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TheLoucheyMonster!

The Green Villain, South Carolia absinthe from Dark Corner

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I must add "lavendery" to my descriptor list. :twitchsmile:

 

Can lavendery also be monolithic?

 

Looks like they went WAY overboard coloring, but it's a good way to learn their lesson.

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The Green Villain isn't listed on the web site (under "Spirits") so I assume it's gone already. Anyone have an idea when more will be available and if it can be mail-ordered?

 

btw, I like the dark color... Soixante-cinq is like that too

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Sorry for the very quick reply, but fret not, there's plenty at the store. Our website is under development. We're a pretty small micro with our first year finally under our belt. There's still lots of growth going on!

 

We currently do not have an online distributor but are looking into getting online ordering set up within the next six months.

 

I look forward to answering any questions ya'll may have about the Green Villain and offering some insight into its concept and design.

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Plenty of micro distillers here, that will be happy to tell you how much fun the bureocracy is. Most of the absinthe consumed by members comes from micro-distilling or smaller, as absinthe does not lend itself to mass production, not if it is going to be worth drinking. :) The biggest pots being used are the big one at Emile Pernot, and Combiers' two 900l ergots which are used to make Lucid, which is as close to mass production as you can get with traditional absinthe.

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Working from home with a bad cold and under some interesting drugs. Can't wait to review my drawings and documents when I'm healthy again. :twitchsmile:

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Welcome hengeraven, my only complaint thus far is the louche is pretty weak but the taste is right. For a batch 1 I am very impressed and I know it will only get better. I look forward to punching my card at the distillery often, maybe every time Gwinnett plays the Road Warriors on the weekend. We love coming up but its so expensive staying downtown and we like to park the car and not get back in until we leave.

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Definitely working on improving the louche. I was actually really surprised by how the final color turned out-- all my test batches were an intense jade. I was keen on getting a darker color than most commercial absinthes on the market, but I definitely went overboard in the coloring maceration. I'm still not 100% sure if the amount of herbs was too much or if the maceration was too long. There's a few more tests I need to run to get batch two where I want it color-wise.

 

Gwydion, fear not. There won't be any "Lucid Whiskey" produced here. There's a number of conceptual label applications with the TTB we need to clear out. We do make unaged corn whiskey (or as is known in this region as "moonshine") and we were exploring ideas for renaming the product for distribution. Since "Pure" was turned down as a name by the TTB, we explored "Lucid." We are going to stick with "moonshine" as the fanciful name of our unaged corn whiskey.

 

I know there's a bit of a division between pure traditionalists (ie. six herb) and contemporary enthusiasts (ie. Devil's Club). It's difficult to appeal to everyone. I feel that tradition and historical accuracy provides a solid framework but we must be careful not to anchor ourselves in the past. I think this philosophy is shared by brewers in the US. There are some amazing beers out there that defy tradition yet still are rooted in style. I can only imagine what our innovative industry would look like if it was subject to the Reinheitsgebot...

 

If anyone has any questions regarding the GV or wants to give me some feedback, please feel free to! I'm super excited to have the opportunity to speak with you all.

 

Cheers!

 

John

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Hopefully some other folks will get a hold of some. I feel like we have this great secret right now.

 

I don't know how much if any flavor the coloring maceration makes but it certainly doesn't seem over done to me. I also wouldn't sacrifice the flavor for a better louche so if it changes dramatically then that would be a shame.

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Hopefully some other folks will get a hold of some.

 

I sure would like to be one of those "folks". But I don't see me going to Greenville anytime soon. :3869-sadbanana:

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Isn't it kinda jacked that I could send you a box of ammo legally but not some booze?

 

holy shit

something is serously wrong

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There's always potential for some laws to shift more in the distillery's favor. Here's hoping!

 

Billnchristy: I've started a test run for batch two of the Green Villain. I'd enjoy sharing some with you when it's ready to get your impression. When are you next passing through Greenville?

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Status: SURRENDERED ;)

 

[...] Combiers' two 900l ergots which are used to make acid, which is as close to mass hallucination as you can get with traditional absinthe.

Fixed.

Definitely working on improving the louche. I was actually really surprised by how the final color turned out-- all my test batches were an intense jade. I was keen on getting a darker color than most commercial absinthes on the market, but I definitely went overboard in the coloring maceration.

The thing about the "coloring" step is that it's not really for coloring, it's for adding more flavors and aromas; the color is simply a pleasing by-product of that process. The problem with very deep color is that when the chlorophyll breaks down—especially in clear bottles subjecting the absinthe to UV—the degradation products are really funky and will make your absinthe smell grassy and vegetal, rather than herbal.

 

Gwydion, fear not. There won't be any "Lucid Whiskey" produced here.

I just didn't want to see you squaring of against the folks at Viridian, the company was founded by lawyers, after all.

 

I know there's a bit of a division between pure traditionalists (ie. six herb) and contemporary enthusiasts (ie. Devil's Club). It's difficult to appeal to everyone. I feel that tradition and historical accuracy provides a solid framework but we must be careful not to anchor ourselves in the past.

