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Hill's Czech style Absinth


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#61 Brian Robinson

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Posted 19 May 2007 - 06:17 PM

So was the point here to just defend your particular brand, or Czech absinth in general?

What, pray tell, is your definition of a high quality bohemian style absinth, as opposed to a lower quality one?

I'd be interested to know your opinion of that same question regarding French or Swiss style as well.
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#62 Gwydion Stone

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Posted 19 May 2007 - 06:20 PM

Well, there goes today. I'll do the yard work tomorrow I guess.

Cheers, folks, I'm done for today, try to behave, 'k?

:cheers:

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#63 Absomphe

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Posted 19 May 2007 - 06:20 PM

"No, rice is an ingredient in Budweiser but it still contains barley, hops, yeast, and water, the four ingredients essential to any beer."

Actually, Peridot, even hops are not essential to any beer. There are a number of examples (Alba Sctos Pine Ale being one of my favorites) which are brewed with ingredients used prior to the cultivation, or importation of the hop into a particular region.

Yes, I'm Krinkles the Clown on an absinthe a beer bender.

You got a problem with that?


#64 Auguru

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Posted 19 May 2007 - 06:25 PM

I don't think anyone here is disparaging your families' distillation experience or the quality of the production methods. The products marketed as Czech absinth may use the highest quality ingredients, employ modern and appropriate distillation methods, and appeal to consumers that appreciate their particular tastes. The main question seems to me to be whether the production yields a product that can be sold alongside other "traditional" absinthes as an equal. The use of the term "traditional" implies a certain historicity, a history spanning some significant period of time. If I invent a product tomorrow and add the "traditional" label next year, the meaning is quite different than claiming my product conforms to "traditional" methods that were in use for more than a century and comparable to extant bottles of vintage products. Without such examples of Czech products or incontrovertible documentation (recipes, etc...), it is hard to understand the used of the term "traditional".

I have no objection to innovation and am happy to see your family succeed in producing a product that appeals to consumers, wherever they are. I do object to poorly made products (I am not pointing at yours) that are marketed as "typical" or "traditional" that clearly are not, or at least bear no resemblance to historically produced products.
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#65 Hill

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Posted 19 May 2007 - 06:29 PM


Wormwood however is a trickier process to use to make alcohol from.


I would venture to say that nary a person in the world can make alcohol from wormwood. It is a flavoring ingredient only. To make alcohol from it would require the conversion of the cellulose into a carbohydrate fermentable into alcohol. I doubt the leaves and flowers of A. absinthium have enough carbohydrate/sugar to be directly fermented into any sort of alcohol. I suspect this comment was simply a slip of the tongue. A sort of verbal typographic error.

I will defer to others more knowledgeable than myself, but since absinthe was produced continuously through the 20th century in Spain and other countries while banned in other parts of Europe, it certainly wasn't "rediscovered" in the the 1990s. It was "re-marketed" in the 1990s. I suspect there are a few of the "clandestine" distillers in Switzerland who produced absinthe throughout much of the same period (though it was apparently not openly available as a commercial product) who would contend they helped keep the historical process alive.

Of the historical recipes I've read (including scanned images of the originally published books), all of the recipes prominently featured anise. It would seem to me that anise, next to the lesser relative quantity of wormwood, is a key ingredient and should be obvious in the taste.

I am likewise ignorant of exactly when the water dilution/louche effect became part of the historical approach to consuming absinthe, but since the flavor is so significantly enhanced by this dilution with water, I suspect it was part of the appreciation of this high proof liquor from its inception. To my understanding, it is almost a given that a product that doesn't have an appreciable louche effect does not contain enough of the key/historical ingredients to meet the definition of "absinthe". Otherwise, such products should probably be called "wormwood flavored" liquors.


Again, who are you? Can you get it through your heads that Radomil Hill was taught by I repeat 1 of 3 schools teaching alcohol mixing and distillation in Europe. He graduated and continued to produce differnt alcohol. Why would he then make a fake Absinth or better yet why would he call it Absinth if he felt he changed it too much to be called Absinth? Does this make any sence to you? The only people that are qulified to make that decision are people that are distillers. Yes distillers, not just of Absinth but of many different types of drinks. He calls it Absinth for a reason. If you reall want he could make any Absinth you could dream up. He along with millions of people who I know are staedy customers of our products like our taste. Just because your society doesn't like the taste or feel that Absinth with LESS anise or Absinth that doesn't louche is not Absinth doesn't prove anything.

