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Debate on the merits of absinthe

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Certainly, there are folks who choose single malts as the best

SOME single malts are what I'd consider the best. There are a lot of single malts out there that just shouldn't be bottled. There are plenty of blends that I'd consider better than a lot of the single malts I've tried.

 

What would be on your BEST single malt list? What blends? :wave2:

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I don't like Kübler very much, but it tastes like an absinthe. And after reading the preceding posts it sounds more and more like the attempts to disqualify it as absinthe are nothing more than fancy schmancy hand-waving.

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I wood not. I can get better girls without resortin' to lyin' ouzo/arak substitute is absinthe.

 

Not living girls, until you can create an absinthe that won't kill 'em. :harhar:

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The absinthe in the heyday was made following certain and strict methods applied by those people who pioneered that particular domain of business: the methods and ideas were changing but were adhered to. And if you skrew in the very beginning of the production, in a sense of preparation for the production, no wonder the further results will be skrewed as well. If I told more about what they are doing wrong and how exactly it was made in the heyday by the leading producers, that would be not fair for those who spent years discovering these revelations and finally applying them.

 

I would normally pass this by, thinking the information shared would be proprietary. However, your phrasing (which, of course, I could be reading wrong) implies that this method was a standard for the better producers and thus not kept secret from each other. As an absintheur-in-training, I'm quite curious to know, in the most general terms, what this method is and how it manifests in the flavor.

 

Shabba--OT Scotch subject: I'm curious about Poit Dhubh. Have you had it? A friend worked for the Gaelic Whisky a few years ago yet wasn't a big whisky fan! He was there for the Gaelic speaking... If you've had Te Bheag or Mac Na Mara I'd also be curious to hear your thoughts.

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What would be on your BEST single malt list? What blends? :wave2:

Hmmm. That's an even tougher call than my top absinthes. I'll think about it and go over my review notes and get back with some lists in the next day or two. This should be fun!

 

I'm curious about Poit Dhubh. If you've had Te Bheag or Mac Na Mara I'd also be curious to hear your thoughts.

I haven't tried Te Bheag, but have had the other two. Mac Na Mara is a nice light, smooth sippin scotch. It's peaty, but not overly so. A nice, every day scotch.

 

Poit Dhubh is a bit more on the sweeter side. At least the 21 year old, which is what I was able to try. The finish goes on for miles.

 

Both are great buys and relatively obscure, so you'll impress anyone who enjoys scotch if you've got them in your bar. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to bring any home. But my wife is going to London in two weeks, so maybe my luck will change!

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Kübler, eh. My least favorite to date. Perhaps I got a bad bottle but it just had a funky and malodorous quality that just didn't sit well with me. OMG_Bill, hope you enjoyed the bottle.

 

Anyway, carry on, as it were.

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Both are great buys and relatively obscure, so you'll impress anyone who enjoys scotch if you've got them in your bar. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to bring any home. But my wife is going to London in two weeks, so maybe my luck will change!

 

:cheers: Thanks for the notes, Shabba! Very intriguing, some of those adjectives. I'm still very much new to scotch/whisk(e)y tasting, but have a decent sense of what I like. It sounds like I would enjoy these! Next step is the acquisition.

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I may be totally wrong in my comprehension of that quote by the Imp (whom I hold in the highest regard), but I believe it was a joke; bashing it for its quite simple and basic flavor profile.

 

Pretty much :wave2: ....While I don't have anything against Kübler, I consider it way too expensive for it's simplistic flavor profile, if it was priced the same as a a bottle of Herbsaint or Arak I might keep a bottle of it around.

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To respond to OP: that's very old news. If you want to buy your beer, wine, and spirits based on how scantily clad the models are, that's up to you.

 

 

Hey , sex sells as Kübler obviously recognizes. You didn't all think I was being serious did ya??

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Even in the little research I've done on the historical production of absinthe, I've found some pretty large variations, even including the processing of the wormwood.

 

In case of wormwood processing, be it harvesting, drying, preparing for the initial maceration, the methods were obviously different for each of maison but kept within a certain line of thinking and that has not changed a iota. Going further, you will find 7 different methods of colouration which all were correct, some were applied till the ban, some abandoned for various reasons, some had finally evolved together with evolution of possibilities.

