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Ryan Nikkel

A victim of my youth

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I was lucky enough to have someone send me some samples of Pacifique and La Clandestine. I sincerely love this forum as this situation sprang directly from here.

 

So last night, sample in hand begging to be louched, I set about trying it. My new friend sent me some sugar cubes also. I opened a packet and placed both cubes on the spoon and set about making my homemade fountain go. I kept close as it louched and enjoyed all the smells. I watched as it finished it's magnificent process and enjoyed. I gave my wife a sip and she liked it. I decided to try another with only the one sugar cube. I've seen the talk around and I have been trying to move myself into a position to enjoy the absinthe more and cover the taste less. I enjoyed the second glass much more. I enjoy Leopold Bros. with less sugar as well. I began thinking about this.

 

I started with Grande Absente in the form of a shot not too long ago, so I think I've made some good progress. I thought about my drinking habits and why I went with two sugar cubes right off. I used two or even three when louching the Grande Absente (respect the process if not the bottle I thought).

 

So I thought of my youth and back when I would drink not to taste it but to get loopy. I created a bad habit that I didn't shake, or even look at until now. So I was curious if others experienced this same process and had crossed that bridge by the time you came by absinthe.

 

 

I apologize if this is in the wrong forum subsection.

 

Soon; the Pacifique :yahoo:

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Very nice post, no matter what section you put it in! :cheers:

 

 

Even in my youth, I was an insufferable beer snob, who put taste over getting loopy.

 

 

Most of the time.

 

 

Okay, sometimes.

 

Oh, alright, usually, getting loopy was the top priority, but I'd draw the line at swill like Budweiser, Boone's Farm, Night Train, or MD 20/20.

 

 

Almost always. :twitchsmile:

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That's funny Absomphe, I drew no lines and in fact had a few ugly nights with some MD Grape Ape which I wish to forget forever.

 

When I wrote that I had noticed the talk and been trying to enjoy the taste of the absinthe instead of covering it, it was from a post you made about sugar obfuscation. Thanks for that, you opened my eyes.

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really, I must say that the Night Train has a certain fond place in my heart. Really, nothing quite goes as well along side a bad zombie movie with friends but the passing of a bottle o the train. It's horrible swill, but in a nice way. Now the others on your list I wont touch*.

 

and to miss quote Fear of a Black Hat, "When you take that train, you get there."

 

 

* Well, there was the nice we made T'Redtinis. Thunderbird and Banana Red MD2020 mixed and served in martini glasses. But all involved agree that was a bad thing that needed to happen only once.

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Thanks to some folks in my distant past (and their poor choices), I learned the folly of drinking for intoxication. It is much more pleasant drinking for the taste and the mood. It has been a delight to learn about the different spirits, their origins, that sort of thing. Besides, I don't have enough disposable cash to be knocking anything back in a hurry! :cheers:

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So I thought of my youth and back when I would drink not to taste it but to get loopy.

People grow. People can change. Ideas, tastes and desires all change. Have fun and just enjoy. Cheers!

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Funny, while at drag races recently my youngest daughter told me she was a beer snob because of me. This came about when I decided it would be nice to have a beer with my lunch at the track. She wouldn't have any of it, but I opted for a Yuengling as only viable option. All sort of went well except for the fact that I was suffering from CRS and forgot that I had taken a couple of percocets after the drive up. When I was younger it would have been a different matter, but now it's something I don't plan on repeating. :drunk:

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People grow. People can change. Ideas, tastes and desires all change. Have fun and just enjoy. Cheers!

 

I agree, and thankfully.

 

I was just a bit shocked at myself for having such outdated habits. I mean I'm not hammering them back. Those days ended long ago with the majority of my drinking. Other than tasting the mead my wife and I brew, I don't drink very often at all. It wasn't a conscious choice I just got tired of getting sick :blush: because I didn't drink often, when I tried to keep up it was always bad news. Ten + years in between and then I start brewing mead. I hadn't thought of the days when I would drink to fit in. Then making that glass of La Clandestine I realized I was still leaning to sweeten the taste and cover the alcohol. It has been a conscious undoing of old habits. I'm sure if I hadn't just quit I would have matured in my drinking, but I was trying to be/do something I'm not.

 

Now I'm enjoying this drink for it's taste, and honestly it's the first I've truly liked for the taste (other than mead). I am having fun learning the history and how to appreciate the separate tastes of the herbs within and I'm enjoying the company here. Like I said, the LC came to me by way of a WS member. :cheers: everyone.

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This topic is sub-titled "Why do we drink if not to taste it?"

 

Clearly you loved the louche and the taste. Many people also love the aromas, and I enjoy sharing jars of various plants when I talk with bar staff, consumers and anyone else who's interested. I believe it was LDF who first described La Clandestine as being as fresh and as fragrant as an Alpine meadow, so you might want to close your eyes and try to imagine that.

 

Smelling is an important part of tasting, so you're doing that already to a certain extent of course. But concentrating on that element may broaden your appreciation still further.

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:laf: OMG_Bill

 

Alan, that was actually what I first noticed with my first bottle of real absinthe. The smell filled the room as it louched and I was a fan. I keep smelling as they louche but with only two examples (and the GA) to draw from I have a lot of learning to do still.... pity me I have to learn by experience :biggrin:

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Right on OMG_Bill :thumbup: it's never too late to make yourself happy.

 

Gruene Fee :laugh: you did the right thing. You know, trying to enjoy with only water that LC was a nice place to start.

Nice photo comparison by the way.

Edited by TheGreenMan

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I guess I was fortunate to skip the youthful stage of drinking just to get drunk. I never really liked any alcoholic beverages until I tried absinthe. Considering the first one I tried was Le Fee, it's kind of surprising it turned out that way. ;)

Once I had really good brands, there was no looking back. When I learned to appreciate the skill and art that goes into making a great absinthe, I was able to appreciate other well-made spirits in the same way.

