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Coralyne

California neophyte, checking in...

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OK, hopefully this isn't bad form to come back and comment in the form of a question within my original intro thread, but...

 

...I'm now several months into my absinthe-initiation, and am finding it terribly difficult to decide what to try next! I've gone through at least 5 different "okay, I'm going to get THIS one now!"s.

 

This would, of course, be a non-issue if money were no object, but seeing as I'm far from independently wealthy, deciding which bottle of $60-and-up tastiness to procure is an actual thing (as I'm sure it is for most of us...). I've read a ton of reviews, and they've been both fascinating and informative, however, the more I read, the more things I find that sound good, and that doesn't make the decision any easier!

 

But I digress. Basically I was wondering if, given the following criteria, folks might be able to help me narrow down my choices:

 

(1) Must be available in the USA, shippable to (if not buyable in) California, and obtainable without any sort of potential customs-seizure, etc.

 

(2) Preferably something with a very intense/assertive flavor profile that is nonetheless complex. (I like tastes that have "a lot going on at once" or that have definitive and interesting differences between initial flavor and finish, etc.)

 

(3) This probably goes without saying around here, but I definitely want to avoid anything with artificial coloration, and I'd prefer whole distillations to oil mixes (if that's the right terminology...).

 

(4) Must "age well" in the bottle once it's been opened, as I don't tend to drink alcoholic beverages rapidly or in large quantities.

 

I've still only tried Lucid and Ridge Verte up until now, and I do actually still like both, though I've noticed that when I go back to Lucid after tasting Ridge, it (the Lucid) seems comparatively lacking in layers (but still drinkable, at least to me...). The Ridge Verte I like a lot, but I'd definitely like to try something a bit different just to expand my sense of how absinthes can vary yet still fall within traditional criteria.

 

[i should note that to me the Ridge has a very crisp, cool, outdoorsy quality to it; is there anything that might be a good representative of, say, a "warmer" profile? I'm thinking in terms of something that one would want to drink in front of a fireplace on a midwinter day, if that makes any sense at all to anyone.]

 

Oh, and...I should also state that I'm looking at bottle purchase rather than, say, finding a bar where they might have a variety of absinthes to sample. I just don't do the bar thing at all (being a rather extreme introvert who is prone to sensory overload, etc. -- even a normal/regular suburban restaurant on a Saturday is often way too much chaos for my brain).

 

And as for other in-person options, unfortunately I don't know anyone here locally in the South Bay who I could bribe with homemade pie in exchange for them allowing me to sample from their vast absinthe collection. :P

 

So given all that...what would folks recommend, if anything? Any input would be appreciated! :)

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that might be a good representative of, say, a "warmer" profile?

 

I would look for something with a quality grape base, which I find more 'warming'. Marteau and Leopold fit that perfectly.

 

Ridge and Pacifiique are ones I grab for something cooling and refreshing.

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In no particular order (because they are all top tier), Pacifique, Marteau, DP Meadow Of Love, DP Walton Waters. All are available here. If you really want to stick to condition #1, I would say Marteau is most complex with high quality, followed by Pacifique being only slightly less complex and every bit as high quality and beautiful. Both are somewhat more elegant than assertive, IMO. If you really want assertive, try the DPs, however all these meet your conditions.

 

I usually don't respond to these type of inquiries, but your list of conditions actually makes it much easier.

 

Looks like you need to circulate a Christmas list.

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Thanks so much to folks who've replied...I think I'm a *bit* closer now to narrowing things down. :D

 

I'm now vacillating between Marteau and Leopold. Definitely planning on trying Pacifique and the DP offerings at some point, as I'm intensely curious about those. But TLM's comment has me inclined to try something grape-based next, given that I could see that being a good basis for a "wintry" absinthe and given that I've tried beet-base and grain-base already at this point.

 

All that said, I'm liking this "circulate a Christmas list" idea, especially given that I don't know if my family/friends have any knowledge beyond the fact that I like absinthe. I've heard some horror stories about well-meaning giftage that has resulted in people receiving stuff the drinking of which can only be described as "taking one for the team". :P

 

[And re. my list of conditions...yeah, I don't see the point of asking for recommendations when you haven't bothered going and doing the research yourself / reading reviews to the extent that you're able to do so. That's just lazy, and people are not mind-readers; hence the specific-ness of the conditions.]

Edited by Coralyne

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I find Leopold's to be my summer absinthe. The Pisco base lends a fruity character that works very well in the warmer months. If you are looking for something for Winter I'd go with the Marteau (or Pacifique, or Ridge Blanche, etc. etc.)

 

Do give Leopold's a try though. Or at least put it on that Christmas list.

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Go to Catskills Cellars. Order Pacifique, the two DPs, the Al Masaya, ridge Blanche, and the Marteau.

La Clandestine and Duplais Verte are also quite good.

