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JosephLabrecque

A Point of Clarity?

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After sampling around 20 different absinthes over the past 2+ years... I've found myself at a peculiar(?) point of satisfaction in my absinthe-venture. Clearly stated: I have a running list of foreign (EU) and domestic (US) absinthes which include everything from the absolutely stunning to the "meh" to the lowest dismiss-able crap... and they all pretty much cost the same, generally speaking.

 

So, at this point in my absinthe journey - I find myself content enough with what I consider "stellar" absinthe to really just stick with that from here on out. I have 8+ absinthes out of that ~20 which fall into this category and have decided to no longer spend my money on anything which falls below a certain mark on my personal scale or even anything (new) that could be of questionable quality. Of course, if something new comes along and gains enough accolades from this group - I'm going to want to give it a go... but generally... the status quo I've come to is pretty sweet.

 

I assume that many others have come to a similar point along the road? I'm curious as to whether others in this group have experienced this and any particular catalyst which may have triggered such a realization... or (as the topic has erupted from time to time) am I being an exclusionary elitist snob? Based upon conversation and preferences expressed by other WS members - I think not.

 

Anyhow - I sort of see this realization as something normal that must come from experience. While I do want to support new distillers... I'm actually okay with letting them be vetted by a wider array of individuals before diving in myself. Been wanting to post thoughts like this for a while now - and here they are.

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I have a running list of foreign (EU) and domestic (US) absinthes which include everything from the absolutely stunning to the "meh" to the lowest dismiss-able crap... and they all pretty much cost the same, generally speaking...

"they all pretty much cost the same, generally speaking..."

 

That is a very interesting observation, and one which I believe is true in the current absinthe market! It's quite different for other drinks, say wine and Scotch whiskey, where there is a much greater price difference between the great, good, and mediocre stuff. I'd guess that the reason for this is that the absinthe market is limited (re both supply and demand) compared to the other markets. Such a limited supply/demand economic situation would seem to inflate the price for low quality products. That would explain why low quality mass-produced stuff like Absente costs nearly as much as high-quality artisanal stuff like St. George!

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Our bar is ridiculously large, mostly out of a desire to know as much as possible about absinthe. Research, doncha know? With such a huge range to choose from, invariably we select from an equally ridiculously small number of beverages without question. Why drink Brand R when Brand A or B or C is right there within reach? Heck, that doesn't even count as a decision.

 

That was a wonky way of saying that I agree with you Joseph. :cheers:

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I have gotten to a point of not buying something until I tried it first, unless someone I trust completely highly recommends it. Even then, batch variations can still change things.

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I've been into this for less time but I'm going in that same direction. I am still buying new things that are recommended by people I have reason to trust (and most often I do like them) but I find myself with too many expensive bottles that I simply no longer feel like drinking. Not that they're bad (except for Pernod, but that was a major newbie mistake), but I just don't enjoy some of them enough to bring myself to indulge for one one glass per evening.

 

Last night I did decide to give one of my lower-tier choices another try. It has been at least a month since I'd tasted it. Meh. No fun. I keep going back to the old mantra we had when I was in the wine business -- "ife's too short to drink bad wine." But it doesn't even have to be bad. Why drink an okay but unsatisfying brand of absinthe when there are terrific ones for the same money, as you correctly state.

 

I don't expect that my top tier will necessarily be the same as some other enthusiasts', but it isn't a contest.

 

Ultimately I expect I'll have a half-dozen or so that I will alternate, and a few others that I might have on occasion. But what to do with all these others?? Such a waste, but I guess that's part of the cost of education.

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I agree with Joseph.

I have a few "go to" absinthes in a box.

Most of us went through a phase of buying the latest and greatest.

Those people are appreciated. :thumbup:

It just seems to me that there is always room for improvement.

When I see an absinthe with reviews of 4 1/2 stars, consistently..........I'll be counting my change.

There are a handful that I wouldn't hesitate buying because I know the distiller. And those get my $$$.

In other words, enjoy what you buy. You know it's the right thing to do.

And yes, I will always post in riddles.

F'n Cheers!

:twitchsmile:

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As to the latest and greatest, there was this one joker who used to rant and rave about their greatness, even.

 

Thankfully, that was a long time ago. :paperbag3: :laugh:

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A lot more consensus than expected! I'm finding that even though I have the want to reach out and try something new... going with top-notch distillers and known superior brands is kind of a no-brainer.

 

With only a little over 2 years under my belt - I feel like there is still so much to learn... but at this point I know what is correct - and what is good - and I'm pretty happy about that :cheers:

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Even though I havnt tried many absinthes the few that I have tried have left me acutely aware of the difference between good and poor quality Absinthe, so I feel that I'm going to start with what I know but I do agree that I'm likely to stick to them for a while. So in short I feel that while

I'm too new to the game to fully cut off options I havnt tried I'm moving in that direction already

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My rule for buying almost anything: Buy the best you can afford and you won't be disappointed.

 

 

 

OR, if you can't afford decent absinthe...........how about an Appletini?

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I'm a sucker for anything new. So I'll probably support the Emile Pernot business model for a while. Along with verified samples from trusted people.

 

As far as re-buying goes, I'm right there with you Joseph. With what I have in the house it's got to be damn good for me to spend money on again.

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Yep yep...samples are a godsend with so many brands on the market nowadays. We also go to bars if we know they have a brand we haven't tried (how we tried La Clandestine and Emperor Norton).

 

I think we have it narrowed down to 5 or so brands that make us get a little panicky when we're out. We're trying really hard to make our way through some of the old and less-nice stuff so that it's not taking up room in the cupboard anymore (I'm looking at you, Duplais). We also have some really nice stuff stashed away until we decide to crack into them (someday...maybe).

 

That said, I definitely a few "everyday sippers" that I probably won't replace when they're out, but are ones I grab when I don't really care what I'm drinking (like before I clean house or as a 3rd or 4th drink of the night).

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I'm currently at 11 different bottles in the house, and I know there are a bunch more worth trying I haven't gotten to yet. I buy based on availability and if it's gotten a decent enough review here. Maybe one day I'll finish off all I have and those I haven't gotten yet, and will buy a second bottle of something. But until then, I like the variety.

 

I feel the same about wine and cigars actually - so much variety, so many variances from year to year, I'm hard pressed to re-buy anything if there's something new out there I haven't tried yet.

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I always triage-buy, and then try to get samples to find out what else is good.

 

There are plenty of less impressive absinthes that I find perfectly drinkable, and that I would probably buy if they were the 30-40 bucks I'd spend on other "okay" boozes. Instead they're 60, 70, 80, 90 dollars, and I can get things I truly love for those prices.

 

And honestly I just don't have much disposable income at all. $90 is a lot of money to me, and it's not going toward mediocre absinthe.

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