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TheLoucheyMonster!

Butterfly's distiller fights Prohibition, 1908

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While not directly related to absinthe, here is an anti-prohibition tract written by George C. Dempsey, and published and distributed by P. Dempsey & Co.. the historic makers of the original Butterfly Absinthe from Boston.

 

A snapshot of the Wets vs Drys in 1908 New England.

about 36 pages and can be read online here:

http://pds.lib.harvard.edu/pds/view/42536507?n=1&imagesize=1200&jp2Res=.5&printThumbnails=no

 

 

 

post-3372-0-28469200-1382478767_thumb.jpg

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Actually the bottle that was found was half-full. It was sold as such on Ebay to Frenchman, but when the bottle arrived, it had been emptied. He has his suspicions as to what happened to the content. Eventually he got a partial refund and sold the empty bottle on to David Nathan-Maister.

 

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So theres no surviving record of anyone whos tried this drop? Im curious because of the current Butterfly. Does anyone know if Monsieur Bugnon had access or was it just a recipe that he has based this distill on? Its one fine absinthe for sure. Imagine unearthing a rare bottle of this today!

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Nice article thanks for sharing, Im curious like others for sure on more details as to how the current Butterfly was modelled on the original -recipe, technique etc.. and what elements it may share with the original. I have found a Bugnon flavoural twist in the current Butterfly, something citrusy about it which is also evident in Angelique. So if anyone one here can put their hand up to say theyve tried preban Butterfly then now is the time to express your opinions, if you are the caring sharing type that is. :shifty:

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Age is going to change some things so even if someone can tell you what it tasted like, it would differ from modern CO butterfly even if the recipe were exactly the same AND the same protocols were used.

Edited by greytail

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Age is going to change some things so even if someone can tell you what it tasted like, it would differ from modern CO butterfly even if the recipe were exactly the same AND the same protocols were used.

Yes totally understand that, remember I started the Thread about the "Validity of Antiquated Comparison". Having tasted preban Georges Pernod 1910 has opened my palate immensely. Though I realise it was a 100 y.o drop I could still discern the distinct structure of its flavour components and can only 'imagine' what would have tasted like on release. One thing that struck me was the quality and how it could still have fresh accents after over 10 decades.

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You have a bottle of unopened Bugnon Butterfly stored for 2 years? Please share your thoughts. Ive got one unopened and put aside. Who knows how long it will be stored for. Ive been able to cellar wines for a few decades, the problem is in a few decades from now Im gonna be a few decades older..and possibly my tastebuds may be well depreciated by then!

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No on the taste buds, but you are right. There should be some tastes which will compare with today's version if the same recipe was used for both. Always a chance there (were) are those proprietary secrets in both though. Those might account for the difference along with the age.

 

Now I need to have some butterfly.

Edited by greytail

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Its an interesting concept of distilling from original recipe and puported methods. But the source of the original wormwood and other herbs, water, alembics etc would differ in the new process. One thing is for sure the current Butterfly is an extremely fine drop and one of my favourites, Im wondering if it be even remotely possible that if we had a time machine the current one could be better than the original. Now where's DR WHo when I need him.

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Those herbs would indeed differ but not to the point of being unrecognizable. Though I get what you are saying.

Edited by greytail

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Im wondering if it be even remotely possible that if we had a time machine the current one could be better than the original.

 

Interesting question. I like to think that the "know-how" of Claude-Alain (which is itself built on the "know-how" of others in Switzerland) is going to add something to the final product, even working with the same recipe. George C. Dempsey didn't have that much opportunity to develop his know-how, also made whiskey and gin, and absinthe was not his "first love" and focus. Having said that, it's a great recipe, so he certainly got that bit right!

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I think this would be a reasonable assumption, considering the quality? of finer ingredients which are chanelled into the new produce, as well as the higher level of experience and expertise which Claude Alain brings to the table. Some of the evidence would be proof from how many succesful consecutive batches Bugnon has done VS How many consecutive succesful batches Dempsey did.

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I don't know if comparing the number of batches each made means much.

Modern Butterfly is global. while historic Butterfly was likely very local. Not to mention the fact that Americans in that time tended to use absinthe in smaller amounts, in dashes and spots.

 

What was the absinthe market like in 1900 Boston? and who knows how much competition.

Edited by TheLoucheyMonster!

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