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#1 robv60

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Posted 26 December 2013 - 07:12 PM

Hey everyone! I've been lurking here and reading the brand reviews for a while now and thought Id go ahead and introduce myself. I have been interested in Absinthe for some time now but have yet to purchase a bottle. I'm not a huge fan of licorice flavors nor of fennel when I have had it in food so I'm a little weary of forking out the cash for a bottle. I was recently "gifted" a bottle of Absente and....uggghhh. I made it 4 sips in before i sinked it so needless to say my journey hasn't started well. That stuff tasted like NyQuil, no offense to NyQuil as it does at least have some redeeming qualities. Even though I know its not a real Absinthe, i cant help but be skeptical that a good, quality Absinthe would taste much better. That stuff was foul. That being said I'm not ready to give up on it yet and am considering trying Obsello as it seems to be all I can get locally besides Lucid. Anyway, a little long winded just to say hello so Ill end my post now. 



#2 Brian Robinson

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 04:43 AM

Welcome! You wouldn't be doing yourself a disservice if you got the Lucid. It's a good starting point. Obsello can be rather unique, with it's very powerful rum base.

But bottom line, if you don't like anise, fennel, licorice, etc, there's a good chance you might never like absinthe. And that's OK. But here's to you for trying it anyway!
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#3 Songcatcher

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 05:19 AM

Yeah you're probably not going to like absinthe. I mean, you don't like licorice or fennel so what's the point?

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'.


#4 fingerpickinblue

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 05:33 AM

Welcome to the WS! :cheers:


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#5 Absomphe

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 06:43 AM

Greetings! :cheers: 


Yes, I'm Krinkles the Clown on an absinthe a beer bender.

You got a problem with that?


#6 ripper911

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 06:58 AM

Do yourself a favor and get the lucid.  If you can get mansinthe where you are it isn't as heavy on the anise, maybe more fennel or something but I haven't quite figured out what it is yet...

 

I am also in Georgia! :cheerz:



#7 JosephLabrecque

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 08:33 AM

Welcome! (amoung those two - choose Lucid)



#8 Cajun Magic

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 08:33 AM

Welcome and cheers robv60! :cheers: Anise, Fennel, and Wormwood are to Absinthe as Juniper is to Gin. The good news is I used to not care for gin but now I love it, so there is still hope for you yet! If I could aquire a taste for a drink, what will stop you from doing the same? ;)
Laissez le bon temps rouler!
L' Huere Verte! C'est le bon temps!
Absinthe! Comme c'est la douceur de vivre!

#9 JosephLabrecque

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 08:42 AM

Also note that the "licorice" flavor in good absinthe is very different from the licorice flavor in candies. So if that is your experience with licorice - then you may be surprised.



#10 TheLoucheyMonster!

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 10:08 AM

Hi and welcome!  :cheerz:



#11 Ambear

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 10:18 AM

Hello and welcome! :cheers:

 

I don't particularly like the flavor of licorice, but that hasn't stopped me from enjoying absinthe. I do really enjoy fennel on the other hand...I know the fennel has been a dealbreaker in the past for a number of people who are sensitive to it.

 

Maybe a local bar serves it? It's much better to shell out the $15 that most places charge for a glass than the $70+ that it would cost for a full bottle.


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#12 Derrick

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 10:34 AM

Welcome.


"Reality is a crutch for people who can't enjoy absinthe."

#13 robv60

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 01:07 PM

Thanks everyone for the suggestions and advice! Ambear makes a really good point as should try Lucid in a bar sometime. I know that several bars in my area have it available but they serve it as shots, ha ha.  Im not totally averse to Fennel or anise as a flavoring per se,  I am averse to it when it is a REALLY strong flavor like the Absente I tried. My hope is that the better brands of REAL Absinthe are a little more mellow on that end. Songcatcher makes a good observation as well; if I do not not like Fennel or Licorice, indeed what is the point? I guess I just like trying new things and have always had an interest in Absinthe. Now that I can get my hands on the real deal I want to try some and satisfy my curiosity i suppose. I've always been intrigued by its history, the ritualized preparation and "mysteriousness" of it. I guess my hope is that the Absente was in no way representative of better brands and I will find one that I like and enjoy. It will be somewhat of a letdown if it turns out I just dont like the stuff but if so, so be it. Its been an interesting time thus far and Ive learned alot so no regrets there. Thanks again everyone!

