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Clement Arnoux (Aggelos)

Val de Travers obtains their protected appelation

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2) the IGP sticks and extends its influence near and abroad - the artisan absinthe returns with all the allure and inescapable beauty it should always conjure... CO goes HG!

 

I don't know. I have a sneaky suspicion that some HG people were getting away with murder while there was no CO to compare to.

 

Granted there was, and still is, some amazing HG from some seriously good people. From what I've tasted there has been more lead than gold though.

 

I understand the "good ol' days" mentality but legalization and commercialization probably did a lot of good for absinthe overall, at least in terms of average quality and availability.

 

Much like homebrew beer, HG boasts the best and worst in the category. When you're that small you have the option to own either end of the bell curve. It takes work to get beyond average, and for the most part, humans are usually lazy if they can be. The market forces people, via financial consequence, to get better or get lost.

 

But I'm breaking my own rule now. You don't talk about HG.

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Hopefully all this garbage from the VdT won't have an effect on USA distillers....

Marc, you guys need to really produce the absolute best absinthe you can and show these people what real passion is about.

 

I believe Marc, Joe and Jules have been doing just that for several years now. :harhar:

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Should the IGP stick, it would only effect European Union, as I understand. The US Feds don't really give a rat's ass what the European countries do. For example, I have a very good bottle of Champagne from New Mexico in the refrigerator. That would only change if the US struck a separate deal with the Swiss such as the US - Brazil cachaça agreement.

 

The thought of trying to ship 100 cases of VS HG? Yikes! If the IGP sticks and the US honors the European decision, commercial absinthe would suck in terms of availability and (generally) quality. My heart would really go out to those distillers making quality absinthe not living in the VdT. The list of good absinthe lost is terrible. Under those circumstances, I could never buy a bottle of VdT absinthe again and that is more sadness.

 

I guess the decision would impact our ability to ship to Europe but that's really not in our plans.

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no producer outside the Val-de-Travers will be allowed to DISTILL absinthe or a similar product anymore

 

Has any spirit product ever been halted by an IGP before? Or any product at all?

It seems IGP's are all about protecting names,( not the products themselves).

 

This, if applied as such, seems without precedent anyplace.

Technically, it happened, although for a completely different reason. Austrian regulations (see in German) forbid the production of spirits that look and taste like present day Inländerrum, effectively banning the traditional version. When the regulation was born, all concerned products were halted based on their similarity to an IGP (despite them having different names at the time). The brands themselves, of course, could go on with new recipes.

 

That, of course, didn't affect similar spirits of other countries, and there's no way the Swiss telling any foreign country what kind of spirits to make. The EU also never seemed like willing to agree to absinthe as a Swiss IGP (see "Point 4 - AG presentation 131112.pdf" in this package, for example), and I don't think they've got much reason to do so.

 

(Inländerrum – like Stroh or Spitz – used to be a traditional Austrian rum substitute made of spiced alcohol, with some 200 years of tradition. Then the EU told them they can't call it such anymore, because it isn't even made of cane spirit, but they approved it as an IGP on the condition that the base alcohol will be Austrian-made cane spirit. Not sure how does it make a traditional Austrian spirit, though.)

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I have a sneaky suspicion that...

 

 

I believe Marc, Joe and Jules...

 

 

The thought of trying to ship...

 

I really wish you could see the tongue firmly against my cheek (and the glass resting in my hand) when I comment most of the time.

 

Seriously though, I'll never say never but I really don't anticipate much of a hiccup stateside. I'm glad someone brought up Cachaça because the story behind that situation is very illustrative.

 

The first push for any kind of recognition for Cha-caca as a distinctive product of Brazil came in April of 2001 from the Embassy of the Government of Brazil (to the ATF). Dead. Nada. Nothing moved on it.

 

It wasn't until Brazilians started importing the hell out of whiskey that the big dogs (Diageo, Pernod Ricard Groupe) started pressing the right buttons it would seem and suddenly you have the TTB, the United States Trade Representative, the Brazilian Minister of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade all convening to make this recognition happen. The U.S. recognized Cachaça, but Brazil recognized "Bourbon Whiskey" and "Tennessee Whiskey".

 

Even still, Cachaça came in under an already established Class (Rum) as a Type of spirit.

 

So the question I would have is say the worst possible scenarios play out so that the effects of IGP are truly being felt at the gates of the U.S....

  • What equally, growth-stunted horse is there to trade assuming the industry even cares about a product with limited consumer appeal (did I just say uncool)?
  • Where is there a Class for absinthe to fit? Hmm? Bueller?
  • Ignoring 1 and 2, would there be enough impetus to make that move along before the bulk of American absinthe producers disappear from the scene? I mean, even after the first effort, the last petition for recognition of Cachaça came in 2006. Warp-speed politicking.

All that said, the U.S. may be fine, but I really hate the shit this IGP stirs in the the Franco-Suisse region.

