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Alan Moss

Absente and the TTB

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The TTB regulations on absinthe state:

 

"Any artwork or graphics on the label, advertising, and point of sales materials using the term "absinthe" may not project images of hallucinogenic, psychotropic, or mind-altering effects."

 

Doesn't Absente's four-eyed Van Gogh image look just a little hallucinogenic? How are they able to get away with this?

 

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I've been wondering that for a long time. However I'm thinking that's a regulation that shouldn't exist. They probably get away with it because that was the Absente image when they were trafficking the southern wormwood product. That and what I understand is incredible inconsistency of the TTB.

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In general, absinthes sold in the USA are of a higher quality and are marketed with much more integrity than elsewhere. The latter of these seems to me to be related to the TTB's policy on absinthes and that may help maintain quality.

 

Yes, it may be because there wasn't a policy on absinthe pre-2007. But if there is a policy, it should be equally applied to all. When consumers describe Absente in the social media, words like "tripping," "drugs," and "psychedelic" are often used too (I just found those 3 in a two minute search), and I see very little use (if any) of these terms for absinthes such as mine, the Jades, Marteau, Pacifique, etc.

 

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I imagine they are grandfathered in. A common course for regulations in the U.S. is to allow those already on the market or running a business to not have to abide by a regulation that was not in effect when they started. In many industries this is one way people who make it to the top prevent others from following in their footsteps.

 

For example, my college town outlawed strip clubs but the one on the edge of town was grandfathered in when city limits expanded. They enjoyed the profits of being the only one in the area for decades. That is, until a church bought it and turned it into a soup kitchen. The same goes for hookah lounges who had a license before the banning of hookah lounges. The lounges can't move (one just did but it took a billionaire and her lawyers to do it) and there can't be any new ones, but the existing ones are allowed to stay. These hookah lounges enjoy only the competition they bring each other, which isn't much since there are only 3 spread across the entire town.

 

Absente is no doubt aware of their exception and seek to drum up business by using every inch of it they are afforded.

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The TTB regulations on absinthe state:

 

Doesn't Absente's four-eyed Van Gogh image look just a little hallucinogenic?

 

 

 

incredible inconsistency of the TTB.

Yes and yes

I hate that damn label.

...and using Van Gogh in the first place.

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