 

Oh and Ripper, where in Ga? Im in Athens.



#14 Gwydion Stone

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 01:38 PM

[...]several bars in my area have it available but they serve it as shots

 

They're terribly misinformed, and losing repeat business because of it.  Send them here.

 

Im not totally averse to Fennel or anise as a flavoring per se,  I am averse to it when it is a REALLY strong flavor like the Absente I tried.

 

The difference is in the type of anise they use.  Mass-produced corporate brand products use star-anise oil for flavoring rather than being distilled directly with green aniseed, a totally different plant.  That same oil is what's used to make "licorice" candy—Good & Plenty, black vine twists, Jujubes etc.— and they use too much of it.  

 

Aniseed gives a much mellower and more complex flavor and in a proper absinthe is well-balanced with the other herbs.  The reason absinthe tastes so good is because wormwood, anise and fennel are very complimentary flavors.  The mass market brands don't have any wormwood flavor or aroma to speak of.

 

Green anise:

 

Attached File  Aniseed_held_in_hand.jpg   53.24KB   5 downloads

 

Star anise:

 

Attached File  star-anise_held_in_hand.jpg   33.04KB   4 downloads

 

 

 

 


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#15 ripper911

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 02:41 PM

If you have a bar nearby that would serve shots, just tell them to mix some water in with it if you want to try it, and bring a sugar packet or two with you in case you feel it is necessary.  You should probably be able to find someone who serves absinthe correctly in Athens if you look hard enough, but if not don't let it discourage you.

 

I'm in Powder Springs, a little west of ATL.



#16 robv60

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 02:49 PM

Thanks for clarifying that further Gwydion. I figure they must be either taking shortcuts somewhere, using a bad mixture of ingredients, using inferior ingredients or a mixture of all three. (and just to clarify my intentions here, I don't mean to bash on any particular brand but alas, its all I have tried. I never would've bought the stuff myself as I remember seeing it on the shelves YEARS ago and passing it up because I knew it wasn't the real McCoy. Anyway...)I have read so many of the reviews of the better brands and they talk so much about the herbal notes and how the flavors blend that they all sound so inviting and delicious. I actually thought "How bad can the cheap stuff be if it at least uses the same basic ingredients? What difference will added sugar make if I plan on adding some anyway? Surely artificial coloring wont make a difference in the basic flavor!" - all in a vain effort to convince myself that it couldn't be that bad. ....Oops. Live and learn i suppose. Theres only one place I have found Lucid within a reasonable driving distance and they want ~$60-70 for THE bottle. I can Get Obsello Locally for around $40. There is a place in town that sells St George but it doesn't sound very appealing to me. Id love to get my hands on some Pacifique based on the reviews I've read. I've actually contacted the distributor to see where/if I can pick some up semi locally. 



#17 TheLoucheyMonster!

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 03:12 PM

I would avoid the Obsello, the new rum based has  very poor reviews.  And you sometimes see the first version (it will have something like 'grape spirit' on label) in stores.

 

But I would avoid that as well...it does not age well in my experience.   Much as I loved original Obsello just a couple of years ago..Now, I would just leave it be on the shelf.   

Recommend strongly a pass on Obsello, old or new.



#18 robv60

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 03:37 PM

I just recently discovered that Obsello's recipe had changed. I never tried the old one but that is what i was basing my decision off of. I can almost guarantee that the old one is probably whats on the shelf here locally. I should ride out and check on it Monday. Might be worth grabbing if for no other reason than its not available anymore. But I guess it would really suck if I ended up liking the old version eh? 