 

Oh, OK. I guess we'll just have to take your word for it that Kübler isn't absinthe.

 

I am telling you that when compared with was was done in the heyday, K is doing it wrongly in these two aspects, I can add K isn't the one unfortunately. However, there are many brands on the current market that do it just the way it should be done and it was done back in a day.

 

this method was a standard for the better producers and thus not kept secret from each other. As an absintheur-in-training, I'm quite curious to know, in the most general terms, what this method is and how it manifests in the flavor.

 

The method(s) can be found easily if you dig deeply and persistently. To our surprise we have discovered recently some of the methods that were shown openly to the others makers and to the public were used just to fool the possible competitors, whereas what they were really doing was kept in secrecy. I will elaborate more on the subject later.

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I find Kübler the worst La Bleue I've ever had. Bland, murky - and it's got some industrial feel to it that I've frankly never enjoyed about it. Back when absinthe was illegal in Switzerland, their 45° product was basically the only thing one could get easily, but it just didn't taste right. This sadly hasn't changed much with their later stuff. But: They were early in the market, and in many Swiss bars (in the German speaking part), it's the one you can get. I'm trying to change that, bar by bar, but it's not an easy task, because absinthe just isn't mainstream. I certainly blame Kübler for it, too. Because where Duplais Verte and Mansinthe are served, things actually work out quite fine, I find.

 

All that said: Kübler still quite certainly _is_ an absinthe, although I don't like it.

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I will elaborate more on the subject later.

And I am back. Interesting example of the methods regarding the manufacture of absinthe. You take Duplais, read it and you think "ah, so it is done, I see". Then, you come across the Pernod fils catalogue (the one with pictures) and you think "hey, I thought it was the other way round!", some time passes and you are given "Les Grandes Usines" and read a chapter on Pernod (we are talking about the same distillery) and think "WTF?", finally by accident likewise you read a very detailed eyewitness account of M. Bailly who not only talked with Henri-Louis Pernod but also saw what he was doing there and you think "OMFG!" Such examples can pile and cause more and more confusion but step by step are shedding more and more light on these aspects as well.

 

Going further you are having a look at correspondence of one famous absinthe maker with the other and surprise, surprise they are not hiding anything, they are just saying it all openly. That infantile slogan "proprietary and confidential" is the utterest BS that some people want you to believe it is true, you know it adds secrecy, allure, aura of mysteries, just for the marketing's sake.

 

Some time ago, I have had a very fruitful coresspondence with the Polish representative of Brown-Forman. I have had some questions regarding in particular Finlandia brand, mainly the subbrand Finlandia Fusion as well as the brands that weren't available in Poland. And guess what, all my questions were answered thoroughly and in detail. Brown-Forman is a big enterprise, so is now the Finlandia brand, they know what they are doing and they are not hiding it, if some of the information is NOT presented so clearly on the label. If anyone says you: "sorry, I can't tell you, it is proprietary and confidential" that person is hiding it for the simple reason-he is doing it wrongly and he is aware of it, but he is doing so coz it brings him profit and he cares only for that.

 

During these years I have had talks with people behind some of the well-known CO absinthe brands and I am very grateful to them they have had time to answer my questions, explain some suspicions and no one of them was BS'itting in a way: "Boggy, you are my friend but I can't tell you coz this or that or shwat".

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Huh? Where did Imp said I was wrong? Modern K is prolly Black Mint's La Rincette with added wormwood, nothing else. As you know pastis in the very beginning contained wormwood as well, still it wasn't making it be "extrait d'absinthe".

Why are you so persistent in asking the same question when you know my answer won't change and I have given you enough food for thought to show you the right path?

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A friend had recommended a bottle of Ksarak Arak. Very much that big anise and grape spirit flavor. It's actually quite good.

 

MPC and fryke, you've said what my friend said about the Kübler, very much that funk and murk. He attributed it to tails, but I'm not sure that's the only answer.

 

Anyone who tries a good arak will see the difference. That said, I think Kübler is an absinthe. And I'm glad of what they did to bring absinthe to the US.

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DP, I am not condemning anyone whoever that does for bringing absinthe to the U.S. and making it possible finally-that is outta question and I am glad it is legal in the U.S.

