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Selecting for a get together


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#1 ilion

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 12:14 AM

I'm currently planning a bit of a get together - I keep referring to it as an "absinthe salon" - for a small group of friends and I want to provide a small selection of brands. I'm in Western Canada, British Columbia, and the local selection here is not amazing. Besides the fauxsinthe I currently have access to Taboo and Lucid. (There's also the Pemberton distillery but I'm not convinced they have a worthy product.) I plan to pick these both up to offer as the good local stuff, explaining why things like Hills and La Fee should be avoided.

 

I'm also hoping to import a couple things. Absinthe.com says they'll be able to ship to me, recommending I don't order too many bottles at once. I've been looking at Absinthe Roquette 1797. It sounds interesting and the reviews seem pretty good. I've aso been looking at trying to get a Swiss one - La Clandestine and Kübler seem to be the top votes there.

 

My goal is to provide a range of range of types, alcohol levels, countries or origin, etc. Does this seem like a decent selection for some absinthe novices?

 

Taboo

Lucid

Absinthe Roquette

La Clandestine and/or Kübler



#2 redwun

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 03:31 AM

The Roquette is a favorite of mine.Abs.com also sells Authentique by the same distillerie.It's a really good one too,and it might be a little more "newcomer friendly" for your friends.I like La Clandestine a lot when I'm in the mood for a blanche,but with all the really good brands they sell,I would put my money to better use than Kübler though.(just my opinion) 


Edited by redwun, 12 August 2013 - 03:56 AM.

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#3 Joe Legate

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 04:37 AM

Lucid is a great beginner's absinthe.  It is authentic and approachable.  I am a fan of Taboo and its fruit base.  It's almost a dessert absinthe for me!  I can no longer recommend any absinthe from VdT* and I am sad to say that.  Instead, Absinthes.com also carries a nice collection from France or perhaps, a bottle of Mansinthe to keep the Roquette company? 

 

 

*Damn politics.



#4 Ambear

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 08:16 AM

What Joe said. Getting a Mansinthe or something else from Matter would be a good comparison of how a few different distillers can differ.

 

I still haven't gotten a chance to try Taboo...I should remedy that.


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#5 Brian Robinson

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 08:43 AM

Coincidentally, I've got all three versions just dying to get into some sample bottles. ;)


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#6 Ambear

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 08:54 AM

Ooo! Pick me!


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#7 ilion

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 09:23 AM

Thanks all, this is great info!

 

I've had the pleasure of trying Taboo's regular offering and their Gold from 2012. I really enjoyed the regular one. The gold was good too, but somewhat different than I expected. It was a few months ago and I'm afraid I can't provide a better review, plus I'm still really developing my absinthe palate so take that with a grain of salt. I remember the regular as having quite a nice louche to it. As I recall it didn't require much sugar if any.

 

The gold was served to me at one of the best local lounges. Unfortunately because of how it was served I didn't get to witness the louche. 

 

I found both enjoyable, although I think I preferred the standard. I've been thinking of getting a gold and aging it a bit. It's a limited batch they do each year so I think that might be interesting. I need to taste more brands before I can really say how either rate.



#8 Brian Robinson

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 09:44 AM

Ooo! Pick me!

Done! :)


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#9 Evan Camomile

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 10:28 AM

Just my opinion but...

 

Taboo - It seems to be a good local option. I haven't tried it though.

Lucid - Awesome starter absinthe. It has a very good distribution too, so people can usually find it on a shelf somewhere.

Absinthe Roquette - This is very distinct and it might turn some people off because of its unique flavor profile. Authentique would be better for beginners as a large "step up" from the above two and also from the same French distiller.

La Clandestine and/or Kübler - Both VdT so, no. IF you are going for one of them I'd easily pick La Clandestine over Kübler. As others have mentioned, get something from Oliver Matter if you want a Swiss Blanche, such as Duplais Blanche.


Edited by Evan Camomile, 12 August 2013 - 10:29 AM.

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#10 Songcatcher

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 12:02 PM

Ooo! Pick me!


The room it smelled heavy of drinkin',  

and the sad silent song, made the hour twice as long,

as I waited for that sun to go sinkin'.


#11 ilion

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 01:38 PM

Thanks for the Duplai Blanche recommendation, Evan. I had missed the situation around VdT until posting this, but I was wanting to have something besides a verte in the mix. 



#12 herbgirl

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 05:49 AM

You could see about trying to get your hands on Adnams Rouge if you want an option that isn't a verte. It's got a bit of a fruity profile from the hibiscus that blends well with the other botanicals. The louche isn't is pretty, but the taste is quite lovely.



#13 Brian Robinson

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 09:30 AM

I'd go with Rubis if you're looking for a rouge.


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#14 ilion

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 12:53 AM

Well it took a long time to get everything together, and life kept getting in the way, but we finally had our absinthe party! Thank you everyone for the help and suggestions, it ended up being a very fun night. I thought some of you might be interested in the results.

The final selection as shown in the picture consisted of Taboo, Lucid, Authentique, Duplais Blanche, and Roquette 1797. We actually skipped over the Taboo as most of us had tried it previously and it seemed to me that Lucid would do just as well for the intro drink. The time between coming up with this idea and actually hosting it allowed me to amass a small collection of items vintage and modern, including some spoons that fit both ends of the spectrum, a couple fountains, the cafe plate, a Pernod picture -- which I understand is probably from around the 1950/60s but works great for as a spoon holder, and a great glass bowl that I used to store the sugar. ( I know the wrapped "absinthe" sugar cubes are a bit silly, but when I ordered some of my glasses they were thrown in and I've found their dosage to actually be pretty great. ) The book is  Absinthe, Sip of Seduction: A Contemporary Guide, which the guests enjoyed flipping through.

In front of each bottle I had printed off reviews from this site. In this case I found Brian Robinson had reviewed all of these bottles and I felt his words did a great job of setting expectations, so thank you very much there!

 

All told there were myself, my wonderful girlfriend, and 5 guests. Of the 7, one was pregnant and not drinking and the other unfortunately had been improperly introduced to absinthe some time earlier and would not be convinced into trying it again. I think he mentioned "shots". Oh well.

What the picture doesn't show is the kitchen full of cheeses, chocolates, and other snacks, plus various other refreshments.

Everyone had a great time and a very natural pace of trying a bottle and moving onto the next one developed under the flow of laughter and conversation which filled the evening.

What did everyone think? Most people preferred the Authentique, which is what I expected. I believe one person said they liked the Duplais Blanche best. Only my girlfriend disliked the Roquette. I enjoyed it but I also understand now why I've seen people refer to it as one for the more experienced palates. I could definitely see myself acquiring more of a taste for it.

Thanks again everyone who provided input and helped me out!

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#15 JosephLabrecque

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 07:54 AM

Authentique is great! I just ordered another bottle to stow away ;)

 

That's a great selection - and fairly diverse as well. Must have been a great little get-together and for sure the descriptions helped.



#16 Songcatcher

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 10:31 AM

life kept getting in the way


Yep that does tend to happen, but it sounds like a hell of a good time was had by all.

The room it smelled heavy of drinkin',  

and the sad silent song, made the hour twice as long,

as I waited for that sun to go sinkin'.



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