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I don't know how this might pertain, but when I originally inquired at local store about carrying St. Germain a long time ago, their response was "Unless it ends up being an ingredient in a popular cocktail, we probably won't start carrying it." With that kind of mentality floating around out there I can see exactly how and why LTV would mention versatility in cocktails.

 

However, that local store has three real absinthes now, but aren't pushing the cocktail potential on any of them, as of the last time I checked.

 

They also haven't had a new brand of absinthe in over 9 months. :thumbdown:

 

 

.02

 

 

It's too early in the morning for grammar good. :pirate:

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My thoughts are this:

 

1) If LTV continues with the same (ore substantially similar) recipe, it should redefine itself as an 'absinthe schnapps' (if they REALLY feel the need to hold onto the absinthe label), or even better, some type of alpine herbal liqueur, similar to Fernet Branca.

 

2) If LTV wants to be recognized by the masses as a true absinthe, it needs to substantially change its flavor profile. More anise, less eucalyptus, more wormwood, NO sugar (absinthe doesn't contain sugar). Artificial coloring is not out of the realm of possibility*, but it should look more natural and comparable to authentic absinthe.

 

*there is historical precedent for artificially colored absinthe, but to the best of my knowledge it was done to make it look similar to naturally colored absinthe. Artificially colored absinthe was accepted in the industry, but was recognized as of inferior quality.

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As has been alluded to, the whole cocktail argument is just smoke and mirrors.

 

IMHO, when he says that LTV is designed for cocktails he's not talking about formula or process. He's talking about price point and proof.

 

LTV is designed to allow his distributors to walk into Corporate HQ of Buffalo Wild Wings, Chili's, TGI Friday's, etc., and pitch "the red hot category of Absinthe cocktails" at 10%-30% less than an honest absinthe like Lucid. That's why the price is so low, and that's also why the proof is so low. They can point to the bottle of Bacardi 151 on the backbar and say it has the same proof that that does, so it's safe.

 

One visit, and boom, LTV is in 1,000 locations. That's the scale that this stuff is designed for...

 

Personally, I hope Mr. Breaux is the guy that lands all the chain accounts.

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If they use any artificial additives, then it automatically puts them in the qualité inférieure category, even if they change the recipe. By virtue of going the cheap and easy route, it will not be a quality absinthe, or even an ordinaire. I'm okay with them using color additives if they plainly use the qualité inférieure label.

 

I also agree, Brian, that if the new formulation only adds anise and adjusts the levels of artificial color additives, then it deserves to either be stripped of the absinthe label, or at very least add additional descriptors like the schnapps you suggested.

 

Edit:

 

Personally, I hope Mr. Breaux is the guy that lands all the chain accounts.

 

Ditto. And that's humble of you, Leopold.

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Yeah, he's like that.

 

I'm not disagreeing with you, Todd. I still think the cocktail thing was an after thought not a purposeful pre-production plan. The history and Minott's statements don't bear that out.

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Ditto. And that's humble of you, Leopold.

 

Not humble at all. It sure as heck isn't going to be my Absinthe. I couldn't make that much absinthe. More importantly, I have no interest in making that much Absinthe.

 

I hope that this LTV discussion has illustrated how honest, and how difficult the path that Ted Breaux has followed in distilling and promoting his spirits on a National level.

 

I have tremendous respect for the skill and integrity that this path requires.

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Agreed. His dedication and passion for the drink are unparalleled. So it's only right that his efforts be recognized as a path that should be emulated, or at least celebrated. We could only wish that all distillers had this drive and integrity, not mentioning any names.

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Leave me out of this, Ron. ;)

 

Seriously, Minott has a wealth of things to respond to. Might I suggest we try not to add to that burden?

 

There are a few contemporary absinthe pioneers that made the road much smoother for newbies like me. Ted, Gwydion and Marc took a lot of lumps and bruises for all of us here in the US.

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Brian, I think you essentially solved the problem. Call it absinthe schnapps and be done with it. There's not much more anyone can say. If it doesn't abide by the few, simple standards that do actually define absinthe, stop calling it absinthe! End of story. Also, why are we getting all this pandering now, if it will take a decent amount of time to even "tweak" the current formula, let alone scrap it and make a real absinthe from scratch? I think this is just a ploy to cut off the recent upsurge of outspoken anti-LTV info we are all trying to enlighten the masses to. Unfortunetly, the members of WS can sniff out PR like, well, the difference between real absinthe, and fakesinthe!

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And that's why WS is here.

 

Ever in the interest of the benefit of the doubt, I'd like to introduce a third possibility that some of us hadn't even counted upon: bad consulting.

