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Loss of louche over time?

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#1 Phoney

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 03:19 AM

I've had this problem with several different anise spirits and once with St. Antoine, but never heard about it anywhere. Some time (and usually several glasses) after opening the bottle, they didn't louche (other than the very slightest haze) when ice water was added, unless the bottle was shaken beforehand. It seems like the anethole content tends to dehomogenize under certain conditions, or something like that. It's even more likely to happen with home filled 1.5 oz. sample bottles.

 

In the case of St. Antoine, it was even before half of the bottle was gone. The bottles arrived lukewarm, if that counts, but only the Antoine had this issue. Curiously the non-louching glass came just some twenty minutes after a perfectly louched one. (I never dared to pour another Antoine without shaking the bottle.)

 

Any experiences or ideas on why it happens? I rather wouldn't shake my bottles...



#2 Joe Legate

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 03:44 AM

Shaking your bottles will not damage them.  Encouraging a little more oxygen into your absinthe may even help a young bottle "rest" a little faster.

 

I have not heard of a bottle losing its louche.  Unless it was a poorly made oil mix, I can't imagine how that would be possible.  I don't doubt you but I've not seen it happen.



#3 Martin Zufanek

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 05:32 AM

Thank you for your note, Phoney.

 

This is the first time I heard about such issue. And to be honest, I have no idea how this could be possible. I am regular (like really regular) St. Antoine drinker and never got the same problem (like shaking the bottle to mix anethole). Really strange. St. Antoine has very nice, thick and stable louche since batch no 3, so all the batches from last 5 years.

 

Could you please write me Lot code (on the bottom, something like L0719B13)?


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#4 Brian Robinson

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 06:55 AM

I've never seen this happen in 17 years of drinking absinthe.  I've had glasses of absinthe that, if left unattended overnight, have lost their louche, but never directly from the bottle and freshly prepared.

 

Are you storing your absinthe in the freezer or anything like that?  That could cause the oils to crystallize, but I've never heard it happen to that extent.

 

Are you using ice cold water? 


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#5 baubel

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 11:35 AM

How are your sealing these bottles, especially the 1.5 ounce sample bottles?  I suppose if you had the absinthe in a decanter with a cap that doesn't seal well some alcohol could evaporate off, but I don't know how that would change the louche. 


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#6 Gwydion Stone

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 12:55 PM

I likewise have never seen this happen.  Aside from freezing, I'm not aware of any way under ordinary household conditions that the anethole could be separated from the rest of the solution.  And it's just that: a solution.  The oils are dissolved in the alcohol, they can't just settle to the bottom.


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#7 Phoney

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Posted 08 February 2014 - 12:00 PM

Thanks for all the replies!
 
Martin, the Lot code is exactly L 0719B13 (there's another line saying P 040713) . I suspected the weather, because the bottle arrived real warm (I unpacked right away, and it felt like at least 40 °C), and I guess it endured this (or more) all day; perhaps got warm and cooled down several times in the days of transit. On the other hand, I still have some of that bottle and just now, it louches all right... perhaps it's not even an issue with Antoine itself.
 
 
It happened with two or free oil mixes, but it was the two distilled products that made me interested.
 
The other one was Isidoros Arvanitis ouzo, which is supposed to be (and as much as I can tell from the flavor, is indeed) 100% distilled. It was a steel cap, cca. 1.5 oz. sample bottle which I filled myself from the original bottle (just to keep some of it for later.) Poured the first half, added ice water, almost no louche at all. Shook the rest (having no other idea), poured again, perfect louche (as far as Arvanitis goes, that is.) It wasn't double strong, though, so my idea about anethole content getting inconsistent must be indeed wrong.
 
I always use iced water. And no absinthe in the fridge, ever.


#8 Joe Legate

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Posted 08 February 2014 - 12:10 PM

The only other thought I can conjure up is if you had inadvertently over watered.

 

There has been an absinthe or two that required a little love and attention to coax a strong louche but that wouldn't include St. Antoine.



#9 Ryan

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 02:36 PM

I think it's the condition in which it's stored.  The house I rent is very poorly insulated, and temperatures fluctuate wildly.  No matter how careful I am in storing my bottles, they are affected by temperature changes and I've had this happen with a few different brands.  Most of the time they'll louche normally, then later not at all.  Later still, they louche again.  It's bizarre, but it's definitely nothing to do with the quality of the brands.  


