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About the base: the L'Ancienne is made using a wine base, custom distilled by us from a blend of red and white wines from Italy.

Quality grappa and pisco makers are lucky you make absinthe with it. And so are we. :)

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Glowing review added. ;)

 

 

I'm glad you like the 2011 more than the 2010, while the recipe is the same there are some small differences between the two. With the 2010 I was mostly focused on the "aged" flavors, while with the 2011 I also decided to address some other aspects (wormwood more upfront, creamier mouthfeel, etc).

Miguel, I'm actually not crazy about grappa as a base for absinthe, I tried it years ago (the area around my birthplace in Italy has a long tradition of HG grappa distilling so it's easily available) but found it too harsh and overpowering. Marc, on the other hand, is a different story, but still not what I wanted for my L'Ancienne, that's why we made our own base from wine.

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Impressive detail. And one that can be tastefully enjoyed. It did remind me a little of my blended grape Biondi pisco, but I found the notes in your absinthe to be 'nicer'. Regretfully I lack Brian's ability to describe flavors.

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I'm answering here the questions from the other thread:

The choice of oak barrel instead of steel vats for the L'Ancienne resting is because of the flavor and mellowing that you get from the oak. Barrel resting/aging is an extra cost for the distiller, not just forthe barrel itself and the barrel preparation, but also because a certain part of the distillate is gonna be absorbed by the wood and evaporate (angel's share), so it would not make any sense to choose barrel over steel vats if it weren't for the flavor.

My choice of barrel aging was also motivated by my idea of having a bold wine base flavor along with some oaky notes, in the style of absinthes like Edouard. As I mentioned I think somewhere else the idea behind L'Ancienne is to create something that mimics in general per-ban absinthes, so I tried to obtain characteristics of different vintage brands.

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One unique thing I noticed when I first opened the bottle,was that it smelled just like a freshly opened pouch of really good pipe tobacco.It wasn't there again,just when I first opened it.So different & unexpected.I wonder if anyone else noticed it too.I saw no mention of it in the reviews or posts.

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We smelled Christmas like spices. The luxurious louche and mouthfeel reminded us of a top notch eggnog. Definitely an absinthe like no other.

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Tobacco booze.......has an interesting wierdness to it. <shrug>

 

Just like tobacco beer.

 

Really tasty, and not nearly as weird as your spelling. :tongue: :cheers:

Edited by Absomphe

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One unique thing I noticed when I first opened the bottle,was that it smelled just like a freshly opened pouch of really good pipe tobacco.It wasn't there again,just when I first opened it.So different & unexpected.I wonder if anyone else noticed it too.I saw no mention of it in the reviews or posts.

 

 

I can guarantee there's no tobacco in it ;)

I don't know about pipes, but I know with cigars the flavors are usually described using words like: leather, coffee, toffee, dried fruits, raisins, etc etc. Which is also very similar to the vocabulary used to describe really old spirits (including vintage absinthe). As a matter of fact I clearly remember some notes (particularly in the aroma) in vintage absinthes that made me think about good cigars. So I would say it's not that much of a stretch to associate old spirit aromas to tobacco, what is weird is that you say it disappeared the next day... Maybe you just got some kind of quick tolerance to the old aromas and started perceiving it as something different? Just a guess.

 

Also the amount of flavors and smells that every person has experienced (and that are in the olfactory memory) is different, so if it's normal that people try to associate what they perceive to something they know, it's also normal people will associate flavors and smells to many different things.

 

What I really don't understand though is how some people can find L'Ancienne too floral and perfumey. With L'Italienne I had nothing to argue, it's a very floral absinthe, it contains 4 different kind of flowers, if you don't like it because it's too floral I can understand. L'Ancienne on the other hand contains the six classical herbs (wormwood, green anise, Florence fennel, Moldavian Melissa, hyssop, pontica) with only one secret ingredient (and this herb is in leaf form, has no flowers and doesn't taste flowery). The only flowers in L'Ancienne are hyssop's and melissa's... I guess I'll never know.

Edited by Conte d'Ugenta

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Well, that's certainly a pretty picture.

 

I don't smoke but I enjoy the aroma of pipes and cigars. I wouldn't know good from bad though.

 

Thanks for the link. :)

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I had a taste of it when I was in London, met Ted Breaux at the Whisky Exchange during an absinthe tasting and they also let us try some Perique. It was good.. I do smoke a small cigar on occasion and I imagine those who love cigars might love this liqueur. I didn't buy a bottle for my husband, however, because it was a bit sweet. Maybe smoking a cigar WITH tobacco liqueur is too much, but drinking it might be a good substitute for smoking.

Edited by crow

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Stefano, thanks for following up.

My experience with absinthe is only about 6 months and around 20 brands. I continue to be amazed at the variety of flavors. For me it is not so much of a favorite beverage as an exploration. Every new bottle brings the same kind of excitement as landing in a new city for the first time.