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I hear you Ryan, mine was short lived and over long ago, it just left me with no appreciation of the spirit of spirits.

I started with Grande Absente, it's a wonder I moved on also and didn't just call it quits. I am glad I didn't.

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That's a nice way of putting it GreenMan. I find that nowadays I'm drinking for taste and not the buzz. Being a snob is not a bad thing so long as you are not closed to new experiences, leave each to his own, so to speak. I'm such a big fan of the care that goes into small batch craft that any commercial spirit seems to have lost its soul.

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I'm such a big fan of the care that goes into small batch craft that any commercial spirit seems to have lost its soul.

 

I am becoming that way as well. I've tried the Leopold Bros. and loved it. I'm up for trying Delaware Phoenix next. Though a sample of La Clandestine found its way to me and it is one I want to have as well. I try the sample of Pacifique next and I'm very excited about that. Especially when it comes to the makers of these fine spirits being on this message board, this is appreciating the spirit of the spirits.

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I'm joining in late, but I agree with you greenman...

 

I've always looked at alcohol like a stepping stone. I am one way, and I use it to become another. It was never something I enjoyed drinking. It was never as yummy as chocolate milk or soda, but I liked the after effects. So, I drank as quick as possible. It wasn't about picking up all the flavors and taking my senses on an adventure. It was all about getting as fucked up as possible as quick as possible... Now, its more about finding the right taste in each area and doing it slowly. I enjoy taking my time. Its not a race. I don't get a medal at the end. My reward is finding something I can truely enjoy. Getting drunk is just the cherry on top.

 

I was starting to become that way with my vodka and whiskey. Taking my time to find just the right one. Absinthe took everything to a different level. It's an obsession. Wanting to discover every single flavor my taste buds can pick up on. Being able to notice the difference from one herb to the other. Since Absinthe, I am a lot more curious about everything and wanting to rediscover what it does for me. I find it intoxicating and animalistic. Primal. Something exotic and personal. Every single touch, taste, smell, hear... Its all about the ride.

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I used to put away Badweasel in dangerously large quantities. I was not there for the taste. I got a book on homebrewing because it seemed interesting. My first batch of beer was nothing special in retrospect, but it blew that damn Budweiser out of the water. Then when I had a good idea where the different taste components came from, I got all curious and started to explore a wide variety of taste experiences. Without getting too far into it, I ended up basically drinking commercial versions of my better batches, and now I wouldn't say I am a beer snob but if it ain't Irish stout I'm not that interested. Unless it's summer and you got some peche or Kriekbier.....

 

Now I consider myself too old to waste time with pisswater beer or any other substandard libation, unless of course it's given to me by my host in the spirit of hospitality. Hey, we all have to eat that sheep's eyeball sometimes.

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Now I consider myself too old to waste time with pisswater beer or any other substandard libation, unless of course it's given to me by my host in the spirit of hospitality. Hey, we all have to eat that sheep's eyeball sometimes.

 

I used to work with Saudis and if you're offered something, you eat or drink it. That sheep's eyeball comment really hit home. Mine was goat, not eyeball, but facemeat :fork:

 

At least your young drinking lead you to find your appreciation.

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In the military I used to drink way too much, being drunk was a life style in the shop I worked in. If you hadn't lost rank due to alcohol you weren't respected :twitchsmile:

Once I left the military as fate would have it I grabbed a bottle of Absinthe one day on a whim. I remembered having drank some with the French aircrew I worked with years before. Absinthe then became a small obsession of mine and as luck would have it there's an awesome example made in my home state! And partly due to cost but also due to growing up I have simply slowed down, I do not have any desire to relive my military days as far as alcohol goes. I find it FAR better to just pour a glass or two and sip on it wile listening to music...

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Glad to see you getting into this in the right way Ryan, you seem like a sincere and good guy!

At 51, I've seen a bit of reinvention in my life, and am no longer surprised by evolution. I in fact depend on it!

 

Speaking of such things, don't be surprised as you grow and sample more, that the two sugars dwindles to 1, and with some brands, none at all. Your appreciation of all the elements will grow, evolve, and change over time. I sugared everything for a while, and now, really love about half of the absinthe I drink without it...the other half still needs it...things change, thank God.

 

Reinvention. The original eraser.

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Thanks Scott, I appreciate it. I can only echo your sentiments on reinvention, although I think I've got it right this time. I'm happy with me. No more reinvention, now on to refinement. The previous statement in no way is meant to indicate I will ever be considered "refined".

 

I had given up all together on most alcohol really. I'd have a beer every now and then, maybe a cider. I brew mead but don't drink a lot of it. Then I found an interest in absinthe, found this forum and learned the ritual and set about appreciating the drink in it's own right.

 

It's happened just as you said also Scott, as I've tried more brands I've dropped the sugar cubes. I'm in the middle of a bottle of La Clandestine and there is no way I would want to put sugar in that. The end of my bottle of Leopold's was enjoyed without sugar also, and enjoyed well :cheers:

 

Dillon: I'm with you, a glass or two and some music is much better :cheers:

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don't be surprised as you grow and sample more, that the two sugars dwindles to 1, and with some brands, none at all.

Or, not.

Not to reengage the Sugar Wars but it's all about personal preference not experience or growth. I would say the numbers are pretty even on whether to sugar or not. Some of the world's top absinthe experts use sugar and some do not. Some distillers purposefully make their absinthe with the interplay of sugar in mind (not referring to myself although I do prefer sugar). I'm sure you didn't mean to suggest it, sbmac but I wouldn't want to create the illusion that using sugar is for the inexperienced.

 

It's all about personal preference and nothing more.

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