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Alan Moss

The Absinthe Masters

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The results:

 

Coloured, non-Amer

Master: Studer

Gold: Enigma Verte

Silver: Nemesinthe/Grande Absente

 

Coloured, Amer

Master: La Fee XS Francaise

 

Non-coloured, non-Amer

Gold: Enigma Blanche

Silver: Maison Fontaine

 

Non-coloured, Amer

Gold: La Fée XS Suisse

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What I don't understand is how there can be such a shortage of good judges, of even judges who know anything about absinthe. How can this happen? I assume at dedicated absinthe events like absinthiades, it is not the case, but it seems like producers are pretty much forced to judge, just to have people who know something up there...is this the case at most events of this nature?

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Scott, this program had nothing to do with a lack of good judges, and everything to do with just another awards program that's designed to make money from entry fees and gives awards to anything that enters. The fact that they consulted many absinthe experts, then completely ignored everyone's recommendations shows that.

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What were the LOSING absinthes. Knowing this would speak volumes about this event.

I am not aware of there being any other entrants. I discussed this with Ted & Oxy before the closing date for entries and we all agreed not to enter our own absinthes.

 

The fact that they consulted many absinthe experts, then completely ignored everyone's recommendations shows that.

They didn't ignore EVERYONE'S recommendations. Just the recommendations of Ted & Oxy (which I told the magazine I endorsed 100%). They did, it appears, follow the recommendations of a UK-based "absinthe" business, whose products probably outsell those of Ted & Oxy combined in the UK by at least 10 to 1!

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There has been discussion of awards before but the new Absinthe Masters seems to be capable of winning a prize or two of its own. I know that some of the world's leading authorities were consulted on the classifications to be used in judging the absinthes. However their advice was ignored, and the classifications are now:-

 

Coloured spirit

Cloloured amer

Non-coloured spirit

Non-coloured amer

 

The first of these would therefore lump Hill's, Hapsburg, La Fée, Pernod, Absente etc in with all of your favourite vertes. Much like putting Indian unaged molasses-based whiskey and Macallan 25 year old together.

 

Splitting absinthes on the basis of spirits v. amers (based on thujone content) is ridiculous and is playing into the hands of the thujone camp.

 

I think it probable that many French and Swiss distillers will not enter products into such an event. I am assuming American distillers would not enter this in any case, but wanted to bring it to everyone's attention.

The Return of the Absinthe Masters: here. Same categories as before.

 

In 2011, almost none of the more respectable absinthes entered this charade.

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The complaints have been heard. New entry form here.

 

There will be 4 categories: Verte distilled, verte oil mix (or "with essences"), blanche distilled, blanche oil mix (or "with essences").

 

Thanks, especially, to Ian Hutton for pushing the organisers on this.

 

I guess there is an opportunity for someone to develop an oil mix blanche, since I cannot see there being much competition in that sector. It will be interesting to see if anyone is brazen enough to enter either oil mix category, or indeed if anyone enters an oil mix and calls it distilled.

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The result of this years competition can be read here (on pages 30 - 34):

http://content.yudu.com/Library/A1vfpm/The...htm?referrerUrl

 

 

I don't know anything about Studer for example. Never heard of it before. But I was somewhat confused to find Doubs Mystique Carte d'or winning only a silver medal (actually bronze if placed in the right order). The only absinthe of the ones awarded I've tried (so far) is the Swedish Valkyria, and I must say that I'm really happy to see Valkyria also awarded with the silver medal, just the same as Doubs Mystique. But is it fair?

 

I'd like to hear what thoughts and opinions you might have on this latest Absinthe Masters (2012)?

 

One thing that caught my attention though was that it's stated that (only?) just over a dozen products was present in the competition? And that must be both distilled as well as mixed & macerated I guess?

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Alan, I see tall American mountains in your future. People there actually appreciate your products there (and hoard them from their spouses, if some threads are to be believed ;) ).

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Studer can't spell absinthe correctly on their own site (which WS won't let me link to) so it's not promising.

 

Die Grune Fee is fake (Essences added, and not distilled). La Fee is fake, there I said it.

 

So the only real Absinthes are getting Silvers. Looks fixed to me.

 

Yet another award to not care about because it means nothing. Maybe someday awards will be run with real entrance criteria. Someday as in June.

 

Previously this competition made a mockery of absinthe by letting in fake absinthe that they still, obviously, give masters awards to. Just peruse this thread and you'll see why not many producers care to enter this competition.

 

If this was their first year I'd cut them some slack or something, but it's not. These awards mean nothing.

Edited by Evan Camomile

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Strange thing (and unforgivable too) to have badsinthes rewarded master and gold medals before real absinthes winning silver. Especially since they themselves quote one Clayton Hartley in the article:

"The Czechsinthes did a lot of damage - people associated absinthe with industrial, harsh and high alcohol spirits. The second wave of the revival attracted much better products, which focused rather on getting back to the origin of what absinthe really is, how it was originally made, and how to get the best out of the traditional ingredients originally used to make it."

[...]

"Real absinthes are very, very complex - they are intriguing, rather than being fiercely alcoholic"

So it seems that you can't blame them for lack of knowledge and total ignorance. And still they reward fakes higher than the real thing? And even in a category called "Verte distilled"?

 

 

Edit:

Die Grune Fee is fake (Essences added, and not distilled). La Fee is fake, there I said it.

About Die Grüne Fee though. It seems to be the distributors name, so I guess that the brand Absinthe Boheme is actually a real absinthe... Check this page out (http://www.absinthedistribution.ch/web/en/) and Boheme is the one on the far left. There's also an ad on page 35 (in the link to the magazine (as in my previous post)).

 

And then I may suggest that also the La Fee XS Francaise is the real deal? unsure.gif

(Check here.)

Edited by SethP

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Maybe someday awards will be run with real entrance criteria. Someday as in June.
That's my thought, too. An early glance at the preliminary judges list is impressive. Funny, no producers were allowed on the judging panel.

 

 

a category called "Verte distilled"?
I don't think I know that category. ;)

I assume it means, verte absinthe that was distilled as opposed to oil mix?

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[...]
a category called "Verte distilled"?
I don't think I know that category. ;)

I assume it means, verte absinthe that was distilled as opposed to oil mix?

That is what I too make of it. Distilled absinthe with natural coloring.

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So the only real Absinthes are getting Silvers. Looks fixed to me.

 

In almost all judgings, 'real' absinthes get beat by those with sweeter profiles and brighter colors.

Accept it, it won't change anytime soon.

 

"The only winning move is not to play."

-The computer Joshua

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Then it would be a draw? Or it wouldn't be a contest or a game or a chance to share your skills.

 

Perhaps a simple mind game. Yeah, that's it.

 

Makes sobriety look inviting. <shrug>

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So the only real Absinthes are getting Silvers. Looks fixed to me.

 

In almost all judgings, 'real' absinthes get beat by those with sweeter profiles and brighter colors.

Accept it, it won't change anytime soon.

[...]

But, as I wrote in an edit to post no 109, it seems that there's actually only real (proper) absinthes awarded, in the class Verte Distilled at least.

 

I guess that the fact they're having a lot of images of different La Fée products on the last page maybe is some kind of a "promotional" thing though?

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So it could be... :paperbag3:

 

Personally I'd go for Doubs Mystique Carte d'or and/or La Maison Fontaine in that category. They certainly beat La Fée IMHO.

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I don't know anything about Studer for example. Never heard of it before.

 

It seems to have gotten awards (so called) since 2007or08. Yet gets scant mention. My take on that, is that it is probably not good enough to praise, or bad enough to vilify.

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