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... Nothing good comes from stirring the pot.

 

... My main concern in posting my comments was that it might come across as some kind of malicious pot-stirring,...

 

... Not the pot-stirring type.

 

I know we're talking this:

 

Stir the pot

 

Someone who loves to proliferate the tension and drama between 2 or more feuding people/groups in public to get a raise of people in hopes of starting a shitstorm of drama and uncomfortable conflict, sometimes for personal gain but oftentimes just for the thrill of confrontation.

 

Mike is always spreading rumors about "whats goin' on" between Josh and Emily but we know he just loves to stir the pot.

 

But considering the general nature of this forum, I would say there are several here that when they "stir the pot" the outcome is positive indeed. :twitchsmile:

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My main concern in posting my comments was that it might come across as some kind of malicious pot-stirring,
Not at all. You were aware enough in your wording that it came across as a genuine feeling as opposed to pot-stirring. It seemed well thought out to me.

 

but ultimately I felt it was better to give my impressions for the sake of the site. Given your response and that of others below, I think it was worth it.
Absolutely.

 

I don't recall having read any reviews or comments on WS indicating that someone disliked a popular CO so much that they chose to sink it,
It's one of the downsides of using a review system amongst friends, including producers. Some people are hesitant to write a review if their views differ from the current posted reviews. Especially if they are skewed more towards the negative side of things. And even more especially if the producer is viewed as a friend, or at least as a member. I'm not saying I see it all the time, but it can certainly keep some people from posting their opinions in fear of being skewered by those who would act more defensively.

 

I think we're all grown ups here though. While there are certainly some people in the absinthe community who are known to hold grudges, most are fairly level headed individuals who don't mind a dissenting opinion as long as it's backed up.

 

 

Then again, it could well be that a particular herb just doesn't agree with your palate.

 

In any case, hurt feelings shouldn't be an issue when it comes to a taster expressing his or her honest opinion of a beverage, and if they do, the injured party needs to grow a thicker hide.

 

Agreed on both counts. And I don't believe Stefano is one to be easily offended by people voicing their legitimate concerns or opinions.

 

If you could, it would be great to see your review in the formal review system, so the average score accurately reflects the different experiences people may have if they try this absinthe.
Yes please.

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I opened the bottle and took a whiff, and the first (very overwhelming) impression was "nail polish remover".

 

I decided to uncork my bottle, and sniff the contents again, just to see if I could sniff the aroma from an open-minded perspective, in order to try to understand where you were coming from.

 

I did, and, lo and behold, I actually can see where you got that impression. :shock:

 

I'm not sure I'd call it overwhelming, but there is definitely more than hint of what could be interpreted as a scent somewhat tangential to nail polish remover. I guess I have one of those lucky set of olfactories that finds this underpinning extremely appealing. :laugh:

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okay, I now have a glass containing a generous helping in front of me, and the astringent note is present but not to my nose in the ballpark of acetone or whatever. I do get a very sharp, almost citrusy thing though....like the inside of the peel of an unripe grapefruit. Is this what you were referring to, Miguel?

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okay, at about half dilution the sharp note is plenty prominent as the whole aroma opens up. Not so "citrusy" anymore, just something more astringent.

Not so much at full dilution, in this case probably 3.5-4 to 1. Flavor-wise, it definitely decreases its prominence and joins the other flavors in a much more harmonious way, and with time (in this case 45-55 minutes) is present yet not what I'd call prominent.

 

don't know if this is in any way useful to anyone but I felt the need to contribute to this important ongoing research. :cheers:

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Oh, I was honest about my experience. Got some thumbs down for it. I realized it was well made, traditional absinthe but one herb had a flavor/aroma that made me gag. I didn't kill it in the review, but I did note my distaste. And I mentioned on the forum that I sinked the first glass (donated by a man with a LOT of patience and wisdom). With sugar I kind of liked it, probably because the sugar masked the offending herb.

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I also have found that more water really brings things together for this absinthe. For me, 5:1 with 1 sugar

is the magic, where the elements all come together in a great balance. If you're at a lower dilution, you may not be experiencing this at its best. You might be quite surprised at how different it is this way. Has anyone else gone to 5:1 and tried a sugar cube? Thoughts, if yes?