... again you are not a distiller and do not even know an Absinthe distiller so what you "think" doesn't really hold any water.

I'm pretty sure he does know a distiller or two, as a fair number of them frequent this board.

In fact, if you showed up at my doorstep tomorrow, I'd gladly sit you down and invite you to a nice meal followed by a tasting of many absinthes, good and bad. I'm sure we'd get along wonderfully, and have a 'spirited' debate. :cheers:

I'll go one better and I'm 100% sincere: since you're in Canada (Vancouver, BC I believe), stop down to Seattle next weekend. We're having a big absinthe event with a BBQ and lots of great food and absinthe (we even have a selection of absinth). You may be my guest. Bring Dan, maybe we can figure out a way to get you guys making some real Belle Époque style absinthe.


How about you put your money where your mouth is and make a trip to Czech and I will arrange a tour of our facility and then you will see why we call our drink Absinth.

#66 printmkr

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Posted 19 May 2007 - 06:35 PM

I don't know about the rest of you folks, but my spidy senses are tingling...
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#67 Hill

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Posted 19 May 2007 - 06:38 PM

Ok I have to go also but so far I have not seen any proof for what you say about us yet you say it anyways. I guess that's how this organization works. I will bring the proof you seek but because of your many members deep hatred for Czech Absinth I don't even see how it will help. In the mean time drink your Absinthe and watch out for those cops so they don't take it away!

#68 Grey Boy

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Posted 19 May 2007 - 06:39 PM

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#69 peridot

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Posted 19 May 2007 - 06:40 PM

It doesn't louche because it doesn't have as much anise, which is what makes Absinthe louche.

If it has enough anise for one to taste or smell it should louche at least a little.

Stop comparing us to French syle Absinth.

The absinthe we like isn't "French style absinth." It's absinthe. I don't believe, based on historic evidence, that what Hill's makes is absinthe. Prove me wrong.

Yes you are balming Czechs for lots of things, read some of the posts in here.

Sure, the Czech absinth movement has been irresponsible and fraudulent. Admirably, Hill's is not guilty of many of the things that we hate the most about Czech absinth's marketing, so they're not exactly relevant to the discussion of Hill's.

We call our drink Absinth and refer to old different tasting Absinthe because ours believe it or not is an Absinth.

I don't know that it's old. Nobody here knows that it's old. I personally don't believe you. If you make a claim that it's old you have to back it up.

Just because you distill Absinth does not say much. Hill's makes every drink you can think of. Can you make so many different types of drinks? Do you know the theories behind distilling? I guess these schools in Europe where they taught distilling were pointless then right?

Knowing how to make other liquors doesn't mean anything when it comes to making absinthe. Different liquors use different methods and ingredients. And this whole thing about distilling schools means absolutely nothing. Here's just two reasons why: 1) the school didn't necessarily know anything about making absinthe based on historic protocols and distilling manuals, 2) Even if it did, it doesn't mean that a person who went to such a school applied that knowledge later on. There's too many variables there. I went to school for music. Does that mean I can sit down and write an opera? No. I certainly learned a lot about opera and know the structural concepts and could write something decent enough that the uneducated wouldn't know the difference. But going to a school that teaches something doesn't mean knowing how to apply it in every single circumstance. Credentials mean nothing if the product is either inferior or doesn't meet the definition of the product it claims to be.

No it is exatly to the point. You and the your gang here critisize Hill's now and in the past as being a low quality drink. You try to convince people that we make an awful drink that people should stay away from. My point is that Hill's Czech style Absinth was invented by a master distiller who is known throughout Czech for making high quality spirits. It doesn't taste like French Absinth because it was invented in Czech for Czechs. French Absinth was invented in France for French. We changed the taste big deal. This doesn't make it a low quality drink. You people are confusing quality with your own personal tastes. This is all I'm trying to prove here: Hill's Absinth and Green Tree Absinth are high quality Czech Absinth's.

Okay, look. High quality assumes that there's a specific standard of ingredients and production that the product meets. It also depends upon consensus of consumers regarding its taste. By the standards that you've presented, you could make damn near anything in the world and call it high quality because it's made to fit different tastes than ours. That's a lousy argument.

And nobody should have to spend a ton of money to visit a distillery to be proven it's real. If it can be proven that Hill's is legitimately absinthe, you can do it over the internet. Period. And it's much easier if you're in Canada to go to Seattle than for someone in Seattle to fly out to the Czech Republic, don't you think?

Absomphe, you're right. I know that hops hasn't always been used in beer but I was under the impression that it's always used now. I stand corrected.

