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Daniel

Sites that sell sample bottles?

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I was looking at some of my older posts from back when and I remember I had purchased some "sample bottles" of different brands of absinthe. I was introduced to Serpis via a sample bottle and also Jade N.O. and one other that I can't remember. But now I can't find the websites I used then, and the ones I have found don't sell samples.

 

Anyone have a clue what site/s I may have visited in '08 that sells samples? And if they're still around?

 

Thanks!

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No, they also have some enigma samples. I just checked. Absinthes.com seem to have quite the selection though.

Edited by greytail

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The Absinthes.com bottles/packaging are really nice, and they have enough for two glasses.

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Absinthes.com's prices on full bottles are great,and shipping is free w/a $250 purchase.It's never taken longer than 10 days for me to get my shipment.I use them almost exclusively now.

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Just got my first shipment from absinthes.com an hour ago. I took advantage of their Bastille Day 15% off sale to order some of the more rarified bottles that the US vendors don't seem to have. With the discount and free shipping it was an amazing deal, and the shipment was quick and painless. I'll be buying from them again for certain.

 

Meanwhile, I can hardly wait for tonight's "heure verte" to finally taste the PF1901.

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Agreed. I'd love to work with them to put them on the preferred vendors list, but they haven't removed all (or at least some) of the crapsinthes.

I wish you'd reconsider.I believe Abs.com deserves "official" support of this forum.New members (and even lurkers),tend to seek our advice,are directed to the review page here,and usually make very good informed decisions as a result.Since many of Abs.com's less desirable & crappy brands are reviewed here as well,noobs who research this forum seem to avoid the bad choices from what I've noticed.Their customer service is amazing,their prices are excellent,they run specials on top shelf products,and they're one of if not THE last vendor to offer free shipping.I feel these are excellent qualities,and they shouldn't be excluded from the preferred vendor's list just because they sell some crappy stuff too.

Edited by redwun

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Here's the issue:

 

 

In order for us to deem a vendor worthy of recommendation, they must have demonstrated a history of reliability, integrity, customer service and satisfaction, fairness in pricing and marketing language, and offer a good range of quality products with a minimum of mass-market novelty items such as faux-absinthe products.

We specifically recommend against any vendor who places undue emphasis on thujone content, the mythical hallucinogenic or aphrodisiac properties of absinthe, or sells do-it-yourself absinthe kits.

Part of our mission is to educate the consumer and prevent them from being misled by businesses selling grossly inferior and incorrectly identified products at astronomical prices.

 

I've been in direct contact with Miriam about this issue. They have requested multiple times to be put on the list. We agreed that, once they minimize their faux brand selection, we would be happy to do so. They said they would.

 

That was about a year ago.

 

Don't get me wrong, it's not my decision to make. It's the board's. I've just been the one in communication with them. If the board decides, as a group, that we can add them, even though they haven't minimized the faux selection as promised, then I'd be happy to see them on the list. They have become practically my sole source for absinthe coming from Europe.

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Yes, absinthes.com does sell Czech and German absinthes that are not genuine, however, not one listing hypes thujone or effects in any way at all. I remember someone saying something about much of it being older stock as well. I suspect you'll see quite a few of these not be restocked... I at least hope this would be the case. The site is informative enough that it guides people pretty clearly on the good stuff, with many reviews and tasting notes. As a company located in Germany, there is sadly, a market for these other, lesser spirits. Martin Z. is working hard to change things, and there is a growing awareness in some of these countries about good and genuine absinthe. Absinthes.com is actually helping, in their own way, to bring about this change BY offering better products to customers who go there to buy crappy stuff. The education process can take time.

 

I'm frankly surprised they aren't on the preferred list, for all of the right things they do, when so many vendors don't go nearly as far to support the absinthe community. These guys carry many great brands, write an informative blog, and go farther than many vendors do to educate and present historical information. Their customer service is simply as good as it gets, and they always stand behind their customers. Preferred vendor or not, I give them a lot of credit. Brian, I do understand the board's point, and am not saying it is wrong, they can steer their boat any way they choose. I'm simply offering perspective on how hard these guys work to do the right thing for so many. However, I'm sure you already know that! :cheers:

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As I said, they are my preferred vendor. I love their selection and, even moreso, their service. Impeccable.