Edited by Grim

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I really wish you would see the tongue pressed firmly against my ass cheek...

 

Yeah, I say that about my pathetic attempts at abstruse humor all the time, buddy. :cheers:

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mentok1.jpg

 

 

Should the IGP stick, it would only effect European Union, as I understand. The US Feds don't really give a rat's ass what the European countries do. For example, I have a very good bottle of Champagne from New Mexico in the refrigerator.

 

Ah yes, their Pinot Noir is quite good as well.

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Should the IGP stick, it would only effect European Union, as I understand. The US Feds don't really give a rat's ass what the European countries do. For example, I have a very good bottle of Champagne from New Mexico in the refrigerator.

 

Ah yes, their Pinot Noir is quite good as well.

 

I agree with the "very good" and the "quite good", however I want to point out that that producer has the common courtesy to not label their sparkling wines "Champagne". There's a certain American "K" brand that still doesn't get it or doesn't have enough respect to knock it off.

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Gruet's leftovers from their champagne process would make a great cognac style EdV. Just saying.

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Hopefully all this garbage from the VdT won't have an effect on USA distillers....

Marc, you guys need to really produce the absolute best absinthe you can and show these people what real passion is about.

We do.

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Certainly, we try and get better and better. I don't think we take a backseat to anyone.


 

Ah yes, their Pinot Noir is quite good as well.

I agree with the "very good" and the "quite good", however I want to point out that that producer has the common courtesy to not label their sparkling wines "Champagne". There's a certain American "K" brand that still doesn't get it or doesn't have enough respect to knock it off.

Gruet_zpsb2dc5fc1.jpg That's a pretty fine line. ;) Your point is taken but it would take an imbecile not to know what was in the bottle.

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Maybe that's who the "K" brand's customers are. :dry: And I hear you, but the "Methode" is the "Methode" and only the "Methode". It doesn't make it Champagne. There are plenty of sparkling wines that claim use of it without co-opting the name of a protected place. Many of those are French sparkling wines from other growing areas.

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FYI, this was just posted by Marc on his Absinthe Originals FB page:

 

 

I just received confirmation: IGP would apply for both importation AND exportation. What it means concretely: if the IGP is voted, nobody in Switzerland, outside the Val-de-Travers, will be allowed to distill absinthe or similar products (see below), even for exporting it to a foreign country. And of course, no absinthe will be allowed to enter Switzerland.


A similar product is anything that matches these criteria:
Art. 80 Absinthe
Absinthe is a distilled spirit product made from agricultural ethyl alcohol which:
a. is flavored with wormwood (Artemisia absinthium L.) or with its natural essence, together with other herbs such as anise, fennel or other similar herbs, or their natural essences,
b. is obtained from maceration and distillation,
c. has a bitter taste and smells anise or fennel, and
d. louches with the addition of water.

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>This could put Matter and others out of business.<

 

Actually, it wouldn't put Matter out of business, but would be very annoying...

So, would he just continue to distill, but do so under the auspices of making something that wasn't named absinthe?

Matter AG is far more diverse from just making absinthe. Even if he couldn't make absinthe any longer, he would still do much more than just merely survive. The distillery was created in the early 1920s,and didn't make absinthe until 2005. The distiller, Oliver Matter, is one of the most talented and patient men I know in this business. There will be considerably more products to come out of that distillery that will reinforce his skills and set standards for their type.

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I should have been clearer. I meant it would force him out of the absinthe business. In any case, it's nice to know that they are more diverse in their portfolio. It still sucks that they have had to spend so much money defending their position.

 

I don't know if you are friends with Josh Durr on FB, but he posted something about the IGP yesterday. I couldn't help but point out some clarifications for him.

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Pierre Verte that's fine and dandy but they make great absinthe. Which we tend to love in this forum for some reason that eludes me... :g: It still is a shitty outcome even if they would have to move production. The harm would still be done.

 

As for the conditions as stated by Brian, it makes me think if it's malice or idiocy, or maybe a terrible mix of both that the VdT is pulling. It doesn't seem beneficial at all. It's binding in fact.

Edited by Cajun Magic

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There is likely very little regarding the world of absinthe, and I mean the whole world of absinthe, that would be lost on you.

I'd bet most of us could learn a boatload from you PV... Many in fact, including me, have. I still have several empty boats... always will.

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Very true. I don't give money to fauxsinthe producers because they hurt the category. Now it looks like the VdT is attempting to hurt the category, although in a different way.

 

By my logic, I don't support either for the same reason.

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And now, someone should explain to me why I should ever buy a VdT absinthe again?

 

I haven't for several years.

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I don't give money to fauxsinthe producers because they make crap.

 

I won't give money to VdT producers because I hate bullies.

Agreed!

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There are distillers in the VDT who do not agree with the IGP. It is ironic, as they will be hurt in a different way. It's sad people who agree with us will be lumped in with the bullies.

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