Edited by Scott M.

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5:1, yes.

 

Sugar cube, never gonna happen.

 

And, yes, it definitely opens fully, and softens nicely at that dilution.

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If I have to use sugar, I use it to cook with, and I don't buy again. Agreed L'As like water. L'Anc is pretty to look at with backlight as you water even at the end. L'Arty can be used by USN to hide submarines. And I love it. :)

Eric must use the force to extract anethole in navegable amounts during the entire run, wether in NY or Pontarlier.

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5:1, yes.

 

Sugar cube, never gonna happen.

Same here. I'm trying to break an old habit of mixing my drink too hot.Thanks to a post from Scott about a month ago,now I'm starting to use more water.I'm finding many brands much more enjoyable this way.I still like some at a lower dilution though.

Edited by redwun

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Dilution is one way to enjoy different things as is temperature of the drink.

 

I find different layers of things as the drink makes it to room temp. It's just a personal thing.

 

:cheers:

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I was under-watering quite a bit myself, until someone here, FPB I believe, made a comment about how he thought I enjoyed absinthe a bit hot, based on my reviews and perspective. He was right, and I started exploring dilutions with certain absinthes that were much higher than I ever thought I would enjoy. Frankly, it changed everything for me; some absinthes that I love would not be on my shelf today without that advice/awareness.

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Most of my prefered absinthes like water, or can handle it well. There are only a few thar are picky about dilution ratio, and that I like quite a bit.

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A couple years ago I found myself in possession of an HG that was at its best at a significantly higher dilution than I was accustomed to. It was a strange adjustment. Shortly thereafter Ridge was made available to the public and had a very similar quality, although Ridge is good at several different dilutions whereas the HG in question definitely had a sweet spot at a certain point.

 

I have had L'Ancienne at 5:1 and even greater dilutions (that's what happens when you leave the room while the drink is still under the fountain and forget), and while it definitely stands up well, I prefer it around 4:1.

 

avec sucre? forget it. shoogy just makes the whole drink cloying and gross to me. Can't hang. The humor of that is that 2 of my favorite brands are made by guys who like to stack them sugar cubes on the spoon.

Edited by buddhasynth

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If youll recall my comments earlier in this thread, I noted an "off flavour" when I first opened my bottle.

 

It went away, or rather softened, into something extraordinary. Now I have to be careful not to drink it too fast.

 

And fyi, I prefer it 5:1 with a half cube of sugar. I prefer to sugar all my absinthe, and after trying oh so hard to prefer it without sugar, I realized why struggle? I like a bit of sugar...

 

Anyway thanks for your comments Jay, it makes me feel less crazy for saying what I did when I cracked the bottle.

 

:cheers:

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There have been many different bottles over the years which had strange and even "off" aromas coming from the bottle after opening and bottle aging a bit. One in particular was a bottle of MoL.

 

Half full, I thought it went bad on me. I louched up a glass and it was fine. That smell also dissipated from the bottle later. I wonder if things take place within the bottles during the oxydation it undergoes as more and more oxygen is allowed into the bottle as it gets empty which lead to that off smell.

 

Point is, those drinks tasted better than they smelled at times.

 

Could always be my olfactory sense.

Edited by greytail

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I remember hearing it was before the end of this year, but I'm not positive.

 

edit: Yeah, my current bottle is 2011 vintage, so there will very likely be a release within the next few months.

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L'Ancienne will be avaliable to buy in early to mid 2013. Not before the end of the year. Stefano is currently in Europe working on the 2012 batch which he ages before bottling and shipping to the distributer.

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L'Ancienne will be avaliable to buy in early to mid 2013. Not before the end of the year. Stefano is currently in Europe working on the 2012 batch which he ages before bottling and shipping to the distributer.

 

 

fantastic, thanks for the info.