 

But Miriam made an offer and subsequent agreement with the WS regarding the fauxsinthe selection/ addition to the preferred vendors list. We are more than willing to hold up our end of the deal. I look forward to putting them on the list. In fact, they are the first (and almost always the only) vendor I mention when anyone asks for European vendors.

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Wow, thank you everyone for this great and positive feedback, I'm glad to hear that it seems we're doing a lot right. It's thrilling to see that there are some members here that would like to see us on the preferred vendors list!

 

Though we of course wouldn't mind to already be listed, we haven't forgotten about our agreement with the board of the WS, and we're actually selling off most of our stock of faux-absinthe and will decrease its number to the minimum. Which reminds me - if anybody's interested, there's currently 15% off on a selection of Czech (cr)absinthes :devil: (I'm not daring to post the link to them on here) However, these are all examples of products we're not going to restock any more, after they have sold out.

 

As I told Brian a while ago, we're currently developing a new site which takes a lot of time and resources. Eventually, this new shop will carry just fine and high quality spirits - where most of these 'absinthes' won't find their place. Unfortunately it's like Scott said however, especially in Europe there's a market for these products, but we hope that with our efforts we can turn things around, and educate our customers about real absinthe. We never actively promote crapsinthe, and we don't support their image. But it's also a part of why we're able to offer free shipping to the US - with a broad selection of products we achieve larger sales and it doesn't hurt as much to loose a little on shipping. Eventually, we won't need them any more to do so, but right now, we do.

 

Thanks again for your support :thumbup:

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I think Scott M. has a very imporant point here "Absinthes.com is actually helping, in their own way, to bring about this change BY offering better products to customers who go there to buy crappy stuff. The education process can take time. "

If it were my shop I don't think I'd stop selling these for as long as the income from the sales was significant.
But then again I understand the view of the board too.
Hopefully things will turn in the market:)
Miriam: Looking forward to seeing it:) But I thought http://www.absintheclassics.com was you guys?

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Wow, thank you everyone for this great and positive feedback, I'm glad to hear that it seems we're doing a lot right. It's thrilling to see that there are some members here that would like to see us on the preferred vendors list!

 

Thanks again for your support :thumbup: You guys are the best Miriam,I just placed an order with you last week. Thanks for all the past orders and free shipping.

:cheers:

Edited by redwun

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I think Scott M. has a very imporant point here "Absinthes.com is actually helping, in their own way, to bring about this change BY offering better products to customers who go there to buy crappy stuff. The education process can take time."

 

Ehhh...I think that's being generous. I honestly don't care that they sell crapsinthe (though I understand why the royal "we" does care and why that means they can't be on the recommended vendors list), but I also appreciate that Absinthes.com has been very up-front in the reason they offer crapsinthe: MONEY. I'm pleased that this has never been a hidden agenda, as much as I am pleased that changes are being made to the focus of the site to feature less crapsinthes. I'm OK with Absinthes.com waiting until authentic absinthe was more profitable than crapsinthe to make this change, and that they're eliminating their crapsinthe by selling it off instead of throwing it out. All of that makes sound business sense to me, and I applaud that they've been clear and honest from the start that they're sound businesspeople.

 

But to act like any of these actions were motivated by anything other than money is a little bit naive and is making excuses for a company I don't think needs to have excuses made for them. They get a ton of my business and I'm always very pleased with their selection and my orders from them, because they understand what good customer service is and how to keep a good business running, regardless of people's feelings on the matter or a "moral" we-only-offer-real-absinthe code.

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Wow, I didn't actually mean that they did this for any hidden philantropic reason, hence my "If it were my shop I don't think I'd stop selling these for as long as the income from the sales was significant."

I just don't see them doing anything else than having some crap in stock, but recommending only the good stuff.
The fact that by offering cheap crap as well attracts alot of people who otherwise would move on to other venues is a great bonus however.