 

As a faint approximation of absinthe K is what it is and yes having a good similar anise-flavoured liquor (Ksarak, Jdoudna, or Ouzo Plomari, or anything, or even stupid Bulgarian mastika) shows a big discernible difference what it really is about. However, when it is so similar why spend more money on faint approximation thereof or arak/ouzo substitute when you can get real arak and real ouzo for much less and finally a real absinthe as well as it is slowly approaching the American market (if ordering from Europe might be such a problem, though).

 

It is not my fault I am wishing you all the best and intentionally I am raising the bar as high as possible-why fellow Americans are bound to drink some crap, while we, Europeans can drink creme de la creme? I am a bitter coont after all and what I value the most is tradition.

 

For a moment, back to categorization, many wines are labelled "Kagor", but the one I'm sipping right now from Moldova seems to be not the faint approximation of Kagor-style (similarities witgh decent Malaga very evident in the finish, btw), but the real essence of given style; I daresay the real deal Kagor :thumbup:

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Not that Bailly :devil: . I myself haven't found anything as regards his surname or the papers he was the author of. However, he seems to be the figure since Pernod allowed him "to have a look" and it was published in La Nature in 1894 thereafter. The other thing I found is "Fondation des murs de quai de l'avant-port de Calais (Note sur l'emploi de l'eau sous pression dans les)" in "Mémoires de la Société des ingénieurs civils" of 1890.

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Huh? Where did Imp said I was wrong?

You used his comment as part of your argument for why Kübler isn't absinthe, yet he himself said that wasn't what he meant by that comment.

 

Why are you so persistent in asking the same question when you know my answer won't change and
Mainly because you are well known for making bold and rash statements that are based on faulty logic and which turn out to be false. I haven't found anyone else either here or at FV who sincerely believe that Kübler isn't absinthe other than you. Many people (and I agree with them) will say it's not at the top of their list, but they haven't said it doesn't qualify as absinthe.

 

I have given you enough food for thought to show you the right path?
Not at all. You haven't given me any provable data, just heresay and your own opinions, or you've chosen to deviate from the topic by providing yet another data dump. Your opinions have been shown to be based more on your idea of quality than on actual definition, so they cannot be relied upon, both for absinthe and for scotch. I'm waiting for some form of actual evidence as to how their product cannot be considered absinthe, regardless of its quality.

 

And remember, it's not just Kübler. You've also stated in another thread that neither Lucid nor Pernod are absinthe as well.

 

why fellow Americans are bound to drink some crap, while we, Europeans can drink creme de la creme?

You neglect to mention that alongside of that creme de la creme is stuff that is even worse than what we can get over here.

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Many people (and I agree with them) will say it's not at the top of their list, but they haven't said it doesn't qualify as absinthe.

Poor them if their aspirations are so low and seek only the weak approximations instead of the finest examples.

Not at all. You haven't given me any provable data, just heresay and your own opinions, or you've chosen to deviate from the topic by providing yet another data dump. Your opinions have been shown to be based more on your idea of quality than on actual definition, so they cannot be relied upon, both for absinthe and for scotch. I'm waiting for some form of actual evidence as to how their product cannot be considered absinthe, regardless of its quality.

Coz it is done wrongly not the way absinthe should be done and in a minute or so I had a talk with DP about that and she confirmed that if you wish to know or maybe you are inclined to think DP is not a person to believe? Just like me. What other evidence you are looking for? Don't think I will steer you to the articles, recipes or such, why should I? Search for yourself.

 

So, what is a definition, then? There is none as we both know. The Swiss one has not been accepted by the EU, German definition has been rejectyed twice. If you do not regard quality as a benchmark, you should approve of Trul-it contains wormwood, contains anise and louches. Another good absinthe, sadly artificially-coloured, but who cares, natural colour and quality are not for you.

And remember, it's not just Kübler. You've also stated in another thread that neither Lucid nor Pernod are absinthe as well.

That I remember very well and can extend the list. Awake, Brian, world of illusions is nice but reality is bitter.

You neglect to mention that alongside of that creme de la creme is stuff that is even worse than what we can get over here.

I don't neglect it is available in here, still no one will consider it "absinthe".