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#10 Phoney

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 12:25 AM

The only other thought I can conjure up is if you had inadvertently over watered.

 

There has been an absinthe or two that required a little love and attention to coax a strong louche but that wouldn't include St. Antoine.

Well, the louche didn't appear in the first place, and the glass was also marked at 1:5 ratio. On a side note, I've just checked several videos on St. Antoine's louche, and my bottle never louched anything thick like that. It also reacted to “power louche” with quite a latency.

 

 

I think it's the condition in which it's stored.  The house I rent is very poorly insulated, and temperatures fluctuate wildly.  No matter how careful I am in storing my bottles, they are affected by temperature changes and I've had this happen with a few different brands.  Most of the time they'll louche normally, then later not at all.  Later still, they louche again.  It's bizarre, but it's definitely nothing to do with the quality of the brands.  

Thanks, I was beginning to think that I must have messed up something real bad at those few occasions... Indeed, my room temperature isn't exactly stable either, and the “Antoine-case” happened after spending a few days in a very old holiday cottage in the hot summer.



#11 Ambear

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 01:44 PM

This totally happened to me once with Ridge Vilya. I stood there dumbfounded for a solid minute, but upon tasting it, I realized I had poured an ounce of gin instead of an ounce of absinthe.


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#12 Songcatcher

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 02:27 PM

I've had a glass of Walton Waters go blank on me after 15 minutes sitting in the hot summer sun. Once. And I've had a couple occurrences of an upside down louche form with a clear layer underneath the louched absinthe. Boggy #4 and La Grenouille.


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#13 Larspeart

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 01:15 PM

Cold water, slow drip.  Store in dark, cool place.  Don't overwater.  (I am guessing you messed up on that last one, bub.)


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#14 Ryan

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 01:28 AM

Well, the louche didn't appear in the first place.

That was my experience as well.  It's a real thing.  But hey, I'm glad more people haven't experienced it.  It kind of sucked.

 

Edit:  My posts aren't about St. Antoine, or any specific brand.  It's happened with three different brands (all of which are pretty highly regarded, and are not known to have weak louches).  I don't think it has anything to do with the batches, but rather what happened to the bottles either in shipping or in storage.  The temperature fluctuations in my house seem like the most likely culprit in my case, but I have no science to back that up.  I have definitely experienced what Phoney is talking about though, and I don't overwater.


Edited by Ryan, 15 February 2014 - 01:44 AM.

"The decline of the aperitif may well be one of the most depressing phenomena of our time." -- Luis Bunuel

#15 hdtv00

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 12:52 AM

I've had it happen twice both times with one of the Jades both within the last 3 maybe 4 yrs tops. First time It was brand new just delivered bottle I was baffled at the time, the entire bottle was that way. I think this was 2 yrs ago, so 2 and half years ago now. And then this last time year ago when I ordered another bottle , although I can't remember which they were for certain, but anyway water was nearly ice well it was parts of it, 3 oz only 4 max I always use, and it would not louche, I wish I would've made a video of it now. But this winter was so insane I look it outside and seriously sat it out in -20 below weather for 5-10 minutes and it louched up.

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Edited by hdtv00, 29 April 2014 - 12:56 AM.

Tried blanchette(80/100)/Nouville Orleans(review pending)
Yet to open rest of the Jades and Lucid

#16 Ron

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 08:31 AM

This totally happened to me once with Ridge Vilya. I stood there dumbfounded for a solid minute, but upon tasting it, I realized I had poured an ounce of gin instead of an ounce of absinthe.

 

Psh. Who hasn't tried to louche a glass of gin before? It's an especially easy mistake to make with the Silvertip and Vilya Blanche bottles. That confounded look when it doesn't louche is pretty universal.


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#17 Absomphe

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 12:53 PM

 Who hasn't tried to louche a glass of gin before?

:wave2:


Edited by Absomphe, 29 April 2014 - 12:56 PM.

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#18 Ron

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 12:55 PM

Shit. The Vilya louche is so legendary, even the gin gave it a go for a few seconds.


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#19 Absomphe

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 01:10 PM

You know, I was actually almost tempted to try and louche a glass of our local Bellewood Acres Gin when I first tasted it, onacuz the apples it's distilled from are so rich tasting that a louche almost seemed possible, so I get where you're comin' from.


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