#19 Joe Legate

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 04:07 AM

Any bar can take a shot of absinthe and add four parts cold water to it.  If you like where it's headed, you can invest in the bottle of Lucid and play with water ratios and sugar (or not).  I'm also among those that don't care so much for licorice but I think it's safe to say, I have a a pretty strong affection for anise and absinthe.  Good absinthe is a complex herbal bomb and the anise is predominate but not necessarily over powering.

 

Welcome to the Forum.



#20 robv60

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 11:11 AM

Thought Id take a sec to thank everybody again for your welcomes and advice. I'm definitely excited to try Lucid really soon as it is available in several bars here. Also, I would like to post my thoughts after a revisit to the Absente....

 

I decided I would have another crack at it, this time with some sugar to hopefully take the "teeth" out of the strong medicinal anise flavor. I started out with 1 small sugar cube and slowly dripped ~3.5oz of chilled water over it. (using a stainless steel turkey baster, ha ha. Use what ya got!). I wont go into a full review of the louche effect but suffice it to say, with my limited experience, it was fun to watch and looked nice to my untrained eye.  While it still has a very forward black licorice taste that is still somewhat of a harsh/artificial flavor, the sugar DEFINITELY helped tone it down. It still isn't well rounded and essentially has no other discernible flavor aside from a slight mintiness....it is at least drinkable now. I.e., I no longer have the involuntary head shake/shiver/convulsion after swallowing it -like one has after tasting cough medicine. It has a slight tongue numbing effect and a slick mouth feel that is somewhat pleasant. While not great by any means, i can now say that it is not soooo bad and I am sitting here now actually somewhat enjoying it (as much as can be expected mind you). This revisit certainly gives me hope that I will have a MUCH better experience with something more top shelf. I cant wait to see what a better brand will be like. I can see the potential and am excited to try something else!


Edited by robv60, 28 December 2013 - 11:14 AM.


#21 Songcatcher

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 03:06 PM

Good show old man!   :euro:

 

And nice review.  


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'.


#22 robv60

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 04:14 PM

Good show old man!   :euro:

 

And nice review.  

 

 Thank you kind sir.

"Nice" is the key word here. ;) Its still swill, ha ha.



#23 Ambear

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 08:42 PM

While not great by any means, i can now say that it is not soooo bad and I am sitting here now actually somewhat enjoying it (as much as can be expected mind you). This revisit certainly gives me hope that I will have a MUCH better experience with something more top shelf.

 

It's not even so much "top shelf" vs "bottom shelf"...Absente isn't a real absinthe. Which makes me why it's labeled as such in our reviews, especially when the editor comments say:

 

Despite the distributor\'s comments, Absente is not an absinthe. Absinthe must contain Artemisia absinthium, hence the name. Southern wormwood, Artemisia abrotanum, is one of many species of Artemisia commonly called \"wormwood\". It is not \"petite wormwood\", which is Artemisia pontica, an authentic absinthe ingredient.

 

Methinks it should be listed under Faux Absinthe instead.  :blink:


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#24 robv60

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 02:01 PM

Bad choice of words on my part by saying "top shelf". Doing so implied that Absente is by proxy a "bottom shelf" Absinthe, which it clearly is not. Saying top shelf was my way of saying "Real Absinthe of much better quality than the fake stuff". ;)

 

Moving on....I have to agree with you on the classification. It does beg the question whether this brand should be considered a faux absinthe or an absinthe substitute.I say Faux. Maybe Ill start a new topic on this since I'm going outside the scope of an introductory post. 

 

I'm glad I've finally gotten active on this forum. I'm enjoying it so far. :)



#25 fingerpickinblue

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 03:10 PM

Actually, Absente has claimed to be using A.a. for 3 or 4 years now.


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#26 Evan Camomile

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 04:34 PM

Welcome!


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