; some very simple, some more complex. Laws have to be taken into account, quality of what's in the bottle, etc. We'll have to see.

 

"Fanning the flames" might refer to providing people like Dr. Absinthe more fuel to spread false information, playing up pork chop myths. This undoubtedly will continue long after Lucid is released, even if its release helps to dispel a lot of crap myths. But until all the facts are in and some major players in the absinthe world start talking, few (if any) of us here know exactly what's going on.

 

I'm not saying "don't talk about it." That would be presumptuous and foolish. Conversation is healthy and I'm enjoying the discussion of this thread as well. I check it every couple of hours to see what people think and to check on developments. But what I think Speedle is saying is, "don't count your chickens." I know my positive outlook on this has waned a bit.

 

Speedle?

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The Lucid web site states the initial release will be NYC and the Hamptons. They mention an end of May release date.

 

I think it's good that TR is out there asking his local stores for the product. That will encourage them to actually carry it.

 

Pure speculation: I think this is the beginning of the end of the ban on absinthe in the US. I would not be surprised to see within a year the FDA changing the criteria for thujone to be limited to the EU's 35 mg/L.

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Pork Chop myths? What is the deal with that? Have I missed something on his site? I saw the "Traditional red absinthe of Spain where they use paprika" and the "absinthe during the Victorian era had way more absinthe than we have today", but I did not see any mention of pork chops... I am beginning to suspect he isn't even a real doctor...

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Run over to Feeverte.net. Read their "Frequently Asked Questions" and you'll catch on. It's nothing more than a goofy reference to thujone...a kind of inside joke that happened a long time ago or at least before I knew this forum or any other like it existed.

Edited by precenphix

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The Lucid web site states the initial release will be NYC and the Hamptons.

 

Great.

 

I can't wait to see Ina get Jeffery drunk on absinthe. :thumbup:

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:chop: = Thujone :cheers:

 

I just like the fact that Drabsinthe has become a regular mention in the forum. Now, instead of saying trippin' balz, I'll just refer to it as pulling a Drab. :thumbup:

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Pork Chop myths?

 

 

:chop:

 

 

There used to be a word filter here that replaced the word thujone with the icon of a pork chop. There was a time not so long ago that if you needed to legitimately mention thujone you had to use a word like tbone or spell it t-h-u-j-o-n-e or some such. Hiram must have decided that since no one here pushes absinthe's thujone content there was little reason to continue the convention.

 

 

I think you're quite right printmkr that Drabsinthe isn't a real doctor; he doesn't have a fancy pouffy wig. ;)

 

Edit: Shabba beat me too it.

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Fanning what flames speedle?

He couldn't mean me, I'm so mellow.

 

Anyway my 2 cents (and a long post to boot),

 

My initial reaction "Sad joke", was over the top and based on "thujone-free" and that silly label and name,

I apologize for my knee jerking all over the place.

 

After reading their site a bit I am pleased with the info provided and the effort put forth to squash the flaming drinks and the thujone paranoia.

 

On the other hand,

Though I agree that thujone is an unnecessary and useless ingredient in absinthe,

it is a by-product of properly made absinthe.

I compare it to methanol in Bourbon.

Methanol will poison you, i.e. blindness, death, etc. . .

but when Bourbon is made you will have a small amount of it in your finished product.

This is due to when a distiller wants to cut off the heads from the the good stuff,

if you cut too early you get too much methanol in your product and thus a dangerous beverage,

cut too late and you have a clean, but boring, almost tasteless, product.

A good bourbon has just a touch of methanol in it (hence the killer headaches)

but still plenty of flavor too, since those flavor oils distill so close to the methanol.

 

Now the question is,

when the absinthe is distilled to produce no thujone in the final product

is this affecting the overall final taste of it too? Stripping those tasty oils out along with the thujone?

Or if the AA is "thujone-free" is this affecting the herb charge into the still?

Back to bourbon,

to cut down the methanol you could use less corn,

but go too low it ain't bourbon anymore.

So where is our cutoff point?

 

So I'm not saying thujone is what makes the absinthe,

it's just a small by-product of well made absinthe.

As Ari said too, this focus on just thujone-free could be a damper on other, wonderful absinthes being available.

Also, as my buddy Speedle said,

the proof will be in the taste.

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I agree. While thujone doesn't matter, I'm worried that a push to grow a specific strain, or change a process to appease an outdated regulation might come at the price of taste or quality.

While Ted and Comb being part of it alleviates some worry, we will see when it comes out.

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I don't think the absence of thujone will effect the flavor adversely in itself, and I have no knowledge of the characteristics of thujone-free wormwood. I don't believe that it was used with Lucid anyway. I spoke with Ted for a while last night, and while he's of course limited to how much proprietary info he can divulge, I'm pretty sure it's a matter of handling the distillation properly.