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#70 Brian Robinson

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Posted 19 May 2007 - 06:40 PM

I wasn't being condescending, Hill. I was being completely genuine. I'm positive Hiram was as well.

I'd be more than happy to tour the facility. However, given my travel schedule for this year is already too hectic, along with moving into a new house, buying a new office building, and having a baby in September, it may be difficult to do so until next year.

But, feel free to come here to Washington DC anytime.
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#71 Brian Robinson

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Posted 19 May 2007 - 06:46 PM

so far I have not seen any proof for what you say about us yet you say it anyways.

How about you bring up some specific points of contention that you would like addressed, and we will be more than happy to oblige.

Also, let's try to reel in the insults. We're trying to have a serious and respectful conversation. That's hard to do if the majority of your responses are personal criticisms or 'I know more than you do.' quips. That goes for both sides too.

So, hopefully, next time we see you, you'll:

1) have some proof of your claims
and
2) have a list of some bullet points we should discuss regarding specific allegations you believe are untrue.

Looking forward to seeing you then.
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#72 Brooks

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Posted 19 May 2007 - 06:46 PM

.
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#73 peridot

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Posted 19 May 2007 - 06:55 PM

Ok I have to go also but so far I have not seen any proof for what you say about us yet you say it anyways. I guess that's how this organization works. I will bring the proof you seek but because of your many members deep hatred for Czech Absinth I don't even see how it will help. In the mean time drink your Absinthe and watch out for those cops so they don't take it away!

STOP trying to pin your inability to respond meaninfully to our questions on some sort of emotional reaction from us. We have stayed on topic and have continually asked for the same things from you. You've brought up straw man arguments, tried to use anecdotes as evidence, tried to distract us from the central points of our discussion, and suggested that Mr. Hill's credentials make his creation of a misleading or inferior product is impossible. Your arguments have been very emotional and aggressive. Ours have ranged between kind (Shabba, Alan) and blunt and pointed (me, Grey Boy). But none of us have been uncivil.

Hill's doesn't contain traditional ingredients in traditional proportions and doesn't have a flavour profile remotely resembling traditional absinthe. Stop talking about French and Swiss absinthe as though those are merely styles and share equal validity as Hill's. Traditional absinthe has a long, detailed, documented history that your Bohemian-style absinth apparently does not have.

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#74 dakini_painter

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Posted 19 May 2007 - 06:55 PM

Hi Tom. I want to welcome you to the forum. I would also like to encourage you to take Hiram up on his offer. You will meet a good number of wonderful people who are very passionate about absinthe, especially traditional French absinthe. But be careful, they might try and convert you. ;)

The story of the Hill's company and distillery is a proud one. Overcoming the adversity of the Second World War, the establishment of the Communist State, etc. to rebuild the company and make it successful is an amazing feat. And that's worthy of being promoted by the company in it's marketing literature, on it's bottles, etc.

I think a lot of people would be very excited (in a positive way) if Hill's made a nice, tasty, wormwood dominated absinthe in the French tradition.

The thing that probably is causing a lot of issues with folks here is the statement

traditional Czech Absinth


There doesn't seem to be any historical evidence of such a thing. Not one tattered poster, bottle, engraved glass, anything. Not only from the Hill's distillery, but every other distillery in all of Czechia. There's one painting by a Czech artist of the Belle Epoch, but the absinthe depicted appears to be a traditional French absinthe.

Perhaps there's lots of writings from long ago about Czech absinth in your native language. Sadly for us, we would not be able to read them. However, it would be wonderfully educational for us all to learn of such things.

Thanks again for taking the time to respond to so many posts. I know you're doing the best that you can given that you are one person.

:cheers:

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#75 Dr. Noir

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Posted 19 May 2007 - 07:36 PM

Again, who are you?

NO. Who are YOU? Aside from the biological fact of being in the Hill's family, what is your connection to absinthe? You haven't shown any knowledge whatsoever of absinthe history, you've shown that you really don't know anything about distilling either, why should we take your word for it? You guys make the claims, since history suggests otherwise, we don't believe them until you back it up.

Can you get it through your heads that Radomil Hill was taught by I repeat 1 of 3 schools teaching alcohol mixing and distillation in Europe.

Can you get it though your head that that doesn't mean squat if all they could do was teach him to make fake absinthe?

Why would he then make a fake Absinth or better yet why would he call it Absinth if he felt he changed it too much to be called Absinth?