I have become reconciled to the idea that I will never get to sample a pre-ban and so I'm continually more interested in recreations. It must take a lot of confidence and courage to apply that label to ones product.

I won't be a pest, but my fascination extends to the details of production, the herb bill, and processes, so thanks for your candor. I've read Duplai, DeBrevins, and Fritsch a dozen times. Copper alembics hang on my walls.

It would seem that all absinthes would benefit from some time on oak, but of course there are always compromises. Now I'm wondering if you char the barrels, and whether you plan to recycle them or use new ones for each batch. On a related note, one of our local winemakers aged an entire year's production in new recycled whiskey barrels that apparently didn't get rinsed out well enough and learned that whiskey doesn't blend well with pinot noir.

I'm off to absinthes.com for my first L'Ancienne. That 5 minute louche is thick enough to stand up without the glass.

Slainte

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I had a taste of it when I was in London, met Ted Breaux at the Whisky Exchange during an absinthe tasting and they also let us try some Perique. It was good.. I do smoke a small cigar on occasion and I imagine those who love cigars might love this liqueur. I didn't buy a bottle for my husband, however, because it was a bit sweet. Maybe smoking a cigar WITH tobacco liqueur is too much, but drinking it might be a good substitute for smoking.

I don't smoke, but I love that Perique .... yum! :arrr:

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I had a taste of it when I was in London, met Ted Breaux at the Whisky Exchange during an absinthe tasting and they also let us try some Perique. It was good.. I do smoke a small cigar on occasion and I imagine those who love cigars might love this liqueur. I didn't buy a bottle for my husband, however, because it was a bit sweet. Maybe smoking a cigar WITH tobacco liqueur is too much, but drinking it might be a good substitute for smoking.

I don't smoke, but I love that Perique .... yum! :arrr:

 

 

I'm all for tobacco liqueur, but that stuff can be dangerous. It is very easy to OD from nicotine, especially for a non-smoker. I know I'm the one asshat that has to mention that, but yeah, I had to do it.

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I don't think Ted would make something outright dangerous, nor do I think the French government would let him. I would think the alcohol in Perique would be its biggest hazard. But yeah, nicotine is a nasty poison.

Edited by Miguel

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I'm all for tobacco liqueur, but that stuff can be dangerous. It is very easy to OD from nicotine, especially for a non-smoker. I know I'm the one asshat that has to mention that, but yeah, I had to do it.

That's the problem with tobacco bitters, infusions, etc.

 

Distilling has this nice ability to separate compounds. I'm sure there's still nicotine in the stuff but not nearly as much as you would think. See what Ted has to say about health issues in this interview.

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Stefano, thanks for following up.

My experience with absinthe is only about 6 months and around 20 brands. I continue to be amazed at the variety of flavors. For me it is not so much of a favorite beverage as an exploration. Every new bottle brings the same kind of excitement as landing in a new city for the first time.

I have become reconciled to the idea that I will never get to sample a pre-ban and so I'm continually more interested in recreations. It must take a lot of confidence and courage to apply that label to ones product.

I won't be a pest, but my fascination extends to the details of production, the herb bill, and processes, so thanks for your candor. I've read Duplai, DeBrevins, and Fritsch a dozen times. Copper alembics hang on my walls.

It would seem that all absinthes would benefit from some time on oak, but of course there are always compromises. Now I'm wondering if you char the barrels, and whether you plan to recycle them or use new ones for each batch. On a related note, one of our local winemakers aged an entire year's production in new recycled whiskey barrels that apparently didn't get rinsed out well enough and learned that whiskey doesn't blend well with pinot noir.

I'm off to absinthes.com for my first L'Ancienne. That 5 minute louche is thick enough to stand up without the glass.

Slainte

 

 

No charring, and so far I'm reusing the same barrel for every batch.

It's a pleasure to see new guys who are so passionate!

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A whiskey I like is aged in barrels that were used to age Sherry. And before the Sherry, they were bourbon barrels.

 

But such a thing would be bad for absinthe, and its more delicate flavors, me thinks.

 

To me that base still tickles my fancy. How rectified is it? It does remind me of good Pisco, which by law is just a single batch distillation.

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I can't understand why everybody isn't obsessed with absinthe. It tastes great, makes you feel good, has a fascinating history, artists, writers, rituals, medicines, yadda, yadda, and it's even organic! Hell, it'll probably solve global warming if we give it a chance.

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I'm afraid I couldn't properly talk about how the base is rectified without basically explaining what is the proprietary protocol I'm using to distill L'Ancienne... I'm sorry I can't answer to this question. What I can say its that we try to not rectify the base too much because I want the absinthe to have a strong wine base note, with all the fruitiness, vanilla, and everything else that goes along.

I don't really have much experience with Pisco, but I tasted Leopold last year at Maison Premiere and I liked it!

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