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Pemberton Distillery, British Columbia

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This looks like a very small batch offering, and may be only available at the distillery.

 

The Devil's Club - Organic Absinthe

We're excited to share our production of an organic Absinthe. Distilled and naturally coloured from potato spirits and traditional Absinthe herbs including Grand Wormwood, Green Anis and Sweet Fennel, The Devil's Club incorporates a selection of folkloric herbs from the west coast: Devil's Club Root Bark, Oregon Grape Root, Hops and Hemp Seed.

 

Bottled at 60% alc/vol and featuring custom artwork by Whistler's Dave "PEPE" Petko, Batch #01 will be available at the distillery early summer.[/size]]

 

http://hosted.vertic...531/541fa46372/

 

 

http://www.pemberton...ry.ca/Absinthe/

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Sounds like the most eccentric real absinthe since St. George, but one that I might actually enjoying drinking, rather than pouring over my salad.

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Hemp seed? Why? Just. Fucking. WHY? Does it really add anything desirable, or is it just there for the sensation?

 

It seems like every new (to absinthe) distiller is incapable of doing it straight.

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True dat.

 

Hemp seed and hops?

 

Considering this offering hails from the province of The Prince of Pot, I'm almost surprised it doesn't contain a wee bit of the real thing.

 

Just kidding, Pemberton dudes. :biggrin:

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I think the idea of historical recreations and plain-jane six herb absinthes has been done. Were I to create a personal absinthe, I would get creative. I might stick to herbs found in historical recipes but there's no sense in creating faithful reproductions of "whatever" when that's already on the market. Which might be one reason new distillers do silly things to differentiate their product.

 

Still silly.

 

Hemp seed may provide an interesting texture. I put some in my granola every now and then, when I'm feeling extra hippy. You can get a bag of it at any local health food store.

 

But hops, why? Overly hoppy beer is such an unfortunate trend.

 

It is also funny how many "organic" absinthes seem to be popping up. I want to see their certifications, because legally that's what makes organic, organic. I know certifications are expensive but fines for labeling or advertising a product without a valid certification is even more so. Although Canada might be more relaxed about the term than America is. I don't know Canada's standards as I only have to work within the American ones.

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But hops, why? Overly hoppy beer is such an unfortunate trend.

 

Bulderdash! Hops are delicious, young sir! And, as was commonly stated since the days of the sphinx, "hoppiness brings happiness". There's only one vowel of separation between the two. Kevin Bacon's got nothing on that! Best wishes, A.J.

Edited by Alfred Jarry

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I agree with Evan. Some beers are pushing the hops boundary in the same way as Master of Malt is pushing the Scoville boundary. A hoppy beer can be quite delicous, but some of them are just getting ridiculous.

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ridiculous.

What better word to define a person such as ourselves? We appreciate your opinion, however. For, as "universal relativism" (primarily in regards to the postmodern condition) shows us (even though it is an oxymoron in itself), such things can only be viewed from a subjective standpoint, no?

Edited by Alfred Jarry

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Nothing is, dear sir. Even scientists are unsure. Never be completely sure about anything, we say. For, that is a sure sign of idiocy (or is it?). Best wishes. :holiday:

Edited by Alfred Jarry

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But hops, why? Overly hoppy beer is such an unfortunate trend.

 

 

And is contributing to a world wide hops shortage!!! :shock:

 

https://www.google.c...lient=firefox-a

 

Not sure how severe, but I remember watching a documentary about beer, and the host criticizing 2xIPA's for hastening it.

 

Of course I could be very misinformed, as the abundance of 2xIPA's hitting the market would lead one to doubt any real shortage...

 

Either way, being in BC I may just have to get myself a bottle of this new hop hempy absinthe... :thumbup:

 

:cheers:

Edited by AFO

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Living in beer mecca, it's starting to become difficult to find anything that's not overly hopped. I just want a damned stout once in a while. :3869-sadbanana: Luckily it's pumpkin beer season.

 

Hempseed tastes too much like food to my palette, not something I'd want in a beverage.

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I think the idea of historical recreations and plain-jane six herb absinthes has been done. Were I to create a personal absinthe, I would get creative. I might stick to herbs found in historical recipes but there's no sense in creating faithful reproductions of "whatever" when that's already on the market. Which might be one reason new distillers do silly things to differentiate their product.