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Go to Catskills Cellars. Order Pacifique, the two DPs, the Al Masaya, ridge Blanche, and the Marteau.

 

Hahahaha, I wish! Maybe when that long lost rich uncle appears out of nowhere and gives me the check...

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Welcome and cheers! :cheers: I love the minou in your pic! Bombay cats (black cats) are awesome! I like cats btw. Aww cher minou :)

Edited by Cajun Magic

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After pondering a bit more on the "warmer profile" criteria, I would also recommend the Jade NO for a truly unique absinthe experience. I've heard some compare it to Christmas.

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Just have to throw in one of my all time favorite bottles, but it's been a while and in looking it seems PF 1901 has become 1901 and it doesn't seem to be as available as it used to be. What's up with that? Also, a definite yes on MoL and WW that the CC site shows with the cloth bags. A very nice addition. And welcome! :cheers:

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Hey folks, thanks again for the input...as luck would have it, circumstances conspired today such that I actually ended up obtaining a bottle of Pacifique! Boyfriend and I were visiting a woodworking store in San Carlos, CA, and it occurred to me that we were only a few miles away from K&L Wines in Redwood City, so we stopped in on the way back home to see what they had in stock. I'd never been to a brick-and-mortar K&L before and was impressed at how well stocked they were. They even had vintage stuff dating back to the 1960s (not absinthe, though, mainly wine/port) out in the open, peeling labels and all. It was like a museum of alcohol. Very interesting to poke around in.

 

....but all that said, as far as their absinthe selection, initially all I saw was La Sorciere (which from what I've read seems to be in the "has potential but needs work" phase of development) and Abyss (which just doesn't sound very good) but then an employee pointed me toward their "main" shelf, which is where I found the Pacifique. They also had St. George (that stuff seems to be ubiquitous around here, and I want to try it sometime, but not yet), Tenneyson, and Vieux Pontarlier. Didn't see any Jade NO but supposedly they do carry it, and that one is definitely on my short list in addition to many others folks have mentioned. Anyway Pacifique seemed like a choice I couldn't possibly go wrong with, especially for that price ($59!) and it being RIGHT THERE with no need for me to pay for shipping, so that's what I got. Haven't tried it yet but shall certainly comment back once I do...got a few days of work-week before the holiday weekend here.

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Hey I remember this thread! Interested to hear your impressions of Pacifique, it's a very nice absinthe. I find I have to tease the louche out of it a bit more but it's worth it!

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My, how time flies around this time of year. Just figured I'd pop back in to say that Pacifique was an excellent purchase indeed. Even having only tried three brands thus far, I'm amazed at how much variation in character exists between interpretations of the same beverage. Pacifique does seem to have more of the "spice cabinet" thing going on that I was looking for (in seeking a "winter" absinthe), but I could definitely see it working well in summertime too served very cold. Again, thanks for the recommendations, folks. :)

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... Pacifique was an excellent purchase indeed. ...

Encouraging news! I'm new to this game and landed on Pacifique as my point of entry (will be picking up my order at DrinkUpNY on Sunday). This has been an enlightening introductory thread! :thumbup:

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Interested to hear your impressions of Pacifique, it's a very nice absinthe.

 

My impressions are entirely positive thus far. Pacifique is at once very flavorful and impeccably balanced. The flavor is a fair bit more "blendy" than Ridge (if that makes any sense) but that is not a negative for either beverage, just a difference between them. And I like that different absinthes are, well, different whilst still retaining the essential character of the drink. The mouthfeel is also...not "syrupy", exactly, but there's some weight there that (in my opinion) makes it perfectly appropriate for cooler weather.

 

 

I find I have to tease the louche out of it a bit more but it's worth it!

 

Hehe, I have become a slow-by-default loucher lately (due to having figured out how to quickly improvise slow-drip bottle spout thingies) so this hasn't been a notable issue yet. :)

Edited by Coralyne

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...landed on Pacifique as my point of entry (will be picking up my order at DrinkUpNY on Sunday).

 

Very nice point of entry! I think you will be pleased. :)

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Hey, I tried another absinthe this past weekend! It was...St. George. BevMo near my house had the little 200 mL bottles, so I figured that'd be a good way to try the Weirdest American Absinthe (based on reviews I've read) without committing to a standard-sized container. My verdict? Definitely weird! But definitely drinkable. The mouthfeel was fascinating. The louched color was utterly bizarre...to be perfectly honest, the nearest thing I can compare it to is the infected goo that came out of my elder cat's thigh when she had an abscess (from fighting -- needless to say, she became an indoor kitty after that!). The flavor, however, was quite nice: complex, gardeny, citrusy, and clean.

 

I do rather wish they'd try a variant using green anise as my guess is that'd put the stuff in a whole other class. I could definitely taste the star-anise-ness and it was a tad on the harsh, "tinny" side. Overall, though, it was more enjoyable than I was expecting and came off as quite "well crafted" somehow despite the weird.

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