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#1 Alan Moss

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 04:03 AM

As you wake up (mainly in the USA), you may wish to read this from Oxygénée over on Fée Verte.

To quote:

"1. Absinthes with less than 10mg/l thujone are now potentially legal in the US.
2. Two others (apart from Lucid) have already been approved, and dozens will follow in due course.
3. There's no reason at all to assume that Lucid has signifcantly less than 10mg/l, and neither Ted nor the manufacturers have made any claims to this effect.
4. Effectively, the US regulations are being brought in line with the EU standards. This has been done by administrative fiat (based - to simplify - on an expanded definition of "margin of error" when it comes to thujone testing), not legislation, but the effect will be the same.
5. I'd expect something similar to happen with the 35mg/l "bitters" category at some stage in the future.

Veridian have spent a very large amount of money opening a gate through which anyone can now enter. Whether this was a shrewd business strategy, only time will tell."

I guess the forums will be busy today!
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#2 Joe Legate

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 04:27 AM

Nah. No one here really cares about such news as this.


I haven't had my coffee, yet and I'm still staggered.

#3 Alan Moss

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 05:01 AM

T73 for President!

A few hours in the job of moderator and he does this!
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#4 Brian Robinson

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 05:08 AM

Wow! :cheers:
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#5 Marc

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 05:13 AM

No way! we want to keep the absinthe in Europe, we don't want the junk fooders™ to borrow that from us too! :devil:

#6 Joe Legate

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 05:15 AM

Alan, having had a cup of coffee and a few moments to think, can I simply forward the address of my favorite liquor store to you and have Claude-Alain stock their absinthe-deprived shelves?

#7 Pan Buh

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 05:22 AM

I want to know how you let Oxy scoop you on the news.

Otherwise, Here's to ya, Amerika! :cheers:
Maybe they'll add a green star to the flag to commemorate the occasion.

#8 Marc

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 05:39 AM

No way! we want to keep the absinthe in Europe, we don't want the junk fooders™ to borrow that from us too! :devil:

You don't want our fried brains or our pot-au-feu instead ?

Just kidding, very good news for you guys :cheers:

#9 Derrick

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 05:46 AM

Ahh yes...I can almost see it now! A special 'green' section at my local liquor store! Dreams can come true! :twitchsmile:
"Reality is a crutch for people who can't enjoy absinthe."

#10 Alan Moss

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 05:49 AM

I want to know how you let Oxy scoop you on the news.

I blogged it first!, but, yes, Oxy broke it first.
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#11 Robert (DrinkBoy) Hess

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 05:57 AM

1. Absinthes with less than 10mg/l thujone are now potentially legal in the US.

The "...are now potentially legal..." doesn't sound like an absolute, but an easy-to-make assumption based on Lucid's achievement. Is there any evidence of actual change in US rules and regulations?

The fact that there are two other products in the pipeline does sound hopeful, it would be interesting to know how difficult their path was, or if Lucid did all of the heavy lifting for them. Of course it would also be interesting to know what brands these were.

-Robert

#12 Alan Moss

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 06:13 AM

Alan, having had a cup of coffee and a few moments to think, can I simply forward the address of my favorite liquor store to you and have Claude-Alain stock their absinthe-deprived shelves?

It's not quite that simple. With the American way of doing things in the drinks business, I need an importer first, then a local distributor. Oh and a few other things, I guess. Any applications for importer?

It's interesting to predict what happens next. Here's one forecast: Canadians may start to emigrate south!
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#13 Absomphe

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 08:11 AM

Man, I picked a rotten time to go on alcohol hiatus.

I may have to reconsider, and celebrate this momentous occasion sometime in the near future! :yahoo:

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

You got a problem with that?


#14 LeRoy

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 08:14 AM

Hopefully, we are all celebrating this momentous occasion sometime in the near future! :cheers:

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#15 printmkr

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 08:56 AM

So, looking into the future, years from now will we be talking (in America, at least) about "Ban" and "Post Ban" absinthes?
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#16 AlyssaDyane

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 09:07 AM

Well, I think I need to start celebrating right now! To the liquor cabinet!
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#17 Gwydion Stone

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 09:09 AM

I'm not sure why this is big news now, aside from the two other products. The big news was back when Veridian made their first announcements. Maybe everyone was too much in denial then. As I read it, no regulations have been changed:

4. Effectively, the US regulations are being brought in line with the EU standards. This has been done by administrative fiat (based - to simplify - on an expanded definition of "margin of error" when it comes to thujone testing), not legislation, but the effect will be the same.