Simple: it wouldn't sell otherwise. Hill's is an unremarkable liquor with a strange unplaceable taste. If you didn't tell someone it was absinthe and gave it to them, they'd say "What is this crap?"

The only people that are qulified to make that decision are people that are distillers.

Says who?

How about you put your money where your mouth is and make a trip to Czech and I will arrange a tour of our facility and then you will see why we call our drink Absinth.

I don't have to. I've tasted it. It's not absinthe. Absinthe is an anise drink.

Ok I have to go also but so far I have not seen any proof for what you say about us yet you say it anyways.

Hill's or anyone who claims there is a Czeck absinthe tradition are the ones that have to do the proving, not us. There is no evidence of this, what more proof do you need?

I'd be more than happy to tour the facility. However, given my travel schedule for this year is already too hectic, along with moving into a new house, buying a new office building, and having a baby in September, it may be difficult to do so until next year.

We have a member in the Czeck Republic. PAN BUH!! Where is that boy?
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#76 Alan Moss

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Posted 19 May 2007 - 10:12 PM

I hope Tom comes back since I am sure others in his industry would have advised here against coming here in the first place.

Coincidentally (bear with me), I was watching a West Wing re-run last night in which Bartlett tries to get the Israelis and Palestinians together. He does it by leaving the most difficult things till last. I would suggest we try a similar tack here.

So let's look at the positives and see if we can find a few things in common:-

1. Tom says "we always claim that ours is a Bohemian style." If his absinth could have a slightly different description on the label (Bohemian absinth, or similar), and if he could help persuade others of this, then that would be a huge step forward. Consumers would start to understand that there is a difference. Tom, are you willing to look at something like that?

2. Tom agrees that others in the Czech absinth industry have done misleading marketing. Actually I think their marketing has hurt him too. The person who tries KOS or KOSG first, expecting effects and taste and finding neither, will in many cases never buy any absinthe again. Tom has asked for proof of bad marketing by other Czechs: let's supply him some.

3. Tom is proud of his family business and his heritage. He strives for quality. I'd be interested in this light to explore this point:-

- What does Tom think of Oliva, and what does he think of their negative statements about other Czech absinth? Do Hill's see a need or an opportunity for a higher quality of Hill's product (like the XS style of La Fee?).

4. Tom asked for proof of what his UK distributor said about Hill's. If any of us have a few hours to spare, it is possible to explore this through the miracles of the Way Back When machine. A great site, by the way, for other expolrations of the web's history.

I really hope we can take something from this dialogue. Tom seems to be much more reasonable than DrAbsinthe, so I hope we can all perservere.
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#77 baubel

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Posted 19 May 2007 - 10:19 PM

Tom-
It's clear you're very passionate about your Absinthe, obviously you wouldn't go to the trouble if you didn't believe in your product. I'm new to Absinthe I've tried very few, but I've enjoyed them all on different levels. I'd like to try your Absinthe and give it a fair, respectable, comparasion to the others that I've tried. Does your company have a website which I may visit?

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#78 Ari (Eric Litton)

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Posted 19 May 2007 - 10:33 PM

Ari, if Absinthe is anise based liquor than a long tiime ago they made a mistake and should of called it something else no? Why do they call it Absinthe then? They just decided to pick one of the ingredients in it and name it after that?

There is no "if" absinthe was anise based from the first pernod recipe and became more anise based as it became more popular. I can't say I know why they chose to call it "absinthe" but I do know the product they called absinthe was anise based.

Stop comparing us to French syle Absinth. We are not trying to be a traditional French Absinthe,

No offense but you first brought up the comparison when you used french style absinthe history in your marketing. If you are not trying to be a traditional french absinthe why is your marketing based around it?


Almost all Absinthe used some coloring. Why do you think they used the term green fairy, if they didn't use coloring they would have called her the yellowy brown fairy!

Doubtful.
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#79 scaper8

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Posted 19 May 2007 - 10:37 PM

First, Baubel: http://www.hillsabsinth.com
Second, one point of contention with the fact that Radomil went to a school for alcohol producers:
Radomil Hill was born in 1924 and attended the above school some years later. "[I]n his late teens," by the Hill's website so if he attended at the age of 16 (the earliest age I would consider to be 'late teens') it would have been 1940. France made absinthe illegal in 1915.
So, it would have been unlikely for Radomil Hill to learn how to make absinthe in a school 25 years after most countries have made it illegal and in a country that showed no real interest in the drink in the first place.