Other than that I really don't care, I've never minded picking up my favourite malt next to a rasberry-something Beam either:)

Edited by Mork

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I think for the uneducated, it can cause more harm than good. I've almost made a few dire purchases there, and I know better. It'd be pretty easy to make a costly mistake or two at their site...I dunno about the "education of sorts" Scott mentioned.

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On one hand I'm optimistic, I think the awareness around real/fake absinthe will continue to increase.

But I don't think the faux brands will ever dissapear, and frankly I don't really get why that is so important. At some point there might be some laws passed in some of the absinthe-producing countries defining what may be presented as absinthe, but since the drink is not protected by any geographical connection I don't think it will be much effective.

 

Also, I think people romanticize an idea that all absinthe in the 18th & 19th century was all great. I mean, everyone seems to agree that shortcuts was a problem with many of the lesser brands back then.. But I've never ever seen a antique-absinthe vendor present a bottle saying "now here we have a real shitty preban, ..."

Now THAT would have been amazing to see:)

 

(I would consider buying it though. I did buy a weird old bottle from spain that's definitely crap, even though it seems to be quite old)

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but since the drink is not protected by any geographical connection I don't think it will be much effective.

Since absinthe production was historically produced all over the world a geographic restriction would be misleading and false. There are other ways of protecting a spirit such as legally defining it. For example in the U.S., Bourbon must be at least 51% corn, aged in previously unused barrels for at least 3 years, and so on. Ingredients and process matter more than geography.

 

If some guy produced a "Bourbon" and sold it in the States while it was made entirely of German Wheat and aged in used sherry barrels, there would (hopefully) be legal consequences.

 

As of now Switzerland is the only country to define absinthe and unfortunately they also define it geographically now, which completely backhands Swiss producers of great absinthe outside of a specific region along the Franco-Swiss border.

Edited by Evan Camomile

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But I don't think the faux brands will ever dissapear, and frankly I don't really get why that is so important.

 

I think what would be more important is to legally define the class and some types that could serve as some level of indicator and guaranty of the quality and composition of what's in the bottle, just like many other classes of liquor.

 

 

But I've never ever seen a antique-absinthe vendor present a bottle saying "now here we have a real shitty preban, ..."

 

Here is a recent post that contains a good explanation of probably why that hasn't happened.

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The education I refer to is quite clear. Their e-mailings and blogging. They have written many articles on history, and the absinthe culture.

Their site also features many tasting notes and comments that will shine a light on particular brands. I don't think anyone was alluding to philanthropy.

They are a business. Of course money, solvency and staying in business are the most important thing. I doubt that any clear thinking person would debate that.

They have a business model that is slowly shifting, for the right reasons.

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Evan: Agreed. I'm not big on regulations though, at least not when there's no patent-holder alive.

 

Fingerpickingblue: I've read it before and do agree that most surviving prebans is likely to be of higher quality, but still we should see some few examples here and there of old bottles that isn't "amazing". They are indeed amazing in regards to their age, but I don't get why every single bottle that has been unearthed so far has been found to be of such amazing quality.

 

Don't get me wrong, I'm a real sucker for edible antiques, I'm also into cigars, and have a small collection of cigars from 1850-1880. But even though I treasure them I couldn't honestly say that they beat the premium brands today.(Of course cigars lose more by the years than absinthe does, so it's not exactly a fair comparison).

If all the prebans really taste as amazing as they are presented, perhaps aging a hundred+years really do wonders to the drink.

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,comparison).

If all the prebans really taste as amazing as they are presented,...(edit) .why every single bottle that has been unearthed so far has been found to be of such amazing quality.

 

Just for starters, of the hundreds of brands that existed, the number of brands that have been uncovered, documented and tasted is maybe something like 30-40? (that is just my guess)

AND

most of the bottles found come from just a handfull of the biggest and most widespread producers, such as Pernod Fils, Eduard Pernod, and Berger. Those brands were good enough, and popular enough, to thrive in an extremely competitive market.

 

The odds of a good absinthe surviving start out stacked.

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