 

I like your analogy of bourbon and methanol, only with absinthe, as we know from reading Duplais, De Brevans, etc., the delicate cut-off decision is at the other end of the operation: cutting off before too much tails comes over without also missing out on flavor and aroma.

 

Fortunately, at least as far as the wormwood goes, the fresh wormwood taste and fragrance is the first thing to come over, but the thujone is about the last thing and would come with the nasty smelling tails anyway.

 

I'm optimistic about other, not-necessarily-thujone-free absinthes making it into the market in the future. I get the feeling that this is a "probationary" product in the eyes of the FDA and TTB and that if it's successful and continues to be marketed responsibly, they'll be more pre-disposed toward doing what they certainly must know is inevitable" raising the thujone restrictions on a level with the EU.

 

I'm not a big fan of the packaging, either, but I think I understand the decision.

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You guys have put my concerns into perfect writing. Especially you, Grey Boy. You've made my positive meter slide up a few more notches. :cheers:

 

Hiram, you've also put my mind a bit more at ease as well, even by stating what seems to be more like the obvious: this is a probationary product. We'll all just have to bide our time until we find out more regarding US laws as they compare to other countries. It'd be great to see things made easier for other producers to have their products released here, relaxed laws or otherwise. At the very worst, distilleries abroad may have to tweak their distillation techniques for US releases of already existing products. Pricey, I'm sure. But there's a market here that I'm sure certain distilleries will find worth the gamble.

 

I'm feeling good about this again. Very good. :yahoo:

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I like your analogy of bourbon and methanol, only with absinthe, as we know from reading Duplais, De Brevans, etc., the delicate cut-off decision is at the other end of the operation: cutting off before too much tails comes over without also missing out on flavor and aroma.

 

Fortunately, at least as far as the wormwood goes, the fresh wormwood taste and fragrance is the first thing to come over, but the thujone is about the last thing and would come with the nasty smelling tails anyway.

Agreed,

but that tails cut is big flavor point too, which is why the tails are (or should be) recycled,

one still wants those oils, though they are from other herbs.

It's a delicate balance, if it gets pulled off, I'll be all the more impressed.

 

You guys have put my concerns into perfect writing. Especially you, Grey Boy. You've made my positive meter slide up a few more notches. :cheers:

I apologize,

I promise to only make sense twice a year.

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Re-reading this discussion has put a new thought in my head,

the VdF process makes a lot of sense in this context (i.e. a thujone free absinthe)

You can distill each herb in a way to collect the best properties of each

and discard the crap.

Hmm. . .

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What? Bourbon has methanol in it?

 

Why am I always the last to find this stuff out?

 

No wonder I just keep getting drunk drinking too much bourbon as opposed to knocking out the odd play or painting. I've been drinking the low methanol stuff! Once again, it's The Man keeping me down!

 

Anyone have a list of the methanol content of popular bourbons? Did Jack the Ripper drink bourbon? I see a business opportunity here...

 

"Tired of all these low methanol bourbons you have been drinking? Step up to the real authentic high methanol bourbons of yesteryear! If you don't see methanol bubbles in the bottle, it is not real bourbon! Here is the science behind why methanol in bourbon is important:

 

methanol.png

"the methanol molecule"

 

Did you know that the Nazis used methanol as rocket fuel in WWII? That's right! Ask yourselves why the low methanol Bourbon cartel doesn't want you to know that! Was Hitler a methanoloholic? What do you think? I think we are seeing some pretty strong evidence that he was. Speaking of evidence:

 

methanol2.png

"Some other methanol chemistry dealo"

 

And if you are not convinced yet, consider this: Methanol is a colorless liquid. Yet all of the bourbons currently available in the U.S. are BROWN! Why is that? Because there isn't enough methanol in them to water down whatever that brown stuff is!

 

Now, as a special offer to Maxim readers..."

 

- Dr. Bourbon

 

Oh, thanks for the Pork Chop clarification. I never would have guessed!

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You can definitely have it both ways. One way I can think of—and I'm not sure if this is what Ted did—is to use a low-thujone or thujone-free chemotype of absinthium.

 

Lachenmeier's most recent work sheds light on the topic of the varying levels of thujone in absinthium as well as the behavior of thujone during distillation.

 

I'd post citations, but it's 6:30 AM here and I have to go to work.

 

Lachenmeier's paper:

 

Lachenmeier, D. W., S. G. Walch, S. A. Padosch, and L. U. Kroner. 2006. Absinthe--a review. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition 46:365-77.

 

(see this link for a thread on this forum discussing aspects of this paper: Lachenmeier discussion

 

One of several papers that report chemotypes (in this case a French source) of A. absinthium that apparently produce no thujone:

 

Juteau, F., I. Jerkovic, V. Masotti, M. Milos, J. Mastelic, J. M. Bessiere, and J. Viano. 2003. Composition and antimicrobial activity of the essential oil of Artemisia absinthium from Croatia and France. Planta Medica 69:158-61.

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