#80 absinthe_de

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Posted 19 May 2007 - 11:15 PM

I'm very positivly surprised to see a Hill familiy member joining here - welcome. After one day the whole discusion seems to be a bit overheated - doesn't make me wonder. There's absolutly no rush, so why not taking a breath and giving Tom the time he needs to present the requested proofs.

#81 momo

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Posted 19 May 2007 - 11:23 PM

What do you know about our business friend?

Speaking in a strictly business standpoint.
This forum is completely composed of your consumers. If I were you I would be totally sucking up to us to try to get us to buy your stuff instead of pushing us further away. No matter what the composition of the absinth(e), your job is to get us to buy it. You are not doing a good job of that.
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#82 baubel

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Posted 19 May 2007 - 11:49 PM

Thanks scaper8.

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#83 Daniel Lyons

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Posted 20 May 2007 - 12:26 AM

Tom,

I also want to welcome you to the forum. I'm also new here.

It sounds to me like you have a lot to be proud of. A family of distillers with a great business. Your great-uncle went to school, learned distilling, and now your family's company makes many products, with devoted fans around the world. But there are a couple of points I thought I'd share from my own experience:

1. As a programmer, I know first hand that it hurts when someone doesn't like something you've made. It hurts even more when people who lack your skills criticize you. But sometimes, and this has been a hard lesson for me, even though you put your heart and a lot of great work into something, it still comes out poorly. Sometimes it isn't even what you intended to make. And usually when this happens, everyone can tell, just like you can tell that a house is awkward even though you can't build one, or that some ethnic dish came out poorly even though you couldn't make it, or a program you've used was crap even though you couldn't write a new one. Everyone has strong opinions about cars, and no one person can build a car. I'm sure you have opinions about many things, even though you are a master of few, and you are often right.

2. Often when I'm wrong, or my family is wrong, it is very hard or painful to do the right thing. Sometimes you have to decide which is more important: the family name, or the truth. No one here doubts Radomil's skill as a distiller. But some of us do doubt his skill as a creator of absinthe. But I hope you won't take it personally -- it is the truth we are after, and it is true that we are all good at different things and have weaknesses too.

I hope you'll stick around and continue to debate this important issue with us.

#84 Jaded Prole

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Posted 20 May 2007 - 03:25 AM

I too am glad that a member of the Hill family is here and I look forward to reading more. In an open discussion all involved learn from each other. There are some vital issues which have't yet been resolved. For future reference it is helpful to know and avoid basic fallacies of logic which get in the way of truth seeking.

#85 Bob

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Posted 20 May 2007 - 04:51 AM

I'm thinking the French should have spared us this squabble by bringing absinthe under the Appellation d’origine contrôlée, so that what is and what isn't legitimate absinthe would be beyond dispute. Oh, well, they didn't, darn them.

Can we perhaps all agree that:

1. Absinthe achieved its greatest fame and popularity in France, so the flavor of absinthe as conceived by the French should be the sine qua non regarding the subject?

2. That there has been little or no evidence of a Czech absinthe industry before the clever revival of the 1990's, and that it is only reasonable to ask for such evidence if claims to the contrary are made?

3. That claims in advertising by Czech "absinth" makers have been deceptive, hyperbolic, and misleading, causing the uneducated to believe that Czech "absinth" is what absinthe really tastes like, despite item 1. above?

4. That claims by Czech "absinth" makers about the effects of thujone and the comparison of Czech "absinth" with illicit drugs and/or aphrodisiacs is harmful to the absinthe industry in toto, although it may be profitable to the individual firms.


And: Welcome to the forum, Mr. Hill. You've certainly caused a commotion, and I hope that things settle down a bit and we are able to keep you as a valuable member of the community. Time will tell.

:cheers:


edited to correct error in the birthplace of Absinthe. Thanks, Alan!

#86 Alan Moss

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Posted 20 May 2007 - 04:55 AM

Can we perhaps all agree that:
1. Absinthe originated in France

Non! Obviously no-one reads signatures! :devil:
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#87 Bob

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Posted 20 May 2007 - 05:07 AM

I stand corrected. Thank you, Alan, for pointing that out. :)

#88 Joe Legate

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Posted 20 May 2007 - 06:09 AM

Welcome, Tom. I hope you consider Hiram's invitation to Seattle. I'm sure you will be warmly welcomed.