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Hey guys,

I've not been on the forum much lately, but I wanted to give some updates:

 

As mentioned above I was in Europe during the summer and went to Czech Rep. to distill the L'Ancienne année 2012. For those of you who don't read on FB, this year's distillation was one of the hardest I ever had to deal with. Delays with some of the herb suppliers, technical problems with the alambic popping up two weeks before the set date and fixed just in time, the whole Czech alcohol prohibition craziness, and more. Well I think that the old saying "whatever doesn't kill you..." can without doubt be applied to this case, because after overcoming all the problems and unexpected issues, this 2012 année surpassed in my opinion all the previous ones.

 

It's still a little too early to be 100% sure, but I tasted it yesterday from my sample and I was satisfied with the result. Which if you know me is the best I can say about my work; I don't like to spend a lot of big words on my own products, not my style.

If the 2010 année was showing intense aged flavors, with WW more in the background, and the 2011 année was the opposite, with WW more upfront and aged flavors a little more in the background, so far seems like this 2012 année is showing both aged flavors and Pontarlier WW upfront. There's a chance the balance will slightly change in the next two months but more likely it won't.

 

I also wanna spend a couple of words on the aging/resting topic. I don't like to sell under-rested absinthe, which means I don't wanna sell absinthe that will change the flavor profile significantly after the sale. From my experience most verte absinthes undergo some big changes during the first two months of resting, mostly with the coloration flavors going in the background and leaving space to the holy trinity and the secondary distillation herbs. Between two and six months some more changes can happen, and the most notable is the increase in intensity of the WW profile, in particular of its Pontarlier WW. After six months the balance is quite stable and the additional aging will only add to the smoothness and the blending of flavors.

With L'Italienne, for instance, I was resting the absinthe for six months before the sale, as some changes were still happening around the 5 months mark. With L'Ancienne, on the other hand, I noticed that the absinthe is stable after 4 months, and the additional aging only adds to the smoothness and blending but the flavors don't change. This was observed with several prototypes and both the 2010 and 2011 année. Nonetheless I always keep tasting the absinthe from a sample I take after the distillation to monitor the development of the flavors profile, and while I can predict the absinthe will be ready at the 4 months mark, I will still check it in person before giving Martin the green light to start the distribution. In the unlikely case I would not find in my glass the characteristics I expect from a fully rested absinthe I will delay the distribution until I'm satisfied with the result.

This is to say I will not start shipping L'Ancienne until I'm 100% sure it's ready, also because I don't make it following the demand but once a year at a set date at the end of the summer. Starting the distribution in February or in May doesn't change a thing for me. I still won't have any new absinthe to sell until the following year.

 

Then of course everyone is entitled to his own opinion, which I totally respect. I can say, in the case of fingerpicking for example, that the L'Ancienne 2011 didn't have any excessive oaky note or weak anise when I tasted it before telling Martin to start the distribution. Maybe we have a different palate, or maybe the bottles just needed to recover from shipping shock (which was a problem with more than one customer). What I want you to know is that I don't have any reason to rush the distribution of such a niche product.

 

Bottom line anyway is the 2012 année should start shipping in February 2013, but I won't know for sure until I taste it around January and see if its ready.

 

I also published some pics on the Ancienne FB page, you can see them here

 

Edited by Conte d'Ugenta

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This is good news for me...I was starting to worry about how I was going to afford a bottle or two if they came out next month. Now I have a little extra time to save. :groupwave reversed:

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Then of course everyone is entitled to his own opinion, which I totally respect. I can say, in the case of fingerpicking for example, that the L'Ancienne 2011 didn't have any excessive oaky note or weak anise when I tasted it before telling Martin to start the distribution. Maybe we have a different palate, or maybe the bottles just needed to recover from shipping shock (which was a problem with more than one customer). What I want you to know is that I don't have any reason to rush the distribution of such a niche product.

 

And I love the way you respect opinion, Stefano. Back when I was playing music regularly, and trying to establish myself in the Connecticut folk scene, I regularly would get the glowing appraisals from the open-mic regulars who traveled in my crowd. But it was the couple of guys that dared offer kind and constructive critique that help push my performing to better levels. While I was always appreciative of those who blew sunshine up my ass, I will always be indebted to those who helped me clear the clouds. You've never been anything less than a gentleman in the back-and-forth, in my opinion.