 

Scotch: have had just a glass of Speyside 12 and Bowmore 10 nad these are whisky, the benchmarks of the taste and the essence of the particularity Scotch Single Malt stands for. I admit there are much better ones than these in the CLASS of Single Malts, still I am not an expert here, so please tell which of the blended whiskies will make these two look like rotgut? Are there any?

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Going further you are having a look at correspondence of one famous absinthe maker with the other and surprise, surprise they are not hiding anything, they are just saying it all openly. That infantile slogan "proprietary and confidential" is the utterest BS that some people want you to believe it is true, you know it adds secrecy, allure, aura of mysteries, just for the marketing's sake.

 

Ok, now I'm confused. Which statement is correct, the above statement?

 

Or this one:

 

"The method(s) can be found easily if you dig deeply and persistently. To our surprise we have discovered recently some of the methods that were shown openly to the others makers and to the public were used just to fool the possible competitors, whereas what they were really doing was kept in secrecy. I will elaborate more on the subject later."

 

 

It can't be both. And you never elaborated "later" as to what the presumably secret method of Wormwood preparation is the "proper" way.

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Preparation of wormwood prior to the maceration was not hidden, however that was conducted during the further parts of the production (with greatest impact put on colouration) was presented to those who should see it, the others were seeing something else. I might have forgotten to add that bigger products were working hand in hand whereas hiding obviously these to those representing smaller makers as well as absinthe inferieure makers. Since K is not using colouration, only the preparation of wormwood and other herbs is what drives me nuts. PM sent.

 

The preparation of any herb as applied in the spirits/liqueurs industry is not secret-why should it be, most of the producers were talking about it either in articles or in books (as quotations) if their methods were varying (like that of Raspail and others who tried to copy his liqueur for that instance).

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What absinthist is trying to highlight, is how are classes of products defined so they can be authentically regarded as members of that class? In his view, historical methods are a strong part of what makes absinthe absinthe. It's more than just adding wormwood flavor, anise flavor, anethole, and FD&C colors to some GNS. It may have some of the chemical constituents of historic grand-marques of the BE, but now similar would it really be?

 

It's easy to come up with a technically correct definition, something all-inclusive. Especially if you want to simply use a list of ingredients.

 

If you buy a bottle of red Bordeaux wine, you at least know it came from Bordeaux. There may be other indications such as the classification of the wine to help distinguish for the consumer the quality of what they are buying. Wiki has some information about how the wines of Bordeaux are classified. Note that not all of them are official, and the unofficial ones are still held in high regard.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bordeaux_wine..._classification

 

And even with that classification, no one thinks that you can add some tannins, some wine flavors, even Bordeaux wine flavors :devil: , some wine coloring and call it wine. You still have to grow some grapes, squish 'em up, ferment them, etc.

 

There's nothing like that for absinthe. Certainly not in the US. And I think consumer organizations/groups have a full right to define absinthe and establish categories as they wish without interference from producers (and that includes myself, Zman, Alan Moss, and Hiram) and distributors as well.

 

There's nothing wrong with setting the bar very high. And I think absinthist is saying you have to grow some herbs, process them right, cook them up in a pot, etc. to end up with an absinthe similar to what H.-L. Pernod made, and those who followed him in that tradition.

 

Absinthe wasn't banned because of Pernod Fils, it was banned in spite of it.

 

Regarding Kübler, I think any issues that consumers may have about the product that causes them not to find as much favor in it as they could, that's something they'll have to decide. The semi-accepted definition for absinthe that WS developed did say it had to have perceptible or distinguishing flavor of wormwood within an anise-dominant profile. I'll let y'all continue that discussion.

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All that you four would have to do is petition the TTB for separate classifications between distilled absinthe and compounded absinthe. You already have Gin as a template, which splits between distilled, redistilled, and compounded.

 

You would then be able to add the word "distilled" to the label, and there's your separation from the oil mixtures crowd.

 

I'd be happy to sign on, and I'd imagine that you could get support from Sonja and Lance W. at St. George as well.

 

The only difficulty would seem to be their strange reluctance to allow the word Absinthe to appear on a label all by itself. But I think that they've figured out that Absinthe isn't such a horrible spirit after all.