I enjoyed the lively discussion. As others have encouraged, put sided the impassioned comments. Like Tom, we are all passionate about our favorite beverage(s). I'm looking forward to your contributions. :cheers:

#89 Mayzandas

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Posted 20 May 2007 - 11:50 AM

[lurk mode off]

I have been watching this thread with great interest. I figured it would either be very instructive, or it would degenerate into a most entertaining flame war. I am a bit disappointed to see that neither of these eventualities seems to panned out.

Anyway, in the hope of making the former (instructive) the more likely outcome, I want to comment on how all this looks from my absinthe-newcomer's perspective:

First of all, I suspect that English is not Mr. Hill's first language, so I think we should all cut him a little slack. Slamming comments along the lines of "it's difficult to make alcohol from wormwood" (paraphrase) seems rather pointless.

I have only tasted a few absinthes, all French vertes, but based on what I've read, there are significant differences between French (-style) and Swiss (-style) and Spanish (-style) absinthes. We are all willing to call them absinthes because they have some fundamental properties in common and there is a historical tradition that shows how these differences developed out of local traditions, tastes, and so on. Mr. Hill is claiming that his absinths likewise derive from a historical tradition, but none of us on this board are familiar with this tradition. When asked to provide some evidence of this tradition, Mr. Hill says he will, but so far, nothing has been presented but more assertions.

So as a first step, Mr. Hill should provide with some sort of primary evidence that his company was making absinth before 1990 or so. If nothing else, photos of old bottles and old labels, scans of accounting records, that sort of thing. Of course, digital evidence can easily be faked, so an actual, physical bottle, label, or account book would be necessary to settle this matter once and for all. But a scan or a photo would be a huge first step.

Of course, this would only settle the question of whether Hill's made something called "absinth" pre-1990. As to the ingredients, an old, unopened bottle would provide the best evidence. It wouldn't have to be Hill's. Any pre-1990 absinth - even from a clandestine operation - would help support Mr. Hill's claim that Czech- or Bohemian-style absinths were being made in a style similar to his before 1990. Note that we're not asking for a 100-year old bottle - just one from 20 years ago or so. There has to be a bottle in some attic or farmhouse or warehouse, doesn't there? If a 20-year old bottle of Czech absinth can't be found, this throws a very bad light on his claim for any "tradition."

But failing the presence of an old bottle, an old recipe could provide some support. If there is a "Bohemian" or "Czech" absinth tradition that uses ingredients so different from the French/Swiss/Spanish traditions, there ought to be some sort of recipe out there, if not from the Hill's company archives, then in some primary notebooks or journals, old recipe books, or documentation from past producers. My understanding is that several old F/S/S recipes that have been found in sources like these. If there is a similar Czech tradition, shouldn't one also expect recipes to appear in the same sorts of primary sources? It wouldn't have to be exactly the same as Hill's, just something close enough to support his claim that his product is a part of the same tradition.

I, for one, am willing to leave the door open on this one at this time. It seems to me that there is enough geographical distance (not to mention cultural distance) between the Czechs and the French, Swiss, and Spanish to accept the possibility that there was a Czech tradition, and that it could be quite different from the F/S/S traditions.

But until we get something more evidential than Mr. Hill's claims - a bottle, a label, a primary-sourced recipe, for instance - I see no reason to grant his claims any more credence than many of the other claims made by the Czechs about their products.

[lurk mode on]
"What contemptible scoundrel has stolen the cork to my lunch?" - W. C. Fields

#90 Gwydion Stone

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Posted 20 May 2007 - 12:53 PM

I believe that there may be a Czech tradition of spirits which contain wormwood, as there are in other Europenan countries, but any hint of an absinthe tradition will be because Czechs were drinking French and Swiss absinthes just like everyone else. There is a minute chance that some Czech distillery tried their hand at it, but nothing authoritative has surfaced to indicate that. In any case, everyone knew what absinthe was at the time, and it would be foolish to try to pass off something so different in character. We're not talking about the kind of difference between red and white wines here, we're talking about the kind of difference between gin and whiskey.

The authoritative recipes we have now come from 19th century French distiller's manuals. For the most part, these recipes and processes jibe with the other anecdotal evidence of the techniques of the time, such as Pernod's catalog.

In any case, I'm pretty sure that Tom is merely a concerned relative, not connected to the business. I really hope that these channels of communication stay open too, because I do think it can be productive and valuable. But I'm going to need something a bit more substantial from Tom before I'm willing to put much more energy into this exchange. Simple straightforward answers would be helpful.

Maker of Marteau Absinthe and Foxtrot London Dry Gin
Distiller, Stone & Szilard Distilling Co.
www.absinthemarteau.com



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