 

So I'm making this post for a couple of reasons; 1. I think both comments regarding my appraisal of "excessive oaky note" and "weak anise" were both comments made by me in a private email to Stefano, so they may not be understood by those following this thread. 2. I'm tasting a glass of the 2011 as I write this (my first since July), and it's continuing to shape up for the better. Actually, much better.

 

With regard to #1:

 

My biggest problem with this in the early going was that I felt the entire character of this absinthe was being walked all over by a very strong sense of wood (whether from oak treatment or the confluence of oak and botanical content), and some very dominating phenolic (and other volatile smelling) aromas. Combined with the heavy sense of lumber, it almost reminded me of old-fashioned furniture polish (I believe someone else likened it to nail polish remover). With regard to the anise level, I never thought it was weak (the louche attests to that). I just thought it was obscured, as were many other things by the aforementioned aromatic characteristics. My actual comment in that email was "Only on my last tasting (4/12/12) was I finally able to clearly see the anise." My first tasting of this was just before Christmas 2011.

 

With regard to #2:

 

I'm actually enjoying this glass very much. I don't want to get into a complete review right now, but I'm impressed by how many things have come into better balance since my last written evaluation of 7/15/12. The aromatics mentioned in the prior section have eased to the background, and not only do I continue to clearly see the anise and fennel, but the hyssop is showing nicely now. I was never able to see that clearly before. This may sound strange, but even the color seems to be shaped up and more refined. The bottom line is that this is the first glass I've had where for me the experience is soothing and really absinthe-like. Most of the tastes I did prior to the mentioned April tasting, I had to kind of "tough" my way through each glass. However, I always thought the best percentage bet was that this would shape up, given enough time. But there was a time that I didn't think I'd be interested in the 2012. Now I think I'll be a player. These impressions are of a glass from a bottle opened December 2011 which is still about 1/3 full. I will open the next before this is gone because I'm curious to know what of these changes may be due to age, and what of them may be due to oxygen.

 

I guess my point here is that, at least in my perceptions, this absinthe has continued to undergo significant changes in integration and balances up to even this date. With about one third of the bottle left, that means I have tasted this about 12 times (I believe I gave 4oz to another member and I usually use just about exactly a 1 ounce dose), with probably half of those being in the first two months (December, 2011 thru February, 2012). Of those tastings, I have written evaluations for 12/24/11, 3/20/12, 4/12/12, 6/09/12, and 7/15/12. The reason I didn't do more in those first 90 days is that every time I sat down with it, it impressed me as being reasonably the same as the 12/24 evaluation. The first real settling down I observed was on the 3/20 evaluation, and the first time I could “clearly see the anise” was in the 4/12 evaluation, which was almost 8 months post-distillation. The changes I mention regarding today's tasting, compared to the 7/15 tasting, are not subtle. I'm telling you, it really raised my eyebrows. So I suppose that because I'm curious and I have an academic approach to absinthe, as well as a sensualist interest, that this education is worth it. However knowing what I know now, if I were the guy who had only one bottle and it was gone, I would regret having burned it all (figuratively, of course) before it really hit its stride. So I think the decision to push the release back to February is probably a good one, and frankly, IMO, something more like the 8 to 10 month range wouldn't be too much.

 

Regarding pre-release tasting of any beverage product by a distiller, I'm certain many have a good ability to be quite objective when evaluating their own product, but they are never a completely disinterested party. Just the knowledge of what's in there, and the resulting expectations for the outcome must effect perceptions to some degree. Every painter I've ever talked to about their work has admitted to me that the intended painting is in their head, and that some percentage of it makes it on to the canvas.

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It all boils down to this. Different strokes for different folks. I would not care if I was the ONLY one on the planet who like L'ancienne for what it is. I don't now and hope to never like something based on public opinion. I did not get into absinthe because it was trendy.

 

As both an artist and a artisinal saurkraut maker, I can say that I make a product that I like then I offer it to others for their enjoyment.

 

 

It is good and I can't wait for the next batch. Save at least 2 bottles for me.

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