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SethP

Guillaume Pétavy Meynier in The Spirits Business

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Today I "stumbled" upon this:

www.thespiritsbusiness.com/2012/09/crazy-about-absinthe/3/

.. where Guillaume Pétavy Meynier, international brand development manager at Pernod Ricard, sort of brags (?) about Pernod Ricard taking a leading role in Europe (at least) when it comes to education about and promotion of proper absinthe and how to drink it.

 

Isn't there something "wrong" here? Or am I perhaps an ignorant s-o-b who doesn't understand the good intentions of Pernod Ricard and the value of modern Pernod Absinthe as representing tradition and proper absinthe production? (I could in fact understand the value of having a strong market leader promoting absinthe, but shouldn't Pernod Ricard make their own stuff genuine and proper first, before telling us and everyone else about what absinthe is and what it isn't?)

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Say What?!

Is Pernod Ricard all about the money? :g:

 

Well. I tend to agree. I guess you can say Pernod Ricard isn't really the same company as Pernod Fils in the 19:th century.

Edited by SethP

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To play Devil's Advocate, I see some good things in what PR is doing for absinthe culture. They are doing a lot to elimate the idea of absinthe as a "shooter" drink.

 

Also they are putting some money into fighting or modifying the Swiss IGP.

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But they are also adding a substantial amount if misleading information about their own product. Not to mention how terribly uneducated many of their brand reps are. I've been to some of their events where they light the stuff on fire.

 

Simon Ford, who is a very well respected personality in the spirits industry (and PR brand rep, from what I hear), recently wrote in an article that Pernod is still the best and highest quality brand out there.

 

Founded in 1805, Pernod Absinthe is undoubtedly one of the spirit world’s true treasures. The brand is largely responsible for absinthe’s popularity on the Parisian boulevards in the 1800s — just think of all those excellent Toulouse-Lautrec posters depicting Paris’s bourgeoisie being served absinthe. It was re-launched in 2001 and is still one of the best, with a combination of flavorful herbs and an ABV of 68%.

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Simon Ford, who is a very well respected personality in the spirits industry (and PR brand rep, from what I hear), recently wrote in an article that Pernod is still the best and highest quality brand out there.

 

Founded in 1805, Pernod Absinthe is undoubtedly one of the spirit world’s true treasures. The brand is largely responsible for absinthe’s popularity on the Parisian boulevards in the 1800s — just think of all those excellent Toulouse-Lautrec posters depicting Paris’s bourgeoisie being served absinthe. It was re-launched in 2001 and is still one of the best, with a combination of flavorful herbs and an ABV of 68%.

 

I have never read such drivel in my life. Sad. Very sad.

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Yes. Sad. Very sad.

 

But (playing the Devil's advocate here again) some funny stuff too.

Many bars would designate a maximum amount they could serve patrons, which, quite frankly, increased the allure of using the spirit to get fucked up on and hallucinate. Alas, I never got to see any floating colors in front of my eyes and any of the images that had supposedly inspired artists like van Gogh and Picasso, but instead found my head in a bowl from a disgusting green liquid from the Czech Republic with a 75% ABV.
... and I don't think you can attribute that to the ABV. Edited by SethP

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To play Devil's Advocate, I see some good things in what PR is doing for absinthe culture. They are doing a lot to elimate the idea of absinthe as a "shooter" drink.

 

Also they are putting some money into fighting or modifying the Swiss IGP.

I think you have a good point about this concerning absinthe as a shot or a "shooter" drink. Personally I think maybe (maybe) Pernod Ricard can teach some about how to, and how to not, drink absinthe. But when it comes to what's genuine or not they should probably think again, and twice... Edited by SethP

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This bait and switch tactic has been done to death.

 

Sure, they might fight the Swiss IGP and speak out against shots at the bar. But when they turn around and call their oil-mix blanche with artificial green dye "good absinthe", it leaves me wondering if they aren't that cause of more problems than they solve. Their product does not help absinthe culture, it lowers the bar for it.

 

And don't tell me you can't make a mass market product authentic, because that's exactly what Lucid does.

 

Maybe before claiming that they help absinthe culture, they should actually try to make absinthe.

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And don't tell me you can't make a mass market product authentic, because that's exactly what Lucid does.

 

Of course they can. But they don't need to because they have such a great profit margin on their current offering, and apparently enough people are buying their sales pitch.

 

Maybe if the current efforts of a few of our esteemed members here, who are working to educate bartenders around the world (and are actually having some success with getting them to stock high quality brands) actually gains a footing, then they might be forced to switch tactics. But at this point, the movement is still in its infancy.

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because they have such a great profit margin on their current offering, and apparently enough people are buying their sales pitch.

Marketing is the primary source of all sales. The actual quality of the product always falls second to cost spent on advertising campaigns. "If you can control the information that people receive / You can control the very way they perceive" as someone (who we know to be wise) once sympathetically stated.

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And think of all the swill people drank believing they were experiencing actual absinthe. LTV made a prety penny profiting off the expense of other people. Grant it, taste is relative. But dishonestly for the sake of capitalistic accumulation is another thing entirely.

Edited by Alfred Jarry

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Actually, LTV basically lost their entire investment, and more. Last I heard, they converted the remaining 100,000 cases into that Absinthe Refresher beverage that went down the crapshoot as well.

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Good to know. It was our assumption that they profited from their product.

 

Even so, is it not safe to assume that marketing is the primary key to capitalistic success?

 

And, if so, thus raises the question: "How much does the care and quality of a particular product matter when the populace has a one-sided perspective of how that product is supposed to be presented?"

 

Of course, this is the primary reason why the wormwood society was born, was it not? To educate others on what absinthe is in actuality, and how to distinguish it from other faux products?

 

So, then, the question remains: "Does education outweight the illusions brought about by advertizing campaigns?" We suppose the answer to that little question resides in the wormwood society itself.

 

Either that, or we are drunk. And, currently, we are leaning toward the latter side of that statement. :3872-DrunkBanana:

Edited by Alfred Jarry

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I know I hounded the local stores about good brands. Handed the the handout even.

Didn't get a receptive ear. But they had Pacifique earlier this year, and then Duplais Verte. That is much better than crapsinthes with lucid being the only decent offering, as they had last year.

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I know I hounded the local stores about good brands. Handed the the handout even.

Didn't get a receptive ear. [...]

Some time ago I visited Denmark (Helsingoer) and asked for absinthe in a couple of local liquor stores. Two of them had some crapsinthes (I don't remember which brands) so asked again for any absinthe. At least one vendor said that "this is real absinthe" and I replied "no, it's not". In a third store they actually had a (one single 20 cl) genuine bottle of Libertine 55. Sad but true (some time during this last spring).

 

I know it wasn't Copenhagen or some larger city, but I think that this is quite representative of some vendors or stores attitude.

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And don't tell me you can't make a mass market product authentic, because that's exactly what Lucid does.

 

Of course they can. But they don't need to because they have such a great profit margin on their current offering, and apparently enough people are buying their sales pitch.

That doesn't make what they do any better. Hell they even put the term "superieure" on the label, when the actual historical grade of their product would be ordinaire or demi-fine at best. Profits and marketing are fine, but lying isn't.

 

Maybe if the current efforts of a few of our esteemed members here, who are working to educate bartenders around the world (and are actually having some success with getting them to stock high quality brands) actually gains a footing, then they might be forced to switch tactics. But at this point, the movement is still in its infancy.

There's at least one bar in my town that no longer stocks Pernod. You're welcome. ;)

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