 

It's possible that Minott fell in early on with a charlatan passing himself off as an absinthe expert, but is in reality a slick BS artist. If that's the case, I'd say there's a consultant out there that has an overdue appointment with the bottom of a bus.

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I would be quick and delighted to apologize if I'm wrong and I still extend to Minott the benefit of the doubt. If he is the victim of a bad consultant, he might also be the victim of a terrible PR firm. If from this mess comes a real, traditional absinthe I'll be the first to sing your praises Minott and help you hoist your PR captain's head on a pike.

 

I'm still skeptical but where there is life, hope springs eternal and I am the eternal optimist. Just ask Absomphe.

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I'm okay with them using color additives if they plainly use the qualité inférieure label.

Would you? Would anybody?

 

LTV announced in as many words that they'd been victims of horrible marketing consultants. I can imagine that the same could have happened with "bad consultants" for their formula as well. Who, then, are LTV? Not distillers and not marketing guys. What's left? People with money trying to chase a fad? Don't they know the NYT has already declared that absinthe's 15 minotts are over?

 

I wonder about PV's question. What about all the experts-for-sale that jumped on the LTV bandwagon? What happens to their credibility when the new product requires apologies for the old one? Well, they chose to drink the KoolAid, so I can't imagine caring less. But they'll be back on the streets now, asking for my money at traffic lights.

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Who, then, are LTV? Not distillers and not marketing guys. What's left? People with money trying to chase a fad?

To play Devil's Advocate for a second: No offense to Alan or Ted, but couldn't you ask the same about Veridian?

 

Aren't they both companies that were set up to partner with distillers then import the brands into the states? Granted, one has done far more to further the success of absinthe than the other, but you can't really fault either for the business model.

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There's nothing wrong with the business model. I'm glad they're making booze with their money instead of opening animal-testing labs for the cosmetics industry.

 

It's just that after watching the growing pains of other distillers here over the last couple of years, it's hard for me to feel much sympathy when an organization this disconnected from their own product and its marketing runs into trouble and has to claim ignorance as an excuse for a bad image in the press and a bad taste in the glass.

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I'm okay with them using color additives if they plainly use the qualité inférieure label.

Would you? Would anybody?

 

I don't see it as subjective. If there were clearly defined standards, and if the distiller was honest about their methodology, then they would be forced into the superieure, ordinaire or inferieure classifications. No guessing. No misrepresenting. At that point, they could affect that label classification with their production choices, and not their marketing strategies. If they choose to go with an oil compound mix with color additives and all sorts of other shite, then they really can't take offense to falling within the inferior category, can they? The laziness and/or contempt has already spoken, even before the label is glued on.

 

I didn't make up the classifications, they existed for good reason.

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That point is moot.

That classification system will never see the light of day again, at least as a labeling element. No company is ever going to put the word "inferior" on its label, and no classification system that requires it would ever be passed into law.

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Who, then, are LTV? Not distillers and not marketing guys. What's left? People with money trying to chase a fad?

To play Devil's Advocate for a second: No offense to Alan or Ted, but couldn't you ask the same about Veridian?

No.

 

McKenzie River made $215 million selling Sparks to Miller in 2006. I guess that money has helped just a little with the launch of LTV.

 

Management of Viridian gave up secure executive assignments in big operations to get something started that many of us thought impossible. They followed their dreams, which is hardly the same as "chasing a fad."

 

I could say more, but the comparison betwen the two is ridiculous.

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That point is moot.

 

Is it?

 

I hear what you're saying. But I think we should still press for a classification system, even if only here at WS. Otherwise it's a free-for-all with all the brands competing in the same category of "absinthe."

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I say develop and release a real absinthe.

 

As that absinthe is being released, change the label on LTV to the more accurate absinthe schnapps or wormwood schnapps. Then phase it out completely.

 

The biggest thing I could ask though is to take a real interest in absinthe in all its history and glory. There are a lot of knowledgeable people, myself very much included, who would find incredible fulfillment in being able to make and sell their own absinthe. It's one of the universe's terrible jokes that most such people can't, but that someone who is pretty new to it can.

 

In your position I would be putting forth intense effort to create something wonderful. If I had to have someone else distill it I'd still have my hands all over every step of its creation. I'd be putting the vast majority of my time into research and development, to create as great a product as possible. I wish you would do that. If you do that your product will stand on its own.

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No company is ever going to put the word "inferior" on its label

 

Or even the more traditional "ordinaire".

 

Everyone needs to be a Rockstar, these daze.

 

Speaking of which, welcome back, Peridot! :cheers:

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Management of Viridian gave up secure executive assignments in big operations

As many venture capitalists do. I wasn't comparing what each sacrificed. I was comparing what they do as defined by their OA.

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