Emphasis mine. As far as I can tell, there is no new news, only further details on the earlier news.

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Confessions of an Absinthiste


#18 Robert (DrinkBoy) Hess

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 09:35 AM

Exactly.

Let's not count our absinthes until they're louched.

#19 Martin Lake

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 10:16 AM

Any applications for importer?


I'm not sure what kind of credentials that requires, but if you feel like sending a few cases, I'll do my best to find a distributor. Of course, if they sit too long, I'll have to drink them. You know...to prevent spoilage.
Ah, la petite mort; such beautiful suicide.

#20 Joe Legate

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 11:10 AM

As far as I can tell, there is no new news, only further details on the earlier news.

Sure but it feels like the little snowball is picking up a little more steam. It's hard not to get excited. I've heard Hiram say (well, read his postings) over the last year that the end of the ban in the US was coming soon. It appears he's right once again.

#21 Bob

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 11:24 AM

Exactly.

Let's not count our absinthes until they're louched.



Exactly is the word for this thread, all right. Remember all, there is an entrenched bureaucracy to deal with, and that is the sort of inertia that even Newton would have trouble explaining. I'm betting that lawsuits will have to be filed and a war waged with the FDA (and following that, state liquor boards) before absinthe starts showing up on store shelves.

#22 peridot

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 12:08 PM

If the FDA is approving absinthes then why would there have to be a war waged with it?

According to Oxy the FDA's definition of "no thujone" is now "less than 10ppm." Although I do trust Oxy I still would like to see independent confirmation of this. But still. The regulation by the FDA restricts thujone but does not ban absinthe.

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#23 Gwydion Stone

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 01:25 PM

Exactly.

Nitpick: the FDA doesn't approve the absinthes or any other spirit, that would be the TTB, formerly the ATF.

The regulation never said "no thujone" it says:

"Finished food [must be] thujone free... As determined by using the method ... in section 9.129 of the "Official Methods of Analysis of the Association of Official Analytical Chemists," 13thEd. (1980)."

But as we know, testing for thujone is tricky and requires an acceptable margin of error. One through which an authentic absinthe just might slip.

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#24 peridot

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 02:15 PM

This stuff sure is complex when you're only piecing it together like I'm trying to.

So the FDA makes the regulations but the TTB decides whether or not spirit fall within the regulations?

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#25 Gwydion Stone

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 02:55 PM

As I understand it and almost certainly an over-simplification:
• The regulations are in the CFR, the Code of Federal Regulations.
• The FDA's job is to research and draft recommendations for regulations on Food and Drugs, in this case in cooperation with the TTB (Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau) since the food in question is a spirit.
• When the regulation is accepted into the CFR, becoming law, it becomes the TTB's job to administer according to it since this is an alcoholic beverage.

If it were candy, or pharmaceuticals or medical instruments, it would be all about the FDA.

Customs, when it comes to absinthe, is acting on behalf of the FDA in keeping out a potentially harmful food item, and on behalf of the TTB (and to an extent the IRS) in preventing introduction of unapproved, non-tax-paid liquor.

Expect that foreign-produced absinthes will be requiring a stamp of approval before legally entering the US. So this also signals the end is in sight for worrying about customs seizures in shipping, once the dust settles.

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Confessions of an Absinthiste


#26 peridot

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 03:17 PM

Thanks, even if that's an over-simplification it at least it's a clearer description of how things work.

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#27 Jetzster

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 04:15 PM

B) Anyone care to make ANY time projections on some of these upcoming events?
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#28 Gwydion Stone

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 04:31 PM

Which ones? Lucid is already in some bars. I'm guessing the other two products might be out within a couple months, but that's just a hunch.

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Confessions of an Absinthiste


#29 Jetzster

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 04:40 PM

:shock: Lucid is in some bars here already? whereabouts?How much would a drink cost if you found it?
How long till its a Bev-Mo item?likely a year, perhaps, 'till cat eyes stare out from ye Bev-Mo glass case... :)
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#30 Gwydion Stone

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 06:05 PM

Dude, read the Lucid thread!

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