 

Still silly.

 

Hemp seed may provide an interesting texture. I put some in my granola every now and then, when I'm feeling extra hippy. You can get a bag of it at any local health food store.

I definitely have no problems with hemp seed, or hemp plants for that matter, and I'm an active supporter of marijuana law reform. I do question the flavor contribution from hemp seeds though. As oily as they are, they'd probably contribute to the louche, but I'm having a hard time envisioning how well that nutty, earthy flavor is going to play with anise and absinthium.

 

I'm all for innovation, even outside of the more common absinthe ingredients. So long as the major players remain the major players, I see nothing wrong with branching out, so long as the unconventional ingredients really serve to make the actual product unique and delicious, rather than being added for the sake of marketing.

 

I'm just concerned about what seems to be a trend in this budding industry to take the low road and pander to the rumors and myths and the negative side of absinthe history. The lurid and suggestive brand names and label art, weird formulas containing drugs (cannabis, sage, etc.), and marketing graphics taken from early absinthe opposition. These things aren't making absinthe education any easier, they just reinforce the negative image in the public's mind.

 

I know, I'm no fun.

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I like devils, but I see your point and I definitely agree. I didn't know sage was a drug though. ;) The folkloric herbs might be nice, but I haven't eaten any of them.

 

I don't see any drugs in the above, although people do tend to confuse hemp and marijuana fairly often, including the U.S. government half of the time. As I said previously regarding their inclusion of hemp and hops.

Still silly.

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Sorry to revive an old thread but it seems most appropriate. I was looking over the distillery's page for this ( http://www.pembertondistillery.ca/absinthe.html ) and noticed a couple other things that stuck me as odd. They recommend a 1:1 ratio first of all. I'm still an absinthe novice but I've never seen this suggested before. Does it set off alarms for others?

 

Also their notes on louching:

 

 

Note from the Master Distiller on Absinthe Batch No. 01:Depending on how you choose to enjoy our Absinthe you may notice that it does not louche (cloud with the addition of ice water). The effect of louche is created as the herbal oils, most specifically the essential oils in anise, fennel and star anise, come through the during the tails, or lower end, of the distillation where these lower volatility oils are collected. Our first run of absinthe does not include any tails collection, also considered the lower quality part of the spirit collection. As we distill subsequent batches and recycle our tails back into the initial spirit, our Absinthe will likely develop its signature louche.

 

Now some of this strikes me as true but I'm not certain about all of it. Should this be expected? All my reading has told me an absinthe that doesn't louche is an inferior product.

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That ratio is definitely odd. Big red flag for me. I do enjoy Berthe de Joux at a lower ratio though. Since Devil's Club is listed at a low (for verte absinthe) 60% I wouldn't go much higher than 3 parts water. A weaker flavor would also respond better to a lower than normal ratio.

 

If the absinthe is weak in flavor maybe they cut tails too soon? Not all tails are bad, the lower end of a run contains more flavor molecules, including those oils that you do want. Too far in to the tails and you get a bunch of ugly flavor molecules.

 

This sounds to me like they cut tails too soon and are trying to make up for it.

 

If they recycle tails and make the same cuts, they'll still miss those oils and keep making the same mistake.

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Their site said they didn't include any tails at all in batch one. Then they used it as a marketing ploy, implying that if an absinthe louches, it means it contains inferior cuts.

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That may be true, but the distiller is commenting on batch #1. I read it that subsequent batches will have more recycled tails (thus perhaps improving the louche)

 

I would check up with the distillery on his FB if you interested. Maybe post a question.


https://www.facebook.com/Pemberton.Distillery.Inc

 

Of course, buying from a new producer is a bit of a gamble. No reviews or taste comments yet, so you are on your own with this one.

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I'd like to hear a distiller comment on that quote. Not much about it makes much sense to me (a non-distiller, admittedly). I always thought tails were defined by a significant drop in ABV of the distillate and a higher concentration of fusel oils. In other words, tails are tails and are undesirable especially in a highly botanical product. But I could be wrong. What I know is Joe and Jules' blanche louches just fine and they are certainly nowhere into the tails.

 

Check out that level of coloration. Now that's frightening.