There's actually only one of the traditional (i.e. Duplais) recipes that has only six ingredients. His Nimes recipe calls for eleven, the Swiss Blanche for ten; but I agree with your point completely. However we must also be careful not to innovate ourselves right out of the category altogether.

 

I'm not saying that that's what you're doing; nothing of the kind. But it's going to be a long time before the general public understands what absinthe is/was, and part of our mission with the Wormwood Society is to protect the core identity of absinthe so that it's not lost in a sea of innovations. This isn't to prevent innovation, but rather to assure that innovative products are understood to be such.

 

The way I think of formulation is: there are three primary ingredients in any absinthe, the "holy trinity": absinthium, green anise, and fennel. These must form the basic character and identity of absinthe. The rest of the ingredients are "adjuncts", i.e. ingredients that are used in usually much smaller amounts to bring individual character to the brand.

 

Gin is made the same way, with every brand using juniper as the primary ingredient, and a selection of adjuncts providing very subtle nuances.

 

Best of luck in your worthy endeavors! :cheers:

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Many thanks, Gwydion! I'm excited to be part of the collective dialogue on the subject and am committed to cultivating an educated consumer base in the region regarding absinthe.

 

I totally understand your "adjuncts" analogy-- my background is in brewing and I was a huge fan of using adjunct grain (and other fermentables) to explore the boundaries of flavor and classification in beer.

 

Regarding the color maceration, I agree it also imparts additional flavor and aroma. The color step itself is what has thrown a bit of a curve my way. I should have that corrected by the release of the second batch. Once things are to spec, I'll definitely send a bottle up to WS for formal review. I'm very excited to hear what you all have to say.

 

As for gin, my approach leans more towards the "new western style". Gin is a classic spirit, and should definitely hold influence from its lengthy history and culture. However, I feel that in order to bring gin to a new foodie-oriented market, especially in the US (where the contemporary consumer is wary of old world flavors), the spirit must be updated and reimagined. Juniper is the only required ingredient by TTB standards, but its placement in the overall flavor profile is left up for interpretation. While juniper will definitely be showcased, the other botanicals traditionally used to support the juniper flavor should instead also be enjoyed. This is a level of balance that makes the gin experience less about being pimp slapped by a tree, and more about a delightful, if not exotic, herbal collaboration.

 

I can't say this philosophy immediately affects how I approach the design and execution of absinthe, but I do think it's important to explore the range of expression that absinthe can have in its flavor and aromatic profile. I do plan to do a six herb absinthe; something very minimalist and delicate. I want to see how well the Villain does first in the market before moving forward with the next release.

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There's always potential for some laws to shift more in the distillery's favor. Here's hoping!

 

Billnchristy: I've started a test run for batch two of the Green Villain. I'd enjoy sharing some with you when it's ready to get your impression. When are you next passing through Greenville?

 

I might be heading up that way in 2 weeks. I have to run to Virginia for work. But heck if we are talking some taste testing maybe we can swing up there next weekend. :thumbup:

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I was in Greenville, SC last year for the Motorsports On Main show for the ALMS and the trek from here in NC was almost exactly 3 hours. Perhaps I can convince the wife to make the journey with me to Greenville to see the "Shoeless" Joe Jackson sites and we can stop by to check out your absinthe.

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You're welcome to swing by any time, Manray. Let me know you are coming and I'll be sure to set up an absinthe tasting. We usually only sample the absinthe out on Saturdays, but we make exceptions for special guests.

 

Cheers!

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As for gin, my approach leans more towards the "new western style". Gin is a classic spirit, and should definitely hold influence from its lengthy history and culture. However, I feel that in order to bring gin to a new foodie-oriented market, especially in the US (where the contemporary consumer is wary of old world flavors), the spirit must be updated and reimagined. Juniper is the only required ingredient by TTB standards, but its placement in the overall flavor profile is left up for interpretation. While juniper will definitely be showcased, the other botanicals traditionally used to support the juniper flavor should instead also be enjoyed. This is a level of balance that makes the gin experience less about being pimp slapped by a tree, and more about a delightful, if not exotic, herbal collaboration.

 

TTB requires not that it just have juniper, but that it be the dominant characteristic of the spirit. Although how one determines THAT remains subjective.

 

I generally share your opinions, though, on both gin and absinthe. Our first gin is out and is also something inspired by a 19th century treatise, and something quite unusual. Our absinthe, which should be available by Christmas, is fairly traditional, and like you, based on the classic text descriptions, but differentiated by the choice of the base spirit. So, we are trying to pull back a bit on the anise/fennel to allow the wormwood and base spirit to emerge. We'll see how our first attempt goes. Oh, and we call our unaged corn whiskey a "white lightning" since "moonshine" is more often reserved for a corn whiskey whose mash includes sugar in the wash.

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Thankfully, the TTB BAM is fairly subjective on a number of levels.

 

Our corn whiskey contains no sugar in the wash. We reference "moonshine" because of its influence on the history and culture of our namesake "Dark Corner". This is, however, only a romantic nod. I personally refer to it as "new make" when sampling it at the tasting bar. It powers the bourbon we are about to release in November-- the first hand-mashed bourbon since prohibition in SC! We are very excited to say the least!

 

I'm looking forward to trying your absinthe! Is Blue Star up and running now?

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