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Coz it is done wrongly not the way absinthe should be done and in a minute or so I had a talk with DP about that and she confirmed that if you wish to know or maybe you are inclined to think DP is not a person to believe?
Well, if you're so inclined as to throw other people under the bus, then you should be comfortable enough with your own beliefs to show some proof that Kübler, Lucid and Pernod are 'wrongly' made.

 

What other evidence you are looking for?
What evidence have you given? Up to this point, none. You've made statements that haven't had any academic proof behind them.

 

Don't think I will steer you to the articles, recipes or such, why should I? Search for yourself.
Why should I take the time to search for information you seem to already have? Again, if you are so confident, you should have no problem handing that information over, either publicly or privately. If I'm wrong, then I'm man enough to admit it. But up to this point, you haven't shown me anything to show that I am.

 

So, what is a definition, then? There is none as we both know. The Swiss one has not been accepted by the EU, German definition has been rejectyed twice.
Let me ask you this: Does Kübler fall under the definition of absinthe in the Swiss and/or German version?

 

If you do not regard quality as a benchmark, you should approve of Trul-it contains wormwood, contains anise and louches. Another good absinthe, sadly artificially-coloured, but who cares, natural colour and quality are not for you.
Seriously. Did you just write that?

 

Awake, Brian, world of illusions is nice but reality is bitter.
Apparently, so is your absinthe. ;)

 

Scotch: have had just a glass of Speyside 12 and Bowmore 10 nad™ these are whisky, the benchmarks of the taste and the essence of the particularity Scotch Single Malt stands for.
:poke: What's your point? Just because there are good Scotches out there doesn't mean that there aren't bad ones as well, that still fit into the definition of what Scotch is.

 

so please tell which of the blended whiskies will make these two look like rotgut? Are there any?
Why exactly would a blended whisky have to make those two look like rotgut? Is that your only definition of what Scotch is? Only blends that make some of the best single malts taste like ass should be worthy of the name scotch? Do you see how ridiculous that sounds? But, if you want to do some research on blends, here are a few that I'm sure you'd find delectible:

 

Famous Grouse Gold Reserve 12 year old

Johnnie Walker Green (blended solely with single malts), Gold, Blue and King George V (made with mostly Port Ellen)

Ballantine's 17 year old and 30 year old

Chivas Royal Salute 18 and 21 year old

Even Whitehorse, which is primarily made up of Lagavulin whiskies is quite nice.

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Thanks DP for the support but still it seems like casting pearls before swine.

Well, if you're so inclined as to throw other people under the bus, then you should be comfortable enough with your own beliefs to show some proof.

I have shown DP what I was supposed to show. With your current attitude I am not that certain I should show you anything.

What evidence have you given? Up to this point, none. You've made statements that haven't had any academic proof behind them
.

I have told you what my friend has seen and quoted names and dates that should give you some clues and you don't have to be distiller to get ahold of these. If you being stubborn prevents you from realizing some facts it is not my problem.

you should have no problem handing that information over, either publicly or privately. If I'm wrong, then I'm man enough to admit it.

Since it is no secret, here you go: First, his wormwood is not only ground, but powdered-all the aroma and quintessence is lost, secondly maceration is conducted via digestion, thirdly tails are not rectified. Happy? If you do not understand why powdering is wrong, what is digestion and the tail-case, it is again not my problem. But as you say I am talking to a man, not to a child lost in the fog.

Let me ask you this: Does Kübler fall under the definition of absinthe in the Swiss and/or German version?
It doesn't for the simple reason it has not the perceptible enough wormwood flavour, but you are not paying attention.
Seriously. Did you just write that?

You have asked for it. If you don't care for these things, Trul and others should fit your taste.

Apparently, so is your absinthe. ;)

So was Duval in 1798 or some others and so what? In fact, you haven't had none, so how can you present a valid opinion?

 

Famous Grouse Gold Reserve 12 year old

It is good only because it contains bigger percentage of SM

Johnnie Walker Green (blended solely with single malts), Gold, Blue and King George V (made with mostly Port Ellen)

Same as above. In that way, JW G should be regarded as "vatted malt" AFAIK

So since most of them are high or only SM-based, will they qualify as crappy blends, i.e. the mixture of 60% grain whiskies and 40% single malt whiskies ?

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