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The whole part about the tails is just plain wrong. I wonder if they are just trying to sell a flawed batch with some marketing BS, which would make them dishonest, or if they actually believe what they are saying, which would mean they are incredibly and unforgivably ignorant.

 

I'll elaborate on the tails in a bit

Edited by Stefano Rossoni

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Ok so about the tails:

 

The process of distillation is basically just a separation of different chemicals that are mixed together, based on the difference in the boiling point.

 

In the case of the distillation of absinthe you have ethanol, water and a blend of essential oils and plant matter from the herbs used in the maceration step. The essential oils from every herb obviously have different boiling points so while distilling it's pretty easy for the experienced distiller to recognize every herb (or most of them) he used in the recipe coming out of the alambic one after the other.mfor example wormwood is one of the first herbs you will notice, while anise and fennel are quite in the background at the beginning and keep increasing in intensity until the last part of the heart, where they are absolutely dominant, especially the anise.

 

This doesn't mean however that the essential oils from anise and fennel are only present in the tails, or even in the last part of the heart for what that matters. Anise and fennel have a rich and complex makeup of essential oils, it's not just anethole. Some anise and fennel oils are present in the very beginning of the heart, and in an absinthe of medium thickness even the head will louche.

Of course the intensity of the louche will increase to closer you get to the tails, but even if it's a thin absinthe like my L'Italienne, some Pernot, etc, if around halfway through the heart the distillate doesn't louche properly then the batch is flawed!

 

The cut of the tails while distilling absinthe is extremely important, as I explained also in the video I shot while distilling L'Ancienne

You don't wanna cut too early and you don't wanna cut too late. Some of the oil fractions in the heart part close to the tails are very interesting and, depending on the recipe or the effect desired, can be invaluable. They are not necessary though, for instance in a delicate, feminine absinthe a slightly earlier cut can be performed and there's is still plenty of flavors (including those of anise and especially fennel) coming through in the heart.

 

Also must be considered that the separation between heart and tails is not a clean cut but more of an overlapping: in the first part of the tails there's still some heart and viceversa. And the tails are not a uniform thing, the first part of the tails is still relatively high in alcohol, and is clear but often yellowish. There is the classic unpleasant tailsy flavor, anise is dominant but there are still some flavors from the other herbs.

The second part of the tails is the blanchette, where the alcohol content is much lower, the unpleasant tailsy note is overpowering and often accompanied by a burnt note (depends on the alambic design and other variables), the anise is milder but still there and every other herb is hard or impossible to recognize.

 

I hope that was clear enough, I kind of had to type it in a rush, if the are more questions I'll be happy to answer.

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The whole part about the tails is just plain wrong. I wonder if they are just trying to sell a flawed batch with some marketing BS, which would make them dishonest, or if they actually believe what they are saying, which would mean they are incredibly and unforgivably ignorant.

 

That was exactly my thought. It seems (not that I have any real knowledge) to me they probably didn't use enough anise/fennel then?

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My pleasure guys.

 

Ambear: an insufficient amount of anise and fennel is indeed a very common cause for the lack of a proper louche. There are also several other possible explanations:

 

- if the alambic has any form of rectification device (from Egrot spheres to classic rectification columns), an excess of rectification can result in a very weak louche even if the mix in the still has a lot of anise and fennel.

 

- if the absinthe is filtered, an excessive filtration can also strip the absinthe of a good deal of essential oils, especially of anise and fennel.

 

- other variables related to how the distillation is executed can have an effect on the louche of the final product

 

On their website they mention the use of star anise, which as we all know is like a cheap ticket for a thick louche. It's makes me thinks that they could have just messed up something in the filtration or during the distillation because of ignorance and lack of experience. The fact that they suggest to drink their "absinthe" with a 1:1 ratio is also quite weird considering that it's 60%. It's again could point towards an excessive rectification (so not only the absinthe doesn't louche properly but it's probably also lacking flavor and becomes bland with a higher ratio) or that they didn't use enough herbs (including anise and fennel) in the recipe.

 

One thing that I can tell you is that most distillers with no experience in absinthe making really don't understand that absinthe is an EXTRACT, and therefore it requires A LOT more herbs than any other herbal liquor or spirit. And we are talking about maybe even ten times more than a distilled genepi liquor, an amaro, etc!

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